For Christmas this year Studio MCAH got its computer! Some of you may recall I’ve been needing one for quite some time, and in fact had earmarked some money for one after the Spots kickstarter… I was sitting on that money waiting for a good deal and never found one, so the Spouse found one for me. I am very pleased! I have been using a cheap laptop I bought for use as a glorified terminal as my Main Computer since my last one died, and I have a sort of hacked together donated desktop from a friend that nevertheless did not run livestream stuff very well (though it gamed like a champ)… but all of it was very cobbled together and at last I can set something purpose-chosen up.
Since it’s been a while since I’ve had a new computer, I am kind of stunned at how many changes there are in relatively cheap ones. For instance, the new computer has two terabytes of hard drive space.
I remember when it was a big deal that the starship Enterprise had terabytes of data.
Anyway. I digress. Because I suddenly have a larger hard drive, I thought: “hey, this is a good opportunity to reorganize my files!” (Cue Business Manager squealing.) Lately I’ve been extremely annoyed at how my documents are filed and I realized it’s because I have them organized to suit my needs as an author who wanted to make money and an artist who sometimes made money on prints. In the long-long ago, when traditional publishing was the only way to make money, you had stories that were incomplete and stories that were and needed to be mailed to editors. So my file system looked like this:
Writing > Current Novels
Writing > Finished Novels
Writing > Current Short Stories
Writing > Finished Short Stories
Because the markets that took novels were different from the ones that took short stories, so I wanted them separated so I could easily find the ones that were in manuscript format for print-out to mail off for each market. Notice that all the different universes/settings were jumbled together… because it didn’t matter if Black Blossom and Earthrise were from different settings, what mattered was that they were both finished and ready for shopping out somewhere.
The art folder, meanwhile, was set up so I could easily print things out. So it looked like this:
Art > Sketches
Art > Raw Scans and Bluelines
Art > Corrected Scans
I would go to the Corrected Scans folder to get things to print out for art shows; the sketches folder was for things I was scanning to put on Stardancer.org, and the Raw Scans were pre-color correction and cropping, in case I wanted to mess with them further for some other reason.
Once I started publishing work myself, this terrifying folder creep started happening. I developed an e-book folder, where e-book versions of stories that existed in the ‘finished novel folder’ got stored. And then when print versions started happening, all the PDFs of the book blocks went into some other folder (usually under Art > Projects??) along with any scans of illustrations it needed. And cover art. And then an audiobooks folder happened elsewhere, and not only did audiobook info get put there for all my stories, but the cover art and…
So. If I want to find the cover of an existing book for sale, I now have to look in one of three or four folders (“Is it in Art > Marketing > Book Covers? Or Art > Projects > Name of Book? Or Audiobooks? Or Ebooks > Name of Book? ARRRRGH!”)
Last night, while trying to recover from Downton Abbey trauma, I sketched out ideas for how to handle my file system now that I’m a publishing house, not just of books but of comics and art and merchandise. And I’ve sorta decided on this:
Projects > Name-of-Property > Product > Editions
So, for instance, if I wanted to mess with Black Blossom:
Projects > Kherishdar > Black Blossom
Which would get me to a folder with Audiobook, Ebook, Print Book, Art, Drafts+Notes folders.
Projects > Three Jaguars > Web Comic > Print Edition
Projects > Three Jaguars > Book, Kickstarter > Ebook Edition
I am thinking that random art will go in something like:
Projects > Personal Art > etc
But I’m still trying to decide how to handle scans from my sketchbooks. Right now all the scans I’ve ever made of my sketchbooks (reminder: there are over 120 100-page sketchbooks!) are labeled this way:
(sketchbook #)-(page #)-(date drawn)-description
So for instance, the sketch I was doing earlier this morning would be scanned and saved as:
The sketchbooks folder is full of pictures from over a hundred sketchbooks in rough order of when they were done. I am trying to decide whether to separate them all into different folders, so that, for instance “105-22-20121226-jahirandvasihttree.tif”
I think the tree as I’ve developed it is pretty robust, though. And I won’t end up digging through five or six separate folders to find all the different covers for one story. :,
My computer ships on the 9th! So I have time to ponder problems with this system. But I think even with the problems it might develop it’s going to be a lot better than what I’ve got now. And it somehow makes me feel my transition from “occasionally paid by traditional publishing author” to “going business concern” a lot more acutely. *puffs up*
Mirrored from MCAH Online.