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Robin Hobb's Infrequent and Off Topic Blog

Pre Order Day in the UK for Royal Assassin! (And maybe a signed bookplate!)

Today is the day!  The Illustrated Edition of Royal Assassin is now available for preorder in the UK!  It has the same wonderful illustrations by Magali Villeneuve  but it has a slightly different binding than the US one.  And of course it has the British spellings!

 

Weeks ago, I signed a large batch of bookplates and sent them off to the UK.  So, if you act quickly and use one of these links, chances are that you may receive a book with an autographed bookplate.  No promises!  I couldn't sign an infinite number of them, but they are definitely out there.  We've placed them at these bookstores.

 

Here's the Link to order from Cole's Books

 

And this one is for Forbidden Planet

 

And many thanks to Cole's Books and Forbidden Planet for taking the extra trouble with the bookplates!

 

 

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How to Get a Signed Illustrated Royal Assassin AND UK Edition Launches June 25th

Covers for the Illustrated Editions of the Farseer Trilogy.  Assassin's Apprentice and Royal Assassin are currently available.

Ah, Covid 19, the terrible things you have done to us.  No live readings, no live signing sessions, no book tours, no conventions . . . 

 

I can offer a tiny opportunity in place of all those lost things.

 

You can still get a signed copy of the Illustrated Royal Assasin.  

 

There are two options for this:

 

Go to The Signed Page.  This site specializes in pristine copies of signed first edtiion hardbacks.  I signed over 700 copies for them, in Shawn's garage, as we masked and kept our distance from each other!  Most of those have already shipped, but there are some left.  (And, oh, yes, you can pre-order a Lindholm books called Wizard of the Pigeons at the same time!)

 

Go to University Book Store.  I have not yet gone to the store to sign books, so you can still request a dedication.  If you want me to sign your copy or  write something special in the book, like 'Happy Birthday Sally', please note that in the 'comments' box when you order the book. They ship FREE via media mail for orders over $16.  But that is US shipping addresses only.  And while supplies last, you will receive a set of four color prints of art from the book.  

 

A bright spot: They will also have copies of the Illustrated Edtion of Assassin's Apprentice.  So if you want that book also, to have the first two in matching editions, you can also order it, and I will sign it as well.

 

UK READERS Please note: As of June 25th, 2020, there will be a UK edition  from HarperCollins Voyager, and it will have the same wonderful illustrations from Magali Villeneuve.  Shipping for that book will be substantially less! So if you live in the UK or Europe, you might consider that volume.  Click on the link above to find many book stores that would be happy for your order!

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A Very Special Publishing Day Offer

Images of prints of Nighteyes and Kettricken, and two other 'mystery prints' to be revealed later.
All art by Magali Villeneuve

It's June 16th, 2020, and that is publication day for the Illustrated Edition of Royal Assassin, the second book in the Farseer Trilogy.  Today it will join the Illustrated Edition of Assassin's Apprentice on bookstore shelves!

 

 

To celebrate, and with thanks to Penguin Random House, we will be offering a bonus for each copyordered from University Book Store in Seattle Wshington: a set of four prints of artwork from Royal Assassin.  We have extended this offer to include the Illustrated Edition of Assassin's Apprentice also! So it's a wonderful time to acquire both hardbacks.

 

For each book you order, you will also receive a set of four prints. So, if you order both volumes, you will receive a set of prints with each.  We've selected four wonderful images from this book.  Each set will include Kettricken, Nighteyes, and two more prints yet to be revealed!

 

All artwork is by Magali Villeneuve

 

To order, please use this link: University Book Store, Seattle

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Signing Illustrated Royal Assassin

Cover Art for Royal Assassin, the Illustrated Edition

Several people have asked if they can still get a signed copy of Royal Assassin, the Illustrated Edition.  

 

The answer is yes.

 

Although we cannot do a public reading and signing as I've done so often at University Book Store, the store IS taking orders for Royal Assassin.  And if you wish, in the 'comments' section of your book order, write in that you'd like it signed.  If you want it signed a certain way, please be very specific, as in, "To Amanda, Happy Birthday."

 

(I must admit, it feels a bit awkward when someone asks me to write, "To Herman, my first and only love!"  And then I sign it Robin Hobb!  So maybe that could be, To Herman, beloved of Sally."  ) 

 

I will note that you can order ANY Robin Hobb book from University Book Store and they will do their best to get it for you.  Of course, they'll do that for any book you want by any author!

 

Here's a direct link to the Royal Assassin page on the UBS website.  

