There is a FAQ on this website, of course. But sometimes the frequently asked questions are fairly time sensitive, so they don’t really belong in a permanent or semi-permanent FAQ.
Anyway, here are two I’ve been receiving as comments and in my email.
Will there be another Rain Wilds book after Dragon Haven? Or, What are you working on now?
I’m working on a book set in the Rain Wilds. My deadline for the writing is December 2010. It will probably appear in print in May of 2012. It doesn’t have a title yet.
The next book that will be published is a story collection called The Inheritance. It features short works by both Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm. Some of the stories have been previously published and others are new.
I went to a webite to order your (book, e-book, audio book) and it said I couldn’t buy it because I live in the (US, UK, Australia, Other Country). Why?
Publishers buy certain rights or licenses to my works. EOS buys the right to publish my manuscripts as books in the US. Voyager buys the right to publish my manuscripts as books in the UK and Australia. E-books and audio books are published under similar licenses. One side effect of this is that English and sometimes Dutch readers can buy my books months before they are available in the US. And the same thing can happen with audio books. They can be available in one country and not yet (or never) published in another country.
And that is because the (publisher, author, agent) is greedy, right?
No, not really. It is how it has always been done. It’s just a bit more apparent now that the Internet exists. When a publisher or audio book publisher or graphic novel adapter approaches my agent or publisher, they make an offer on what rights they wish to buy. In my experience, no one offers for World Rights for anything because no one is in a position to sell Audio Books or Paper Back Books to the entire world. So they make an offer for the licenses they wish to buy, and if we can agree on a price, they get those rights and then they sell those items in that particular market.
Those sales don’t always or even often go directly through my agent. Usually they are sub rights sold by the publisher. And that is why sometime a reader knows about a situation with an ebook before I do.
The author generally does not have control over whether an e-book is issued in a ‘protected’ form or with ‘spoken voice disabled’. Those are publisher choices. Just as a publisher can decide to make a free Kindle version available, for example. Or offer to bundle books and discount them. Promotional decisions like that don’t belong to the author. If they did, for example, there would be uniform hard cover editions of The Farseer Trilogy in the US!
The surest way to find out what formats the books are in for your region is to check the publisher’s website. Although EOS andVoyager are both ‘HarperCollins’ They are not the same at all.
Although I do not endorse Amazon over any other retailer, checking Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk is another way to find out what forms of a book are available for your region. (Or another Amazon for your particular country.)
I hope that explains a very confusing subject!
As always, thanks for being interested enough to ask!