Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

An update from under a foot of snow

Hello Mollys and Coles, Anlyns and Edisons, Walters and Handheld Computers. This update in the life of Hugh Howey is brought to you by the largest December snowfall in Boone’s collective memory. Not that there hasn’t been bigger ones, but anyone alive today, that was also alive back then, no longer has the cognitive functioning required of a trustworthy gossip.

So, the snow day(s) have given me a chance to catch up a bit. Yesterday, I put the final few touches on book two and today I ordered the proof copy (that package I waited six hours to open last time, live, on a webcam). Today I was able to trim my mop, swing by the bank, return some library books, and knock out other necessities.

Why did I get so far behind? Well, I have a ton of book “stuff” going on right now. It started around the end of October, when I decided, against all good sense, to participate in NaNoWriMo. I was already in the middle of books two and three of the Molly Fyde series, but I put that on hold and knocked out a new book in the month of November. At the same time, I traveled out west and sold around 70-80 books over a handful of signings.

As soon as I got back, I found out I had a new job. I’m the new assistant to the manager (for fans of the “Office”) at the Scholars Bookshop on the campus of Appalachian State University. So, now I’m selling other people’s books as well, and the job couldn’t be more perfect. I get to ride (read: drive) with my wife to work every day; I have two hours each morning before I have to clock in that I can spend in the library, in front of a large fire, feet up and writing; and I’m around books all day long.

Because I still had some free time (between working on three books and taking a 30-hour-a-week job), I decided to give myself some extra duties. I put the second book together all by my lonesome. In order to do this, I had to create my own publishing company (just a name and a logo, really), get some software (ca-ching), buy some ISBN numbers (ca-ching), and learn how to paginate and set up a book from a Word document (money=time, and so: ca-ching).

I still would recommend authors go with a small press if they can get onboard. Not many writers are foolhardy enough to wade into the morass of self-publication (nor have the editing help at my disposal {thanks, Lisa}). However, since I can do everything myself, and have no social life conflicting with those duties, I can put the same product together and keep the price low for you guys. Another plus is the design freedom I now have, loading the books with little extras, like hidden clues, keys to secret sites, and using the very shape of my words to convey meaning.

One final new development: I signed a contract with the New York Review of Science Fiction. I’ll be doing book reviews for them, which doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be printing them, but I will be turning them in. Stay tuned on this front, it might get interesting.

So, right now I’m reading, writing, selling, buying, returning, reviewing, editing, paginating, and publishing books.

And there’s a very, very slim chance I’ll be printing them in the near future. Shhhh…