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.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fantasy for Freedom Fighters

Outside of Robin, there is one thing that I cherish above all else: Freedom. I've been fortunate to be born in a country that values this ideal, and I know that I enjoy that privilege because of men and women that serve in our armed forces. Recently, I received a great letter from Daniel D. stationed in Afghanistan, who was writing to tell me that he and some of his friends were really enjoying The Riyria Revelations and The Crown Tower (books he found he found at the USO/MWR).  

Robin came up with the great idea to send Daniel the rest of my work (and a spare set of Revelations in case multiple people want to read at the same time), so we put together a box of books and sent it out.

This got us thinking.  Why not do this on a larger scale? And hence FFFF (Fantasy for Freedom Fighters was born).  Here's how it's going to work. 

1. I earn extra money when you buy directly from me (it cuts out the retailer middlemen), so I'm going to set aside 10% of all my profit from direct sales to buy copies of my books from my publishers and pay for shipping. 

2. If you are a service person stationed overseas (I'm focusing on those overseas rather than domestically because entertainment choices are harder to come by), or have a loved one overseas, and you want them to get a book care package, you can fill out this form to request books. If I don't get enough requests, I'll utilize Books for Soldiers and Operation Paperback and look for people who are requesting fantasy books.

3. If you already have my books, but want to participate in FFFF, you can send a donation and that'll get more packages out to more service people.

4. I'll keep track of the donations, money raised by book purchases, and packages sent. I'll keep people updated so we can all see how this program is working, and how many service people we are aiding.

And that's pretty much it. I'm excited to see where this whole thing goes.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

July Book Cover of the Month

Last night I discovered that Age of War is in a "March Madness" type competition where there are brackets where covers go against one another in rounds. I dedicated my latest book to Marc Simonetti (the cover artist whose amazing work has graced the covers of my last 5 books) and I'd love it if he ended up winning the competition. That said, I want you to vote for the covers that you honestly think are the best ones. So, why don't you head here and vote. I'll keep people posted as the competition continues.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

How to get out-of-print Age of Swords hardcovers

I've received a number of emails from people looking for Age of Swords in hardcover.  Well, with the release of Age of War, and because the paperback is now available for this title, Del Rey won't be doing another printing of the larger version, so this book is now officially out of print. As with many books that reach this stage, the resellers are selling their copies at premium pricing (and I receive nothing for copies bought from them).

There were some remaining copies in the warehouse which I'm in the process of procuring. It may take a bit as I have to make some arrangements and have them shipped to me, but Robin is taking orders now on a first come first serve basis, and we should have copies available in about a week. These are not "used" copies the are brand new and we'll be selling them at list price $28.00. So, if you failed to get a copy of Age of Swords in hardcover when they were first released, you can still get them for a short time. Buying from me also means you can have the books signed and dedicated plus we'll throw in an autographed bookmark. You can pre-order your copies here.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Writing Fantasy Podcast: Dead Robot's Society #503

The Dead Robot's Society is a podcast that I've been on several times in the past, and I've enjoyed each visit. They recently had me back again and you can listen in here:

I'm joined by Terry and Paul to discuss what "fantasy" is and how to write it. This is episode 503, so a big congrats to DPS for breaking the 500 barrier. Here's to the next 500 episodes!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Historical Fantasy Bestselling List

Today's Daily Deal for Theft of Swords got that book to the spot of Amazon's  Historical Fantasy Bestseller list. When Robin told me this, I was of course thrilled. What I didn't expect was to find out that I actually have 10 titles on that list of 100!  These include:

  • #  1 Theft of Swords (Kindle)
  • #  5 Age of War (Audio)
  • #10 Age of Myth (Audio)
  • #13 Age of Swords (Audio)
  • #22 Age of War (Kindle)
  • #54 Age of Myth (Kindle)
  • #61 Rise of Empire (Audio)
  • #76 Age of Swords (Kindle)
  • #83 Rise of Empire (Kindle)
  • #87 Heir of Novron (Kindle)
So a big thank you from Robin and I for all the support of both Riyria and Legends of the First Empire. We're thrilled that so many people are picking up the books...and if the ratings are reflective of public opinion, it looks like you are enjoying them!

