Most of this week I have been churning out the first of the rather "meta" book review books. I wrote 700 book reviews over the past 12 years, and I'm planning on doing an annual edition of what cranked out on that for at least the years 2006-2015. The problem with these (that I think I mentioned) is that it's taking a vast lot of time to get these edited and laid out for print. I finally have all the reviews from last year set up, and now I need to develop these "extra" pages in the back that will allow (via QR codes) folks to not have to type in the URLs (which are in footnotes now), but scan the code and go directly to the on-line review, where the links are live.
The pic over there ==> is a screen grab of some of the stuff in progress (click for bigger). One of the steps (and my OCD made be type up a step-by-step process with over 45 steps, just in case I don't get around to the next book for a while and forget what I was doing) involves turning the color cover thumbnail into a greyscale thumbnail ready for printing. Again, I really like the activity of this, and hate the fact (or the apparent fact) that I can't make money doing it. That whole "figure out what you love to do" thing is just an invitation to the universe to grind me under its heel.
Indeed, right when I was realizing that of all the stuff I do writing/design/graphics/publishing is way up high on the list, something blind-sided me. I had been (or I thought I had been) developing another book project for somebody ... I had gotten about half-way to where I thought the project should be, and had been waiting to get some feedback from the FULLY DESIGNED, HALF COMPLETED book ... plus extra materials. Well, somehow this person decided that they just wanted to get the book OUT and had picked up on the work I'd done and got the book produced by somebody else. WHICH REALLY SUCKS. I'm glad I didn't "burn" and ISBN on the project. I'm in a position with NO leverage as all the graphics and copy were from this person's resources, and I'd just spent MANY hours formatting it for publication. I'm not sure if they simply grabbed what I'd sent (a full-size, nearly ready to print .pdf) and rolled with that (although the material-to-price-point was not particularly good), but since it was all their "stuff", and I didn't have a "contract" or anything about the layout and design, I'm screwed.
I only FOUND OUT about this because I'd done some additional research on similar projects, for page counts, book size, and cover price, and contacted them this morning with that info, looking to get the project moving forward. Got a note back that told me (coincidentally - if you don't believe that the universe has a vendetta out on me) that the book, produced via some other channel, had debuted TODAY on their web site.
I'm pissed, hurt, and feeling quite abused ... as well as very disappointed that this didn't end up in the "Eschaton stable". Again ... I can't be SURPRISED because every time I have HOPE, every time I have some POSITIVE thought, something comes in FROM FREAK'N LEFT FIELD to slam me to the ground and grind its f'n heel in my face. It's like the universe saying "oh, Brendan, we KNOW how you love books, but you can't be ALLOWED to have any success, so everything thing you try will be SABOTAGED by the universe ... have a nice day".
Fuck my life. Just f'n shoot me already ...
Hey, at least I'm getting this posted before Midnight.