Boy Scouts ½ in Japan, part 11: Unexpected Diners
A new story for you to enjoy!
Boy Scouts ½ in Japan, part 11: Unexpected Diners
Boy Scouts ½ has reached a sad milestone, with the passing of the real life inspiration of one of our reoccurring characters, Mr. Mark Abert. The real Mark also penned two tales for the Boy Scouts ½ universe, the two Troop 180 Chronicles stories.
Honestly, I hadn't seen the Aberts in years. But I always had, and will continue to have, very fond memories of Mark. And it was very good to see the rest of the Abert clan at the wake, even if I very much wish the circumstances had been different.
As of this writing, an obituary for Mark may be found here. (I don't plan on this website going anywhere any time soon, so if you are reading this in the future that link is no longer valid, my apologies.) Also, I encourage everyone to enjoy Mark's written contributions to the world of Boy Scouts ½: Troop 180 Chronicles - A Different Viewpoint and Troop 180 Chronicles II - Bang! Thwwpp! Boom!
This is a sad event... but also, it is a time to remember Mark, and the joy that he brought to everyone around him. So rather than mourn, I encourage anyone reading this to celebrate Mark. After all, he isn't really gone, not as long as we remember him. (And yes, I think he'd appreciate me referencing Star Trek on his behalf.)
And finally, not to take away from the above with some non-Mark news, but there is a bit of non-Mark news I need to relay. I recently rediscovered a bit of Boy Scouts ½ history I'd thought long lost: my original draft of part 6 before Aaron gave it a rewrite. Anyone curious can find that piece of history here.
Anyway, that's all for now. I'd been away for a while, which, sadly, is not unheard of, I will admit. But hopefully soon I can be back with some new Boy Scouts ½! Until then, faithful readers! (I hope the plural is accurate there, ha ha...)
Pardon the date on this post, I'd like it to stay on top of the blog for a while. If you're looking for the latest BS½ related news, just scroll down to the next post and enjoy. (Bonus points [if I was for some reason keeping score] to anyone who knows the significance of this post's date.)
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes. I figure it is probably a long shot, but I thought I might place a little advertisement here.
Are you an artist? Have you always dreamed of having your very own web comic? But do you have one little problem of not being able to come up with a story? Well then... I am currently accepting applications from anyone interested in being the artist in a web comic adaptation of Boy Scouts ½ !
Please click "Read More" below for the specifics.
Well, I have more books to show off! This is going to be a longer blog post, so I'm going to put the majority of it behind a "read more" link.
The eBook versions of books I & III are now available. (Book I was actually put up a few days ago, but knowing that I'd have Book III ready before too long, I figured I'd hold off on the formal announcement.) So now, for those who want Boy Scouts ½ in a convenient offline format and who prefer an electronic reading format over good ol' fashioned paper, all of it (with the exception of "Outlast") is now available.
I've just done a major update to the eBooks page. First of all, that page used to talk about the physical books a bit, presenting them as if they were just a personal thing I'd made for myself, but that the general public wouldn't have access to. Since, obviously, this is no longer true, that section of the eBooks page has been removed.
Also removed is the eBook version of the first Boy Scouts ½ novel. Why would I do such a thing? Well, previously the eBooks were just exact reproductions of the hardcover versions of the novels, printed in a PDF format. However, I have decided to produce all new versions of the eBooks with tweaks to the formatting to make them better suited to the format! Gone are any blank pages! And page numbers printed on the page will now match the actual page number in the file, rather then having the page numbered "1" being the first page of story content, even if there are other pages (such as the Forward, Dedication, and Table of Contents) preceding this.
The brand spanking new eBook edition of Book II is the only one available at just this moment. I started there rather than with the first book, as I felt it would be the easier of the two to deal with. (And even then, it ended up being a much more complex job then I'd imagined, or that what I have described here would imply!) The first book should follow on in the not too distant future, however. And sometime after that, the third book will even join them!
(And at some point, I suppose I should keep writing some actual new story, too! Let us not let the train that has been chugging along recently lose too much steam, ha ha!)
Anyway, that's all for now. Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!
Okay, I thought I was done with doing much of anything book-related for the day. Heck, for the weekend! But something arrived in the mail today, and so I thought I'd share my first impressions of it with you. I received my first copy of the paperback edition of Book I! And this is my first experience with a Lulu.com paperback, so I thought it worth sharing my initial thoughts.
