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The Cairo Beta is available

Posted February 26, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

For those very special people who signed up early.

I'll be more active around here now that I'm done.

I'm planning two weeks in Beta, three weeks in pro-edit, a week's production and then it gets released.

The draft came in at just under 40 000 words. I still plan to release this volume for free. Partly to drive subscription sign ups, partly because everyone has waited too long for it.

The next book is tentively titled Stalin's Hammer: Paris.

Hard core AoT fans will be happy to know that as yet unseen original series characters and ships will be returning for that.

The final installment will be Stalin's Hammer: Moscow.

33 Responses to ‘The Cairo Beta is available’

KreepyKrawly asserts...

Posted February 26, 2016
How do we know if we're "Special"... ß-Þ

MuttsInc is gonna tell you...

Posted February 27, 2016


If you walk past a mirror, stop and introduce yourself, you're special in so many ways.

If, however, you feel a compulsion to lick your refection, that's perfectly normal behaviour.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted February 27, 2016
Well, that, of course, depends on where and what you are compelled to lick.

MuttsInc has opinions thus...

Posted February 28, 2016

seems there's a shortage of the letter L in my computer, unless refection is what I meant...and I hadn't run that thought - where and what to lick - any further in case the temptation to try it became overwhelming...

okay; tried it...kept my eyes closed though...

I taste strange...

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted February 28, 2016
Show of hands; who is surprised?
Yep

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ShaneAlpha swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 26, 2016
I still think Stalin's Hammer : Dubbo would be better.

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she_jedi would have you know...

Posted February 26, 2016
*Squeeeee!* Well my weekend will be lost in beta editing then.

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Blake would have you know...

Posted February 26, 2016
"partly because everyone has waited too long for it."
Based on that logic, George RR Martin & Patrick Rothfuss are going to be paying the readers for the delay...
(Probably the jibe works more widely with the onlybformer, but i finished 'Wise Mans Fear' this week and am thus feeling a bit like an Apple fanatic with a new macbook)

Spanner would have you know...

Posted February 28, 2016
Oh it works for Rothfuss. I'm like some sort of word junkie waiting for the next book.

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guy asserts...

Posted February 27, 2016
Excellent news, but I'm looking forward to the Paris one even more. A very different France to the one we all know and love, with 15% of the country occupied by the Red Army and the French political establishment split between former collaborators, former resistance fighters and communist stooges. All of them blaming the Americans (and to a lesser extent, the British) for their misfortunes.

Paris thoroughly trashed by the Nazis, their buildings lying in ruins with their famous art collections looted and either buried in coal mines in Soviet occupied territory, transported to Moscow or destroyed in Berlin.

French pride and arrogance can be a diplomatic minefield at the best of times. This is not the best of times.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted February 27, 2016
Huzzah. I guess I'd better buy me some Rome first

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Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted February 27, 2016
Tap, tap, tap, tap . . . still waiting.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted February 27, 2016
Special as in.

I AM A FKN GOD! YA MUPPETS!!!!!!!!!

YEAH BABY TEARIN IF FKN UP COME GET SOME....

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted February 27, 2016
OK
Back to likin inta shape this masterful fkn tome!.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted February 29, 2016

By which you mean:

*cap fkn muppet here*

*fkn 'splosion here*

*50 cal burst here*

*nuke Beijing!*

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jennicki mumbles...

Posted February 28, 2016
Oh Havock. :)

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Spanner swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 28, 2016
Mr15 is re-reading Weapons of Choice. I may have um confiscate it for reasons so I can re-read it.

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MuttsInc has opinions thus...

Posted February 28, 2016

I'm planning two weeks in Beta, three weeks in pro-edit, a week's production...

Okay, here's my problem : That sentence probably makes a whole bunch of sense to some people (that ain't the problem) but to me it could be the holiday manifesto on a cruise ship (that part there; that's the problem).

I build houses for a living; I utilise technological advances such as the hammer, and nails. Sometimes even a nail-gun. And concrete. Not a computer, for which people are thankful - I type with one finger on my left hand and one on my right, constantly looking for letters; my backspace key has a shiny, smooth hollow in its centre - worn from making mistakes.

