Codex Born

Codex Born Release Day! (And Giveaway!)

Codex BornToday is the official release date for the U.S. mass market paperback of Codex Born, book two in the Magic ex Libris series. Which is a bit strange to me. The third book is done and turned in, and I’m finishing up another (unrelated) book, so it’s weird thinking of Codex as the “new” book.



Codex Born

What can I say. After nine books, I’m taking the direct route. Here, have a guilt tripping kitten!

Guilt Kitten

THIS KITTEN IS SAD BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T BOUGHT THE BOOK YET! Either that, or it’s thinking about that one scene from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Okay, seriously, it’s new book day, so if you haven’t guessed, I’m doing the traditional author freak-out. I’m excited to see this one out in paperback, both because I like my books being available in the cheaper mass market format, and because this means the ebook price is dropping as well.

Thanks for putting up with me through another release day. Now let’s give away a book! To enter, just leave a comment with a made-up book blurb by a fictional character. For example:

“I find your lack of Goblin Quest disturbing.”
-Darth Vader

“I am Groot.”

I’ll send an autographed copy of one of my mass-market titles (your choice) to a random winner. There are no regional restrictions on who can enter, but only one entry per person, please.

Have fun, and in all seriousness, thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement over the years.

Codex Born Paperback, and Link Roundup

My theme for 2014 seems to be a year-long scramble to keep up on everything. As evidenced by the fact that I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT IN SIX DAYS!

Codex Born CoverOkay, it’s not a brand new book, but it is the mass market release of Codex Born, coming on August 5. And with that release, the ebook price should also be dropping very soon.

If you’ve been waiting for this, here’s a convenient set of links:

Amazon | B&N | BAMM | Mysterious Galaxy | Schuler Books | Indiebound

The paperback also includes the first few pages of Unbound, which comes out in January of next year.


Other stuff I’ve been meaning to talk about, or at least link to:

Codex Born Typo Hunt

The mass market paperback edition of Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] comes out on August 5, 2014. I’m going through the page proofs now, which means I have the chance to fix any errors that might have slipped through in the hardcover release.

If you are one of those wonderful people who have already picked up a copy of the book (thank you!), and if you’ve stumbled across a typo or mistake, could you please let me know? As a way to say thank you, everyone who emails me about a typo they’ve found will be entered to win an autographed copy of Heroes in Training, the anthology I edited for DAW a while back.

DAW adjusted the cover a little bit for the paperback. And looking at the page proofs, if you add in the excerpt from Unbound in the back, the book comes to almost 400 pages.

And that reminds me, I need to email my editor about cover art ideas for Unbound. I’m thinking Isaac and Smudge riding a cyborg T. Rex over the Mackinac Bridge to battle an axe-wielding kaiju rising out of Lake Michigan. What do you think?

Codex Born Discussion Post

This is the official discussion post for Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] for anyone who wants to chat about the book or ask questions. I may or may not answer all questions, depending on whether or not it would spoil things for future books (or, you know, if I just don’t know the answer yet).

Obviously, there will probably be spoilers in the comments.

My thanks once again to everyone who picked up the book, and especially to those of you who’ve posted reviews or shared the series with others.

Post-Release Nap Time

Yesterday was exciting, overwhelming, draining, marvelous, exhausting, and gratifying. Thank you so much to everyone for your support, support that came across in so many ways. There were several times yesterday I actually got choked up reading some of the things people were saying and doing.

Like Mindy Klasky‘s comment that, “The final chapter of CODEX (no, I’m not going to spoil it for you) actually left me with a real, physical chill.” Or everyone who came out to Schuler Books last night for the launch. Or friends who loaned me their blog platforms to talk about the book.

I’m happy and a little dazed today, but there are some things I needed to share.


Two wonderful friends are hosting contests to win an autographed, personalized copy of Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy].

  1. Seanan McGuire – Leave a comment naming the first book that changed your life, and you’re entered to win.
  2. Elizabeth Bear – Create a humorous book macro about either my books or hers. (I really want to see what people come up with for this one!)


Some people noted that the e-books weren’t available outside the U.S. Unfortunately, this is not something I have control over. It’s a territorial issue, meaning the e-books are only available to U.S. mailing addresses.

