Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Going to try an experiment

Robin and I have been having a little disagreement. Don't worry, it's nothing serious, but Robin is the consummate champion for the readers, and as such, she is always advocating for signed copies and other perks like custom bookmarks (and having those signed as well). Personally, I can't imagine that anyone cares if I sign a book or not, but, hey, that might just be me.

As some may know, we took an extraordinary step and got the remaining copies of the Age of Swords hardcovers from Del Rey's warehouse when they put that title out of print. Over the course of two trips, I've signed more than 1,200 books (500 of which were Age of Swords), but there are still 2,700+ to go. Robin wants me to add my John Hancock to all of them, and I'm certainly willing to do so, but it does take time away from writing, and as I said, I'm just not sure whether people care.

That's where "the experiment" comes in. Below you'll find an order form for Age of Swords at the unprecedented price of $15 (which includes FREE US shipping). These will come straight from our fulfillment center without Robin or I touching them, so no signature, no bookmark, just the book and only the book - but it'll be nearly 50% off and since we are picking up the bill for shipping and handling, you'll get it for a fraction of the $33.99 this book usually sells for  when buying directly from us.

The hope is that many of you will take advantage of this incredible offer, providing a win-win for both of us. You'll get the book at a low, low price. They will leave the warehouse, so we don't have to pay for storage. We'll earn more money than when these books were bought from the bookstores, and  I won't have to sign as many of them.

Maybe Robin is right, and people really want signed copies, but I also think there are those who just like hardcovers, period. And if they can get a quality one at a great price, this will be a great opportunity. In any case, we'll see. If nothing else, Christmas will be here soon, and this would be a great chance to get a book for someone who loved Age of Myth but hasn't yet jumped into Age of Swords. I'm sure there are some people out there that fit that category, right? 

Hardcover Edition
Regular: $33.99, now just: $15

For those who are curious, I'll post the results of this little experiment in the future. Oh, and anyone who DOES want signed copies and bookmarks and what not, you can get a signed copy at 20% off until the end of the month as part of our Fantasy Fall Sale. You can buy Age of Swords (and all my other hardcover books) from here.

And one last note. For those who are curious as to why this is only for the US...well, shipping overseas costs more than we are selling the book for, and our out-of-pocket costs for this would be $31.06. So, we'd be losing $16.06 for each overseas order. We are assuming that if people are going to pay the high cost of overseas shipping, they'll want a signed copy with the other bells and whistles. Like I said, this is an experiment, and if enough overseas people write us and want unsigned books, we'll run something similar for you as well.

So, that's it. I hope some people take advantage of this offer, it'll mean I have less books to sign, but if it turns out that Robin is right, I'll be more than happy to keep signing away. Either way, we, as always, thank you for your support.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

2018 Fall Hardcover Sale

Fall is upon us, the Riyria hardcovers are in the works, and it's time to clear out some excess stock. So let's have a sale, shall we? From now until the end of September all of my regular hardcover books will be on sale for 20% off. And by buying direct there is a win-win for all parties involved including:
  • Reader: your books will be signed by the author.
  • Reader:  you'll receive free specially designed bookmarks.
  • Reader: you'll receive 20% off the cover price
  • Author: I earn more by keeping the retailer/distribution chain's cut.
  • Publisher: receives same income they would if bought through a retailer.
  • Local Laborers: get jobs from a fulfillment center in a rural, low-income area. 

Sale ends September 30, 2018

The Riyria Chronicles
Regular: $25.00
Now: $20.00

Regular: $28.00
Now: $22.40
Legends of the First Empire
Regular: $27.00
Now: $21.60
Regular: $28.00
Now: $22.40
Regular: $28.00
Now: $22.40

Monday, August 27, 2018

Hardcover crowdfunding launches today at noon EDT

Today at noon, this IndieGoGo campaign will go live.

No, it's not the project for making the hardcover copies of the Riyria books (although that project will be launching early next year), but something came up out of the blue and we need to act fast. You see, Del Rey has put the hardcover edition of Age of Swords out of print, and we have a small window to do something about it.

I discovered the out-of-print status when I tried to order copies to replenish our online store, and I wasn't able to get any. After a little digging, I found that the only way to get copies were through Amazon Marketplace resellers and they had jacked up the prices to $89 - $191 for both new and used copies. That's an outrage!

To make matters worse, I won't earn a dime from any sales of the hardcovers from here on out. But, honestly, that doesn't upset me as much as the fact that people will either have to "do without" or pay outrageous prices to have hardcovers on their bookshelves.

So, here's the deal, Robin found out how much it would cost for us to buy up the remaining copies, send them to a warehouse, and hire a logistics company to ship them out. It's not cheap, but it is doable if we can raise $11,360. 

So, we're doing what we've done in the past...turn to crowdfunding. We started out by making a Kickstarter project, but as it turns out, you can't use that platform for an existing product. So this campaign will be run on IndieGoGo.  It's pretty straightforward; you'll be able to get signed hardcovers and bonus perks like a short story, screensavers, and public acknowledgment for helping to make this project successful. You'll be able to receive one, two, or all three of the hardcovers that are currently released in the Legends of the First Empire series, and because we'll be getting the books cheaper than we normally do,  we'll pass some savings on to you and give 20% off the list price.  (I'm essentially extending the "early-bird" discount that I've used in the past to apply to everyone.)

