the Author

State of the Writer, July 2012 (Canada Day) edition

Posted in writing, DAW, Essalieyan, Queen of the Dead, self-publishing.

First: Battle has been turned in to my editor at DAW. It is not finished in the sense that it is now a book — she’ll read it, and she’ll make notes of the things that don’t work or are not clear enough, and I’ll do a revi­sion pass to correct the things I can address.

After which, it will go out to a copy-editor and from there, to produc­tion, which will then print out galley pages, which come back to me. This makes me cry (and I apol­o­gize in advance because I know I whine a bit on twitter when I am proof-reading). There is nothing worse than reading your own books looking only for your mistakes, typos, etc. All of the good things become invis­ible: you’re left with the sense that you have Failed Everything. 

Not all writers do this. Violette Malan, on twitter, posted a “yay! Galley pages!” because their arrival means it’s a Real Book. Yes, I sent a tweet in response possibly ques­tioning her sanity, but we’ve known each other as DAW siblings for a number of years, so I have hopes she’ll forgive me.

Second: the third iter­a­tion of Touch is, to my mind, a working book. It’s not a finished working book, but it is much closer than it was. I have been working on Touch in parallel to Battle, and when I finish Touch, will return to Cast in Sorrow.

I will also start the next House War book, which is tenta­tively titled: War.

Third: Some time ago, I self-published all of the West-related short stories as ebooks. This was because they’re almost all unavail­able in any other format. I promised that I would do a print on demand version of the six stories in one collec­tion, and I am now waiting on proof copies of that. The title is: Memory of Stone and Other Stories. The printing is done through Lulu​.com, because: print-on-demand. I’m reason­ably confi­dent, unless some­thing went wrong with the uploads, that I will, some­time next week, have a finished book that will not embar­rass me in public. 

This is because I did not do the type­set­ting or the cover-design myself. If I had done the former, it would look like an MS word docu­ment, but printed; if I had done the latter…well, crayon draw­ings from your five year olds would prob­ably have better design sense.

I’m sorry this has taken so long, and is not quite finished — but for people who are print-only readers, I should have some­thing to report by next week. I am liter­ally only waiting on the proof copies to check to make sure that the printing of the file worked correctly.

Fourth: I have been posting on my Live­Journal account in the past couple of months. I use Live­Journal to talk about the non-book related things that occur to me, because some­times readers don’t care about anything but the books. 

I’m like this. I will visit an author web-site to find out about when the Next Book is expected, but I don’t actu­ally want to read through — for an example entirely specific to me — 52 knit­ting posts. I’ve tried knit­ting. New stitches magi­cally appear when I’m trying to knit a scarf. I’m also not a foodie. My cooking skills are laugh­ably basic. Reading about gourmet cooking there­fore makes my eyes glaze.

I assume that people are like me — but without my various inter­ests. So: I post about writing, about my books and bits and pieces related to them in the various stages of their publishing life, and I answer ques­tions about them here.

I post on LJ about the things that are not book-related but are of interest to me. Several of my LJ readers have prob­ably never read a book by me in their life — they’re reading those posts because the posts are inter­esting to them, and they also prob­ably don’t want to be inter­rupted with publishing infor­ma­tion about books they don’t care about.

23 Responses to State of the Writer, July 2012 (Canada Day) edition

  1. Paul Howard says:

    Do you have any infor­ma­tion about when _The Broken Crown_ will be avail­able as an ebook?

    I’m not meaning to be a “nag” but I keep checking Amazon daily looking for it.

  2. Michelle,

    I don’t suppose that there is any chance your editor will tell you that it is not long enough?


  3. Kathy Scappace says:

    Why aren’t you saying anything about Cast in Peril in this post? I really need a fix!

  4. michelle says:

    Cast in Peril is effec­tively finished >.>.

    Some­time this week, I hope to put the cover up — but the book is a September 2012 release, so I wasn’t plan­ning on putting up the first chapter until August…

  5. Stephanie says:

    I have been searching for The Broken Crown ebook daily at Amazon and at DAW. I went to two book­stores and they didn’t have it in book form either. I snapped up The Riven Shield just as soon as I found out it was published hoping the others would soon follow. I found The Shining Court at a used book­store that has now gone out of business. 

    Whine whine whine I want to read The Sun Sword Series so I can read Skir­mish. LOL

  6. Kathy Scappace says:

    Oh, Thank You! If you knew my life right now you would under­stand how much just seeing the cover will comfort me. (There is no sarcasm here, trust me. My life really is that hellish right now.) The Cast books are the one part of my life that is just mine; not my husband’s, kids’, grand­kids’, or the jerk who hijacked my bank account some­where in India.

  7. Kathy there is a TINY screen­shot pic of the Cast in Peril cover on GoodReads (not uploaded by me, I have no idea where that came from):

  8. Ciara says:

    I want to beg you Michelle to put the chapter up early but I’m going to restrain myself.

  9. lavanya says:

    ooh ooh thank you! So looking forward to your anthology — and so happy it’s going be in print, as there’s really NO way that I could get hold of the ebooks (sad) but now happy, happy, happy!!

  10. michelle says:

    @Paul: I’m sorry T_T. I honestly don’t know. The woman who was shep­herding back­list ebooks retired, and the office is short another full-time person. Asking people at DAW for infor­ma­tion right now is not getting me any answers =/.