Any assistance would be invaluable. Thanks

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted February 28, 2016
OK. Beta editing. The raw first draft goes to a dozen or so punters who volunteer to read the awful piece of shit because (1) they want to get the story before anyone else, (2) they have a mental illness which manifests itself as unbridled pedantry, or (3) they like to edit. (See 2).They make changes, suggestions, comments to the document and I edit the story in line with those suggestions etc. That takes about two weeks.The manuscript then goes to a grown up professional editor, who gets paid handsomely for, well, editing. That also takes a couple of weeks.When those changes are all made, the book goes into 'production'. I hire an artist to do the cover and somebody who knows how to write code to turn the Word document into html. They bundle up the words and pictures and send me an ePub file (for iBooks, Kobo etc) and what's called a Mobi file, which is the format used by Kindle.I then upload the files to the various online bookstores where they'll be available and wait for the gold plated hovercraft to glide in.

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted February 28, 2016
If one suffers from (2) and (3) how does one get to be a grown up editor, and not a pleb beta editor? (Asking for a friend).

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted February 28, 2016
A degree in Editing and Publishing, followed years of indentured penury and slavish internship.

Dirk reckons...

Posted February 28, 2016
hmm you could do the epub/mobi part yourself after the last edit: https://calibre-ebook.com/ has a nifty feature that makes those from pdf/doc ... just a thought.

Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted February 29, 2016
Thank God I'm just the military consultant and not the line editor. I'm fairly certain my eyes would bleed if I had to do that job.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted February 29, 2016
How much difference does the crowd editing make? Does it allow for your proper editor to consider deeper things without being distracted by a few misspelled words, for instance?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted February 29, 2016
Crowd editing has got to save time and money. Depending on the crowd, of course.



John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted February 29, 2016
The professor nailed it. Beta editing cuts down the basic trench work by the pro editor and probably cuts my bill in half.

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MuttsInc would have you know...

Posted February 28, 2016

Sir, thank you very much.
I'm rather embarrassed the boss had to come out on the factory floor and explain all that; I'm also kind of humbled - as an avid reader of some five decades vintage - that I haven't given the process due consideration : I walk in a book store, there they all are. Breathe deep and hold it. Then I buy one, go home and read it, make suitable noises of appreciation (or get three chapters in and bin it) and go back to the store for another. Repeat the next day.

I don't know jackshit about editing but I do have a healthy dose of OCD. Are there vacancies in the industry for people who don't know what they're doing but are extremely particular about it? (I don't do sock drawers or arrange hovercrafts alphabetically)

Whilst I'm parading my ignorance, one other aspect bothers my inner-pedant : As the author, you slave your guts out and are happy with the final product; the (highly-paid) editor says blah and blah and gotta change this and that, but you disagree, vehemently. Is his opinion a lock, or are civilised dummy-spits on your part permissible?

My apologies for taking up so much of your spare time; I had no idea it was that complicated and time-consuming to get the work published.

Perhaps you could suggest a forum where wanna-be writers go to ask dumb questions, pour out their latest bucket of unreadable swill and be chastened back to their day job? I'm outta my depth here; I just enjoy the craft of writing. Bit like walking onto a nudist beach with all your clothes on and everyone knows why...

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jason swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 29, 2016
I have a degree in editing and your use of the word pedantry does not in any way offend me. In fact I think you may be understating the level of detail obsession demonstrated by this sub genre of humanity.

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DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted February 29, 2016
It appears I'm no longer special, since my inbox is bereft. Oh woe is me. Is this the very definition of first world problems?

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Rhino mutters...

Posted February 29, 2016
In the event that y'all forgot - it is GOOD to be The Rhino.

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DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted March 1, 2016
""... alcohol being the elixir of Satan and the ruination of all virtue."
Man I need a drink.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted March 1, 2016
well...i have to say its pretty fkn good, so much betterer now I have finished editing the fkn thing and getting JB to understand just how to describe in detail with alomost the smell what 3 feet of sharpened steel does, when ran from crotch to gullet, taking into account the various pops and hisses that emanate from the newly formed opening.

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 2, 2016
I reckon you just wanted to put in a fart joke

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