People often ask me why my Legends of the First Empire novels aren't being released quicker since the entire series is written. Well, the quick answer is there is a big difference between "written" and "done." The longer answer requires some knowledge on the steps required from the time I finish writing until it is released to the public. Here's the condensed list:
- Alpha reading by my wife, Robin, who generally finds issues both large and small that have to be addressed,
- Editing based on #1 above.
- Copy and line editing in preparation for beta reading.
- Beta readers weigh in and more adjustments are implemented.
- Another round of copy edits for any thing added in #4 above.
- Book is sent to the publisher and my agent.
- Structural changes implemented from #6 implemented.
- Another round of copy and line editing in preparation for "final submission."
- Book is turned over to the publisher for their copy editors work to begin.
- Copy edit changes are accepted/rejected.
- A last read through of the book is given before submission for layout.
- Book is laid out, last proofing before printing.
- Book is read by publisher's proof-reader, only minor changes at this point.
- Reading and sign-off of print-ready version.
- ARC (Advanced Reading Copies) are produced and sent to reviewers and bloggers.
- One last check before mass press run.
- Book is printed.
Whew, that's a lot of steps. And each of the remaining books are at various points in that process. In fact, book #2 sat idle (until recently), while I worked on the conclusion of the series. You see, after reading all the books, Robin had very few changes to book #1, #2, and #3. But she did have some important suggestions regarding how the series ended. One of her biggest problems was that it felt rushed, and she was right.
So, after getting Age of Myth ready for release, I spent about a year reworking the end of the series, and in the process it expanded from 5 books to 6. There had been a natural stopping point in a particular area, and in many ways one of the books was actually two stories "smooshed" (a technical writing term) together. The rewriting proved my original instinct was correct, and now the series divides nicely between two major story arcs (books 1 - 3 & books 4 - 6).
With that major rework completed (and deadlines easier to predict), I could give Del Rey a better feel for what to expect when. Because I write so quickly, a book a year was going to produce a tremendous backlog. So, over the last few weeks we've hammered out various options for release schedules. Complicating the issue was a non-compete clause in my contract. I wanted to continue to release Riyria books, but I was also respectful about not adversely effecting the sales and marketing of Del Rey's releases of the Legends series. Here is what we've come up with:
- June 2017 - Age of Swords (book #2 of Legends of the First Empire)
- Oct/Nov 2017 - Untitled (book #4 of the Riyria Chronicles)
- Jan/Feb 2018 - Age of War (book #3 of Legends of the First Empire)
- June/July 2018 - Age of Legends (book #4 of the Legends of the First Empire)
So, the books will be coming out more frequently -- three books over the span of about a year in fact! Plus there will be another Royce and Hadrian book thrown in as well. Now, I should mention a few caveats to this schedule.
First off, the new Riyria book will NOT be available through the retail chain. You'll ONLY be able to get books through (a) the Kickstarter (b) buying directly from my site (c) audio versions on Audible.com and iBookstore. There are many reasons for this, which I will go into in a future post, but if you want to read the next Riyria book, be sure to sign-up here to be notified when and how you can get your copy. NOTE: After some period of time (at a minimum six months), the print and ebook WILL be available through on-line stores but we'll likely not have brick-and-mortar sales.
The other thing I should point out is that technically speaking book #4 of Legends isn't under contract. Because of how the storyline breaks I want to keep book 1 - 3 and 4 - 6 with a single publisher. My contract with Del Rey is for 4 books which are: the first 3 books of Legends, and "some" book based in Elan. There are several possibilities for what that remaining book will be, and my hope is Del Rey will buy books #5 and #6. If that happens, then that 4th book will indeed be #4 of the series. Why don't we know right now? Well, it's just too soon for Del Rey to make a commitment to the rest of the series. If they don't pick up the ending, it won't be a problem. I'll self-produce those novels just like I have with The Death of Dulgath, Hollow World, and the first five books of the Riyria Revelations.
So there you have it. The books will be coming out faster now that I have the ending of the series fixed, and fans of Riyria won't have to wait until all of he Legends books are released in order to get their next Royce and Hadrian adventure. I hope you are excited as I am about the books that are coming soon.