Hey, check out these e-books that just came out in the UK and its territories!

The Stepsister Scheme - UK Cover The Mermaid's Madness - UK Cover
Red Hood's Revenge - UK Cover
The Snow Queen's Shadow - UK Cover

All four books are still available in print and e-book from DAW in the United States, but there’s never been a UK edition. Until now!

::Dramatic music plays::

Book one, The Stepsister Scheme, is £2.80, and the rest are £3.50. (That includes VAT.)

I’ll be updating with additional sales links as the books go live at various vendors.

  • The Stepsister Scheme: Amazon
  • The Mermaid’s Madness: Amazon
  • Red Hood’s Revenge: Amazon
  • The Snow Queen’s Shadow: Amazon

Here’s the all-new cover copy for book one:

The epic, action-packed story of what happened after the fairy tales.

Once upon a time, a girl named Danielle (better known as Cinderella) escaped her evil stepmother, married a prince, and according to the stories, lived happily ever after.

The stories lie.

Danielle Whiteshore has no sooner moved into the palace when her stepsisters show up to kidnap her prince and steal him away to the realm of fairies. To save Prince Armand, Danielle needs more than the enchanted glass sword her mother left her. She needs the Queen’s secret protectors: the deadly warrior and assassin Talia (Sleeping Beauty) and the fun-loving, flirtatious witch known as Snow White.

Plunged into a world of adventure and intrigue, Danielle must forge the trio into a team if they’re to rescue her prince and survive the machinations of a foe far deadlier than her stepsisters.

I love that these books are finally available to a wider audience. (Even if it meant going back and adding all those extra U’s to the words.)

And as always, I really hope people enjoy them!




Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

First off, a few more things from yesterday…

The Libriomancer sequel has a title! Book two of the Magic ex Libris series will be Codex Born.

My Parents’ Cat is on SF Signal! - I wrote a guest post for SF Signal, talking about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff from Libriomancer. Including the true identity of the bookstore cat from the book.

Interview at The Editing Essentials - An interview I did with my friend Brittiany Koren, who edited several anthologies that included short fiction from me.


On to the critique. Alex Cranz wrote a piece in FEMPOP about the treatment of women characters. Warning: While Cranz avoids specifics, this will probably spoil the ending of Snow Queen’s Shadow for you.

I know why I made the choices I did in that book. That doesn’t in any way change the fact that Cranz raises very good, valid points. Whether or not I had valid reasons for those choices doesn’t change the fact that those choices do fall into a larger pattern.

While I’m sad that my book bummed Cranz out right before a wedding, I’m glad she cared about the books enough for them to have that impact, and I’m even more pleased that she chose to write this essay and start up a conversation about these tropes.

I recommend checking out her piece. Not to defend my book. (Please don’t.) But because it’s thoughtful and important and a conversation we should be having.

Also, according to her bio, Cranz trained her dog to do fistbumps, which is just awesome.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Last month, I wrote a blog post looking at my early numbers for The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. Based on those early numbers, the print sales seemed pretty much in line with what I’d seen for other books.

“If you eliminate Red Hood, then according to Bookscan, the new book sold more print copies in its first week than any of my previous books … What does this all mean? Not too much, to be honest. I’m one author, and there could be any number of factors going on here.”

It’s almost two months since Snow Queen came out. Since then, Borders has officially gone into bankruptcy. George R. R. Martin’s new book came out, which I’m told cannibalized some fantasy sales across the board. And B&N has started cutting back on their orders.

So I put together a comparison of total print sales for the first eight weeks of each of my books:

Keeping in mind that Red Hood got some additional display space and advertising push, this is … still better than I was expecting to see. Snow Queen has slipped behind the other princess books, but continues to outsell the goblins. Not too bad.

On the other hand, the numbers for Snow Queen include a visible boost in sales when Borders declared bankruptcy and people started rushing out to buy books at 40% off. That’s a short-term gain, and I expect to see another dropoff once Borders closes its doors for good.

And of course, I won’t know how the e-book is selling for quite some time.

In conclusion … I don’t know. I’ve been pointed to more “Publishing is DOOMED!!!” articles recently, and all I can think is “Bored now.” I don’t see publishing disappearing any time soon.

Changing, yes. Continuing to work toward an equilibrium point between print and e-books, sure. Causing some people to freak out like poo-flinging monkeys on crystal meth, absolutely.

