the Author

Worldbuilders auctions and CAST IN FLAME

Posted in Cast, Elantra, Worldbuilders.

Today, the Worldbuilder’s auction that includes Cast in Flame went live on ebay.

I am going to quote what I sent with the manu­script itself.

When World­builders came around this year (2013), and Pat sent email inviting dona­tions and contri­bu­tions for his annual drive, I had my usual reac­tion: I looked at what everyone else was contributing, and felt inad­e­quate. (Because: writer. Everyone else’s ideas always look exciting or inter­esting or orig­inal because they haven’t been living in my head for years.)

But this year I had an idea. I mean, I had several, but this partic­ular idea did not imme­di­ately strike me as feeble or unin­ter­esting. (See: writer, above).

I was, when I received the email, almost finished Cast in Flame, the 10th in an ongoing series of fantasy novels featuring private Kaylin Neya, of her city’s police force. Cast in Flame has a tenta­tive publi­ca­tion date of July 29, 2014 (according to Amazon). 

I finished the novel and submitted the finished version to my editor. This would be the version that she then reads, and comments on; that is revised and sent to copy-editors, and that even­tu­ally, from there, makes its way into the wider world. With a cover.

I asked my editor if she had any objec­tions to my sending the submitted manu­script to World­builders at the same time as I sent it to her, and she gave her enthu­si­astic blessing. 

So: what you have here is Cast in Flame, the submis­sion manu­script. It is substan­tially the same novel as the rest of the world will see when the book is finally published — but, with typos and other minor errors that we hope­fully catch in all of the rest of the iter­a­tions. (We never, ever, catch them all, which is heart­breaking, but reality). There may also be some cutting in the final.
But! You’ll be able to read it in February 2014, rather than July of 2014

As an added bonus: I will dedi­cate the book to whoever is generous enough to win the auction (with a mention of World­builders). I will dedi­cate the book to the person of your choice if you win and you don’t want your name in the dedi­ca­tion — but I reserve the right to refuse to dedi­cate the book to, say, myself or someone equally “funny” (I.e., no Hitler, no obvious polit­ical swipes). I would need this infor­ma­tion by the end of January, 2014, in order to fulfill this part of the auction, because the front matter infor­ma­tion (of which the dedi­ca­tion is part) is due in to produc­tion by the 31st of January. 

To be perfectly clear: This is Cast in Flame as my editor will see it. The book will be substan­tially the same when it is finally released as a Real Book — but there will be small differ­ences (and possibly cuts – I’m hoping that, as this book wasn’t quite as long as either Peril or Sorrow, the cuts will be minimal). 

All of the money that comes in from the auctions goes straight to World­builders; none of it comes to me. And, umm. I will cry like a weeping, bereaved person if I hear that someone has mort­gaged their house (or their soul) just to read the book six months before anyone else does. 

P.S. I know I have posted 3 days in a row — and I have one more post yet to write, but I promise I will once again be quieter while at work after that :)

26 Responses to Worldbuilders auctions and CAST IN FLAME

  1. Michael says:

    If I under­stand correctly, you’re helping to raise money for Heifer Inter­na­tional, a charity that provides poor fami­lies in under­de­vel­oped coun­tries with live­stock. World­builders (http://​www​.world​builders​.org/) is orga­nized by fantasy author Patrick Roth­fuss (http://​blog​.patrick​roth​fuss​.com/), and it auctions books and manu­scripts on ebay (http://​www​.ebay​.com/​u​s​r​/​w​o​r​l​d​b​u​i​l​d​ers).

    Sounds like a good thing! What would you have done with this ms. otherwise?

    Happy 2014BTW

    P.S. I was in Toronto last weekend, and I was amazed by how much high-rise construc­tion is going on. No reces­sion there — at least for the people who can afford to live/rent offices in a high rise.

  2. Mike D says:

    none of it comes to me”

    Years back, noting that the paper ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) that publishers produce for reviewer & trade buyers were some­times auctioned for large sums, one publisher (Baen) had an idea.

    Four or six months before publi­ca­tion or even earlier an eARC ebook was placed on sale on the publish­er’s site

    An eARC is an Advance Reader Copy. This is an unproofed manu­script and is guar­an­teed to be full of typos and error. It is pretty much raw from the author’s word processor. But you get the entire eARC well in advance of even the Monthly Baen Bundle release.

    Currently $15 of which the author gets 20%.

    Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames

  3. Joey says:

    Wonderful dona­tion, Michelle!

    Hmm. A dedi­ca­tion, huh? Didn’t see that in the descrip­tion, but it may have been updated after I bid …

  4. michelle says:

    You bid? I should have guessed. They had some prob­lems with the listing soft­ware being used — the dedi­ca­tion was part of the orig­inal auction item offered. I think it’s been added, though.

  5. Danita says:

    I have many a Baen e‑ARC and the dead tree copy as well. Jim Baen was a genius and knew how to purvey high quality book crack!
    Michelle, is there any possi­bility of that some­time in the future? I don’t mind the occa­sional typo. Grin,

  6. michelle says:

    Sounds like a good thing! What would you have done with this ms. otherwise?

    I wouldn’t have printed it out :). 

    I am looking forward to a less hectic 2014; one of my last acts of 2013 was to acci­den­tally tip a full cup of tea into my writing macbook retina T_T.

