Shareware Heroes

By Richard Moss

The renegades who redefined gaming at the dawn of the internet

Monday, 2 May 2022

Edging our way closer to publication

Since the last update, I've gone through the first proofs document and requested various tweaks — mostly swapping one image out for another or moving an image to a different place (designers have a weird thing where they like to put an image several or more pages before it's actually relevant to the text, just because it looks good there).

I've also picked out images for the colour plate section in the middle of the book, which is the only area where we'll have colour images. I went for a mix of old photos from some of the shareware heroes covered in the book, box/cover art, and other shareware-related ephemera. And I've finished writing up my (lightly-)annotated bibliography, which I'll be publishing online and have linked to in the book's introduction.

This has all now been looked over by a proofreader and next up we get revisions from the designer, then they do the final bits and pieces of preparation for printing and send it off to the printers.

Links to a couple of first proofs screenshots for those who want to see them

Last time, I asked if you'd like to see any screenshots of these first proofs and...well, the response back was mixed. Some of you do, some of you don't, and I'd rather not spoil anything for people who'd prefer to wait to see inside the book. Here's my solution:

If you'd like to see a couple of examples of how the book looks, click the links below. If you don't, keep reading for the rest of the update.
Chapter 8 opener
Apogee and Skunny

A few notes on the images:

  • the lines in the corners are "bleed" marks and crop/trim marks. The outer set indicate where the page will be cut, while the inner set delineate the line between the "bleed" area (where images extend into to account for possible inaccuracies when trimming the pages) and the visible portion of the page.
  • the colour bars at the top help the printer to check and tune the density of inks, the grey balance, and other issues on the printing press, to make sure the page is represented accurately.
  • the little glyph things in the centre of each side of the page are there for precisely that purpose: to mark the centre.
  • You'll have to zoom in a ways to clearly see a few of the details in the design.

Other news

Before I sign off on the update, I have one last bit of Shareware Heroes news and a couple of unrelated things to briefly mention:

I got word this week from Unbound that Shareware Heroes has been picked by their US distribution partner for a full US trade paperback release. This is of little consequence to most of you — you're getting the lovely premium hardback edition, unless you're on the ebook-only tier — but it's a nice show of confidence in the book's market potential and it will make it much easier to sell Stateside, which is where I think a majority of the audience is.

Meanwhile, my first book, The Secret History of Mac Gaming, is available once again. You may remember that I previously mentioned Bitmap Books had published an Expanded Edition with several thousand words of extra text, 60-odd extra images, an icon gallery, and a timeline. Well that sold out and now we have a new print run in stock.

And I've also previously mentioned the huge (3+ hour!) documentary film I'm working on as producer and co-writer. It's called First Person Shooter. We've recently finished interviewing some 47 or 48 industry legends, and to celebrate we've put together a new trailer along with a new opportunity for fans to jump on board and support us if they missed the Kickstarter. Check both out at Indiegogo OnDemand.

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