Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

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

SAND: Have it Your Way

Thanks to the mystical powers of NaNoWriMo, this wild and zany book tour across Europe has been wildly productive. In addition to getting two short stories wrapped up, I’ll also be coming home (Tuesday! Yay!) with some SAND in my back pocket. That’s right, the story is nearly complete, just another dozen or so chapters to write, which I should have filled in by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, I’ve done several passes over the first two parts of this story, and they are just one more pass away from going off to my copyeditor. I’m targeting December 15th for the release date of the first work, with each part coming out at two week intervals, the fourth and final part hitting near the end of January.

There is absolutely no reason to read this story as it releases. None whatsoever. If you wait until January, you can pick up the full novel for six bucks. (It’ll be a few cents cheaper if purchased individually, but it’ll also clog up your e-reader). I’m only releasing this work serially because I know quite a few people who will prefer to follow along on the journey as it unfolds. Part of the thrill of the original WOOL release was the chatter and speculation between episodes, akin to a season of some enjoyable TV show. Each story will wrap up a small part of the tale while introducing something new, and the anticipation and wait can be a lot of fun for some.

So, consume this story however you prefer. I’ll have some warnings on the product page to steer those who might be dissatisfied away. And the plan right now is to just do the serialized parts on Amazon, as it gets unwieldy to keep up with 4 issues going out to 4 or more vendors and making sure people understand how the story is being told in advance. If you don’t have a Kindle, their reading app installs on pretty much anything with a screen. You can read on your phone or iPad or computer. There will also be paperback versions of each of the short installments, but again, I would wait for the full novel to come out before buying a physical copy. Most of the price of a book is in the cover, so the four installments will cost more in paperback than the collected edition.

Okay, that’s the SAND news. It’ll start hitting soon and it’ll be done early next year. Read it how you see fit. Personally, I would wait if I were you. :)

19 replies to “SAND: Have it Your Way”

I’m smacking my head, having just finished reading Wool and not having realised that you had written it in serial form, because as I read I was thinking how well the novel was suited to being serialised on tv. Now it all makes sense!

Incidentally I loved the book. It’s the best I’ve read in a very long time. I’m very much looking forward to reading the other books in the series!

Fun! I love that you appreciate the benefits of releasing stories serially. The two week delay between each will prolong the experience instead of devouring the whole story over a couple days.

You really think i would only buy the complete Sand-book? You should know it better :-)))

No, i want them all, all the singles volume AND the omnibus, additionally whatever prints come further…

Yeah, i need a new bookshelf now…

>All the best from germany!

I read the first 1000 words or so of Sand you released. The concept seems intriguing; however, the initial character development appears frail if not sublime. Intentional? Anyway, so far, so good. I’ll be anticipating a heightened “chockier response” shortly!

It’s an interesting set of stories. There are four siblings, and I begin with the character that I think readers will like the least. Odd choice, I know, but I have my reasons. :)

Very cool. I look forward to it. I will be buying all the parts and the finished novel because I’m kicking myself for not getting the paperbacks parts of WOOL as they came out and only reading on Kindle.

As a reader of comic books, normally I wait for the trade to come out vs. individual copies-unless the covers are great or it is something I feel I just must possess. I am thinking I might want each of these copies serially. I am glad you are presenting all options.

First and foremost I must say I very very much look forward to SAND.

Then I must propose a problem/question/comment. While this is in no way/shape/form your fault, I turn to you for advice.
Releasing SAND in volumes is a great idea, and I very much agree on your blogpost. Releasing SAND in volumes is also a very annoying and potentially costly idea for international readers. Due to tax and heavy fees on Amazon, they generally take a MUCH higher price for international customers. A book priced $0.99 is sold for $3.74 to international customers. This is a somewhat fixed fee, so the Omnibus is probably going to be $9.99 for international customers, said that it’s $5.99 for US customers.

Why am I then complaining? I completely understand that Amazon has to pay lawyers and taxes, yet this annoys me a lot. Mostly I am annoyed that such a little cut of the total price ends up at the author’s hands. It is actually less than for a US sale. ($0.35 per dollar, in contrast to $0.70).

Fortunately when there may be a possible solution (and I’m sure there are many more).
Kindle Serials.
I am sure you are familiar with Kindle Serials, but I’ll explain in anyway.
You put out the serial for a starting price, people buy it, and automatically receives all parts when they are published. If you buy it after part 3 is published, you still pay the same price, and you get part 1-2-3 immediately, and part 4-5-6 when they are published.
This way, international customers will be able to read the book as it is published, and don’t have to empty their pockets in order to pay Amazon.

It may not be that this is a suitable or even possible solution for you, and that this long rant was for nothing, but I just wanted to throw my thoughts out there.

Hey Aleks,

I love the Serials program, but I want to be able to offer the first book for free down the road, and having the individuals as well as the omnibus allows that. What I try to do with my foreign releases is price them BELOW the US price, so the bump up isn’t as bad. I can only do so much with the individual books, but with the complete work, I’ll set the price in the EU for 1.99 euro, which will come out to something like $7, which isn’t far off what US shoppers pay.

A lot of this is the fault of foreign markets where book prices are “protected,” which drives me nuts. I’ll also have DRM-free copies for sale on my website, so readers can get them direct.

I’m astonished by how much you care for the readers, Hugh!

Selling the volumes on your website is a perfect solution, I’ll make sure to swing on by to grab a copy of each individual volume in addition to the omnibus.

Thanks again for writing amazing stories and for all these blog posts.
(You could definitely learn the Norwegian politicians something about selling books. We have a crappy e-book solution, fixed price levels for printed books and taxes on e-books, while imported printed books are free of tax).

I can’t believe, you do it for us, foreigners. I thought it was Amazon being nice, but I guess, I should have known better. You’re the best!

Passing thoughts . . . Wool was my first Kindle purchase on Amazon. I’d always read paperbacks before that, because Seoul has this great used book store with a relatively big science fiction and fantasy section. Expats living abroad, who’d thunk?! I was living off the grid, and simply couldn’t wait around a week for the book to be delivered by something that couldn’t whisper. The nerve of planes these days. I had to know what was going on in the Wool universe. Like then. The Internet was abuzz with readers going on about this and that. I was out, needed a way in. Wool was the motivating force to getting me to figure out how Kindle worked. I downloaded Kindle for Mac and . . . years later, found myself participating in NANOWRIMO by way of the force . . .

I feel like there is still so much more to the wool series story, so many unanswered questions..for example, did the rest of the world live on while the silos lived underground? Was there anyone else besides Thurman and few others who orchestrated this? Was the world poisoned from the beginning or was it all a lie? Which solo was supposed to survive and why? Why we’re the bodies so well preserved in Silo 17 and Juliet’s scars disappeared?….etc. Do you have any plans at all to write another book? Or a short novella that would just tie it all together? I feel like you owe this to us readers…Please…

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