Theft of Swords Daily Deal - save 66% just $2.99 today only

It's happened again! Theft of Swords is a Kindle Daily deal and discounted to $2.99. That's a savings of 66% off the regular $9.99 price.  If you haven't started the series yet, now is a good time to start! And if you have read the book, consider gifting it to a friend you've been trying to get hooked on Riyria.

Need some convincing?  Well,  its sold several hundred thousand copies, is liked by 96% of the Goodreads readers (of which 42,000+ have given it a 4.2 rating with more than 34,800 4- and 5-star reviews). Plus there are 845 Amazon reviews and an overall rating of 4.4 over there.

So, grab a copy and enjoy the savings, and as always, we thank you for your support.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Age of War hits bestseller list

It's always nice to find yourself in the New York Times on a Bestseller list. No, it's not THAT list (this one lists the top audiobooks for the week), but, hey, I'll take it! Age of War hit #3 and shares the list with the likes of James Patterson, Bill Clinton, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and J. K. Rowlings.

Here's the full list along with some information about their authors, narrators, release dates, ratings, and # of ratings/reviews.

Release Date
Something in the Water
 Catherine Steadman 
Catherine Steadman
 Neil Gaiman
 Neil Gaiman
Age of War
Michael J. Sullivan
 Tim Gerard Reynolds 
The President is Missing
 Bill Clinton &
James Patterson
Dennis Quaid
The Outsider
Stephen King
Will Patton
Super Powereds:
Year 4
Drew Hayes
Kyle McCarley 
Brad Thor
Armand Schultz 

The Testament
of Mary
Colm Toibin
Meryl Streep
The Troop
Nick Cutter
Corey Brill

Harry Potter and
the Sorcerer's Stone
J.K. Rowling
Jim Dale

Monday, July 9, 2018

This is probably the geekiest thing I've ever done

So I'm a geek, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone (after all I do write fantasy books for a living). But when Robin and I were editing Age of War we would sometimes get into arguments about the placement of various aspects of the layout of Alon Rhist. Now part of that was because the city change a bit during the writing and some earlier sections of the book weren't updated. So, it was good that Robin challenged me on these things and it allowed us to fix any continuity errors that had crept in.

But after all was said and done I started thinking about whether I could build Alon Rhist in 3-dimensions. You know, a kind of Lego Land model if you will. Well, I don't possess the number of Lego blocks to make that possible but luckily there is a Minecraft map builder that allows for unlimited blocks. So, yeah, I built Alon Rhist in Minecraft and made a video as I walked around the area. Geeky, sure. Fun? Well, I thought so. And because there may be a few people who are interested I'm posting the video here for your amusement.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Age of Myth on Sale, Age of War releases tomorrow!

I'm pleased to announce that Age of Myth has been included in Audible's July 4th Sale. Great timing considering Age of War (Book #3 of the series) goes live tomorrow!  And if you are getting ready to read Age of War, and want recaps for the previous two books, don't forget you can get them here.

All books are just $5.95 and I've gone through the sci-fi and fantasy category to show you some other books that are available.

Here's some information about each title from Audible to help you decide what to pickup for the great price of $5.95 each.
 Rating  # Reviews 
 Neil Gaiman 
 Neil Gaiman 
  Michael J. Sullivan  
 Tim Gerard Reynolds  
  Laini Taylor  
 Steve West  
  Alice Hoffman  
 Christina Moore  
  Joe Abercrombie  
 Steven Pacey  
  Nnedi Okoafor
 Robin Miles  
  Harry Connolly
 Christian Rummel 
  Dakota Krout  
 Vikas Adam  
Benedict Jacka
Gildart Jackson 
  P.C. Cast &
 Kristin Cast  
Caitlin Davies  
  Jay Kristoff
 Holter Graham  
  Ian C. Esslemont  
 John Banks  
  Drew Hayes  
 Kyle McCarley  
  Stephen R. Lawhead  
 Simon Bubb 
  N.K. Jemisin  
  Robin Miles    
   Stephen R. Lawhead 
 Tim Gerard Reynolds  
  Richard A. Knaak 
 Scott Brick  
Andrzej Sapkowski 
Peter Kenny

The sale is only running for a few days so you'll have to hurry. I hope you find something great to listen to.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Goodread's Hottest Books of the Summer

Less than two weeks before Age of War's release and I'm honored and thrilled that it was picked by Goodreads as one of the Hottest Sci-fi and Fantasy reads of the summer.  Here are all five selections:

I've also pulled some of the information about each book from Goodreads.

