Hey, all! I’ve been deep into revisions on Oathbringer. Turns out, big books don’t just take a long time to write—they take a long time to revise. (Who knew?)
Last year during my trip to the United Arab Emirates, I took a break from working on Oathbringer to write a novella, as is my habit to refresh myself now and then. Other than Edgedancer (the Stormlight novella in Arcanum Unbounded), this is the only thing I had time to write last year that wasn’t Oathbringer.
Snapshot is one of those stories that, once I had the idea, wouldn’t leave me alone. I wrote it furiously, having only about a week’s time to finish it, and I’m very pleased with the product: a kind of cyberpunk–detective thriller mashup. As we’ve posted earlier, Hollywood quickly snatched this one up, and it’s currently under option to MGM.
I think you’ll like it! The print edition is only available in a special edition leatherbound from Vault Books that will be released soon (though we will also have a cheap hardcover toward the end of the year). But as is our tradition, we’re simultaneously releasing an ebook for a few bucks, DRM-free, in all markets. So you can choose whether you want the expensive collector’s edition, or the quick ebook. (Audible has also released the audiobook today.)
Please give the story a look on its explanation page, where you’ll find a synopsis and links to the first two chapters. Also, note that if you buy the print edition in any format, we’ll happily send you the ebook for free at your request. (This will be handled via a coupon for my store.)
On Short Fiction
This seems a good time to take a moment and talk about the various editions I have out for my short fiction.
There are several motives that war within me when it comes to producing editions of my work. The first is that I really don’t want people to feel they have to pay multiple times for the same piece of fiction. I figure once you’ve paid me for it, you’re good, and you should have access (at least in ebook form) to that story for the rest of your life, whenever you want to read it.
At the same time, I want to provide different distinctive editions of the works for people who like them. This sometimes conflicts with my first impression because of additional costs involved. For example, doing an audiobook is more expensive than a print book as—once all the work is done for the print book—you then have to hire another team to take that text and make an audio version. I haven’t realistically found a way to bundle audio, print, and ebook together. (Though I do think the industry will need to figure this out eventually.)
I think the best I can do for now is give away ebooks of the books I myself publish for free, once you have a print edition. (Note the emphasis—I don’t have the legal right to do this for books like Mistborn and The Way of Kings, which were published by Tor. I can only do it for my self-published ventures, like most of my novellas.)
In addition, however, I can talk about in what formats these novellas will be available, and when. This at least lets you know whether you want to hold off getting one until your preferred format is available. So here is what I see us doing with these for the foreseeable future.
Option One: Individual cheap ebook
Available DRM-free from most ebook vendors on launch day.
Option Two: Individual audiobook
These depend on Audible or some other company wanting to release an edition. (They did so for the Legion books, for example, but not others.)
Usually, individual audiobooks for shorts are a bad value for readers—as the Audible economy depends on people using credits on stories, and there are no “half” credits. Which means a credit can be applied to a three-hour novella or a full-length novel at twenty-plus hours.
So you can’t depend on these existing. Sometimes they will, but not other times.
Option Three: Individual leatherbound hardcover
I’ve done these for most novellas, partnering with places like Subterranean and Vault Books. These are meant mostly as collector’s items, and usually have a short and limited print run. For those who want each individual novella separate and in its own book, this is your best option.
Option Four: Dragonsteel edition hardcover
These editions are often printed as “doubles” around the holidays, and sometimes (before official publication) go with me to conventions as convention exclusives.
This is the economical way to get a print edition, as they usually cost $20 and have two stories. (Snapshot, for example, is being published with another story called Dreamer this fall, and will be at conventions with me all summer.)
However, there’s a windowing of a few months on most of these, meaning you can’t get it immediately. This is by request of the publishers of the leatherbounds, who want a small exclusivity window.
Option Five: Collection version (ebook, audio, print)
I will be doing two types of collections moving forward. Cosmere stories (in the Arcanum Unbounded tradition, likely named Arcanum Unbounded II, III, etc.). These will collect in a single edition all the stories that haven’t been collected so far. (Arcanum Unbounded, for example, contained every Cosmere piece of short fiction that had been published up to that point.)
These are for the completionists who want everything, but who don’t mind waiting. They’re also very economical, as if you wait for the paperback edition, they will probably give you a dozen stories (of various lengths) for around ten bucks.
I do anticipate doing a non-Cosmere collection within a year or two, which will include stories like Snapshot and Perfect State. (And probably the Legion novellas, unless they become their own thing.)
Option Six: Dragonsteel collection leatherbound
If there is interest, we might do a leatherbound edition for the 10th anniversary of the collection, like we’ve done with Elantris and are currently doing with Mistborn. So if you like leatherbounds, but miss the initial limited edition, these will eventually be available—but they are a looong way off.
Anyway, I hope that lets you plan! Thank you for your interest in these smaller stories. Your enthusiasm for them is part of what keeps me so productive, as I don’t feel locked into doing one type of story. Overall, this makes even things like Stormlight move faster, as I remain engaged and excited as an author moving between projects.
And do please consider giving Snapshot a look!