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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 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.

Blogging, reblogging and twittering is encouraged, if not openly begged for.

Published in shivering sands Work


  1. It will be very interesting to see what kinds of sales a known name like yours will generate through a service like Lulu. I imagine that, when you already have an audience, POD becomes much more viable than it is to the author who is just starting out.

  2. Why do they think we would also like to buy books about playing the violin when you order shivering hands? That’s amazing!

  3. Done and done. Please do consider digital editions down the road; I love my Kindle I must say even if it is a tool of the corporate Satan.

  4. Llyander Llyander

    Any comment on the pricing? I see it’s nearly £10 in the UK. Most paperbacks in Amazon/Books etc/Waterstones are around the £7-8 mark. That seems a bit of a markup…

  5. Order Date: 2009-11-04 14:36:00
    Order Status: PAID

    Woo-hoo! Thanks in advance for what I’ve no doubt will be a glorious and likewise depraved reading experience!

  6. Llyander – this is the deal with Print on Demand books. The printer doesn’t get any economies of scale during the print run (they literally print them as they are ordered), so the cost is higher than traditionally printed material.

    The upside is, of course, speed to market, and low barrier to entry. Since Mr. Ellis is notoriously drunk and lazy, this collection may not be available at all if he’d have had to jump through traditional publishing hoops (I kid because I love). Also, with POD, all marginal cost (such as they are – POD margins are thin) go directly to the artists and not to some executive somewhere.

  7. […] Six Social Media Trends for 2010 – Conversation Starter – ######## ######### Warren Ellis SHIVERING SANDS ######## digg What The F*ck? Where the Swearing Is All About the Context Assassin’s Creed […]

  8. Excellent. I didn’t hesitate one moment to order this. Looking forward to having this keep me company during my 2 hours of daily commuting.

  9. Ordered, and now trembling with antici….

    …pation! Rather amused at the shipping options to Australia, however – 60 quid for the speedier options seemed a *little* on the high side… so let’s see how fast the slow option is :)

  10. Hey Bob Bruhin, I think there’s also a point to be made about POD for the author who’s just starting out though. It makes the ability to have a tangible book of your work very easily, and also costs nothing to “publish” and basically the only cost is production. It’s sort of like the benefits of blogging allowing more people to publish their thoughts electronically. I’m not exactly sure how you meant by “POD becom[ing] much more viable than it is to the author who is just starting out.”

    Sorry, I guess my point is more of a rehash of David Nett anyway.

  11. @Pandrio Androtti: I actually agree with you about everything you’ve said about the advantages of POD for the new author.

    My only point, is the POD/new author experiment being done or attempted many times every single day, already. This is the first time I’ve been able to watch an author who already commanded an audience play with POD, though. Should be somewhat of a different story, at least on some levels.

  12. @Bob, I agree, this’ll be interesting to watch. :)

  13. cjevic cjevic

    Very excited to read this
    I’m all about the digital copy as well though. PDF? Other medium to pop on my ipod?
    Thank you

  14. POD is not a good option for a writer with no fanbase; I’m speaking as a traditionally published author AND the editor/publisher of a horror anthology that was released via Lulu a few years back. Mr. Ellis should clean house on this because he’s Warren Fucking Ellis. How many of you know who I am? Would you pay $16+shipping for a 176-page book from me? Probably not, and I wouldn’t ask you to.

    When I released my anthology of 20 stories from 20 writers, I sold a 250-page paperback at cost, which was $9.56. This is competitive, but no profit for myself or the authors. That $9.56 was Lulu’s cost per copy. If I had been charging enough to make profit; say, $15-20 (and that’s BEFORE SHIPPING)… well, those aren’t BAD small-press prices, but not terribly enticing, either. Because Warren is famous, though, and you know his work is worth the cost, you’ll gladly pay it, and so will I.

    That’s why the POD model works much better for someone with an established fanbase. I’d never have published either of my short story collections, though I am considering a small-run release of a collection of essays written for my blog.


  15. Smerk Smerk

    Bought it. Nearly decided that $10 Postage to Australia could go fuck itself. Decided to buy it anyway. Not very clever, really.

  16. 20 pages in and it’s awesome. Thank you.

  17. […] John, like Shivering Sands, was a Maunsell Sea Fort in the Thames Estuary. It still stands today. All its ladders have been […]

  18. […] so no, I was not going to buy a $3 cookie to tide me over. But the ride was smooth and I finished Shivering Sands and got about 200 pages into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which is quite good so […]

  19. […] Shivering Sands. Had to contain laughter while reading a few bits. Which reminds me I also have 7 episodes of […]

  20. […] that Almond refers to here, though my interest is definitely piqued. I did, however, recently read Warren Ellis’s Shivering Sands, a collection of essays that Ellis made available via Lulu. It’s a similar case to […]

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