(I have good luck with skull covers, what can I say?)
Release date in early February, about to go out to my faithful proofreaders!
(I have good luck with skull covers, what can I say?)
Release date in early February, about to go out to my faithful proofreaders!
Okay! So people have been asking for a book of all these little journal entries, and I have put one together over on Blurb. (There’s also some photos and a little blathering and whatnot.)
Here’s the thing…it’s POD, it’s a photobook, full color, the print quality is extremely high, and also it is ridiculously expensive.
It’s 72 pages and it costs 36.99. I make a whopping $2 off it.
It is okay not to buy this! You are totally not a failure as a fan! I literally made this so I could order ONE copy for myself because I do these pages digitally and I wanted something I could look at later!
There is also a PDF version available through them. It is 5.99, and I feel that’s absurdly high as well (I make $1 off it!) but if you really want a digital copy with all the journal pages in one place, you can get one! (Looks good on iPad mini, I can testify.)
I am very sorry that I can’t get the price down any farther on those, but literally the only way to do it is to do an actual print run and have actual stock and that involves a zillion books and me having to mail them and I cannot cope with that. So this is what we’ve got. It is possible that someday we will have a better option available! This may not be your only chance forever! And I really don’t expect anyone to buy it, and I really just wanted my copy. And one for my Mom. But people kept saying they totally wanted one, so…here’s what we got.
If you would like to check it out–there’s a preview, so you can see what it looks like–it’s here.
(Yes, the plan is to have a Book of the Wombat 2016 and so forth as well. I just want ’em all for my shelf, since I don’t keep physical sketchbooks anymore.)
…about reposting things over here. Dear me. Practically everything recently has been garden stuff! But uh…let’s see what else…
Hamster Princess is out!
You can buy it! On Amazon! In bookstores! Wherever your heart desires! IT HAS SO MUCH GLITTER YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE HOW MUCH GLITTER THIS THING HAS!
I’ll be doing signings and occasional school thingies next month in the Triangle area, and the big book tour goes in October! I’ll post more details when I got ’em!
And I won an Alfie, from the lovely George RR Martin, which is…related to a big kerfluffle around the Hugos, but let’s not rehash that here, and here’s a picture of my buddy Mur Lafferty picking up my Alfie from GRRM.
My Tumblr name is now Tkingfisher, because I need to keep the non-kid stuff separate from the kid stuff. Here is a picture of a Cute Morlock that you can use to find the new Tumblr.
Here is the cover reveal for the re-release of Seventh Bride by Amazon’s 47North!
To forestall the questions!
This is a re-release of Seventh Bride, by Amazon’s 47North publishing house. This one is the same story, plus about eight thousand words, as the one I put out last November. You are not missing huge swaths if you do not buy it twice, there are no hidden explanations or big reveals, but you get a couple bonus scenes here and there.
It will have a physical copy available through Amazon, and possibly in bookstores. So if you wanted that print copy, it’s on its way and will be available!
It will have an audiobook version. (In fact, now’s probably a good time to mention that Bryony & Roses is also getting an audiobook version, from Tantor Media! Audio for everybody!)
The ebook version currently available will no longer be available at all, anywhere, in October. This new version will only be available through Amazon. If you’ve already bought Bride in e-book form, you won’t lose it or anything awful like that (I checked!) but if you want to buy a copy for some other species of e-reader, you gotta do it in the next month.
They have purchased, at the time of this writing, no other T. Kingfisher books, and I have no current plans to go Amazon-exclusive with any existing titles. If they wish to buy others, then, y’know, case-by-case basis. This is an experiment for me, and I do not have the least idea if I will sell a million copies or five. I certainly hope that it sells very well!
(I will note that they have been really, really good to work with, very fast, very responsive, and they didn’t whitewash the cover. They are hyper-efficient, and they specifically requested to include my Alfie in the list of awards on the bio, so they are also…let’s say, genre-savvy. If they came back for another book and sales are solid, I would absolutely work with them again.)
