Monday, October 09, 2006

My first major milestone

When I was halfway through the drawing phase of the manga on evolution, I felt for the first time that I had some momentum going. As the months flew by, “half-done” became “three-quarters done,” which then became “seven-eighths,” and so on... Once finished with the draft, my editor and I went through an editing phase that took another few months. This was the home stretch, and the anticipation made it a very exciting time. I also made the graphics for the cover, and we decided on details like the thickness of the paper to print on. After hammering out some technical issues preparing the final version of the files, my editor zapped the data over to the press.

Less than a month later, on May 20th of 2005, the book was printed, and soonafter was on bookstore shelves in Japan.

Wow!! What a relief! I decided to give myself a break. Instead of working on manga after my day job, I now had free time. It felt like a vacation. At first I didn’t know what to do with myself, and got really impatient and cranky. But I eventually learned to relax. I treated myself to an Xbox and played Halo 2, watched the Red Sox on TV, and tinkered with some Gundam plastic models.

Of course, I’ve been checking the Amazon Japan rankings every day, even though people recommend not doing that because it’s not a very meaningful gauge of sales and it’ll become an unhealthy addiction. In any case, the book is doing quite well. When it first got out, it was number 1 in the evolution related books on Amazon Japan (out of around 340). Now, it’s usually hovering around the top 20, so it’s selling competitively amongst evolution books. I’ve also seen a lot of praise from professors of medicine and biology in their blogs, and it’s been recommended as supplemental reading in a number of introductory college science classes.

The book got a chance of becoming a bit more international when a few publishing companies from Korea showed interest in translating it. I chose one that focuses on science books, so the translation should be coming out pretty soon.

“So what’s the book about again, exactly?” you ask. It’s about Darwin and his theory of evolution. The beginning of the book focuses on his voyage on the Beagle, and how he came up with his theory and struggled to publish his results. That’s followed by explanations of the theory itself and its scientific implications. The rest of the book goes into recent discoveries related to evolution, touching upon scientific advances like genetics, radioactive dating, modern medicine, genomics, and virology.

Buy a copy from Amazon Japan!


Blogger OneFractalHeart said...

This is really cool!
I am glad that the book is doing so well and that hard work is paying off!


5:13 PM  

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