Ebook News (UK)

Posted: August 25th, 2010 under E-books, Marketing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,

When those of you in the UK started complaining about no access to ebooks of my stuff in the UK-European English-language distribution area, I went to Orbit UK, looked at their site, and then emailed my UK editor.  (I am  lucky to have two great editors right now,  Betsy Mitchell at Del Rey and Bella Pagan at Orbit UK.)    Anyway, Bella Pagan said she’d look into it, and time passed, and now I know the whole nitty-gritty story, as of her email today.

E-rights weren’t in the Orbit UK contracts, though they were in the US contracts.    DUH.  Everybody’s DUH, I think, including mine (did I read the contracts?  I thought I had…)  Orbit will be delighted to produce e-books of them once it’s legal to do so.   This does mean trans-Atlantic shipping of actual paper for me to sign (some I’ve already signed) and then trans-Atlantic shipping back, and three different agencies are involved–my US agent and two UK agencies.  So it’s not an instantaneous thing, and then the books themselves have to be converted to the appropriate formats, which isn’t as quick and easy as you might think.  (Those of my writer friends now converting their own out of print stories and books to put up on Smashwords & others are making it clear to the rest of us what the snags are.)

The “frontlist” books now have scheduled e-book release dates as follows:

OATH OF FEALTY – 4th March 2010

KINGS OF THE NORTH – 24th March 2010   (approx release date of print ed)



A LEGACY OF HONOUR – 4th Nov 2010 (to match print date)

So: thanks to those whose complaints finally got my nose of out the current manuscript and into “Find out!” space, and many thanks to Orbit UK Editor for digging into the situation.

(And if I’ve gotten any of this wrong,  UK Editor will set me straight and I’ll correct it.)


  • Comment by Mike G. — August 25, 2010 @ 10:54 am


    Did you mean to cite 2010 dates in the past?

    I guess it’s possible if OoF, KotN, and Deed are already out in ebook in the UK…

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 25, 2010 @ 1:30 pm


    I copy/pasted what UK Editor sent me. Those probably should be 2011, but it’s after work hours in the UK so I can’t ask now.

  • Comment by Iain — August 25, 2010 @ 3:12 pm


    Good to hear, though I note that The Deed of Paksenarrion is already available world-wide from Baen (DRM-free and in the vast majority of formats)…

  • Comment by Rune F. Akselsen — August 26, 2010 @ 12:40 am


    I am curious about ‘A Legacy of Honour’. Is this simply a reprint of ‘The Legacy of Gird’ with a new title?

  • Comment by Ed — August 26, 2010 @ 12:40 am


    Being able to get ‘Deed’ was a pre-requisite for my buying an eBook reader in the first place. But I’m very glad to see that the rest will be available too – I’m quite attached to my compact-pocket-library.

  • Comment by Rune F. Akselsen — August 26, 2010 @ 12:42 am


    Just as I pressed ‘Comment’ I realized the (hopefully) obvious answer: it’s the UK title of ‘Legacy of Gird’, right?

  • Comment by Louise H. — August 26, 2010 @ 5:12 am


    I’d like to suggest a solution should your publisher decide to pull book 4 and 5. Assuming your are then free of your obligation to the publisher, you might want to look at crowd funding or crowd sourcing. I’m sure your fans would be willing to spend a little amount each which would enable you to self publish. There are ways to work out what number of books need to be sold to break even, what to do with any profits, whether or not you need to get the SEC involved re a investment licences etc. The money paid in to the scheme can be held in escrow and returned to people should a certain threshold needed for the enterprise not be reached. It would be a bit of risk capital for your fans, as e.g. they would get back 4 out of every 5 dollars put in, the remaining 1 dollar would be needed by you for the costs of the scheme. There are even organisations that will help set this up for no or very low cost.

    I hope it will not come to this, but it is a possible solution, certainly to your fans. I’d invest, that’s for sure. The odds when buying a lottery ticket are far worse I’d think!