I have no plans to stop writing kid books as Ursula Vernon. (On the contrary, I’m on the hook for five more hamster books and another stand-alone middle-grade novel!) But if the Amazon marketing machine gets behind T. Kingfisher and pushes, you certainly may see more T. Kingfisher books getting higher priority in the future, as opposed to “The very last thing I do if I have any energy left whatsoever.” I think that’d be pretty cool.
And also we sold Bulgarian rights for the first few Dragonbreath books, which I think is pretty awesome.
And that’s more or less everything going on with my life right now.
Here is a picture of a bee with pollen stuck to him.
*breaths into paper bag*
Okay! Here we go! I have hit PUBLISH on all the major sites! WE ARE DOING THIS THING!
*gets second paper bag*
Bryony And Roses! The Beauty & the Beast retelling I’ve been promising you guys for years! The one about the gardener and the roses! May contain clockwork bees because that seems to be a recurring motif of mine! Not quite as dark as Seventh Bride! Probably will not shock you into unwanted personal growth! Available under the pen-name T. Kingfisher!
So many exclamation points!
As always, you can visit
and find links to all the formats, updated as they become available. (At the time of this writing, it is on Smashwords and we are waiting for Kindle. Please note that epub is the only format available from Smashwords! Draft2Digital is handling other conversions for Kobo, Nook and iBooks, and I will update as they occur.)
If you require a PDF in order to read it, you can e-mail me at [email protected] and I will happily sell you one unless you live in the EU, in which case I am afraid VAT comes into play. But fear not! E-mail me anyway, and we will Work Something Out, probably involving a conservation charity in the EU that could use some love.
There’s a tortoiseshell kitten on my desk and I am having the Book Launch Day screaming panic and the backmatter is undoubtedly made of bees but it will all work out, it always does, and hopefully you will enjoy the book!
The frogs have been singing non-stop for days. Plummeting temperatures did not faze them, and now it’s warm again and they are all very loud and very happy. The pond is full of concentric circles where they’re inflating their throat sacs and making ripples.
I took my last typhoid pill this morning. I should now be immune for about five years, at least in theory. I am still a little worried that the doctor said “Watch out for cholera.” I read too many books with cholera as a plot point. (Further Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I am looking in your direction!) We have antibiotics, just in case.
My new middle-grade novel, “Castle Hangnail” comes out next month! Check out the snazzy cover!
(Well, it’s the snazzy ARC cover. I can’t find the snazzy hardcover cover image. It’s somewhere, I’m sure.)
And I think that’s about everything going on…
So there’s a Kickstarter for a nifty little book put together by the group of artists going to Botswana, being organized by the awesome Foxfeather, and you can see it all here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17
We’ve just added a couple of tiers, including the chance to be a saint on the Hidden Almanac and two Tuckerization slots to have a minor character in a T. Kingfisher novel. (Obviously those slots may take a while on fulfillment…) Check it out!
Even if you don’t want my tiers, there are some just absurdly talented artists involved and you’d want the book just for their art…
ETA: And apparently people really want me to kill characters named after themselves, because those slots sold in ten minutes. Um. Whoa.
ETA: …and the saints are sold. Ooookay. That was wild! Thank you, everyone! Now I know what to offer next time somebody wants a charity auction…
So now that we have agreed and accepted the offer, I can tell you guys all about it–Seventh Bride got picked up by 47North, Amazon’s spec-fic imprint, and they’ll be publishing an expanded version, mostly likely this November!
Basically, what happened was that Bride was doing really well–4K copies–and one of the editors there was looking for a book that was sorta like a book they’d just published, and happened across it, and then she loved it and wrote to make me an offer. And since I am incapable of dealing with this sort of thing, I turned to my agent and went “AAAAUGHGHH HELP!” and she took it and repped it and got me more money and dealt with all the fiddly bits that I would have been lost with, which is why we have agents and why they more than earn the chunk they take and it doesn’t matter how this brave new world of publishing falls out, I will keep my agent until she takes out a restraining order against me.
