About the Author

img-hugh Hugh Howey is the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga and the New York Times and USA Today bestselling WOOL series.
Learn More...

Books

The Shell Collector Ebook Cover For Nook copy

The Shell Collector

He ruined her world. Now she's out to destroy his.

Newsletter Signup

A couple anthologies to look out for. One is free, and includes 101 works of flash fiction from 101 authors. It’s called STORIES ON THE GO. A lot of people put a lot of effort into compiling and editing this work. I’m not one of them. All I did was contribute a piece for the collection.

Each story is less than 1,000 words long, so quick reads. This is a great collection of writers and a nice way to discover interesting voices before hunting down more of their works.

The other work I pre-ordered today is WASTELANDS 2, edited by John Joseph Adams. I loved the original WASTELANDS anthology. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.

Posted in Writing | 7 Comments | Read More


Posted in Writing | 23 Comments | Read More


The third and final video for your book creation. Earlier, I went over creating your print interior using InDesign. I also showed you one way to edit your ebook. Now I’m going to do a quick and dirty book cover, mainly to show you how to set up the file properly, and how to create your own UPC code. You should take more time and do a better job with the design and art than I will here in less than an hour.

Some links you’ll need:

The CreateSpace Cover Guidelines

A Free UPC Code Generator

And here’s the tutorial. Hope it’s useful:

 

 

Posted in Writing | 8 Comments | Read More


Traditional media and governments don’t seem to understand tech.

This year, German media outlets cried “foul” on Google for excerpting their stories in search results. You know, the results that point people back to the original story. They wanted Google to PAY for these excerpts.

Google stopped showing these results, and the traffic at these media outlets TANKED. Of course they did. So they begged to have their content excerpted again.

Now Spain is in the act, instituting a tax on Google for excerpts on its News search results. Google just announced that they will be pulling the results rather than paying the tax. I think we know what comes next.

With a move this boneheaded, some are speculating that surely there must be a reason for a law this idiotic. Is it a gift from the government to print media ahead of upcoming elections?

I personally vote for the far simpler “Idiots Interpretation.” Remember that this was also the year that France instituted the “Anti-Amazon Law.” This made it illegal to discount books and ship them for free. Amazon, which offered free shipping prior to the law, promptly began shipping books for ONE CENT. Continue Reading →

Posted in Writing | 24 Comments | Read More


Check this out. A group of students put together a reenactment of WOOL for a class project. They did a stellar job, I think.

Posted in Writing | 5 Comments | Read More


Another question I get a lot is how to edit our existing ebooks in order to correct small mistakes. (Another reason you might want to download an already-published ebook is to update the back matter with links to new releases.)

While I enjoy paginating my own print editions, I prefer to have someone else create my ebooks. There are little things that can go wrong with ebook creation that causes issues for readers on older devices. I swear by the folks at Polgarus Studio. You get perfect .epub and .mobi files without paying an arm and a leg.

But sometimes you just need to make a small fix to an existing file. For this tutorial, I started with an email from Amazon notifying me of errors in one of my ebooks. I then show you how to download that ebook file, convert it to an .epub with Calibre (download here), and then edit it with Sigil (download here).

Both programs are free. Donate to the developers if you can!

Posted in Writing | 19 Comments | Read More


I’ve had a few requests for details about how I paginate my print books, so here goes. Below you’ll find a 50-minute video of me walking through my pagination routine. It’s not quite everything, but I show 95% of what’s involved for a few sample chapters. From there, it’s just a matter of repeating the steps throughout the book. Once you do a few of these, it comes very naturally. You’ll also find that the process speeds up with practice.

First, download the CS 6 templates (I use the 5×8 template in the video, but you can use either one):

The 5 x 8 Template for CreateSpace

The 6 x 9 Template for CreateSpace

For older versions of InDesign, use these IDML Templates:

The 5 x 8 Template for CreateSpace

The 6 x 9 Template for CreateSpace

To watch the video, you might want to make it bigger by expanding it or going to YouTube:

My favorite place to upload the finished PDF is CreateSpace. Check them out here. The service is completely free to use. You can even “proof” your work online without having to order a copy, though I highly recommend ordering a physical proof and going through every page one more time. A proof copy will cost you around $7, shipped, for a standard 300-page book.

I hope this is useful. If so, let me know. And if you want to make improvements to the template files and share them with others, feel free.

Also, if you want to see the results in person, you can snag a paperback copy of The Shell Collector right here. You’ll notice that I use the cream interior and the matte cover options, which I think look a lot more professional than white page interiors or glossy covers.

Posted in Writing | 56 Comments | Read More


 UPDATE: The print edition just went up for preorder! 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]

Two weeks from release, and I just got the proof copies of the print edition in my grubby little paws. This might be the prettiest book I’ve ever assembled. The M.S. Corley cover is gorgeous, and I put a lot of time and care into the interior design. The book just looks amazing. No need to read it, you can just display it around your home!

