It looks like we're in luck. Redface has offered to take care of the formatting for the finished novel, and so far his work looks excellent. After a recent poll taking at TTLG (sorry blog followers, but I needed more than the three votes I usually get over the course of four weeks) it was decided that more pages, thus higher cost, was worth it for larger text. Redface should hopefully be taking care of two of the covers as well. ~~ In fact, I've asked all three of the artists if they could focus on getting the cover images done during January, and they seem optimistic. ~~ Our editor won't be available to work again until the end of January so I'm considering asking for additional help in the mean time. Actually I already replied to someone who had offered to do so, to see how serious he is. I'd really like to have someone who's never heard of Thief to read it and critique it as a piece of fantasy literature, but I've had no luck there so far. ~~ Meanwhile I'm thinking of a few additional things I missed during the last revision, but I'm not yet ready to jump back in for more work. These additional things involve Lytha, and it occurred to me that I had no intention of addressing these items during COT2 so it's now or never. I'd like for COT2 to be as baggage-free as possible: no leftover issues from COT-R to deal with.
Speaking of COT2, I keep going back and forth on certain issues. If you've been reading the blog you know that I was strongly considering doing the whole thing as a series of short stories rather than the tremendous epic novel that COT-R became. Now I am pondering actually splitting it into three separate projects. ~~ The first would be a collection of (rather long) short stories that can be taken totally in isolation. Some would be completely stand-alone tales set in the CoSaS Universe, some would be fairly closely linked to COT-R but not to Thief itself, and some would be Thief fan-fictions in a very true sense. The six principals from COT-R would get a mention from time to time, or even a cameo, but would not be featured heavily. All of these stories would be setting up backstory for what is to come, but all would also be rather self contained. ~~ The second would be again a series of short stories, but far less self-contained and rather more chapter-like. It would be a direct continuation of COT-R and feature the six principals heavily, though many would be told from the perspective of new characters. In fact I even considered naming this project "Book 7". On the other hand there's a total of eight stories planned for this project, so it might as well be called Book 8 as well! All of these stories would address an issue left unresolved at the end of COT-R and either provide a complete conclusion, or develop that plot in preparation for the third project. ~~ The third project would be Contravention of Thieves itself, and would be an actual novel with chapters and an interwoven plot just like COR-R. It would tie things from the previous two projects together and bring everything to a conclusion. Since so much ground will already be covered in the previous two projects, COT2 can launch directly into the meat of the story and provide a very fast-paced narrative with a minimum of exposition or backstory explanation. My goal would be to make it half to one-third the length of COT-R. Sounds good to me.