As far as you, the reader is concerned, what’s going to happen is that come November-ish, it will be unavailable anywhere but Amazon, as an expanded version with a new cover on it. And it will have a trade paperback edition, and probably an audiobook edition and possibly even some other exciting stuff. (The copy you have, if you have bought it already, will not go away. I checked specifically on that, because that would have been a deal-breaker for me. Apparently 47North aims for–one quotes–“seamless transition” on this.)
I’ll be honest, this is both very weird and a great relief. I’ve always felt like Dragonbreath was a weird fluke that could never be duplicated and either Hamster Princess would tank or someday my beloved editor at Dial would retire and I would never sell another middle-grade book.
So that someone just stumbled over a T. Kingfisher book and said “Let’s make this happen!” made me feel like I suddenly exhaled–it’s not a one-off, I can actually do this, if everything collapses, I can rebuild a career from the ashes, etc.
…and, of course, it’s also weird, because once again, my career is progressing based on the thing happening that never happens.
A lot of people who self-publish express a desire to get picked up by a trade publisher if things do well, and other people clutch their heads and say “Please, no, don’t do that. This book isn’t your audition tape. Concentrate on making a really fantastic self-published book, not on a dress rehearsal for trade. Focus your business on doing self-pub WELL, not on a vague hope for a statistically unlikely event.”
And this is very good advice, and I would give it to anyone and it never actually occurred to me that I would find myself in that statistically unlikely event. Lightning struck me and the shark I was riding.
But here we are.
RESULTS NOT TYPICAL.
I mulled this one over at great length, honestly. A lot more so than I have previous deals. I contacted authors with the house. I talked at length to my agent. This was actual…like…business decision stuff. And it was doing well as a self-pub, so I had to think about it in a way that I am not good at thinking about things.
I am a great flounderer from place to place. This felt like I floundered someplace very unexpected.
Still, I’m going for it. Without getting into details, by going with a trade publisher (any trade publisher!) I am taking a paycut on royalties on Bride…but there’s an advance, and more importantly, it’ll put the terrifying Amazon marketing machinery behind the book, and however mixed my feelings are about it, I still sell 95% of my copies on Kindle. So it could get a HUGE bump. T. Kingfisher is a complete unknown, and if 47North moves this book, even if I never publish another thing through them, the OTHER books I write as T. Kingfisher–including, incidentally, the retelling of Beauty & the Beast that will be out this May–will totally benefit from it.
And it may do amazing. And if it does, they can come back and talk to me about Beast.
And an audiobook and a print book do not suck, even if they won’t get in most physical stores (for reasons I completely understand!)
At the end of the day, though, what basically decided me was–I wanted to be a hybrid author. I went with a pen-name because that was my experiment with self-pub. So here’s the great hybrid experiment doubling back on itself, and we’ll see what happens. I wrote this book to see where they’d go, and I did not expect it to go where it did, but sometimes you just grab on and go for the ride.
So that’s what’s happening. And I totally do not know what’s going to happen next, but I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes!
ETA: I feel a vague urge to apologize to someone for having done this all backwards. I think I did self-pub wrong, somehow…
First of all, I have a new short story up at Apex Magazine!
It’s called Pocosin and has a possum god. You can read it for free, though I hope you’ll consider subscribing to one of the best little SF magazines around! (There’s also an interview with me.)
Also, Dragonbreath #10 : Knight-Napped! hits the shelves today! Even if you don’t buy a copy, totally go look at it in the store just to boggle at SOLID FOIL COVER!
(There are like mondo huge advertising things coming, none of which are quite done yet, but I will link when they go live, because they’re just kinda neat and impressive.)
And I’m on the very last Hamster Princess 2 illustration, and if I can finish it today, this will be like Triple Threat Day.