I don’t know what publishing is going to look like five or ten years from now. I don’t know if the death of Borders will lead to a resurgence in the independent bookstores, or if brick & mortar stores will continue to decline. I don’t know whether the mass market format will go away, replaced by print-on-demand and e-books. I don’t know.

But then, if I wanted a stable, secure, unchanging career, writing fiction might not have been the best choice.

I do know that people enjoy stories. Publishing is changing, but love of story has been a core part of our species for as long as we can remember. While the delivery of those stories will continue to evolve, the demand for those stories isn’t going away.

So as for me, I’m just going to keep writing, and I hope y’all will continue to read and enjoy those stories with me.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

jimhines: (Default)
( Aug. 9th, 2011 09:30 am)

Yesterday turned out to be a very good day for writing news.

It began with two different, highly positive reviews of The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. Over on the DAWBooks LJ, Joshua Palmatier calls it the best book I’ve written to date, saying, “the end of the book–and ostensibly the end of the series–is perfect.” And at the Green Man Review, Michael M. Jones says the whole series has been, “consistently enjoyable, and one of the best fairy tale updates I’ve seen in many years.”

That right there would have been enough to make my day, but there was more. My agent e-mailed in the morning to let me know that my German publisher would be picking up Snow Queen. Woo hoo! (And are you listening, France?)

I wasn’t sure if this was public or not, but I figure if my agent Tweeted about it, it’s safe to share. He’s also been talking to DAW about doing a 3-in-1 omnibus edition of my goblin books, which would be most nifty. Nothing is in place yet, but when and if this deal becomes a reality, I’ll let y’all know. In the meantime, just the fact that the discussion is happening is pretty darn cool.

Apparently the universe wanted to cram a month’s worth of good news into one day, because that’s not all. I also spoke with my editor yesterday, who confirmed that Libriomancer is going to be my first hardcover original from DAW.

Basically, I view this as leveling up :-) I’m flattered and happy that DAW has enough confidence in me and my writing to take this book to the next level, and I can’t wait to hold the finished product.

I admit that in some ways, I liked having my stuff come out as mass market paperback originals. Or, as I’ve been known to say, “I like being cheap and easy!” On the other hand, a hardcover release should mean a bit more review attention, a potential boost in library sales, and better royalties, all of which are also good things.

I assume the new plan will be to release the hardcover in August of 2012 and do a paperback about a year later, perhaps coinciding with the second book in the series. I don’t have any details, but will share them once I do.

And then I went home and ended the evening with ice cream and the Phineas & Ferb movie.

All in all, I’d say that was a pretty good day!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

I did a guest post for author Mindy Klasky’s “Inside Track” feature, talking about some of the things that went into Snow Queen. That post went live yesterday, and includes a giveaway for the book. Details on Mindy’s blog or LiveJournal.


Given some of the comments and e-mails I’ve been getting, I figured it was time to put together an open discussion post for The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy].

This should go without saying, but just in case…


I’m happy to answer questions or talk about the story, but I’m also happy to shut up and let folks chat. If you’d like me to jump in, just say so.

In other words, if you say, “Hey Jim, why did you have to go and have Elvis kill Prince Armand?” I’ll try to answer you. If you say, “I hate that Elvis killed Armand in a shoe duel. Glass slippers should have the advantage over blue suede shoes!” then I’ll probably stay out of it.

My thanks to everyone who’s e-mailed me, Tweeted, posted reviews, and generally just talked about the book!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


A while back, I did a comic called Writing: A Reality Check. I figured it was time for another follow-up, this one about the dreams vs. the reality of having a new book come out…


Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

jimhines: (Default)
( Jul. 5th, 2011 09:30 am)

Today is the day! The official release of The Snow Queen’s Shadow, the fourth and final book in the princess series!

I started thinking about this series … back in 2004, I think. Meaning this has been a journey of at least seven years for me. I remember reading a chapter from Stepsister Scheme for the first time at the Fantasy Matters conference, and freaking out because I had no idea what people would think. (They liked it. Yay!)

I’ve changed as a writer since then … which I think is a good thing. Stagnation is creative death. So there are things I’d probably do differently if I had to write the whole series over again. But overall, I’m proud of the stories, and particularly happy with this last volume.

