Cover to Cover #308A: Tracy Hickman

Tracy HickmanInterview: Michael and Michael are bored because Summer isn't around. So they decided to call up Tracy Hickman and cause a ruckus.

"The Lost Chronicles" is the final series in the vast expanse that is the Dragonlance sequence that Tracy is writing with Margaret Weis. While the second book in this final series, Dragons of the Highlord Skies, made the New York Times Bestseller lists and made the finalists list for an Origins Award, the publisher, Wizards, decided that they would not publish the third and last book in the series, Dragons of the Hourglass Mage.

No one knows really why, and it's not like the Dragonlance book could be taken to another publisher to finish out the series. So what's a writer to do? Can the fans even make a difference in getting the final book on the shelves this time, since a toy company now owns the company that was publishing the books? Will we eventually see the final final book?

The discussion ranges from buying habits of readers (in regards to series), electronic versions of books, publishing and POD, finding quality stories, alternative and effective marketing strategies, and much more.

Submitting Listener comments: If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know!

Link: The Official Tracy Hickman website
Promo: Parsec Awards 2008: Nominations Open!


  1. I found Tracy's comment about the route to getting published being turned on its head very interesting; podcast it first (and provide other forms of free sample as Mike Stackpole suggests), build up a following, then seek publication in old-fashioned hardcopy, rather than building enough readership through the printed book to warrant an audio-book. Sounds like a plan, for old-hands and new authours alike. Do it the Sigler way.

    It's really telling that publishers seem to be dropping books and authours that seem like sure-bets. They're in trouble. Mike's analogy about Bantam producing a glossy free magazine to promote (non-existent) online content in Second Life being like hitching a horse to a Ferrari was hilarious.

  2. Good show. A lot of food for thought. Even if the Dragonlance books were not doing well, you'd think they would want to get the last one out anyway. Overall, it sounds like someone's MBA degree is paying off.

  3. First of all wanted to say love the podcast the original dragonlance chronicals were the books that got me started reading fantasy.

    Wizards of the Coast has also canceled the last in the series by Elaine Cunningham for Forgotten Realms. There is some speculation that these events have something to do with this summers release of 4th Ed. D&D which is cause major upheavals and time changes in the different gaming worlds. Wizards seems to be trying to make a clean break with the past and this is angering many long time readers and players.

    Your talk about samples in digital media made me think of Baen publishing which offers both sample chapters of if not all there novels then most of them and also periodically releases none DRM cd's containing a large selection of a authors work that you are free to copy as long as you don't sell them. In addition they have a free library on there site that contains many of the first books in different series to get you hooked. All these different samples have not seemed to hurt their business and according to them have actually led to increases in their dead tree sales.