The U.K. edition of Libriomancer will be coming out in two weeks, so that e-book should be available then.

As much as I’d love for everyone, everywhere to be able to give me money buy the books, I’m afraid this one is out of my hands.

That said, the U.S. e-book of Libriomancer has dropped to $7.99 to match the mass market paperback price.


Over on Facebook, DAW has posted two videos I did when I was in New  York earlier this year.

  • Video One: In which I chat about Codex Born.
  • Video Two: Talking about cover poses.
  • Video Three: I don’t know, but I’m told it will be very silly, and may include random comments about Anton Strout. This one will be posted once Video Two gets 200 likes on Facebook.
  • Romantic Times also did a video interview with me at BEA, which was a lot of fun.

I’m sure there’s more I should be mentioning, but this is all my brain had room for.

And don’t worry. As I get through this week, the blog will shift back to its normal routine of randomly yelling at clouds.

Codex Born is Out Today

Today marks the official release date for Codex Born and the mass market paperback of Libriomancer!

Codex is my ninth fantasy novel with DAW, so being an experienced, even jaded author, I am naturally not going to be spending the entire day freaking out and checking Amazon rankings and bouncing uncontrollably and flailing about like a muppet in a paint-mixing machine. (And if you believe that…)

My thanks to everyone who read and reviewed the first book, who pre-ordered this one, who offered support and encouragement, spread the word about the books, and just generally made my world a better place.

I’ve got two events scheduled for this week if you’re interested.

  • Tonight (August 6), I’m at Schuler Books in Eastwood from 7 – 8:30.
  • Saturday (August 10), I’ll be at Kazoo Books (Parkview Location) in Kalamazoo starting at 2 p.m.

BLURB OF AWESOMENESS: You know, a number of people have gotten blurbs from bestselling author and former SFWA president John Scalzi. But how many authors can boast something like THIS?

“This is the perfect follow up to Libriomancer. It has more magic, more action and more backstory.  And I love love love the Lena diaries!!!”

-Kristine Scalzi

VIDEO JIM: When I was in New York earlier this year, we filmed a promotional video at the Penguin/DAW offices. They’ve posted the first video over on the DAW Books Facebook page, along with a note that if it gets 100 likes, they’ll move on to videos 2 and 3, which get a bit … sillier.


  • The Big Idea – A guest post at John Scalzi’s place, talking about the character of Lena Greenwood.
  • My Favorite Bit – In which Mary Robinette Kowal lets me share a bit more about Lena, including one of my favorite pieces from Lena’s backstory snippets.
  • Tell Me – A guest post at Jennifer Brozek’s blog, talking about Isaac’s love of books and magic.
  • Literary Escapism has an exclusive excerpt from the book, showcasing one of the odder fight scenes 🙂

BUY STUFF (If you’re so inclined…)


Codex Born


Carrie S. at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has a lovely new review of Codex Born.


Stay tuned for more, including a few book giveaways!


A Peek at Draft One of Codex Born

Three days until Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. I thought today I’d share the first page or two of the very first draft of the book from January of 2012. There are no spoilers here, because things changed an awful lot between this and the final version. I’ve got nine different drafts of this sucker, though not all of them are complete and some required more major revisions than others.

Originally, I intended to tell this story from Lena’s point of view. To my tremendous frustration, it wasn’t working. There are elements of these opening pages I really like, and Lena absolutely deserves her own books, but as I progressed, it simply didn’t feel right. The tone, the voice … so eventually I flipped back to Isaac’s PoV, but inserted snippets of flashback and backstory from Lena’s at the start of each chapter.

Also, my first drafts tend to be very rough indeed, so please be gentle.


Pics from the Land of the Libriomancer

With five days left until Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] comes out, this is the time when I’m supposed to be doing frantic self-promotion. The trick is to do it without looking like I’m self-promoting. Which is harder than it sounds. So I asked for advice on Twitter.

Kate K. F. suggested pictures of Michigan looking pretty, which sounded like a good way to go. Especially if those pictures tied into the Magic ex Libris series, which is primarily set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 🙂  (Spoiler: Not all of the pics connect to the series…)

Larger versions of the pics are posted on Flickr, for anyone who’s interested.