I’m hoping to have a discussion post in a week or so, once I’m back from vacation and people have had time to read the book. I said this in the author’s note at the back, but I’ll say it here as well: thank you so much to everyone who’s joined me for this journey.

With that, I guess there’s nothing left to do but post some purchase links!

For those who want print copies, you could try:

Barnes & Noble
Mysterious Galaxy
Schuler Books

E-books are available at:

And probably some other places I couldn’t find links for…

So, yeah. Happy princess day, everybody! I really hope you enjoy the book, and if you’re so inclined, please feel free to spread the word ;-)

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


With one week until the release of The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], a new review rolled in from SciFiChick, who says, “As before, the action and adventure are non-stop with plenty of drama, magic, and inspired characters. Don’t miss this brilliant, action-packed fantasy series.”

I’ll take it!

One thing that intrigues me … of the three reviews I’ve seen so far (four if you count Klausner), not one has talked about the fairy tale I’m using this time around. If you’re not familiar with The Snow Queen, you can check it out on the SurLaLune site.

The first time I used a Hans Christian Anderson tale for one of these books, it was The Little Mermaid. I read the fairy tale, and my initial response was “Oh hell no.” Thus was born The Mermaid’s Madness.

When I read The Snow Queen, I had the opposite reaction. Oh hell, yes! This was exactly the framework I needed for this book. I definitely took some liberties in order to write my story and my characters, but the story Anderson wrote fit very well with what I wanted to do in the last book.

Do you have to read the fairy tale to appreciate the book? Not at all. Is the fairy tale a spoiler for the book? Not really … if you know the tale, you’ll recognize elements in the story, but I don’t think you’ll be able to predict what’s going to happen. Though if you prefer to avoid anything with even the slightest hint of spoilers, you could always wait and read the fairy tale afterward.

I don’t know where else to go with this, so I’m going to jump straight to the giveaway. What’s your favorite fairy tale or fairy tale adaptation, and why? Leave your answer in the comments, and I’ll pick a winner at random to receive an autographed copy of one of my books — your choice.

We’re heading up north on Friday, so you’ve got 24 hours to get your entry in. Anyone can enter; there are no regional restrictions on this one.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


Only two weeks until The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] comes out! I’m marking the occasion with random deleted and changed bits from the series. For example, did you know I once jotted notes for a 5th princess book in which Danielle would have a second child (a daughter), and Jakob would be revealed as a fairy changeling?

More beyond the cut, as there are a few potential spoilers for the earlier books.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


Only three weeks left until the release of The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. I figured today I’d take some time to answer any and all questions about the book.

That’s right, you can ask anything you’d like. Spoilers, background, histories … where did Queen Beatrice really come from? Who will Talia end up with? What’s Prince Armand’s favorite color?

I will do my best to answer all questions. The only catch is that I’m not promising to answer honestly … in fact, I can pretty much guarantee that I won’t.

Have fun! I certainly intend to :-)

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


With exactly one month until the release of The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], I figured I’d share an alternate opening scene. I decided the tone was a bit too silly for this book, and I needed to switch to Snow’s point of view. That said, between the “villain” and the reference to a certain musical, this scene still makes me smile.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] comes out in exactly five weeks, and I’m delighted that the first review spotted in the wild is a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Be aware that the review does contain a small spoiler.

We’re recovering from a power outage here, so I don’t have much prepared for the blog. So instead, here are a few highlights from losing electricity…

  • Rebuilding the LED blinky from Penguicon using a pair of old watch batteries so that we’d have an LED night light for the hallway.
  • Brushing my son’s teeth to the light of a Mace Windu lightsaber.
  • Charging my phone in my car so I could read a bedtime story.

The only other random news I’ve got is that Kitemaster and Other Stories will also include a sample from Libriomancer, for those who want a sneek peek at my current project.

So … um … have a picture of this Halo Master Chief costume, by Benny Brickster. Not bad, eh? Especially when you consider that, except for the visor, it’s built entirely out of LEGO.  Click the pic for the full photoset.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

jimhines: (Default)
( May. 10th, 2011 09:30 am)

I am down to my last advance review copy of The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy].

I thought about finding another reviewer to send it to … or holding a giveaway on GoodReads … or keeping it for my very own … but in the end, I decided to give it away to one of my blog readers, because I love you the most.

