Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bite the Bullet


One of the novels that Ace reverted to me a while back was Spindoc, the first of an SF duology starring Venture Silk. I put the second novel, The Forever Drug, up as an ebook, and it has sold pretty well so far, but I didn't offer Spindoc because, somehow in the process of going hither and yon -- this back in the day when I stored each chapter of a novel as a separate file -- I managed to lose the first six chapters. 


Nowhere to be found. 


Why did I not make it one file? Because when I first started working on a computer, the storage space was such that you couldn't do that and back it up. Floppy disks didn't hold very much, and even if you could put a book-sized file on your system, it was too big to work with -- the machine would grind and grind just opening and storing it. You young folk don't recall when the OS of a computer came on a floppy disk, and a megabyte was considered a lot. First hard drive I got was a ten-meg thing the size of a shoebox and I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven -- ten megs? Shoot, I'd never fill that up!


How I lost them? Dunno. I expect that once the book came out, I was less than diligent about the files, figuring at the time that I'd never need the electronic version again.


Who knew what the world was going to do with ebooks a mere fifteen years later?


Um. Anyway, being too lazy to sit down and retype the first six chapters, I figured that was that. My scanner didn't seem to be working, and OCR has always been such a pain to play with, so end of story, right?


Well. Maybe not. 


As it turned out, I got the scanner working. OCR -- that's optical character reading -- has improved some, and if I am willing to take apart a copy of the novel and carefully scan the pages, I can come up with files that are probably 95-98% accurate. Some of the words get garbled, and some show up as funny characters, but since I'd read the thing again anyway as I format it for epublication, that's not that much more work to fix that. Thirty-three pages into the scanner, probably an hour or so to scan and export them to a PDF I can port over to my word processor. Add in the other thirty-four chapter files that I do have, clean it all up and format it, I expect we are talking about one day's work, maybe even a long afternoon. 


So, I figured, I'd bite the bullet. All things going well, in the not-too-distant future, I'll be able to put Silk's first adventure up, for the teeming tens of fans who might be interested in reading it.


Stay tuned to this station ...

6 comments:

Mantisking said...

Have you ever thought of doing more stories for M. Silk?

Anonymous said...

Buy you fools, buy!

Enjoyable read. Bought it back in the day, will buy it again if I can't find my paperback.

Ron

Bill said...

Any progress on Churl or Siblings of the shroud?

Anonymous said...

I like the TMWNM stalkers best...

Steve Perry said...

I haven't abandoned the Matadors -- I'm working on both Churl and Siblings, albeit it slowly. Haven't done a deal and timeline with my publisher, who is feeling the pinch of the recession that supposed ended.

Paying work has to come first, even if it's ghostwriting ...

Steve Perry said...

Two books pretty much covered everything I had in mind for Silk and Zia.