Camouflaged Work in Progress in Brazil
Well over a 100 people have paid in advance for my soon to be released book Systema : The Russian Martial System and these kind souls have quietly waited for news of when they will finally be receiving their signed advance copy. This post if first of all a way to thank them for their patience, which has been truly humbling. I have received a grand total of only 6 very polite e-mails asking for further information from these patient souls. In contrast, I have received more than three dozen e-mails (38 if I counted correctly), of general support through this difficult time from the very same group. To every single one of you advance buyers, I want to express a truly heartfelt THANK YOU!
Your attitude to the delay we have all been experiencing has been probably the most exemplary expression of Systema principles of kindness, humility and gentlemanly conduct I have been exposed to. Please know that because of it I have been working behind the scenes like a person possessed to make sure we resolve this as soon as possible. Which brings me to the details of where we are. The only reason I have taken this long to release an update has been because since early December I have had extremely unreliable information regarding the progress of this project. I am glad I waited until now, because to pass on the information I was getting throughout this period, would only have made you all think I was making stuff up! Finally though I have some concrete results I can gauge the progress on and this allows me to give you all a realistic idea of when you are likely to get your advanced copy. First though, a couple of points for clarity:
- Please note that all of you who have already paid for one of the limited advanced copies will still receive your copy before the book is available in any stores or even on Amazon.
- As I mentioned on the book site, we have now extended the number of advanced copies to 200 due to demand and there are still about 30 of these left, so if you haven’t paid for an advanced copy yet, you may still grab one here: Systema Book – Advanced Copy. Once they are all gone, the “buy button” on that page will be taken down.
As for the release date, here is where we are and how we got there in all its gory details:
- The editing is now FINALLY all done. This took so much longer for a number of reasons that I did not expect. Chief among them being that my editor is a true professional and took a level of interest that is something most authors can only dream of. Yes, the process took longer, but personally I am extremely grateful to her, as her comments, edits and fixes have without question improved the final product. She has been a staggering improvement on my editor for my first book of 16 years ago. So much so that I could not guess at how much more work was required in the tiny details. But as you know, the devil is in the details, and it would not do to have a demon-infested tome, thanks to my editor (Hi Brynn!) you now have a much purer text. Trust me on this.
- Another issue that caused a lot of delay was due to government work, which as you all know, is beyond the control of anyone human. My first book was printed and published by the same company in the same country I resided at the time. This time though, printers and publishers are separate entities and certain legalities had to be gone through regarding various tax forms that have to be in place before the process can go on. All of this was supposed to have taken a set time and be dealt with in late November. Unfortunately, government work answers to no-one and I finally got the required approvals and documents only last week, but at least, the really
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hard part is finally over.
- Those two issues above have been the bane of my life for the last two months, and the main issue regarding the unknowns. What is left now is:
- The legal team going over the book — This should not take long because there is actually a veritable small army of lawyers that do this by sectioning the book out and it’s then reviewed en-masse. I am reliably informed this should not take longer than a week.
- Delivery to me of the proofing manuscript — Once the lawyers have done their grisly work, the publishers will them mail me a proofing manuscript, which I then need to go over in detail and give my OK to. Again, although the book is 475 pages in length, this should not take me more than a week, even allowing for a couple of back and forth questions or corrections, which I don’t really expect will be needed anyway, thanks to how closely my ninja editor followed the whole thing.
- Proofing print-run and delivery of same to me — This is the one point left on which I do not have complete clarity concerning timelines because it hinges on a number of issues, primary amongst them being when the proofing print run will be done by the printers. I am told though that it should not take longer than a couple of weeks lead-time and about another 2 weeks tops for packing and shipping.
- Signing and adding in personal message to each one of the books, packing and shipping off to every one of you guys. Again, this should not take longer than a few days, even if I have to stay up a couple of nights in a row to make sure it’s all done as efficiently as possible.
Assuming a worst case scenario, we have: 1 week for lawyers, say 1 week for delivery of proofing manuscript to me, 1 week for me to approve, 2 weeks lead time, 2 weeks printing, packing, shipping and delivery to me, 1 week signing, packing and shipping to you. Total worst case scenario: 8 weeks till you hold it in your hands.
Obviously I hope it will be less than this, but this at least should give you a worst case scenario idea.
Unfortunately the publishing world has changed dramatically since I was last involved with it, and this has unquestionably impacted my expectations to a degree I really did not expect. The last time I authored a book, the whole process from delivery to the editor (for final edits) to when it was printed and shipped and physically with me took less than a month, and this was in Southern Africa and 16 years ago. I stupidly thought in the interim things could only have got better. In a way this is true, the final product will be much better thanks to all the extra work that has gone into it, but all of this fine polishing has come at a cost in time that I had not envisioned at all, and which none of the information I was given at the time dispelled in any way, so you have my apologies for that.
We will be sending out an e-mail to every one who bought an advanced copy individually over the next few weeks, just to confirm your preferred shipping address and whether you would like any specific message in your autographed copy.
Lastly, I just want to reiterate that the attitude shown by every one of you VIP book-buyers has truly and honestly humbled me. I am not exaggerating in any way when I say that this experience, being the recipient of your kindness, e-mails of support and most of all, your quiet patience, has seriously improved my view of humanity as a whole. That’s no small effect, and I am truly grateful for it. Thank you.