  11. michelle says:

    I’m really sorry it’s taken this long =/.

    Creative writing — even for publi­ca­tion — is not entirely predictable. Some books prac­ti­cally write them­selves, and others … not so much. This year, the West novel I was writing hit 180k, and was not close to finished. So I had to split that book. The Cast novel hit 130k and wasn’t finished — and split­ting that book required a major over­haul and a ground up revi­sion (which I might talk about after the book is published), and Touch, the sequel to Silence, required two full “let’s nuke this and start over”.

    All of which is better than finishing a flawed book that doesn’t even work for me, but takes so much longer than I intended.

    And as I’m publishing the short story collec­tion, I won’t be camping on my front lawn with huge plac­ards pointing out my actual dead­lines (not that my editors have done this), so I can afford to miss that deadline.

    But I can’t afford to never do the work, because there are readers — like you :) — that I’ve promised a print version of the stories to. So, thank you for your patience!

  12. P. Vang says:

    It was good to hear about how your writing has been going. I hope you continue to have all the inspi­ra­tion and energy you need to continue working on your various projects! 

    Quick ques­tion, I was on Amazon the other day checking out the release date for Cast in Peril and was surprised to see a synopsis but no cover image yet? Is that some­thing that we’ll see soon? I’m not sure entirely when those images show up online but I was curious since the release date is getting closer and closer!

  13. David Y says:

    The big book­store chain system in Canada manages to not have cover images of books that are actu­ally in their stores.

  14. mandi says:


    I pre-ordered Cast in Peril as a nook book. (Yay!) Can’t wait! But I just noticed it comes out Oct. 1st as aa nook book­book and the paper­back is Sept. 18, is this correct? :( I have to wait almost 2 extra weeks? 

    Thank you,

  15. Genna Warner says:

    This is the same for the Kindle version as well. Michelle has explained in other posts that they hold the ebooks to the actual publi­ca­tion date but the phys­ical copies (paper­back) can be sold as soon as the book­store gets them in. So I just order both. I have tried waiting for the ebook but I just can’t. :)

  16. ElizabethN says:

    Same for kindle, this is why I ordered both. Ebook for porta­bility after 10/1 and paper so that I don’t go crazy waiting the 2 weeks. Plus there’s a good chance that the paper copy will be a soft release so that I’ll receive it before the 18th.

  17. michelle says:

    I’ve just sent email asking, but my editor is out of the office until the 9th of July. 

    What usually happens is this:

    Cover proofs are sent to book­stores with a printed on-sale date. In the case of PERIL, that date was September 25, 2012. (The cover flat is at the store, so this is not a guess; that’s the date that’s marked on the back of the cover flat in the marketing information).

    September 25, 2012 should there­fore be the date it’s avail­able every­where. What this means for phys­ical books is the ship date will be earlier, because the book can’t possibly arrive in book­stores on the same day — given transit times, different stores are natu­rally going to receive the book on a spread of different days.

    I’ve never two different dates for a CAST book before (for that matter, this is the first time I’ve seen a different day for any book).

  18. mandi says:

    I think I will order both also. I will go crazy waiting the extra two weeks!!!

  19. mandi says:

    Thanks for looking into it Michelle. 

    I just double checked and Barnes & Noble has the paper­back coming out the 18th of September and the digital version coming out on the 1st of October. So neither are dated the 25th of September. 

    Either way I cannot wait for the books to come out!! So excited!!

  20. michelle says:

    I just heard back from my editor. The “on-sale” date on the cover is — as always — the date at which in theory books should reach the store. It’s not the ship­ping date. The on-sale date is theo­ret­ical; in Toronto, for instance, there’s often a spread of about a week between first stores that receive their ship­ments and last stores that do — because, among other things, down­town Toronto traffic.

    But it looks like they’ve stan­dard­ized: ebooks are always avail­able on the 1st day of the “publi­ca­tion month”. I know this is confusing, but 25 September counts as an October 2012 title.

  21. Genna Warner says:

    That is inter­esting that all ebooks are going to have a stan­dard publi­ca­tion date of the 1st. Is this going to affect all major publishers or just Harle­quin (and its subsidiaries) titles?

  22. mandi says:

    Which also means that its possible to get it even earlier in Manhattan! Yoop, yoop!! I’ll have to start haunting B&N a few days before the 18th of September for a paper­back version. 

    I’ve never heard of stan­dard­izing the ebooks. Is that a LUNA thing? Because I have pre-ordered ebooks on my nook that had publishing dates that were not the first of the month. I’ve never really distin­guished between the publishing houses when I buy books, so I couldn’t even guess about that issue.

  23. shauntel says:

    I don’t know about some publishing compa­ny’s. but baen​.com is excel­lent for early release of book dates. They actu­ally sell advance reader copies of their authors in ebook form. For exmple Daivid Weber, lois bujold .. ect. I’ve read all of David weber books and was able to buy his last two books (War Maiden, and Honor­verse book) six week — 2 months prior to street dates. It was awsome. 

    Just some infor­ma­tion for those who read baen book author’s. They even have a e‑book library where they give away free e‑books of their authors . Not all of a series, but some from the same series. hope this helps some people.

Leave a Reply