Announcing: Don’t Live For Your Obituary, A Collection on Writing, in December, From Subterranean Press

Hey, did you know it’s been ten years since You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop, my last collection of essays about writing and the writing life, debuted? That’s a pretty long time, especially when you consider everything that’s gone on — in the world, in publishing, and with me — in the time since 2007. So it seemed like a very fine time indeed to collect up another set of essays.

And thus: Don’t Live For Your Obituary: Advice, Commentary and Personal Observations on Writing, 2008 – 2017, out this December from Subterranean Press and available for pre-order now. It’ll be available both as a signed limited hardcover (that’s the version that’s available for pre-order) and also in ebook. And it comes with very excellent cover art (see above) by Nate Taylor, whose work you might remember from my The Mallet of Loving Correction collection, for which he also provided a very excellent cover.

What’s in this book? Well, let me just quote the flap copy here:

Between 2008 and 2017, author John Scalzi wrote fifteen books, became a New York Times bestselling author, and won numerous awards, including the Hugo, the Locus and the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio. He also had book deals crater, lost more awards than he won, worried about his mortgage and health insurance, flubbed a few deadlines, tried to be a decent parent and husband, and got into some arguments on the Internet, because, after all, that’s what the Internet is for.

Scalzi wrote about it all—the highs and lows in the life of a working writer—and gave his readers, and other writers, a glimpse of the day-to-day business of navigating a writing life in today’s world. Sometimes these essays offered advice. Sometimes they commented on the practical business of publishing and selling books. Sometimes they focused on the writing issues, arguments and personalities of the day. And sometimes, Scalzi reflected on his own writing life and career, and what both meant in the larger scheme of things.

Don’t Live For Your Obituary is a curated selection of that decade of advice, commentary and observations on the writing life, from one of the best-known science fiction authors working today. But more than that, it’s a portrait of an era—ten years of drama, controversy and change in writing, speculative fiction and the world in general—from someone who was there when it happened… and who had opinions about it all.

Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

If you want the signed, limited hardcover for yourself or as a gift (just in time for the holidays!), I really recommend pre-ordering it now. The hardcover edition is limited to 1,000 copies, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. You’ll want one, not just because I write all pretty and suchlike, but because Subterranean Press makes gorgeous books, and when you have it in your hands, you’ll pet it and tell it how it’s special and no tricksy hobbitses will ever take it from you, precious. Trust me on this. Here’s that pre-order link again.

22 Comments on “Announcing: Don’t Live For Your Obituary, A Collection on Writing, in December, From Subterranean Press”

  1. Ordered it before I saw this! Oh, and I do pet all my very precious Subterranean Press books, not just ones from you!

  2. Why do people still capitalize internet? I’ve never understood a reason for doing that.

  3. Eric wonders why folks still capitalize the Internet: Easy, because what the spell check does. (Maybe it’s a geographic noun, like the White House)

    Incidentally, I know I am a real writer when I overrule my grammar checker. Bwa-ha-ha!

  4. Ooo ooo ooo – going to Sub Press NOW NOW NOW and ordering myself a Christmas prezzie.


  5. AND, they still have The Mallet of Loving Correction available, so I ordered a replacement for the copy I loaned a friend and never got back. Win-win!!

  6. Darkdreamyr:

    Similar in that both books are comprised of essays; different in that the essays in this book are all focused on writing and the writing life.

  7. I’ve never been in a coffee shop. Why do, or did, people take computers into them?

  8. Are there any pieces from your blog in here? I’m wondering because I don’t want to buy a book that’s mostly copy-pasted from Whatever.

  9. Pogonip: I dimly recall that John wrote that people (young men) took their lap tops in to look like real writers to everyone. And to the women. They would even put on thoughtful expressions to look impressive.

    I blush at the memory.

    Me, I used a cart to haul in my first computer into the coffee shop. I quit writing there after I spilled coffee all over my punch cards.

  10. Matt:

    You probably shouldn’t buy this book, then. Or “Hate Mail,” “Coffee Shop” or “Mallet of Loving Correction,” as they are all also collections of pieces from here.

  11. Will this be available at a later date on Amazon? Shipping to other countries is really expensive.

  12. Is this book strictly from your blog? If it has new content how much does it have?

  13. I think I will have to get the electronic version so it can hang out on my kindle with “Coffee Shop”– I don’t want to have to decide if it should hang out with my writing books (ex. “On writing”, “Economical writing”) etc. or go in the Scalzi-non-fiction section. I could put those two sections next to each other but it would end up in a major re-org since they’re in separate bookcases right now. (Plus the writing books are with economics books, but the scalzi books are with fun memoirs and essays.)

  14. nicoleandmaggie – Why not both? You should be able to file one book under multiple headings!

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