Thinking out loud about National Novel Writing Month

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hannahkollef asked: Hi Mr. Gaiman (Mr. Neil Gaiman? Mr. Neil? There needs to be an etiquette book for addressing your favorite author online). I'm a self-published author on Amazon, and I got an email from them regarding the conflict with Hachette this morning, trying to persuade us to write in support of Amazon. Thought it might interest you to see what the enemy is saying. I put it on my tumblr if you'd like to take a look--its the most recent post. Hope it helps! -HK


I don’t see an enemy. I see two huge multinational corporations having a fight over contracts and terms, and authors staring up at them from ground level. It’s like Godzilla battling Gamera, and we’re looking up from the sidewalks of New York rather worried that a skyscraper might topple on us. I liked Chuck Wendig’s summary and commentary at

I’m a Hachette Author in the UK. My wife’s a Hachette Author now, and she has a big book coming out in November, which you cannot pre-order through Amazon. Which sucks. I don’t regard Amazon as the enemy, any more than I regarded Barnes and Noble as the enemy when they had a dispute with DC Comics and stopped selling the hundred top DC Comics Graphic Novels in their stores (which included 17 books by me, including all Sandman).

But this seems like a good time to remind people about other places to buy books. Like you could preorder THE ART OF ASKING from Powells at

Or you could use to find the Indie Bookshop nearest you to get your copy of THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, if you haven’t yet read it.

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Free Book Promo (Through Friday): Write with Lions eBook


This DIY writing workbook is free through Friday, the 13th.

Could you share the link with your favorite teachers and writing students, so they can grab a bunch of free copies before it goes back to full price?

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onesilentpoet asked: Hello Neil, Have you ever written a full book which hasn't been published? If so, how do you feel looking back on it now? Also, looking to the future, if you'd spent thousands of hours researching, writing, and rewriting a book to find you just weren't happy with the finished product, would you publish it anyway?


My first book is sitting in the attic, unpublished. And I’m glad it wasn’t published, because when I came to read it to my daughter, twenty years after I wrote it, I discovered that it wasn’t very good. But I don’t believe a second of the time I spent writing it was wasted.

You’ve got a lot of bad words and awkward plots inside you. Better to get them all down on paper, so the good ones can come out.