Well I still haven't pinned down a digital artist to do the new bridge picture. I got a few quotes from some VFX and digital studios in the US and even though the people who quoted were all very nice they were out of my current price range. I did have the idea of taking it to the education sector, figuring I'd get out of it cheaper and some student would have something cool for their portfolio, but that came to nothing.
An email to the head of design at Enmore TAFE went ignored, as did a request to Billy Blue, an advertising school in Sydney that actually had a page on their website inviting requests for industry collaboration. Maybe it's the universe telling me not to be the kind of client I've hated throughout my creative career – trying to get something for free that has real economic value to someone...
But I have at least settled on a photography provider for the Photoshopping of the bridge. I thought a drone would be cheaper, but the company I've settled on in Sydney is going to use a helicopter because of the high angle I need and it'll be the same price. I'm waiting for a call back from them so that should happen soon.
I also started the Amazon listing page, which is exciting. I also think I've settled on a logo and cover after doing a lot of work on it myself. What I have so far is still growing on me, but I've got plenty of time the way everything else is going. Another hurdle is that I knew full well I'd have to pay for the picture from the news organisation, but that turned out to be about $1,000. It's going to cost $2,100 for the photography and very high end digital art is likely to cost a few thousand, so I have to cut the cost somewhere.
(My other half even suggested I do the Photoshop work myself. I could certainly give it a crack, I'm just not convinced I'd do as well as the people whose work ends up on TV and movie screens.)
I've also done more writing just today, putting together the website copy and media kit copy. It's actually been quite fun - I've already done three blurbs of different lengths for different purposes (the Amazon listing, the inside flaps of the hardcover dust jacket when it exists, etc), so have adapted them for synopses, written a few different bios, etc. I've even done an author interview of the sort you sometimes see in the back of books.
It's also a bit tricky because in the interests of branding integrity a lot of the information is almost – if not completely – the same (I've replicated synopses for the media kit and the site). That means I have to stay on top of where each element of the marketing appears so if I change something I remember to change it everywhere else.
Anyway, doing all this new writing has made me realise how much there still is ahead of me. I need a decent author pic of myself, the covers and the other photography for use in the media, I need to set up graphics for the Twitter page, I need to set up a Facebook page even though I know little to nothing about Facebook. I need to decide whether to get Instagram even though I've never used it. The list keeps growing.
And I certainly need testimonials, a good one (if I get one) of which will be quite prominent on the website and marketing. That means I need to send it to tastemakers or influencers or whatever the hell PR types call them nowadays. That was always the aim and I have quite a list built up, but I need the completed copy totally finished before I start sending it to people like that.
Increasingly nervous about mistakes that might still be in there (everything I've read about self-editing says you'd be sick to think how many errors you leave in a manuscript yourself no matter how many times you read it), I've also asked a friend who's an experienced editor how much he'd charge to edit Falling for me. He was on holidays at the time and said he'd get back to me but still hasn't, I suspect he isn't the least bit interested or has no time and just doesn't want to have to knock me back.
Lastly, I've decided to use Squarespace for the website, and have already done mockups of the site using a couple of their themes I'm quite happy of.