Proof of Work

Home stretch

A short update on the book, for those interested!

Publication Method

I've decided to self-publish the book as a print, ebook, or bundled package. What open source book would be complete without an open source version too, right? My intent is to do that on some sort of delay, perhaps a chapter a month. A lot of that is predicated on my ability to mark it up accessibly, however.

I thought about self-publication for a long time. My only other run in was as a teenager, getting "published" in a poetry anthology. Now as an adult, I realize it's what you'd call a vanity press. Too much went into this book to associate it with that.

At first, it felt like capitulation or something less than what I wanted. But a good friend counseled me that they are introduced as "author of", not "published by". This really resonated, and reenforced my desire to tell a story with this work, not check a box. ABA would have been a dream come true, but I have less attachment to other publishers.

I'm in talks with a lovely local book producer. I've designed the cover and am really happy with its direction. If I nailed it, it'll be a recognizable allegory for the book's theories.


A website is ready to go! I opted to use Astro for the site, and it's been a fun experience. Want a preview? Too bad! It has the cover and the title splattered all over it. I'm reluctant to go live with it until the book is off to the printer and I have a release date. Even the title is a perhaps tight-lipped secret. I guess we'll see if I'm just old-fashioned or foot-gunning myself with squandered anticipation. Either way, it's been a fun distraction from the real work: manuscript preparation.

Formatting and Proofreading

I, and the couple other folks affected by ABA's hiatus, are in a pickle. We are likely one of the few people who have ever had to translate a highly optimized manuscript from one format to another. There were too many question marks in the process for me to trust my own attempts at salvaging the format. For example, the styles were not transferring to other programs, because they'd been customized. Another tool was needed as an intermediary anyway, for simple things like chapter title formatting. I had to look elsewhere.

Ultimately, I opted to use Atticus to reformat the manuscript. It's worked pretty well so far, but there have been bumps and at times exhaustive combs through the whole document. Like when the 300+ links didn't transfer the way I wanted. I can see a couple places where constraint led to compromise, but I'm nothing if not determined. I suspect this becomes one of those things, like any project, that only you notice as the hardest-on-yourself maker.

The proofreading process is slow, I'll admit. Flow is hard to find in my mind and in this house. I keep tinkering with things, and the biggest enemy is my own familiarity. It's too easy to skim the text I've now written, rewritten, and read dozens of times. I am channeling tactics from my college days as an editor, such as reading backwards. I suspect I'll miss something, and know I could have hired this and many other elements out. I usually value the expertise of others, but this journey has been scrappier, more personal, and something I need to see through. I find solace in knowing I have a website to fallback to for anything egregious.

Release Forecast

I'm looking at a late summer or early fall release. This doesn't sound too far-fetched. 🤞

If you want more updates as we near the finish line, you can give me your email over on the book's current page and I promise not to open source it.