Update on Printing Tress + Weekly Update
ISAAC: Hello there! I’m Isaac Stewart, standing in for Brandon today. I am over Creative Development at Dragonsteel. And Brandon’s in Hawaii, out of the office, having fun, writing on the beach. He has an update for us later in the video about how things are going with his writing there. So stick around for that, and you can listen to me ramble for a few minutes here about cool things that are going on here at Dragonsteel.
First off, one of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately, and a lot of the crew have been thinking about, are the shipping delays with Tress. Back last March actually, when the Kickstarter came about, we didn’t expect the response that we did. Before that, I was getting quotes from our print rep about the books, and we were looking in the 25,000 to 50,000 range of books quantity for each secret project. And so that’s what people were prepared for. Some orders were put in for cover material so that we could be on top of things. But the Kickstarter blew up, and at the end of it, after the BackerKit section, we put in an order to Bill, our print rep, and I think his jaw dropped because he said, “I thought we were printing 25,000 of these. So after that, he started working his magic. When you put in an order for 150,000 books, they’re going to have to—they have to make the cover material. They can’t just go to their warehouse and get it. So that was a big delay there is because of how many we were doing. In the meantime, our printer, and these are being printed at several different printers so that we can try to do things simultaneously—in the meantime, our printer was getting ready for 25,000, and then got the note that they were doing a lot more than that. This shifts printing schedules. We were told that they would do their very best, and they have been. I went out to the plant with Adam and Emily and Taylor. And we went and saw how things were running there. And the people there are working hard to get these books through.
Now let me tell you a little bit about why Secret Project 1 is delayed, specifically. So you saw some of the reasons why the delays are coming through on the material side of things. But on the printing side of things, we just made the covers too complex. And so it takes a long time, as you can imagine, to stamp 150,000 covers. So let me go through just a little bit about why that is. We have our cover here for Secret Project #1. And it looks like it would go through four stampings because we have a deboss. We have black foil, green foil, and then gold foil. So that sounds like four stampings. But the way that these machines work is that they have to run things for the front, the spine, and the back. That’s not the way it is with our leatherbound books. Our leatherbound books have two stampings. It just goes boom. Then they hand it over to another person and boom, and those get done. But these are a little more intricate. They have to take a little bit more care in lining up all four of those layers. And this type of book is not usually being printed in the United States right now. So there’s some learning curve on this. So what happens, is instead of stamping it four times, they have to stamp it four times on each of these elements. So it can go up to having to stamp twelve times on this. And that can take a long time with 150,000 of these. So that’s what’s going on there. The printer is doing its very best to get those all stamped.
In the meantime, Secret Project #2, those covers have been sent to another plant and are in process right now. We’ve seen the samples. They look awesome. And we are also at the same time simultaneously, doing Secret Project #3, and those look awesome too. Hopefully that explains a little bit about the delays. That is enough about Isaac geeking out about printer things and printer delays and materials and all that fun stuff. Let’s go to Brandon, who has a much more enthusiastic update from the beaches, I hope, of Hawaii.
BRANDON: Hey, time for my Weekly Update, at least my portion of it. Hello from Hawaii. Well, this has been a very nice couple of days. I’ve been alternating days. One day I’ll spend playing with my kids and things like this. And then they, the next day, tend to go off and do something like today they’re shopping. And so I hang out and work on some stories, which is what I love to do when I’m in such a wonderful place. There’s something very inspiring about it…
I do have an update for you on Stormlight 5. I am, Bing! 33%. This means I have hit 150,000 words. It’s a pretty safe third of the way through. It’s a big jump this week. But it’s kind of vague how long this book will be. The
previous ones were all between 400,000 and 450,000. This one I just hit a third. In fact, I’ll give you some spoiler stuff in a minute, just very little ones if you’re following kind of the threads on Reddit and things like that. I’ll tell you what I’ve finished in a very minimal spoiler but we’ll do that at the end.
I try to get around 2,000 words a day. Sometimes I get more if I’m in a very—if I’m in the right location, in the book more than where I’m writing. Meaning near the end of a sequence I tend to write a little bit faster. Getting into a sequence can be a little bit harder. I’m not machine-like in my writing, meaning I don’t hit a precise number every day. But the average tends to be around 2,000 to 2,500 today. It depends on what I’m working on and things like that.
For the spoiler-free portion. Hop away if you don’t want to see the spoiler portion. What I’ve been working on is the Szeth and Kaladin sequence for this book, which means I have finished that now. It means I’ve finished all the flashbacks and I’ve finished all Szeth’s viewpoints and all of Kaladin’s
viewpoints, which are somewhat intertwined at part of this book. And so I am now going to be moving on to another viewpoint sequence and try to get that all the way through. I’m going to be working on a big chunk of the characters now who have some integrated sort of thing. So it’s going to be mostly I’ll be working on Dalinar, Shallan, and some Renarin. There’s a lot of stuff going on, kind of interconnected, some Navani as well with them. The goal is to write that all the way through. And then, everyone that’s left over, will get their own set of viewpoints in kind of the last third of the chunk. Then I’ll do the interludes at the end, if I haven’t written them already.
So that’s where we are. Feeling really good about the book. Like how it’s turning out, and I’m excited to share it with all of you come November 2024.