  • Comment by Angel — August 26, 2010 @ 8:14 am


    Before I read the comments, I assumed ‘A Legacy of Honour’ to be the title for Book 3…

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 26, 2010 @ 8:25 am


    Angel: If Book III had a title, I would refer to it by that title. It’s Book III because, so far, it’s refused to title itself. And that was probably, in part, because of it’s being a hinge…hinge book titles, like the book itself, must connect to both sides of the story.

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 26, 2010 @ 8:29 am


    Louise: Believe me, I’ve certainly been watching the successes and failures of these approaches to publishing. Writers who have, perforce, tried something like this have been generous in sharing with other writers what worked and what didn’t.

    However, as long as I have a traditional publisher, I prefer to work with one. Managing a reader-supported private e-publishing endeavor requires some skills I don’t have, and some of the costs are not the same as, or as predictable as, those in traditional publishing.

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 26, 2010 @ 8:29 am



  • Comment by elizabeth — August 26, 2010 @ 8:29 am


    UK edition.

  • Comment by Beth Elliott — August 28, 2010 @ 3:14 pm


    Weighing in on the e-publishing thing, I tried ordering one from a well-known sci-fi/fantasy writer a couple of years ago, and the book has yet to be completed. She completely ignores references to the book but has pressed on with other projects. I suppose I could consider my money wasted, but more important is that I really wanted the book. I’m rather sour on reading anything she writes now.
    And I KNOW I could not read one of Elizabeth Moon’s books in serial format. I prefer real books to begin with – not a Luddite, I simply have to be able to go back and reread pages to refresh my ailing memory, and to savor the taste.

  • Comment by Mike D — August 30, 2010 @ 2:45 pm


    UK scheduled release

    Hmm, I see that ebook whsmith.co.uk say that they have it now but “restricted availability” which is weasel words for “not really”

    “And I KNOW I could not read one of Elizabeth Moon’s books in serial format. I prefer real books to begin with – not a Luddite, I simply have to be able to go back and reread pages to refresh my ailing memory, and to savor the taste”

    Are you saying what you mean ?

    Serial format certainly allows you to go back, what it does mean is that not all the book is yet there so you have to _wait_.

    Current examples, the “storyteller’s bowl” webpubs by Lawrence Watt-Evans and by Miller & Lee – new chapters only when the contributions are enough.

  • Comment by Tobias — September 9, 2010 @ 9:56 am


    Is Orbit UK getting ebook rights for the UK only, or for all of Europe?

    Lot’s of people living outside the UK still prefer to read books in the original language, and while this was not a problem with paper books (just more expensive shipping), many ebooks can only be purchased by UK citizens.

  • Comment by Deb Douglas — March 21, 2011 @ 10:36 pm


    Greetings, my name is Deb. My husband and I are big fans of your work. Especially the Paks Trilogy. We read the trilogy so much we keep wearing out the paperback. We have bought the book 7 times.1 copy as a gift to my mother in law, the rest for us. Could you please tell us if you are going to make the trilogy available for the nook…. patiently waiting. If not we will keep replacing as we have been doing.

    God Bless You
    Ian & Deb Douglas

  • Comment by elizabeth — March 21, 2011 @ 10:57 pm


    Deb: Thanks for liking the Paks trilogy so much. Baen has the e-rights for distribution, and I do not know if they’re planning to format it for the Nook. You can contact them here. They’ve been pro-active in getting their list available, so I’d be surprised if they aren’t planning (if they haven’t already gotten) a Nook version.

    A direct request from a customer to a publisher is an effective way to get an e-book into more readers.

  • Comment by Erica Pruett — October 12, 2011 @ 10:46 am


    Hello, I wanted to tell you how excited I am that you are returning to Paks. I have the Deed of Paksenarrion, it is one of my favorite books. I read it at least once a year. In the past I have looked for other books in the series, and ended up reading your other series. I just received a new Kindle and while searching their e-books I came across some new books in the Paks series. Yeaaa! I’ll order them next payday. Unfortunately they don’t have the Deed of Paksenarrion in e-book format. They do offer a request from the publisher option, and I utilized that but somehow don’t think it will be all that fast. In the mean time I still have my paper back and now the new ones to look forward to. Thank you for coming back to Paks, There are so many more adventures they could be having, and I can’t wait for each and every one.
    Have a great day, and again thank you.

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