June 3rd, 2011 | shivering sands

I must say, it was lovely to have been able to sign five or six of these at MCM Expo last week.  Still avalable, of course.

(I’ve just noticed that lots of people have been very kind about it at Goodreads. Thank you.)


January 21st, 2010 | shivering sands

As of Jan 19th 2010, these are the sales on SHIVERING SANDS, the POD collection of essays and bits that we released on Nov 4 2009.

Shivering Sands Print: 664

Shivering Sands Download: 44

Total: 708

Now, I’m going to forestall the sperglord filibuster that "a PDF isn’t an ebook" by saying "shut the fuck up" and also that we offered it as a "download edition," and didn’t optimise it for whatever ebook-reader you have today. Most people don’t have ebook readers.

Profit has been made, but, obviously, no-one’s getting rich on those numbers. I’m far from unhappy with them — I’ve monetised old work that I wrote for free on the internets, and I’ve managed to collect a bunch of old work in a handy searchable form, too. But I think some people had unrealistic expectations of what this book was going to do.

We’re into the Long Tail part of the exercise now, and will see what the numbers look like by this coming November.

Ariana, Some More, On POD and SHIVERING SANDS

November 20th, 2009 | people I know, researchmaterial, shivering sands

Ariana got the shouting out of her system in re: whining about how making stuff and showing it to people is too hard.

Now she’s moved on to: how to start thinking about making a project.

…if the feedback I’m getting is any indication (and I’ve got comments disabled here because they don’t suit me, but I do pay attention to Twitter and I read everything on Whitechapel) — there are a LOT of you right. on. that. cusp. of taking the first step. So look, I know I’ve been giving you lot a hard time about “just getting it done,” but before I get into my list of Stuff What I Learned Working With POD sometime tomorrow, I wanna back up a step and talk to you.

Here’s what you need to do, right now, tonight. No, NOT tomorrow morning, or this weekend, or once your work rush has let off a little, or after the holidays, or sometime in the New Year: Right. Fucking. Now….

And from there to book-specific notes and observations about working with a POD system:

…how you go about putting your book together is completely up to you, and what you’re comfortable with. The Lulu templates will give you a bit less control over what the finished product looks like, but it’s a really good place for the people that are just starting out. Do you already understand why your inside margins need to be a titch wider than your outside? If that question just kinda terrified you: that’s all right, but you probably want to start with the templates. Trust me, your book is still going to be lovely, the important thing for you is just getting your content into a pretty and readable format.

And, today, the begininngs of how we run FREAKANGELS the way we do.

Wil’s been all over Ariana’s THIS IS HOW WE FIX SHIT WITH WRENCHES posts during this week, and has a distillation of what he’s taken from them at this link here:

This is incredibly inspiring to me, and I hope that it’s just as inspiring to indie artists everywhere. Why not take a creative risk and see if it works out? Unlike the old days, when we had to purchase a lot of stock ahead of time and hope we could sell it, we can just Get Excited and Make Things, knowing that the very worst that can happen is that nobody likes that thing we made as much as we thought they would…


November 11th, 2009 | brainjuice, shivering sands, Work

So, one week later. Copies of SHIVERING SANDS are now starting to arrive with people — I found this on Kat Foisy’s blog this morning:


(If you want to send me a photo of you posing with SHIVERING SANDS? Email it to my dump address at warrenellis [at] gmail dot com, along with your website address or twitter ID or whatever, and I’ll run it and your link here)

A week since launch of the book. We’ve sold, I believe, a little over four hundred copies. Given that the production of the book involved 1) me culling from seven years of jabbering and sticking it all into a couple of RTF files 2) Ariana flowing all that into a single file and spending a couple months’ worth of spare moments fiddling with it 3) Ariana uploading the thing, ordering a proof and spending an hour checking it over… we were well into any definition of profit by the end of day one.

It is, of course, the long game that pays off. It’s interesting to look at the first week, but it’s not defining.

A persistent criticism of my interest in POD has been that only writers at my level of cultural awareness can make any kind of success out of it. And some of them will now be saying, well, even Warren Ellis can only move 400 copies in the first week of a POD project. But, for one thing, it is about the long game. For everybody. The book doesn’t go away. And, for another, if I’m not aware enough of you to order that POD project — whose fault is that, really? Because, I’ve got to tell you, I wasn’t born with a book deal in one hand and an exclusive comics contract wrapped around my other flipper. Hell, when I was starting out, there wasn’t even an internet.

SHIVERING SANDS is published through Lulu.


November 4th, 2009 | shivering sands, Work

Today I release SHIVERING SANDS, a book containing a selection of essays, articles, columns, rambles and jabberings that were written in various places on the internet over the last seven years or so. I publish it, with trusty mechanic Ariana Osborne, as the International Electrophonic Unit through the print-on-demand house Lulu. Regular readers will know that I’ve been talking about POD for months, and I thought it was time to try it out. This work has not been collected in one place before, and I think pretty much none of it has ever been on paper.

SHIVERING SANDS is 176 pages long, and costs USD $15.54. Go to http://www.electrophonic.net and click on the book title to be taken to the order page. Or, hell, just click right through to the Lulu page. You’ll also find a book preview there, a dozen pages or so.

All books are sold through and mailed by Lulu. We touch nothing. This is the most useful thing about POD houses like Lulu: they handle everything once we upload the book file. So any questions about shipping will have to be handled through the Lulu FAQs. We can tell you that Ariana, in California, got her proof copy within five working days. We’re printing with an international standard size that means your copy will be printed as physically close to you as possible, rather than everything being shipped from the States.

Ariana — who designs much of my Avatar Press work, like AETHERIC MECHANICS — has outdone herself on the book. It’s beautiful. Even though making a collection like this beautiful is like being presented with a young and very well dressed mental patient.

Brief notes: no plans yet for a digital edition: no, it won’t be in bookstores: no, I can’t sell or send you a signed copy: I have no copies of the book, they’re all sold through Lulu: we don’t set shipping prices: no intent to sell it through Amazon. There. Thanks for your attention.

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