Here's a photo with the original hardcover on the left, and the new paperback version on the right. The cover on the new edition looks pretty great! There is a little noise around the title graphic, which is annoying... especially since such noise is not present on the source graphic,which has a clean, transparent background:
...but this isn't so annoying that I feel I shall loose sleep over it. Also, the cover is ever so slightly misaligned, so that a tiny bit of the front (about 3 millimeters) is actually on the spine, instead. (Hence why Gelinas is right on the edge of the left hand side of the front while Hughes has some space beside him on the right hand edge.) I don't know if this is to be universal, or if it is just a matter of normal variance... But I do have a second copy of this book coming (for reasons I'll get into later), so I may be able to say then.
Here is the back and the spine, again pictured with the hardcover version for comparison:
Things look nice and sharp! Overall, aside from those few minor quibbles I had (and you can see those 3mm of front cover on the spine in the right hand image above), I am quite happy with the outside of the book! I really do like the new cover I made for it.
Well, let us delve inside, shall we?
Here is a comparison of the title pages. I've gotten a lot more comfortable with the process of formatting books for publishing on Lulu then I was when I originally produced the hardcover version of Book I. I'm including graphic files now, for example, so that I can do things like have the Boy Scouts ½ title in the proper custom font rather than have to just rely on whatever Lulu-compatible fonts I happen to have to use. (The lack of using graphic files in the interior is part of why the Boy Scouts ½ Anime Deathmatch stories were originally excluded from Book I, as well. Fortunately, this was something I figured out how to do in time to include them in Book II.)
And speaking of Lulu-compatible fonts, I don't have to worry about those anymore! Since I now know how to present Lulu.com with a print ready PDF (rather than having them convert a submitted Microsoft Word document file), I can use any bloody font I please. And thus, I can have the chapter titles in the same font I've always used for my offline versions of the "year one" story titles, rather then in the plain font I had to go with for the hardcover version of Book I:
I did make a pretty major goof with this book, which fortunately I noticed and fixed rather quickly. Unfortunately, however, I noticed it after I'd ordered this copy and it was too late to cancel the order. Between the Table of Contents and the start of Chapter One, I'd accidentally included an extra blank page. This threw the whole rest of the book off, so that the first page of Chapter One, which was also page 1, was on the left-hand side of the book! And so, all of the odd pages were on the left, and the even ones on the right! This also means that the page numbers are in the center rather then the outer edges, and finally that there is a larger margin then necessary on the outer edges, and not as wide a margin as there could be on the bound edges.
But if you are thinking you'd like a copy of this book, and are concerned about the pages being screwed up like that, worry not! As I said, I did correct that error, and thus it shall be unique to just this one copy of it. As a bonus to any potential customers, since correcting the error reduced the page count, it also lowered the cost of the book a few cents! (It was originally $10.35, as opposed to the $10.32 it is now. The savings! The savings!)
And I shan't have to live with it this error forever, myself... Lulu.com sent me a very nice (single use, alas, or I'd have shared it) coupon for 25% off and free shipping. So when I finished making the hardcover copy of Book III, I ordered it and a corrected copy of the paperback Book I, and it was practically like getting the new copy of Book I for free. (Pity I hadn't finished the paperback Book II yet at that point. Still need to order myself a copy of that one, myself, but I am hoping for another sale or coupon first!)
If you saw me talking about this book when I first made it available for order, you may recall my talking about how I had to shrink the font more then I might have liked in order to fit everything in Lulu.com's maximum page count without abridging anything. Well, while the 8 point font is tiny, I am happy to say that in hand it is quite clear and readable. (At least to my eyes. Anyone without 20/20 vision and / or proper reading glasses may find that their results may vary.)
The paper is nice and smooth, and a very bright white. It is thin, and the text on the opposite side is vaguely visible, but not enough that it interferes with reading at all. The cover is a thicker card stock with a glossy finish on the outside. The binding is nice and tight, with all of the pages held in well. But of course, it is a brand new book, so I cannot comment on the longevity of the binding and how it will hold up over time. But freshly printed, it is very nice.
It is sure an impressive looking tome, size-wise, too. Even with the thin paper, at 662 pages it is not a book to sneeze at! The spine is quite chunky! This is a book that could be used as a bludgeon. (Although, of course, that is not a recommended use of this product, and we here at Boy Scouts ½ will not be held accountable for the consequences of any such misuse!)
