Cassandra Clare explains publishing order of her next book releases
Cassandra Clare readers can’t get enough of her books and luckily, they don’t have to fear that their steady Shadowhunter Chronicles supply is going to end any time soon. A new short story collection called Ghosts of the Shadow Market was announced last year and its first installment Son of the Dawn, which Cassie is self-publishing this time, is going to be available as an ebook on April 10. In addition to that, fans can read the conclusion to The Dark Artifices in December (Queen of Air and Darkness out on Dec. 4) and next year (March 5, 2019) another much-anticipated trilogy is releasing its first book: The Eldest Curses, which focuses solely on Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. (Click here to read a new snippet from The Red Scrolls of Magic.) There is a lot of excitement for all these novels and of course readers want to dive into Cassie’s books as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, not everyone is entirely happy with the publishing order of Cassie’s next book releases so that’s why she addressed the discontent that some fans voiced online on her tumblr.
Hi, Cassie! I saw some fans pretty pissed because you’re going to publish the Ghosts of the Shadow Market short stories pretty soon, while the the Eldest Curses books won’t come out for a very long while. I know that you said that your publisher picked that release date … so could you please, pretty please, address this whole matter? It’s always so sad to see the fandom fight.
When you have a situation where you are writing different books that each focus on different characters, there will always be factions that want their preferred book to come out first. There are those who would prefer to have the first Last Hours book published next, or Queen of Air and Darkness, or The Golden Tower (which is actually my next book: Sept 11, 2018). You can never, ever make everyone happy. All you can do is figure out the schedule that works best to create the highest quality books you can.
Still, a few things:
Both Ghosts of the Shadow Market and The Eldest Curses are collaborations with different people who have a variety of commitments and work situations. While my publisher has some control over the publication schedule for these books and stories, there are other people’s schedules and work habits to take into account as well.
There is a general belief that publishers just put out whatever book they get handed in the order you hand them in, but it isn’t really like that. The first Magnus book was already handed in; it’s in rewrites, and the second draft is being handed in months before the first draft of Queen of Air and Darkness. That doesn’t mean it’s being published before Queen of Air and Darkness. It’s being published after, in part because the Dark Artifices series has sold well and my publisher believes strong sales of Queen will lift the sales of The Eldest Curses. They also believe I will be able to promote Eldest Curses when I go on tour for Queen, and since they regard TEC as something of an “unknown quantity” they want it to have that help. Publishers do actually have strategies (well, some of the time.) That’s why they want the first Malec book out in March, 2019. As I said before, they picked that date, just like they picked the date for Queen. They are not going to move it any earlier, and Ghosts of the Shadow Market is irrelevant to that. In fact, if you work in publishing, the idea that my publisher would push one of their scheduled books back because I was self-publishing a bunch of novellas is hilarious. They would never.
Also, the reason Ghosts of the Shadow Market is coming out so soon is that the stories are online only ebooks. Printing and distributing physical books takes months. Books are typeset, printed overseas, and literally shipped back to America on planes and boats. An ebook requires no physical handling. Once an ebook gets through the editing and design process, it can be uploaded in an hour. That is a huge difference. There is also going to be a print version of Ghosts, and because of the physical handling required, it will of course be published after TEC#1.
I’ve also seen quite a bit in terms of questions as to whether the content of the short stories is going to be different because they will not have “publisher oversight” – I actually don’t know if that means “Will Ghosts contain subliminal messages or porn?” or what, but the answer is that you won’t be able to tell any difference between these stories and the ones in Bane Chronicles or Tales from Shadowhunter Academy. They are being self-published in the US as e-stories, yes, but 1) they are being edited by Gavin Grant at Small Beer Press, which has won multiple awards, so he is unlikely to let them sail off the rails and 2) they are being traditionally published in hardcover by the same publishers who publish all my other books, including Bane Chronicles and Tales from Shadowhunter Academy. In fact, they are even being traditionally published as ebooks everywhere outside the US. So if you are hoping for robot sex or something, that is unlikely to happen. *beep beep beep*
All of that is to say: these two projects have literally nothing to do with each other. If Ghosts of the Shadow Market was suddenly cancelled, it would not move The Eldest Curses up even one day. I hope you can enjoy both projects without imagining they are somehow getting in each other’s way!
The wait is going to be hard, but we are looking forward to all of Cassie’s books no matter when they are published ♥
I wish people were more gracious about author’s scheduling, publisher needs, and personal lives. Cassie has been so good to her fans. I don’t want that to stop because there are a few ugly voices out there. I, for one, am so excited for Ghosts and I’m having trouble waiting until even April! ❤ It will be worth the wait.
I can’t imagine how Cassie is feeling with all that pressure on her shoulders! I really hope people start to calm down. She’s not a writer robot! I’m so excited about Malec books! I have a question, do you know when are TLH books going to be published? I haven’t heard about those books anymore and I really want to meet James, Lucie, Matthew and Anna. Anyway, we will always love Cassie’s books and the wait will be worth it.
I think the tentative plan is to release the first TLH book late fall/winter in 2019. She had discussed writing some short vignettes as a lead up to Chain of Gold (fall 2019 – likely Nov/Dec). If she does the short stories to lead up to TLH then she’ll release them once a month like she’s going to do with Ghosts of the Shadow Market.