Big publishers can get books free easily, not so trivial for self-published works (except for those who are in Amazon's Select program and as such can make their stories free for 5 days in 90 - but to do so they have to be exclusive to Amazon). There is a technique that can sometimes get a book "perma free" and thanks to some of my readers, we got this one to switch over to free so I can let people know about it now.
Here are the places you can get the sampler for nothing:
Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Smashwords | Scribd. | Kobo. For those on sites where it's not yet free (like Amazon UK), you can get it free from me at this link.
What's in The Riyria Sampler? I'm glad you asked!
- The Thieves: A band of thieves sets upon two lonely riders in the middle of the night. They had a larger party. They had the element of surprise. There was no reason to be concerned, but they didn’t realize who they were dealing with. Origin: This was a scene written, and cut, for Nyphron Rising (the first novel in the Rise of Empire omnibus). Eventually, it became the opening of Theft of Swords when Orbit purchased and republished the series as three, two-book volumes.
- The Viscount: Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief decides to teach his idealist swordsman partner that no good deed goes unpunished. Will Royce wind up proving his point or be schooled himself? Origin: This was published in the fall of 2011 under the title The Viscount and the Witch. It was written to provide a gift to my fans after my books were removed from the market to make room for Orbit’s versions. It’s also the seed that later became The Riyria Chronicles, and this short now appears as the second chapter of The Rose and the Thorn.
- The Jester: Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive. Origin: First released in the Unfettered anthology (edited by Shawn Speakman and published by Grim Oak Press), I did something a bit unusual with this short story. Faced with a word count restriction, I wrote what is essentially the climax for what could have been a full-length novel. I throw the reader into the middle of the action and make only brief allusions to what had come before. It’s an interesting experiment and seems to have worked out well based on the high praise it has received.
- The Death of Dulgath: When the last member of the oldest noble family in Avryn is targeted for assassination, Riyria is hired to foil the plot. Three years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and the cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start their thieves-for-hire enterprise. Things have gone well enough until this odd assignment to prevent a murder. Now they must venture into a forgotten corner of southern Avryn—a place whose history predates the First Empire. As usual, challenges abound as they try to anticipate the moves of an unknown assassin before it’s too late. But that’s not their only problem. The Countess of Dulgath has a dark secret she’s determined to keep hidden. Then there’s the little matter of Riyria’s new employer…the Nyphron Church. This sample is an excerpt, not a short story. It’s the opening scene to my new novel, which will be coming out before the end of 2015. It hasn’t yet been copy edited (I’m still writing the novel), so please forgive any minor mistakes you may find. I do think it’s in pretty good shape, but I often find my opinion and my editor’s opinion are two different things.
So, if you've always thought about trying my stuff and haven't. Or if you have a friend you'd like to rope into the world of Riyria - please checkout the new Sampler, and I hope you enjoy it.