Luna Moth. Because they’re cool-looking, and they hang out up north. Also, I believe there’s a reference to Smudge the fire-spider trying to eat one at some point. (If that reference isn’t in the books, it’s only because it got edited out in revisions. Which just means I’ll have to put it back in a future book!)

The Mackinac Bridge. Isaac hates driving over this thing. He’s uncomfortable with heights, and the center lanes are metal grating instead of pavement, meaning the air comes up through the center, and the feel of the tires on the road is very different. When I was driving home last week, it kept feeling like the car was trying to pull off to one side or the other.

Also, there used to be a colony of lake trolls living at the base of the bridge, but the Porters relocated them back in 1971.


One Week to Codex Born, and an Announcement

Exactly seven days from now, I’ll be at Schuler Books in Lansing, celebrating the release of Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. And also the mass market paperback of Libriomancer [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy].

Normally, this would be a good time to do some sort of contest, and maybe give away the one copy of Codex Born I managed to snag at ALA this year. The problem is that as soon as I got home, my wife snatched it away from me. After grumbling at me for costing her a few nights’ sleep (and telling me it was even better than the first one – yay!), she passed it along to her mother. While we were up north. Which means, as far as I know, the book may still be at the tip of the Upper Peninsula.

But have no fear! I have alternate plans for free bookses next week.

To be honest, things have been so busy lately that I haven’t had time for my full pre-book freak-out ritual, which is probably a good thing…


In the meantime, how about an alternate announcement? Coinciding with my Guest of Honor gig at Windycon this November, ISFiC Press will be releasing The Goblin Master’s Grimoire, a hardcover collection of my short fiction.

More details as they appear. I’m particularly geeked about the cover art concept we talked about, but we’ll have to wait and see what actually happens there.

In the meantime though, I’ll be doing a weary-but-excited happy dance 🙂

Review Copies and Other Codex Born Updates

There are 26 days until the official release of Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], not to mention the mass market paperback of Libriomancer [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], which means it’s time for me to start the Official Author Fidget-Dance of Anxiety!

The Cool Stuff Summary: Book-based magic, kick-ass dryad, flaming spider, wendigos, septuagenarian werewolves, a magical organization thought to have been wiped out more than five hundred years ago, and one random Spider-Man quote.

Review Copies: If you are a reviewer who hasn’t received a copy (and, you know, would like to have one), please contact my publicist at BerkleyNALpublicity -at- Please include your mailing address and where you do your book reviews. Unfortunately, due to the cost of books and shipping and such, reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and personal blogs without a good-sized readership don’t generally qualify.

Upcoming Events:

  • July 26 at 6 p.m. Reading and booksigning with Mary Robinette Kowal at Schuler Books, Eastwood Location. Lansing, Michigan. (This is part of the conference kickoff for the MSU Young Authors Conference, and they will have copies of Codex Born for sale.)
  • August 6 at 7 p.m. Booksigning at Schuler Books, Eastwood Location. Lansing, Michigan.
  • August 10 at 2 p.m. Booksigning at Kazoo Books, Parkview Location. Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • August 15-18. Gencon. Indianapolis, Indiana. (I will have books for sale.)

Giveaways: I’m hoping to give away a few free books between now and August 6. I haven’t worked out the details yet, but I’ll let folks know as soon as I come up with a suitably entertaining way to do it.

Advance Reviews: Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times have both said nice things about the book. I hear rumors that Library Journal and Locus will both be reviewing it as well. But I think my favorite and most reassuring review so far comes from Kate over on Goodreads, who picked up a copy at ALA and says, “…this was an even stronger read than the first book.”

Also, Seanan McGuire read it and started sending me rude emails about having to wait for book three, so that’s a good thing, right?

Preview: The first chapter is available in both .pdf and .epub format.

State of the Author: Nervous, impatient, grateful, and excited. The Magic ex Libris series is the most ambitious story I’ve written so far. The first few reviews have helped me — somewhat — to get past the initial bout of imposter syndrome, and mostly now I’m just really looking forward to being able to finally share this one with everybody!


Jim C. Hines