Back from Mythcon! Which was fantastic!
Seriously, if you told me I’d enjoy an academic conference that much, I…well, I am generally too polite to call anyone a liar to their face, but I would have been deeply skeptical. But it was awesome! (Collaborative Beowulf readings. Who knew?* Also there is something deeply surreal about being in a room where everybody else can recite the opening to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English.)
It was a great honor to be able to present the Mythopoeic Award (“The Golem and the Jinni” won) and I’m trying to get the text of my speech edited to post here–it’s the usual thing where you write the speech and then you spend the hours beforehand scribbling margin notes and cutting bits, so what I wrote is not exactly what I said. Will try and badger it a little closer and then will put it up here. (I mean, it’s mostly about the revelation about Aslan being Jesus, and some of you have heard variations on it before, but there’s also a lot about how I wanted to be Smaug when I grew up. Anyway, everybody laughed–a lot–which is what I ask for in a speech and they did not repo my Aslan statue, so it’s all good.)
Also, while I was gone, we cracked 500 copies sold of Toad Words! (We’re actually closing in on 600, at the time of this writing!) And how cool izzat?
And my ARCs of Castle Hangnail arrived and oh my god, it’s finally a real book. That one seemed to take forever–it’s the witch book–although it was actually a pretty fast turnaround as these things go.
(I’ll try to do a giveaway or something–AFTER I get back!)
Now I get basically two and a half days to prep for London. Madness! Bunnies!
*The organizer laid out the Anglo Saxon version and the translation and asked people to come up and read if they were moved to do so. Kevin said “Oh my god, it’s English major altar call!” And it totally was. And it was pretty darn awesome. The con-chair is apparently an authority on the subject, judging by the young man who read in the original language, then collapsed in his chair behind us, panting “I read for Drout and he didn’t throw me out of the room!” as if he’d just won a gold medal. It was pretty delightful.
And we are live, gang!
(I’m including the cover again so we all remember what I’m talking about…)
An ePub version only is available via Smashwords.
Impressively fast turnaround from Draft2Digital for this one. (If anybody grabs this one, please let me know if the formatting transferred okay–I checked the D2D draft, but it’s not quite the same as having an e-reader of that type!)
One day turnaround for Draft2Digital here–still impressed!
Okay, Draft2Digital is getting a tentative mega-thumbs-up from me. We’ll see how they do on the payouts, but so far…holy mackerel.
If you can only read PDFs, don’t despair! I will happily sell you one directly for 3.99 via Paypal! E-mail me at ursulav (at) gmail.com or use the contact form on the site and we will make it happen!
If you’re a book reviewer and would like a free copy of Toad Words, shoot me an e-mail at ursulav (at) gmail.com with a link to your site and the format you’d prefer, and I am delighted to send one out!
But Where Do You Get The Most Money?
I love you guys. I get the most money via Smashwords, at the moment, followed by Amazon, though Amazon pays it out a LOT faster. However, we’re talking a matter of a couple cents and I really want you to get it in the format that is most convenient to you. If you’d like to support me, the best thing you can do is leave an honest review (and by that I actually really mean “honest” because I don’t read my reviews, so you can say anything you want and my feelings won’t be hurt) on whatever platform you like to read on. Reviews may lead other people to buy the book, and that’s worth way more than the nickel or so between various platforms.
I Found A Problem
Thank you for letting me know! Comment here and let’s see if it’s something I can fix. (Formatting between devices is occasionally wonky and not always within my control, but I will do my best!)
Will There Be A Print Volume?
Not at the moment. If somebody in the small-press world wanted to make me an offer, I’m totally willing to entertain the option, but it’s not something I’m currently set up to do myself, and I’d rather not do it than do it badly (and oh, but the internet has made it easy for someone like me to do it very, very badly!) I could (and may be forced to!) learn the pre-press ropes to do a POD version, but I suspect it would cost a lot more than 3.99.