Shelved by
 # Ratings 
 Spinning Silver
Naomi Novik
 Age of War (Legends of the First Empire #3) 
 Michael J. Sullivan 
Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10)
Ilona Andrews
Thrawn (Star Wars: Thrawn #1)
Timothy Zahn
Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers #3)
Becky Chambers

I know I'm looking forward to Spinning Silver (also from Del Rey) because I enjoyed her latest book, Uprooted, so much. It looks like it's going to be a great summer for reading.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Barnes and Noble's favorite 12 Fantasy Heist Novels

I'm thrilled that when Barnes and Nobel's Sci-fi and Fantasy Blog went looking for "rogues [who] are witty, engaging, and will rob you blind with a rakish wink and a smile" that Royce and Hadrian made their list of twelve favorite heist books with a fantasy twist.  What's even better is the amazing company it's been included with. Here are all of B&N's picks:

Here's a bit about each book and review/rating information from Goodreads. Note: books marked with an * indicate omnibus editions and the review data is a compilation including the individual titles.

 # Ratings 
 The Adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser*  
Fritz Leiber
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Artemis Fowl
Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl
Bridge of Birds
Barry Hughart
Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox
Clockwork Boys
T. Kingfisher
Clocktaur War
Darker Shade of Magic
VE Schwab
Shades of Magic
Holver Alley Crew
Marshall Ryan Maresca
The Streets of Maradaine
The Legend of Eli Monpress*
Rachel Aaron
Legend of Eli Monpress
Lies of Locke Lamora
Scott Lynch
Gentleman Bastard
Brandon Sanderson
Steal the Sky
Megan O’Keefe
Scorched Continent
Theft of Swords*
Michael J. Sullivan
The Riyria Revelations
Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn
Tyler Whitesides
Ardor Benn

I know I found some books that weren't on my radar due to this list. I hope you find some new great reads as well.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Age of War goes into its second printing!

We've been fighting a battle with flood waters here on the land, so I've not been online much. But I did get some good news today about how well Age of War is pre-selling. A second printing has been ordered, a good sign indeed especially given we are still more than 2 weeks out from the release date. For those who love first editions, you better get your pre-orders in fast ;-).  I also have some books ordered for direct selling once the book goes live, so I should have some of the first editions as well.  

And thanks, everyone for early support of the work. I'm so glad people are as excited as I am. July 3rd can't come soon enough from where I sit!  Now, if you excuse me I have to go use an excavator to install a huge culvert between the garden and the pool so we don't flood out for a third time !

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Last day for Goodreads Giveaway of Age of War ARC

There are just a few hours left for your last chance to get an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of Age of War. More than 12,000 people have added the book to their Goodreads shelves and the 94% of the 285+ early rating/reviews have liked the book. All this, and the fact that the vast majority of the reviewers have given it 5 stars makes me cautiously optimistic the book will continue the legacy of Legends series by providing an entertaining read.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan

Age of War

by Michael J. Sullivan

Giveaway ends May 31, 2018.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
So, if you want to read the book a month before everyone else, sign up for the giveaway and keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Age of War is available on NetGalley

We are just 40 days away from the release of Age of War...that's less than six weeks! And I was just notified that the book has gone live on NetGalley.

Access depends on what type of reviewer you are here's the schedule:
  • Available Now: Booksellers, Librarian, and people in the Media
  • Available 06/04: Bloogers, YouTubers, and  Book Reviewers
If you've not read the first two books, or have and want some refreshers, recaps are posted.
I can't wait to hear what people think!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Summer Listening 2-For-1 Sale: Get the first Riyria Chronicle at 1/2 off!

