December Question

The current availability of your books in eBook format is very limited. Is this from your wishes, or those of your publisher? Will you please explain?

It’s certainly not from my wishes, or even from my publisher, nor is the assertion that availability is very limited totally accurate, unless one is talking about a particular ebook format.  I’ve just done a quick count.  To date, I’ve published 57 novels, in something like 64 editions.  From what I can tell, Amazon has 51 of those novels available in Kindle format, including every book I’ve published in the last 12 years.  I’m not about to track down how many books are available in each particular e-book format.  Admittedly, there are a few books that “should” be available that are not, such as The Soprano Sorceress, The Death of Chaos, The Parafaith War, Towers of the Sunset, and Gravity Dreams, but several of these will be available shortly, and it seems to me that 51 out 57 isn’t too bad for a publication history that spans 30 years.

21 thoughts on “December Question”

  1. Dave Ansell says:

    Dear Lee,

    All I can say is that some people are very hard to please. By my reckoning, since 1985 (The Hammer of Darkness) you’ve had 57 books published (which is pretty staggering in it’s own right) and Amazon (who are not noted as a philantropic organisation) have no less than 51 of these available in Kindle format! If the stats were available, I’m sure you’d be very high on both books per year over a sustained period AND percentage of eBooks to total output. Maybe the OP is wanting an eBook format other than Kindle.

  2. Lynda says:

    Speaking of Ebooks I am currently reading the Colors of Chaos on my Nook. I don’t think I have seen as many editing errors in my life. It’s running at least one mistake a page, it looks almost like it was scanned by a very dirty scanner. Doupble ll’s are printed as capital U “the” is “die” almost every time. There are a few words I can’t figure out at all. Does any one know if these are reviewed before they are released??? It’s kind of embarassing.

    1. These conversions of older books by Amazon and B&N have been done in a hurry, and many have severe problems. Any time I learn of such, I let Tor know, and they’re trying to clean them up as fast as possible.

  3. Theo says:

    Another problem is that the ebooks are not available for european readers and fans. So as a european owner of a kindle I can’t buy your ebooks (Amazon tells me that they are not available in my country, but I think its general for europe). Is that deliberate? Is it possible to do anythhing against it? I know it must have something to do with publisher rights (?). Do you have a different publisher for europe?

    1. As you surmise, it’s a question of rights. At present, I have no active publisher in Europe. Orbit stopped buying my books years ago; as did Heyne in Germany, and all the other European publishers. What’s interesting about this is that I still sell a considerable number of American hardcover and paperback editions in Europe, but without a European publisher… there’s currently no way to sell ebooks there. I have asked Tor why they can’t offer “foreign-sales” ebooks, but don’t yet have an answer.

  4. Katja says:

    The Soprano Sorceress WAS avaible for Kindle, I bought it in June last year. Not now, though. Keep hoping that Towers of the Sunset, Fall of Angels and Death of Chaos will be kindleized this year. A question about Scholar in the Imager series. Is that the next book coming, i.e. number four. And, it’s not just your books, David Weber, when published by Tor, is not available in Europe either. Maybe Tor does not consider Europe important enough.

    1. The fourth Imager Portfolio book is Scholar, and it will be released in November. The next book out, in March, will be Lady-Protector, which is the eighth book in the Corean Chronicles. I don’t think that it’s Tor that doesn’t think Europe is important; I suspect Amazon doesn’t want to pay for the European rights, at least not what Tor thinks they’re worth.

  5. Adriaan says:

    I have a similar problem in Australia, the only kindle book with your name available is a short story compilation titled “Federations”.

    Thankfully select bookshops and libraries have a fondness for your books and do order them promptly 🙂

  6. Forbes Paterson says:


    Thank you for your comments regarding ebook sales in the UK and Europe. I am an avid reader of your books and also enjoy using my Sony ereader when I travel; unfortunately, as you and commentors identify, your books in ebook format are not available in Europe. Please continue to put pressure on your publisher who would seem to be missing out on revenue for both himself and for you. I expect the UK and Europe market for ebooks by you is now of considerable size

    Thank you, Forbes

  7. Haesslich says:

    It looks like a matter of publishing rights again rears its ugly head. I had enough problems getting Haze in ePub format from the Sony Store two years ago – and Gravity Dreams was US-only (still is, according to Amazon and a few other ebook sellers), which is a shame as I rather enjoyed that one for the character who was a little more mature than some of Modesitt’s previous characters (and later characters like Commander Van Albert from The Ethos Effect or Daryn Alwyn from The Octagonal Raven) were – although in many ways, their stories are more like the earlier Bradbury works where the characters come of age over the course of the story.

    At least the situation’s a little better than it used to be – before you couldn’t buy any eBooks outside of the United States at all. Pity there’s no way for someone to hurry Tor along… although at least there are more Modesitt novels out there than Gordon R. Dickson’s. I find it slightly baffling that Tor can sell to publishers who (were at least until recently) present in Canada or Australia, but can’t do the same thing for the ebook rights.

  8. I wonder if you might not consider that when someone orders a hardback version of your book you offer a free Kindle copy of it to go with the book? I do enjoy reading a real book but on my various trips I’ve taken to just taking my Kindle with me. I have as it happens ordered Kindle versions as well as the hardback. Anyway.. just a thought.

  9. I’ll have to run that by Tor, because they have the rights to both ebook and hardcover versions of my books.

  10. don lemont says:

    i have found all of his books at both and borders and have had no problems with them at all. give them a try.

  11. I am dyslexic and can not read well. Yet the first book i had read from cover to cover was the timegod. It would be a wonderful thing to hear the book now that my eyes are going. Could you tell me if there is a e-book available and where to buy it? Thank you sir in advance John

    1. The Timegod is available as an e-book from Amazon in Kindle format, both in the USA and in the UK, and as a Nook book from Barnes & Noble. It is not available as an audio book, although all my Imager Portfolio books published to date are available as audiobooks from and Tantor Media.

  12. Kellly says:

    I have been able to download book 1 and 3 of the spellsong cycle but not book 2, 4 and 5 through knidle. Do you know when book they (most importantly 2) will be released? I am in Australia if that matters.

    1. I can’t answer that yet, but I’ve asked Tor to look into the matter.

  13. Kim Lindberg says:

    I’m a huge fan, and I’ve bought all of your books up to now. Since last fall, I’ve started reading my books mostly on my ipad, but when I wanted to buy Scholar, I was told I’m not allowed to buy that book? I could buy it as hardcover or paperback, but not as an eBook.
    I can google it and find several places to download it illegally, but nowhere where I can buy it legally?!?
    How can that make any business sense?

    1. I’m totally confused. Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble list it as an available ebook, and my royalty statements show that quite a few ebooks have been sold. Where are you trying to buy it?

      1. Kim Lindberg says: (as linked from this site) gives me: “Sorry, but that Google eBook () cannot be downloaded to the country in which you are located. However, you can use the search page to look for other editions of the same title.”

        Amazon and B&N I didn’t try (yet) since they sell different formats (for their own readers) while I want to use ipad

        1. According to Tor. the problem is that Powell’s has some territorial restrictions. Amazon.UK and Amazon have the rights to sell international, and I’m told that there is a Kindle app that allows Kindle format to be read on an Ipad. Kobo also has international distribution, but I don’t know about apps there.

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