 

Many thanks to the people who asked about this.  Duane, my favorite book seller, and I will make this happen.  Somehow! I will probably go in masked and sit down with a stack of books and a pen.  But we will make it happen.

 

 

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Royal Assassin Reveal of Nighteyes

Here we see Nighteyes the wolf as a caged and abused cub, as Fitz first met him
Nighteyes, as envisioned by Magali Villeneuve

On June 16, two weeks from today, the Illustrated Edition of Royal Assassin will be published!

 

Revealed today is Nighteyes, a beloved character first introduced in Royal Assassin. The artwork is by Magali Villeneuve.  This French artist (and friend) is best known for her work on Magic the Gathering, but has also created artwork for The Lord of the Ring, Game of Thrones, books by Brandon Sanderson and Dungeons and Dragons. A visit to her website is highly recommended!

 

Royal Assassin is the second volume of the Farseer Trilogy.  The first book, Assassin's Apprentice, is already available in a handsome matching volume, also illustrated by Magali Villeneuve.  Assassin's Quest, the concluding volume, will be issued in a matching binding and also with Magali's illustrations. This is the first time that all three volumes of the trilogy will be available in matching hardbacks in the US.

 

Penguin RandomHouse makes it very easy to pre-order the volume, with links to many of your favorite book sellers here

 

And yes, there will be a UK edition, also with the Magali Villeneuve illustrations, from Harper Voyager.

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Things I Did Wrong as a Writer

There could be so many things I could put under that heading!  

 

But this blog follows the previous one in talking about starting out to be a writer.  It covers the things I did right from the beginning, the things I did wrong, and the things that I didn't know existed.

 

In my previous blog, I spoke about setting money aside for income tax, both federal and state (if you live in a state that has an income tax.)  What I didn't know in the early days of my career was that I was liable for other taxes.  B&O taxes, also called Business and Operating taxes.  Even after I learned that my state had a B&O tax that I should have been paying for yeras, I didn't think to investigate if my city had one!  And, of course, it did.  

 

Now for the intelligent thing I did.  I went in to the city offices and told them that I hadn't realized I was liable for city B&O taxes, and so I hadn't been paying them.  And because I did that, they helped me fill out the forms for the previous years.  They waived the penalties and greatly reduced the interest.  So.  Yes.  Honesty is the best policy.

 

But you know what else I discovered that day?  I was operating a business in my city.  But I had no business license.  And I was operating it in a rsidential area!

 

Yes.  Being a writer in your basement and earning money is operating a buisness in a residential area.  So, I also had to sign up for a business license.  And I had to apply for a zoning variance.  Pretty silly, I know.  I'd bet that every building on my block had a computer and a printer and wifi in it.  Nonetheless, I had to purchase a zoning variance, and pin the business license to the wall in the basement. 

 

So, a word to the wise is sufficient.  From the very beginning, consider yourself a professional and yes, a businessperson.  It's so much easier to stay out of tax trouble then to try to get out of it!

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Special Announcement on Megan Lindholm's Website

Please visit Meganlindholm.com on May 22 for a very special announcement!

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As You Intend To Be

The 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order has given many of us a lot of time to reflect on our pasts, our presents and our futures.

 

One question writers are often asked is, "What advice would you give to a young person who wants to write professionally?"  And over the years, how I responded to that question has varied.

 

But answering it today, I'd give the advice I wish had been given to me.  Not just for writing, but for all of life.  And that would be, "Start today to be the person you intend to be."

 

It sounds obvious, doesn't it?  And almost easy, but it hasn't proven so for me. I wanted to be a professional writer who made a living from selling my writing.  But I didn't initially act like that!

 

I'll start by telling you the things I did right from the beginning.  I was writing a lot of stories for children.  As I finished a story, I paid for a good Xerox copy.  (This was typewriter days!) That went into a folder.  Also in the file folder was a list of markets for the story, from best paying to free.  I also had a page that was a log.  It showed the date I'd sent out a story, the title, the editor and magazine I'd sent it to, and columns for 'reject' or 'sold'.  If it sold, I put down the date and how much.  If it was rejected, I put a tick in the box, and made sure the manuscript looked presentable still.  And if it did, it went back into an envelope that day, along with a Stamped Self-Addressed Envelope, and off it went again.  

