I've now made all the edits that my editor caught for the Skaldwood Blight project. A lot of these revolve around the fact that I wrote this more than 2 years ago, but I'm only getting it into final form to give to people now. A lot has happened in the past 2 years! At Paizo, we've made two decisions that impacted this product:

1. First, we decided to rename the thingamajig in which a lich places their soul to be  "soul cage" and not a "phylactery." There's a lich that features across a few chapters in this campaign, so hunting down all instances of "phylactery" to update them with "soul cage" took some work.

2. Second, Paizo is stepping way, way back from references to slavery and slaves. It still exists in the setting, but it isn't foregrounded, and we don't identify people subject to enslavement by just calling them "slaves" as though that were the entirely of their being and identity. We instead refer to "enslaved persons" or "giants who are enslaved" or similar. There were a few places where I had to finesse the language to account for this, either by merely changing wording, or by making former "boss plus slaves" into a "head fanatic plus several other fanatics" to avoid slavery entirely.

These changes took time, but time well spent (and I still feel very much ahead of schedule on this product).

The next big thing was ordering a print proof. I've done this before for lots of Run Amok products, although it's been a few years. How hard could this be?

Lots of hard, as it turns out. There were two big changes from my prior experience:

1. My cover file needed to contain a spine. That was kind of neat, and nothing I've done before has been big enough to warrant a spine. So I needed a scaled-down version of the title and graphic and logo for this, which was neat to make but I worry might be offset a bit on the spine. The printer proof will show me whether I got this right.

2. The interior pages now need bleed. I laid this whole project out on 8.5 by 11 pages. That's what pages books are, and what pages pdfs are, so that was all easy and straightforward to do. But, it turns out, print pages that will be 8.5 x 11 need to be slightly bigger than this to account for color bleed off the page. Since I use page backgrounds, some of the background will overlap the bleed and be cut off, and needed to be positioned to not look back when it did that. What this meant was reformatting all my pages to be slightly larger (8.625 by 11.250), because the pages are all-around bigger, just bigger on three sides (the top, the bottom, and the "outside" edge, which varies by odd and even pages). That mean adjusting my page backgrounds and the text and images in an alternating way throughout the whole product. Will this all look precise and neat? I don't know! I don't know how much of the bleed area is going to be printed--that's why it's a bleed area in the first place, because some but not all of it will be cut for the printing and it's hard to say how much. I can really see why so many companies use plain white backgrounds instead of color borders, because bleed matters very little when there aren't fancy borders to work around. 

This was a bit tedious, but no more than a couple evenings of work, and now it's all uploaded and being printed. I've ordered two proof copies: one to come to me, and the other to go right to my friend Owen. That way, we can both look the print version over together for problems.

Although I plan to look at the whole thing, the key pieces I'm focusing on are based on the two changes above: does the spine look good, and do the pages look even or janky? Shipping should take 3 to 6 weeks, and I'll find out then!