Test. Learn. Adapt.
Test, learn, adapt, or ‘T.L.A.’, is one of my favourite acronym-friendly mantras to use and to share. It comes from Science: the simple, solid design — developed across the world and over the centuries — that is universally known today as ‘The Scientific Method‘.
TLA is effectively the process of trying things out, identifying what works yet most importantly what does not, and accordingly making adaptations. Moving forward steadily, consistently, irrevocably… always aware that being proved wrong is priceless progress towards the truth (the opposite of solipsism). Useful for growing, living, writing…
As I have flown solo on this Monkey mission, there have been many classic incidents of TLA: many tests, much to learn, several adaptations. It never ends. Even as I let go of Monkey and draft Leopard (see below), I am working towards a print-on-demand edition of the first book. Inching forward with book two, while one eye remains fixed on the first book, perhaps a few lessons learned are worth airing…
E-book edition: final review
Longer term readers of this blog may recall the odd reference to the weird and wonderful Amazon publishing system. Given that this was my inaugural experience, it stands to reason that the entire process would be marked by TLA.
Bottom line: Monkey has benefited from a final proof; consequently it is under its ultimate review from Amazon-KDP. I trust this final step is not too long a process; ditto, that existing readers soon enough will be informed of the finalised ebook.
An American reader pointed out voluminous typos – yet having checked into their query I very soon discovered it to be caused by their lack of knowledge of the UK (not US) default English language settings that I use (as is the way in my home nation of England). Hence there are many usages that look odd to certain American/other readers: spellings that use ‘S’ instead of ‘Z’ in words like ‘recogniSe’; ditto for uses of ‘LL’ instead of ‘L’, or the suffix ‘-our’ rather than ‘-or’ in words like ‘harbour’. And so on. Yes they are voluminous, yet given the UK English language settings I trust this is understandable to most US readers.
TLA: It was great to have this pointed out by a reader – it has led to a new qualifier being added to the front matter of the ebook, and the potential print edition.
The sense of an ending
One reader didn’t like the ending/s within ‘the first book’. Point being, Monkey Steals Plum was, is, will always be, the first part of a trilogy.
Hence the first book, at its close, has the sense of an ending (or perhaps endings) rather than an ending itself.
The trilogy is something that I have signposted in tweets and on this blog (see the link above, euh, ‘About this book…’). Of course, such signposts are not to be solely relied upon.
TLA: Hats off to this other reader, for the final proofed Monkey also benefits from a one-liner, an explainer, on the back matter. The ebook now includes the qualifier: “Monkey Steals Plum is part one of The Feng Trilogy”.
So the trilogy had demanded its own name… this is one of those blindingly obvious points that I missed . Until now, courtesy of another reader’s question… TLA.
I opted to name the three books after the protagonist. Voila:
‘The Feng Trilogy’.
It looks fine, reads well, sounds good. To me. Of course, intrepid readers who have browsed this far are duly invited to give their opinion/s… All responses, in favour or against the trilogy’s title are welcome.
A trusted friend and avid reader advised me of this final tip: to emblazon the back cover of the (future) print edition with the explainer…
“Monkey Steals Plum is part one of The Feng Trilogy“
Today, tomorrow, forever… Test. Learn. Adapt.