So, if you haven't picked up hardcovers yet (or are looking for a gift for a friend or relative...Christmas and Hanukkah will be here before we know it), now would be a great time to get copies. And we'll also keep these books out of the reseller channel, and without the ability to buy new stock, they won't be able to rip off more people with their price-gouging techniques.

Oh, another thing I should mention...there is a limited number of special perks which will be for a one-night stay with Robin and I in our cabin in Luray (maybe you saw a bit about it in our recent post).

Okay last thing, unlike Kickstarters, we get funding from IndieGoGo even if we don't hit our goal, so we'll be able to buy a subset of books if necessary, which means you will get your copies no matter what funding level we reach. But buying a fraction of the remaining stock will mean that the resellers will be able to get more, and I'd hate to facilitate their bad behavior.

Anyway, check out the campaign starting at noon, and if you like what you see, please consider backing the project.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Goodreads Best Fantasy of 2018 (so far)

It's Science Fiction and Fantasy Week at Goodreads, and there is a lot going on for fans of the genre. I'm honored that Age of War has made their Best-Fantasy-of-2018 (so far) list. Here's all 12 titles:

Here's some information for each title, along with links to add them to your shelves:
 # Ratings 
 Release Date 
 Shelved by 
Naomi Novik
Madeline Miller
Brian McClellan
R. F. Kuang
Mark Lawrence
Josiah Bancroft
Jim Butcher
C. L. Polk
Seanan McGuire
Patricia Briggs
Michael J. Sullivan
Michelle Sagara

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What you always like to see.

One of the reasons I write all the books before publishing the first is I want to know where the series is heading, and making each book better than the one that came before seems to be a "thing" with me.  Still, you never know if you accomplish what you set out for until you read something like this:

"Age of War is a phenomenal third installment and this series has only gotten stronger with each progression."

You can read the full review at Powder And Page. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Views for the Valley

About a year and a half ago Robin built me a "writers retreat." Initially, I thought we would use it on weekends, and for a few months in the summer, but we moved there about a year and a half ago and we've never looked back. Here are some pictures of the amazing place Robin has created.

Amenities at "the land" (as we call it) include: swimming, archery, darts, bocce ball, lawn chess, giant Jenga, drinks and grilling in the outdoor kitchen, bird watching, butterfly watching, relaxing by the pool, relaxing in the pool house, relaxing on the carriage house porch, relaxing on the main house porch, well, relaxing just about anywhere, really.

She added a few extra bedrooms and we've been enjoying hosting writers, readers, friends and relatives out in Luray. "The season" is pretty much wrapped up now, but maybe in the future, we'll open up visits for more people.

Front view of the cabin with the "carriage house" (aka the garage, workshop, and Robin's office) to the left.

An open plan first floor with kitchen, dining room and living room taking up the first half of the house. Through the "secret door" (bookcase) is access to the two guest bedrooms.

The covered side porch sitting area is great for mornings and gets a fabulous view of the sunrise.

The dining table is from "Antique Tables Made Daily." While the construction is brand new the material was cut over a hundred years ago. Formerly the beams in a barn in Pennsylvania, this American chestnut is now extinct. The 1907 blight killed all the trees and even to this day none will live to older than 7-years. Botanists are trying to cross-breed the species, but the original is gone forever.

The front porch sitting area is perfect for the evening with cool breezes and an excellent spot to watch the clouds over the mountains. Late afternoon produces spectacular cumulus creations.

My office, where the "magic happens." Is currently on the second floor, although plans are underway to build me a separate smaller cabin hopefully next year.

The upper floor of the carriage house doubles as a guest quarter and Robin's office. This three-room suite includes the "shipping closet (as seen peaking through the open door. Where packages are assembled and mailed when people buy directly from us. Individual mini-splits contain Marc Simonetti's artwork and allow each room to be individually temperature controlled.

New this spring, the pool area! It consists of a pool house, an outdoor kitchen, a sitting area under the back porch of the carriage house and some places for fun and games.

The bocce ball court is sandwiched neatly between the pool and the back-porch sitting area.

The outdoor kitchen is nestled under the pavilion and has granite countertops and weather resistant cabinets. It features a huge grill, refrigerator, and ice maker for mixed drinks.

The back of the carriage house provides excellent shade when it's too hot to sit next to the pool.

A side view of the main cabin.

The pool house is a great place for playing games, changing clothing, or just sitting and relaxing.

A giant lawn chess board provides a little intellectual stimulation while cooling off at the pool.

Early morning looking over the two outdoor sitting areas of the main cabin.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

New York Times Bestseller

So, I should have been posting on this sooner, but things have been a bit crazy here as of late.  But Age of War made the New York Times Bestseller list! It came in #9 on the monthly list for audiobooks. Big congratulations to Tim Gerard Reyolds, Del Rey, and Recorded Books who all share in this prestigious accomplishment.

Yes, I saved the complete bestseller list and you can find it here.  Age of War can be found on page 6 under the category of "Audio Monthly Best Sellers." This, added to Age of Myth and Age of Swords hitting the Washington Post's hardcover bestseller list are some of my proudest moments as an author. Thank you all for the continued support of Legends of the First Empire.