So if you'd like a Boy Scouts ½ book, but you're more of a paperback fan, are on a budget, or both, I quite recommend picking this up! (And remember, we here at Boy Scouts ½ are not making any profit off of these, so that is a genuine endorsement and not an "I want your money!" endorsement.)
Now I just have to figure out what to do with the extra, slightly wrong copy of it I'll have after I receive my corrected copy... If I felt confident that anyone not named Jason Bertovich even still visited the Boy Scouts ½ website, maybe I'd hold a contest and give it away as the first prize! So how about this... if at least 10 people who have never actually written for Boy Scouts ½ reply to this post with a comment within the next week, I'll come up with a fun contest for you all! Sound like a plan? Okay? Good!
I said if 10 people commented to this within the next week (thus indicating sufficient interest to make a contest worth my while), I could maybe hold a contest to give out the error copy of the book. I fear I must rescind this offer. My mother happened to see that I had made that book, and said she wanted a copy. (The poor woman!) She asked me to order her a copy and she'd pay me back for it, and my reply to that was, "Well, do you mind a copy that is slightly off? If not, you can have this one for free."
Sorry, folks! My dear mother trumps you all!
That being said, if anyone is still interested in a contest, I'll still be happy too have one! The grand prize can be the same as contests I held in the distant past: a character named after you in an upcoming story.
...here is one more book for the bookstore! A new paperback edition of Book II!
I suppose that should finish off the bookstore for the foreseeable future. The hardcover edition of Book III only just came out, so expect there to be a wait of a year or so before a paperback version is produced... And as for Book IV... Well, nothing is written for the bloody thing yet, and who can say how long it will be before we have enough to fill another whole novel? I may have been on a roll lately... but I ain't that good!
Hey, everybody! You know how earlier today, I published to the website Boy Scouts ½ in Japan, part 10? Well now, on the off chance there is anyone out there eager to have these stories in dead tree format, there is a new book available in the Boy Scouts ½ Bookstore!
"But," you ask, "how can there be a Boy Scouts ½ in Japan book when Boy Scouts ½ in Japan isn't done yet?" To which I would say, "That is a very good question." And then I would point out where the title of the book says, "part one."
"But," you then go on to ask, "is there actually enough material here to fill a book? I mean, 'Year One' had thirty parts, and Boy Scouts ½ in Japan is only on part 10! So isn't that like only a third of the material? Must be a pretty thin book!"
"Not at all," I then go on to explain. "It is actually thicker in page count then either of the previous two books. And no, before you ask, that isn't because I did something sneaky like use a 30 point font. This ain't a large print edition!"
"But," you then ask, because apparently you just really like questioning everything I say, "how is this possible?"
And to answer that, I may as well share an excerpt from the Forward of the book.
Frankly, I thought it would be a lot longer until we got to this point. After all, the third novel was intended to contain all of Boy Scouts ½ in Japan, and as of right now, Boy Scouts ½ in Japan is only about a third done.
And that brings us back to earlier today. I finished part 10. I threw it online. I then added it to the file for the third novel, then skimmed the length of it a plethora of times to look for any obvious formatting errors... And here we are! Book III is ready!
I haven't ordered myself a copy yet, though, which is likely to be the next thing I do after I tell you all about it. So, like I said with the recent publication of the paperback version of Book I, order at your own risk! I'm sure it is fine... but until I have one in hand to examine, I cannot guarantee that with absolute certainty. (But if you're really worried, just wait a few weeks and check back. If you don't see me ranting about it and/or you do see that it is still for sale, you'll know it has the official Matt seal of approval!)
And finally, just a reminder. In part to keep costs as low as possible for you, and in part because I have vowed many times never to personally profit from Boy Scouts ½, so the book is being sold for the bare minimum that Lulu.com allows, just to cover what they charge for the printing process.
It feels like barely more then a week ago, I was presenting part 9 to you! (That may be because it was barely more then a week ago.) Given how often it happens that long lapses occur between stories, I am just as pleasantly surprised as anyone that I now have the next story ready for you!
Boy Scouts ½ in Japan, part 10: At the Ranch II: Electric Boogaloo
Creator, editor, and main author of the stories within the Boy Scouts ½ Universe.
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