If you’d like to win the ARC, all you have to do is leave a comment and let me know why I should give it to you. Be as serious or as silly as you’d like. For example:

-Give it to me because my brother-in-law owns Dreamworks and I’ll sneak into his room and read it while he’s sleeping, thus planting your work in his subconscious mind.

-I’ll review your book on my blog, which gets a zillion hits a day. Also, I named my first-born daughter Danielle Talia Snow Beatrice Jim-Hines-is-Awesome Smith!

-Your book is the perfect size to complete my epic and 97% zombie-proof book fort!

I’ll pick a winner next week. I might try to choose the best comment, but knowing how creative y’all are, I may wimp out and just pick one entry at random.

Anyone can enter. Make sure I have a way to contact you (i.e., if you’re anonymous and commenting on LJ, leave an e-mail address or web site). Most importantly, have fun!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

jimhines: (Default)
( Feb. 9th, 2011 09:30 am)

Random.org has picked two winners from last week’s contest.  After counting up all the commenters on LJ, DW, and the main blog

epeeblade wins a copy of Goblin Quest [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] for suggesting Goblins vs. Klingons.

Jennifer wins a copy of Stepsister Scheme [Amazon | B&NMysterious Galaxy].  She suggested Goblins vs. Digi (who I believe is the little LEGO-Spaceman-looking guy here).

I loved this contest.  People came up with some wonderfully fun suggestions, and if you haven’t read them, you could do far worse than to click over and see who the goblins should face in their next adventure.


I’ve posted the first chapter of The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] in PDF format here.  Go forth and sample, if you wish.

I’m planning to get an epub version posted in the next day or so as well.  I’m using this as practice for doing my own e-book conversion.  PDF is a pretty universal format, but I figured some readers would prefer epub.

And … that’s all I’ve got for today.  Enjoy!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

jimhines: (Default)
( Jan. 20th, 2011 09:00 am)

This has been a pretty intense week for my little corner of the blogosphere.  I was tempted to find another argument to stir up today, but I think I’ve had about all I can process right now.  People have given me a lot to think about, thank you.  I’ll be doing a follow-up on the whole piracy thing, in part to address aspects of the problem which I hadn’t really considered until they were pointed out to me.

For the moment though, have some random and light tidbits.

1. I’ll be at ConFusion this weekend, and I’ve got a pretty busy schedule.  The program book is here.  I’ll be reading from The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in the Board Room, for anyone who’s interested.

2. Speaking of Snow Queen, I’ve been playing around and made a few LJ icons.  Please help yourself, if you’re interested.  (Credit mentioning me or the book is always appreciated.)  Snow and Talia both get quotes from the books, but I think the “Mother issues” one is my favorite.

3. I haven’t posted anything LEGO in a while.  Time to remedy that.  A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, an evil empire wanted ice cream.  The All-Terrain Ice Cream Transport was created by Louis K, and it makes me happy.  Click the pic for more, including a close-up of Vader with an ice cream cone.

All that’s left is for a John Williams score to start playing in that ring-a-ding ice cream truck style…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

I get asked about cover art fairly often.  How is it designed, how much input does the author get, etc.  I spoke to Scott Fischer, the artist for books one, two, and four in the princess series, and he generously agreed to let me share his sketches and the finished art.

The process started late last year, after my editor Sheila read the manuscript.  During our chat about revisions, she took a few minutes to discuss possible cover ideas.

I should note that this doesn’t always happen.  I had no input into my first few covers, and not all editors want authorial input.  My contract gives me zero control over cover issues, which is the norm.  (See here for a very different, very painful publishing tale which includes cover problems.)

In early November, I e-mailed Sheila some notes about the characters and setting: not a set of instructions, but brief descriptions to help the artist.  For example:

Talia: Talia hates the cold. She’s wearing a heavy jacket, but keeps her hands bare for fighting. She’s darker skinned, with black hair she keeps pulled or tied back. At one point near the end, she carries a [REDACTED]. She’ll be in boots, and possibly a scarf as well if that doesn’t obscure her too much. Being Talia, she also carries half an armory on her person.

Scott mentioned that these have been helpful.  In his words, they’re “detail specific, but not too controlling.”

On Monday, January 4, Sheila sent me the first sketch.  Have you noticed a pattern here?  There’s no direct author-artist communication; everything goes through the editor, and I suspect that’s for the best.  I might be the brilliantest writer on the planet, but that doesn’t mean I know squat about art or about what makes a successful cover.