  7. michelle says:

    I’ve always thought this was an inter­esting idea — but it would have to be entirely publisher driven, since the eARC would defi­nitely count as publi­ca­tion. I think Baen is the only publisher that currently does this — but I could be a bit behind the times.

  8. michelle says:

    I absolutely don’t mind that none of the auction money comes to me — I think, if any of it did, I would feel enor­mously *guilty*. But I think it’s for a very good cause :)

  9. Zia says:

    Oh how I wish I wasn’t broke. But I have to start saving up for Cast in Flame for when it comes out as a book for the rest of us in July so I defi­nitely cannot partake in the bidding, but I will say it is worth every cent and dollar it goes for. Thank you for donating such a trea­sure to this auction though :)

    As for all the posting…you do realize this has been one of my favorite weeks ‑ever- right? Don’t stop posting unless you have to! I have been absolutely thrilled to get emails on my phone alerting me to new posts here. In fact I am fairly certain I have driven people around me insane due to my excitement.

  10. Adenike says:

    It hurts me deeply to not be able to partic­i­pate. I have to save for a new car and then a down­pay­ment for a home. I’ll have to be jealous of the winner and look forward to July. Good Luck!

  11. Joey says:

    Yup. I was the 1st, 6th, and 13th bids. So far. The current high bid is $600 (not me) and it’s been barely a day. Still no mention of the dedi­ca­tion part, though. Btw, I’m very much looking forward to TOUCH. Next week, right? Yay!

  12. Michael says:

    And, umm. I will cry like a weeping, bereaved person if I hear that someone has mort­gaged their house (or their soul) just to read the book six months before anyone else does.”

    Hey, don’t sell the dedi­ca­tion short! That’s worth at least a twenty percent increase to the pre-ARC bid alone.

    If I hadn’t already donated a fair amount to World­builders already this season, and if this were a West novel instead of a Cast novel, I wouldn’t be having this much trouble increasing my max bid.

    As it is, my far-more-sensible-than-I-am wife is starting to develop sticker shock, so I am going to have to reluc­tantly consider backing out of the bidding.

    …Unless it doesn’t move too much more in the next 8 days and 20 hours, in which case I might find some more stamina.

    Regard­less, I think it’s a great thing you’re doing here, and even if I have to wait SIX MORE INTERMINABLE months to read it, I am sure it will be worth it.

  13. michelle says:

    Touch is next week, yes :). They added the part about the dedi­ca­tion in an addendum to the listing (you can’t change a listing itself once a bid has been made).

  14. michelle says:

    House and car are, in the opinion of the author, vastly more impor­tant — and practical :)

  15. Joey says:


  16. Debbie says:

    I just went and had a look at the sale on ebay. I know its a great cause and your books are fantastic, but as it stands @ 7.10pm Saturday 4/1/14, $600 is the current bid. The closest is $118 for a 3 book set.

  17. Julienne Gray says:

    Why oh why aren’t I rich??? I would give anything to have CIF 6 months early. Great idea Michelle; to donate the ARC to world­builders. I normally just make a dona­tion straight to Heifers Inter­na­tional directly. Super start to the New Year.

  18. HILDA says:

    Can’t touch the bidding (very regret­fully), I’m on a retire­ment income. But, if what Joey and Debbie have said (a very unusual high bidding for an unpub­lished book) is correct, even the NY Times Best Seller List editors should, finally, notice what thou­sands of faithful readers have been saying for years: The Sagara/West books stand among the tops in Science Fiction. Can wait for the already ordered book.

  19. Farrell says:

    Don’t forget that if you can’t partic­i­pate in the auction, a dona­tion as small as $10 through the World­builders team page will enter you into a lottery for many many good books.
    http://​www​.world​builders​.org/ I can’t wait until July!

  20. Leah says:

    I can’t not tell you how much I wish I had the money for this auction. The Elantra series is one of my two all time favorite series. I just finished Cast in Peril (I waited as long as I could so the wait for Flame wouldn’t be as painful) and now I get to go through with­draw until July. Well, actu­ally I’ll prob­ably just start at the begin­ning and read through them all again. Thank you for helping this wonderful cause, and thank you for giving me char­ac­ters that I can love, laugh with, and cry for.

  21. Zia says:

    Cast in Peril or Cast in Sorrow? Because if you just finished Peril you’ve got another book to read (lucky you!) before Flame comes out :) Other­wise I am in total agree­ment with you about having a with­draw though I read Cast in Sorrow right when it came out and have prob­ably read it at least a hundred times since then — I am not kidding either.

  22. Leah says:

    Ugh, you can tell I was at work when I wrote that, my brain was only half on. I meant Cast in Sorrow… I reread Peril right before I read Sorrow so I could refresh. I always go crazy with the wait, so I end up reading the entire series over. :) It’s a wonderful journey no matter how many times you take it!!

  23. controuble says:

    I knew I couldn’t afford it — the winning bid was over $1500 — Good :)

  24. Michael says:

    Here here! I’m happy it went so high for the charity…but also because I would have suffered crip­pling jeal­ousy if it was anywhere close to my budget.

  25. michelle says:

    Frankly, *I* couldn’t afford it :).

  26. michelle says:

    I am still in a little bit of shock. I hope to be able to contact/be contacted by the winner soon, so I can work out the dedi­ca­tion details and send that infor­ma­tion to the publisher.

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