 

Now for the money.  Fred and I were both self employed.  Fisherman and Writer.  We used to joke that our income depended on fish and editors, and both of them were unpredictable. So, when Fred got a check for his crew share, or I got a much smaller check for a story, we put 50% into our checking account and 50% into the 'pay the taxes' account.  It wasn't that we were technically at such a high level of taxation.  But our taxes included not just income tax, but self employment tax for each of us, and each of us paying 100% of our social security tax.  By setting aside 50%, we usually had enough to cover taxes.  If there was any 'extra' left over, we used it to tide us over until the next herring season or book advance.  And after a number of years of urging by knowledgeable people, we began to put the 'extra' into Individual Retirement Accounts.  This was a good move, as neither of us had employers offering a 401K or a pension. 

 

I will mention that we did the 50% thing from the very beginning.  Even when my writing income was in the hundreds per year rather than the thousands.  Begin as you mean to go on. 

 

Things changed when I went from short works to novels.  Unfortunately, it took several years for me to realize I needed better record keeping!  The submission log and the 'save the money' stuff still worked.  But with a longer work, there were more characters to keep track of, let alone the geography! And the passing of time!

 

I'm not talking about world building here.  I will mention briefly: coinage or money value, major religions, calendar with seasonal names and year dates, names of countries and bodies of water, etc.

 

But what I'm discussing here is the writer keeping the story straight.  I soon realized I needed a time line so that all characters would age at the same rate.  And I needed my own glossary.  By this stage of my career, writers had begun to have computers.  My time line remained a hand written document, but it was wonderful to open an extra file on my computer and insert the proper name of a character or a river, alphabetically, with a brief description.  I also found it handy to include when that character first appeared.  Not with a page number or even a chapter, as those always change in the construction of a book, but the incident.  As in, "Joe is met in the tavern shortly before the disastrous river crossing." 

 

With book sales come contracts, and eventually royalty statements, earned and unearned. Now, I was a writer! Just stuff those things in a folder somewhere.  Who can undetstand a royalty statement anyway?  I'm an artist and . . . . and an idiot.  Don't be like me. Don't have to sit down with a disorganized filing cabinet several years into your professional career, and try to remember if you sold Hungarian rights to that novel, and if so, when did the contract expire?  I like to file things both on paper and digitally now.  And I like to have the digital file in at least two places, as in, on the desktop and on the exterior hard drive, or in the cloud if you prefer.  

 

There's a lot more to say on this topic, but my allotted time for this kind of writing has run out today.  And yes, I think a writer should have a time budget just as one has a money budget.  So I may write more of this tomorrow, unless I've used up the time elsewhere!

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Two Days Left!

I was chatting with Shawn Speakman, and he mentioned that he has to get in his order of the Illustrated Edition of Royal Assassin by the end of this month. Which means that only the 29th and the 30th are left in April for orders!


Why is that important? Well, Shawn runs The Signed Page, a site where readers can obtain pristine signed copies of first edition hardbacks.


If you already own Assassin's Apprentice in the Illustrated Edition, this is your opportunity to get the second matching volume. And of course Assassin's Quest will not be far behind, creating the first set of matching US hardbacks of The Farseer Trilogy.


The illustrations are by Magali Villenueve and she has done an extraordinary job of capturing the characters and settings for this tale. You may be familiar with her work from her art on cards for Magic the Gathering.  

 

If you desire to own pristine, first editions of the Illustrated Farseer Trilogy, now is the time!

 

 https://signedpage.com/product/the-illustrated-royal-assassin-by-robin-hobb/

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Old Bits of Language

Today, as I got into my car, I had a couple extra sets of 'disposable' gloves with me.  I decided to store some in the car, and found the perfect place for them.  The glove box.   It struck me as mildly humorous that it was probably the first time in my life that I'd used the glove box to store actual gloves.

 

It's sort of like the cigarettle lighter plug that some cell phone chargers still have.  I remember when that was an actual cigarette lighter in that hole.  You pushed it in, the little coils heated to a glowing red, and the smoker in the car could light a cigarette with it.  And of course use the ashtray, front or back seat, that all cars had then.  

 

Inside the house, do you still 'turn on' your lights?  With a switch that actually moves up and down, right.  But our language remembers when it was a knob that you turned.  And maybe you still turn up the volume on the tv, while actually pushing a button.  

 

And when you cc someone on that email, I bet you don't make a carbon copy of the document at all!  

 

I love words.  I love how they evolve.  The space shuttle goes back and forth between the space station and the earth.  Just like the airport shuttle bus goes back and forth between the airport and your home.  And that all started with a weaver's shuttle going back and forth as she wove.

 

Our cars and motorcycles have horsepower.  Our windshields shield us from the wind.  

 

Our computers use a network that has nothing to do with a net made of line and knots.  We save our data in files and folders.  

 

Words, words, words.  My favorite toys.

 

 

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