the Author

What I’ve been doing this December

Posted in DAW, Elantra, Essalieyan, self-publishing, writing, covers, Cast.

I have revised and submitted Cast in Flame.

It’s going two places: the first, to my editor at HLQ. (She already has it).

The second, to Patrick Roth­fuss’ World­builders fundraiser.

Yes, I am sending a copy of the submis­sion manu­script for a book that won’t see print until the end of July, 2014, to Worldbuilder’s. It’s not there yet. I had to have it printed, and then had to change the printing so it was two sides of a page so I could have it spiral bound. I will post again when the auction goes live.

I have written a bunch of Oracle words — but the book isn’t done yet.

And I have been working on The Hidden City, City of Night, and House Name for the non-North Amer­ican ebook market. I promised else­where that I would release the next book in the series in the UK at the same time as it becomes avail­able in North America, and since I’m doing that, I though I might as well release the rest of them. The cover designs are by Jenn Reese of Tiger Bright Studios, and I’m including the first cover below. I should have The Hidden City up at the various ebook vendors soon; I’m not sure how much time it will take to propagate.

Hidden City

I am doing the work in a new program: Vellum. I write in Scrivener, which I love. But while I can use Scrivener – and have – to export to epub-check compliant ebooks, I don’t find it as natu­rally effort­less as many, many people seem to; it takes time, even for the short stories. (If I could write a book in the exact, correct format, it would be trivial to export it — but I’ve tried, and it drives me bonkers. I have two decades of looking at screen text in a very partic­ular way, and all attempts to change it have left me increas­ingly frus­trated by what I term “mess”).

Vellum doesn’t take that effort – and it produces an ebook that makes me very happy. The work that has to be done at this point is entirely due to the trans­la­tion of .pdf to actual text I can work with. If I had a docu­ment that was prop­erly para­graphed (.pdf trans­la­tion added and removed para­graph breaks all over the place) I could format a book in fifteen minutes. Or less. And it would look far better than anything I’ve other­wise managed to produce so far.

The Vellum model is unusual: the soft­ware is free, but you have to pay to export the ebooks you want to publish. The screen shots at the web-site above are accu­rate. The exported ebooks reflect those screen­shots, and when I’ve encoun­tered bugs — two so far — they’ve been fixed within twenty-four hours (!).

So. That’s what I’ve been doing at the end of 2013 :).

I’m looking forward to 2014. I hope you all have a Happy New Years.

15 Responses to What I’ve been doing this December

  1. Patrick Gates says:

    Can’t wait

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard says:

    Happy New Year (slightly early) to you as well.

  3. Tchula says:

    I look forward to Cast in Flame, Touch, and Oracle (hope­fully, no pres­sure, lol) in 2014. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  4. Paulinelois says:

    It’s almost midnight have a great successful 2014

  5. controuble says:

    *Sigh* Too many house repairs I need done still, so no money to bid on manu­scripts however much I would love to have it.

    Happy New Year to all of your family, too.

  6. Samantha Ozogar says:

    Happy New Year! Can’t wait for Cast in Flame.

  7. Michael says:

    I will post again when the auction goes live.”


    Why are you trying to make me spend all my money?! It’s not like I have silver, gold, or diamond trees in *my* backyard.

  8. michelle says:

    I’m absolutely not trying to get you to spend all your money — it’s not a West novel >.>

  9. Michael says:

    That is…an incred­ibly fair point, actu­ally. One that I will have to take into consideration.

    I’ll consider right after I figure out how to get you to send me an advanced copy of Oracle because — [overzealous and enti­tled comment about Janu­aries, consis­tency, and tradi­tion redacted] — I don’t want to wait a second longer than is neces­sary for my favorite flavor of paper narcotic.

  10. michelle says:

    But Michael — it’s not done yet >..

  11. Zia says:

    Happy New Year! 

    Thank you for the update. Oh how I wish I wasn’t broke so I could bid in that auction >.< Oh well. I suppose I can wait impa­tiently for July still. At least it’s now 2014 so I only have just under 8 months left right?

    And Touch comes out in a week. So I will have some­thing to read.

  12. Hilda says:

    What can I say, but wish you and yours a happy, “pros­perous”, and boun­tiful New Year, with not much hassle from the printing company, with lots of light and cheer­ful­ness in your secret writing room, with longer than expected books, and with cheerful events for your adopted daugh­ters: a castle for Kaylin and a safe and adven­turous trip for Jewel.

  13. Danita says:

    The sad truth is that after I bought Cast in Peril, I had to reread the whole series again to enjoy the spec­u­la­tive what comes next that your worlds so richly provide. And I would pay for an e‑ARC of Cast in Flame pre final edits, and buy the “finished” book when it comes out too!. Grin. Thank you for such wonderful books!
    Warmest regards and Happy New Year!

  14. She does good work. Didn’t she do the Martha Wells ebook covers of her back­list, too? 

    I hope you had a lovely turn-over to the New Year and am wishing you and yours health and contentment.

  15. Hugh Myers says:

    I’ve got the partic­ular book I wanted — and it’s nearly time to read it again! I would warn you though that you are forcing me to read Nora Roberts while I wait with as much patience as I can muster…really Michelle, that’s cruel! ;)

Leave a Reply