The ebook is up for pre-order at several outlets already:

The Shell Collector on Amazon.com
The Shell Collector on iBooks
The Shell Collector on Kobo.com

I’ll put a Nook link up here as soon as the work is available there. It’s a measly $4.99 at all outlets. Fancy coffees cost more. The print edition (which is now up for pre-order) is $15.00.

So what’s the book about? It takes place in a very near future where sea levels have risen and the oceans have grown warmer. Mass extinctions have left seashells incredibly rare and extremely valuable. Hunting them down is the newest Dutch Tulip Craze.

As an avid collector and contributor for the Times, Maya Walsh frequently writes about shelling and the state of the seas. She is working on a four-part expose on Ness Wilde, the world’s foremost shell collector, and an oil company CEO. Maya blames people like Ness for what’s become of our world, and she has watched him profit mightily from the warmed and rising seas. As far as she’s concerned, Ness Wilde helped destroy her world. Now she’s out to wreck his.

The Shell Collector a mix of post-apocalyptic, suspense, romance, and environmental fiction. Mary Alice Monroe, the bestselling author of  The Summer’s End had this to say:

Green fiction at its finest! With science, romance and mystery, The Shell Collector will appeal to both men and women. I’ve been waiting for a hard hitting novel about the state of our oceans–and this is it!

I hope you all enjoy! And now for that unboxing:

Posted in Writing | 49 Comments | Read More


Often, when you aren’t happy with what you’re writing, it’s because you’re writing about your character from a distance. You’re seeing your scene as a bird might. Swoop down. Sit right behind the eyes of your protagonist. Is she sitting in a field? What does the sun feel like on her skin? Is he walking down a city street? Does the grass grow up through cracks in the sidewalk?

Another thing to remember is that your character is not your plot. They aren’t a vehicle for driving the reader through your story. They have their own history; their heart has been broken; they lie in bed at night and dream of being something else. They have siblings and cousins they’ve played games with, games only they know the rules to. They are scared. Confused. Confident. On the verge of being in love. There was that one time they danced in public, and they didn’t care how goofy they looked.

The only way to convince your readers that this world is real, that these characters are real, is to believe it first yourself. To do that, you need to zoom in. See the world as your characters do. Describe it through all 8 or 10 of their senses.* Know them as well as you know a dear friend. And then write to do them justice. Continue Reading →

Posted in Writing | 17 Comments | Read More


How cute are these guys? A Boston startup invented them. Supposedly, Amazon has adapted several of their distribution centers to use these puppies. Pretty soon, the complaints will go from working conditions at warehouses to lack of jobs at warehouses.

Another video and more over at The Passive Voice.

Posted in Writing | 27 Comments | Read More


The annual DBW Writers’ Survey is up!

Please consider participating and sharing. The more respondents, the more meaningful the results.

Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how those results are analyzed. In the past, the outcome of publishing paths has been the main focus of this survey, which does not help authors make decisions with their manuscripts. There is an implied assumption in those past results that authors can simply choose whether to traditionally publish or self-publish. And so aspiring authors who have not yet managed to get traditionally published do not have their $0 income factored in, while all self-published authors are counted.

Compounding the problem, hybrid authors (those who have published both ways) have been treated as a special case in the past. This is odd considering that the vast majority of hybrids have either been picked up because of success with self-publishing, or found success self-publishing a backlist that did poorly enough with a traditional publisher for the rights to revert. In both cases, it was the decision to self-publish that was heavily rewarded.

These issues can be handled in the analysis. One way would be to compare hybrids with those who have been traditionally published, as both groups represent the top fraction of two different freely made decisions: the decision to either query an agent/publisher or to self-publish. These two groups also have in common the ability to draw the interest of a publishing house, whether out of a slush pile or out of the pool of self-published titles. Continue Reading →

Posted in Writing | 12 Comments | Read More


There are people to both sides of you. Everyone is in the middle. We’re all part of a continuum.

This is the theme of the book I’m working on right now, a sequel to SAND. The idea is that while we are all looking in one direction —  whether with envy or judgement or longing or disgust — there is someone on the other side of us looking our way with the exact same emotion and with just as much cause.

I played with this theme in HALF WAY HOME, where I pointed out that today’s moral progress will seem slow and obvious to future generations, and at the same time some “modern” behavior of ours will one day appear barbaric. It might be the eating of meat. It could be allowing people to drive cars well past the day the technology existed to revamp our fleets and save hundreds of thousands of lives.

A glance at history suggests that it will be many things. All generations crow about how much better, more inclusive, more enlightened they are than previous generations, and then some facet of their culture seems outlandish just a generation or two hence. Slave-owning American Founders who preached equality and freedom come to mind. The institutional racism and sexism of “The Greatest Generation” does as well. Continue Reading →

Posted in Writing | 26 Comments | Read More