I'm pleased to announce that The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicle #1) is now on sale as part of Audible's 2-For-1 Summer Listening Sale.

There are a ton of great titles in the sale including 8 terrific epic fantasy tales by the likes of Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb, Naomi Novik, Anthony Ryan, and many more.

Here's the full list of epic fantasy (sorted by rating and # of reviews). But there are a lot more titles on the sale, so if you only see one epic fantasy you are interested in, I'm sure you can find another book to round out your selection.

Narrator Rating
# Reviews
Dawn of Wonder Jonathan Renshaw  The Wakening
Tim Gerard Reynolds
The Crown Tower Michael J. Sullivan  Riyria Chronicles
Tim Gerard Reynolds
The Red Sea Edward W. Robertson  Cycle of Galand
Tim Gerard Reynolds
Elantris Brandon Sanderson  N/AN/A Jack Garrett
Spellmonger Terry Mancour  Spellmonger
John Lee
Fool's Assassin Robin Hobb  Fitz and the Fool
Elliot Hill
The Waking Fire Anthony Ryan  Draconis Memoria
Steven Brand
Uprooted Naomi Novik  N/AN/A Julia Emelin

The sale is only running for a few days so you'll have to hurry. I hope you find something great to listen to.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Creative Writing Career Podcast

Recently I had a lot of fun as a guest on the Creative Writing Career Podcast. Justin Sloan (a prolific writer in his own right) was the host, and we talked on all kinds of subjects that may be of interest to both writers and readers.

So if you want a peek inside my brain (and I can't imagine why you would want that), come on over and check it out.

And thanks to Justin for taking the time to have me on the show.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

5 Days and less than $3,000...let's hit this Kickstarter stretch goal!

I love Kickstarters, Shark Tank, and all things entrepreneurial. I have a ton of products from them, and I've never regretted a single purchase. Some have made their goals, others have fallen short, but I always feel good about supporting people who are working hard to make their dreams become a reality.

Recently, an author friend of mine launched his first Kickstarter (in no small part because I dragged him to do it).

He has a following...more than 160,000 books sold to date, is a great story teller (this Kickstarter is for his third major fantasy series), and I believe he'll definitely be in the "writing business" for many years to come. He's one of what I call the professional self-published. Those that release books with the same commitment to quality that the big publishers are putting out.

So, Phil funded almost immediately, and has reached a number of stretch goals, but his most recent goal is one I'm particularly interested in. Phil has rallied some of his self-published friends and for everyone  that backs at the $10 or more level, they'll receive the first book in some really great indie  series.


So what books are coming if Phil reaches the next stretch goal?
  • Dyrk Ashton's Paternus  
  • Davis Ashura's William Wilde and the Necrosed  
  • AC Cobble's Benjamin Ashwood  
  • David Estes' Fatemarked  
  • Ben Galley's Blood Rush  
  • Jeramy Goble's Coven Queen 
Like Phil, these authors are absolutely killing it in the self-published space. One of the things that most people outside the business of publishing (and inside it for that matter) is just how successful these authors are -- even though you may have never heard their names. And again, I attribute their success to producing high quality books that stand toe-to-toe with books put out by the big name publishers.

I'd love for Phil to hit this next stretch goal. It has the potential to expose these amazing authors to a larger audience, and I think you'll find some new series to love. Not to mention. It's an amazing deal! For just $10 you can receive 7 ebooks (a $35 value) and if you prefer print or audio versions you can get those at the $25 and $35 levels.

But don't take my recommendation of this Kickstarter on blind faith. Phil has an excerpt of the book (which is fully written, edited, and ready to ship after the Kickstarter closes), posted and you can read the first few chapters now. That way you can "try before you buy."

So, take a look, and if you like what you see, please back Phil's project. Like I said, it's already funded (and written) so the risk factor has been eliminated. But if we reach the next stretch goal you'll be introduced to a bunch of the new indie elite and I'm sure it'll open the door to some great new series for you to dive into.