Here’s sketch number one.  Click for a larger view.

Sheila didn’t like the stars, and wasn’t happy with the poses for Danielle and Talia. I pretty much agreed with her, though I liked the overall layout, and thought this had the potential to be the best cover in the series.  I also suggested that the castle wasn’t quite right for the book, but this was a minor nitpick.

Snow’s sword isn’t precisely accurate to the book either, but you know what?  I like it.  I think it’s more important to have a good, attractive cover than it is for that cover to be 100% accurate.  (I’d fight over major errors, or the whitewashing of a cover, but not something like this.)

Sheila e-mailed Scott, and a day later we received the second sketch.  (Scott is fast!)  The stars were gone, and I liked Talia’s pose a lot better in this one.  I’m also really liking that the  characters don’t feel posed the way they have in previous covers.  This is an image that tells a story, and I love that!

That palace was still nagging at me. Sheila said she thought it had too much of an SF feel.  But we were close!  I’m a little curious where the cover text will fit, but I figure that’s DAW’s problem to figure out.  At this point, I really couldn’t wait to see the finished version.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long.  Scott turned in the finished art on Monday the 10th.  I’m still talking to my editor, and there may be some minor tweaks, but this is pretty much final:

What do you think?  I’d love it if other authors could weigh in on the cover art process.

My thanks to Scott, both for producing yet another awesome cover, and for permission to share his work.  Check out his web site or his Facebook page.  He’s also got a children’s book out called Jump [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], which — in addition to being available at the usual outlets, was packaged with boxes of Cheerio’s.  And he’s a musician.  This is a man who’s clearly exceeded his quota of coolness.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


I’m working on the Author’s Note and Acknowledgments for The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy].

Sometimes this part feels repetitive, since I tend to thank mostly the same people with every book.  But then, these are the same people who help me improve the story, who take it from manuscript to finished book.  I think it’s important to thank them, and to remember that this isn’t something I could do alone.

I’m thinking about trying to include a bit more information this time around.  So I was wondering — if there were one question you could ask me about writing or about the princess series, what would it be?  I don’t mean spoilers, but what sort of behind-the-scenes info would be most interesting to you as a reader?

Or just in general, if you do read author notes and such, what sort of thing makes them enjoyable and worth reading?

To the authors out there, what are your thoughts on acknowledgments and author notes?

I suspect I might be overthinking this whole thing, but hey, it’s what I do!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

jimhines: (Default)
( Nov. 10th, 2010 09:30 am)

The Snow Queen’s Shadow [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] has a release date!  According to Amazon and confirmed by my editor, the fourth and final princess book comes out on July 5, 2011.


I stumbled across the German cover art for Red Hood’s Revenge, by Paulo Toledo .  Click the thumbnail for a larger view.  This one will be out in June of 2011.


Apparently this is the week for covers.  On that same day, I found the Czech cover art for Stepsister Scheme.  They’re recycling the art Scott Fischer did for the DAW edition, but it’s interesting to see that cover with the Czech title and a different font.


Windycon is this weekend.  The pocket program is posted here.  My schedule looks like so:

  • Saturday, 1:00 p.m.  Walnut Room: Reading
  • Saturday, 3:00 p.m.  Autograph Table
  • Saturday, 8:00 p.m.  Lilac D: Urban Fantasy - Bringing Ancient Legends to Life
  • Sunday, 10:00 a.m.  Lilac D: Down Among the Roots - The Origins of the Fae

Any suggestions for my reading?  I was thinking of trying the goblins/zombies story…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

jimhines: (Default)
( Sep. 21st, 2010 09:30 am)

Today, barring anything short of the zombie velociraptor apocalypse, I shall finish this draft of The Snow Queen’s Shadow!

That is all.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

After three days of rather long and sometimes intense blog posts and discussions, I figured it was time to change it up a bit and go with something light and fun.  So here, check out some new fan art from the goblin art page.  Disco goblins!  I love it!  (From serialbabbler.)

And here are some sweet goblin sketches by Michael Cannon that I haven’t had time to add to the art page yet.


Also, for those of you who want a sneak peek, I present to you the first few paragraphs of The Snow Queen’s Shadow.  Those of you on the Facebook fan page may have already seen this.  But for the rest of you who want a taste of what I’ve been working on for the past year, click on.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags