I’ve been spending a great deal of time working on my latest project, a fantasy epic that’s already weighing in at 160K. For reference, God’s War was about 98K. So this is a bear of a book for me. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve picked up enough freelance work to hire an assistant, which has helped speed this agonizing process along immeasurably, and she will be thanked profusely in the acknowledgements to this next book. I’m also spending a great deal of time reading about military strategy, genocide and the economy of Athens, which tells you a little about the project.
All this work has also required me to give up my Twitter addiction, sales numbers obsession, and all my social media passwords for… at least another four weeks or so. Every week I think I’m two weeks away from finishing this fucking book, and then it’s two more weeks, and two more. I also found that I was comparing my progress to my colleagues’, which is dangerous. Everybody else seems to have already sold their second or third projects after their own books which came out in 2012, and here I am still slogging away. So I needed to bow out from the chatter for awhile to keep my head clear.
However, I did want to duck in briefly from the blasted landscape of my project to share a few pieces of news:
1. No More DRM-Free Ebooks
Baen no longer sells DRM-free versions of God’s War, Infidel and Rapture. All Night Shade titles have been pulled from the store by our new overlords. I apologize to all my international fans, and fans who think the crazy $10.09 price of God’s War on Amazon Kindle in the U.S. amounts to highway robbery (the book is two years old!). The new overlords aren’t budging on that price, despite the fact that they’ll sell more books at a price point that’s a couple bucks lower. UK and Commonwealth fans can still get ebook editions of God’s War from Del Rey UK, which, alas, aren’t cheap either. Infidel will be coming out soon-ish (I think?) as well over there, and Rapture should be out next year.
2. Agencies and Foreign Rights
On the foreign rights front, I’m currently engaged in a spat with my former agency about these rights. They insist they will sell them any day now, and are holding onto them for a while longer (short story: I’m too tired to fight them on this), and my new agency doesn’t want to even try to sell these rights until I have a new book out. So if you’re in a country outside the US or UK and its Commonwealth countries (Australia, NZ, etc.) I will not fault you for pirating my books, as Baen was pretty much the only place you could get the books DRM-free.
If you’re a foreign publisher trying to buy rights to these books and not getting any response or aren’t sure who to contact, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll connect you directly with the agency handling these rights, who will pass that on down the line to their foreign agents (half the issue, I think, is the number of agents, foreign rights directors and sub-agents involved. Playing telephone across various oceans in a number of languages makes things messy).
3. Upcoming Work
In more upbeat news, I should have a story out in Lightspeed Magazine later this year. It’s a creepy space romp which first appeared in The Lowest Heaven Anthology. The antho is a bit hard to get, so I’ll be glad to see the story get wider distribution. I think you’ll all also enjoy the Author Spotlight interview that goes along with it. There were some great questions.
I’ve also been asked to write a magazine column for another publication, which could possibly become a regular thing. More on that as it develops. Also, in case you missed it, I was a participant in a very interesting roundtable on violence in fiction with Jeff Salyards, Doug Hulick, and Zachary Jernigan. Read it here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
4. Freelancing Pays the Bills
My freelancing work has also picked up recently, and I’m really proud of some of the projects I’ve been contracted to complete. If you know someone looking for professional corporate copywriting services, please have them contact me for rates.
As ever, thanks to all the colleagues and fans who’ve been supporting my work. It’s a long slow slog most days, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and your comments, emails, reviews, mentions and passion for the work make it all worth it.