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.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Age of War: The First Review is in!

Advanced reading copies (ARC's) are starting to go out and about in the world, and I just received my first email from a blogger who reviewed Age of War. As you might imagine, being an author with a book coming out soon is a lot like a child waiting on Christmas. I'm excited; I can't wait for the day to arrive, and I want to know what I got!

For authors "what you get" is feedback on whether the book is loved or hated. Now, I must say, that I write books for myself and for Robin, so in many ways I've achieved what I wanted when I finally typed The End, but how could I not care about whether people liked it or not?

The first review posted is on Booknest. It's completely spoiler free, so feel free to jump over and see the whole thing...and check out some of the reviews of other author's books while you are there. The team at the site does an excellent job. Here's my favorite part from all the nice things that were said.
"The worst thing that can happen while reading is to feel nothing.  Stories are ultimately about the people in it and if one does not feel anything, whether it is love or hate, towards the characters then their stories are not likely to stay with you. For all that Sullivan is known for his light-hearted fantasy, he can be downright cruel sometimes.  The war exacted an immense cost on our beloved characters and no one who survived can be said to be the same again. At the end of this book, it is this transformation which sticks in my mind; surely a sign of a tale well-told."
I write books that will hopefully make you feel. The best times (for me) is when I can make you laugh and cry, and if I do it in the course of a single page it's like winning a trifecta. I'm glad that TS enjoyed the book and is looking forward to the next one in the series.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Save big on fantasy books May 1 - 5

Hey fantasy fans, it's time for great savings on books, and this multi-author sale is sure to have something you'd be interested in.

16 authors | 39 books | 40+ sale items | prices as low as $0.99  | savings up to 80%!

Davis Ashura  •  David Benem  •  David Estes  •  Ben Galley    T. L. Greylock  •  Megan Haskell
Steven Kelliher  •  Michael R. Miller  •  Matt Moss  •  Quenby Olson  •  Benedict Patrick
Daniel Potter  •  Michael J. Sullivan  •. Phil Tucker  •  K. S. Villoso  •  Timandra Whitecastle

Here's what I'll have on sale:

  • 70% savings on ebooks
  • 25% on paperbacks
  • 20% off hardcovers
  • 15% on limited editions 

  Savings   Regular Sale Price
Death of Dulgath (RC #3)
Disappearance of Winter's Daughter (RC #4) 
Hollow World
Theft of Swords (RR #1 & #2)
 Trade Paperback 
Rise of Empire (RR #3 & #4)
 Trade Paperback 
Heir of Novron (RR #5 & #6)
 Trade Paperback 
The Crown Tower (RC #1)
 Trade Paperback 
The Rose and the Thorn (RC #2)
 Trade Paperback 
Death of Dulgath (RC #3)
 Trade Paperback 
Disappearance of Winter's Daughter (RC #4) 
 Trade Paperback 
Hollow World
 Trade Paperback 
Age of Myth (LoFE #1)
Mass Market 
Age of Swords (LoFE #2)
Mass Market 
Death of Dulgath  (RC #3)
 Limited Edition 
Disappearance of Winter's Daughter  (RC #4) 
 Limited Edition 
Age of Myth (LoFE #1)
Age of Swords (LoFE#2)
Death of Dulgath  (RC #3)
Disappearance of Winter's Daughter  (RC #4) 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ten Year Anniversary Sale and Celebration

It was ten years ago today that I finished writing the Riyria Revelations, and I want to celebrate. Unfortunately, most of the books are not controlled by me, so I can't put them on sale. Orbit sets the price for most of the books (Theft of Swords | Rise of Empire | The Heir of Novron | The Crown Tower | The Rose and the Thorn). And Del Rey's non-compete clause prevents one of the books from being released into stores until October (The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter).

But I do have one book that I own complete rights to (The Death of Dulgath), and the great thing is it's a standalone tale that can be enjoyed even if you've not read any of the other Riyria stories.

So for he next week I've lowered the price on this book in all markets (because oftentimes when there is a sale it's only for the US). Here are some links were you can get the book on sale.

If you know a friend who hasn't read any Riyria books, this would be a great way to introduce them to the series.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Just a few hours left: Theft of Swords Giveaway

I'm running a giveaway for 3 copies of Age of Myth, and it only has a bit more than 16 hours left. If you've not started reading the Riyiria books, this is an excellent opportunity to start. And if you are a Royce and Hadrian fan, well, sign up for the giveaway and give a copy to a friend. I'll sign the books and include a signed bookmark as well. Good luck on the drawing!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Theft of Swords

by Michael J. Sullivan

Giveaway ends April 24, 2018.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Thursday, April 19, 2018

From the Mail Bag: An Exceptional Art Project

Many are familiar with the fact that I enjoy receiving letters from readers. Some of my favorites are  the ones where two people in the same family are sharing the tale. Usually it's spouses, but I've also had dozens of letters from estranged siblings who have reunited over the books.  I've also had a lot of letters where three generations (child, parent, and grandparent) are reading the books together. I must say these letters were never something I expected to receive, but I treasure each one.

I'd like to take a moment to share something from a recent letter (with the author's permission, of course). Andrew Pendergrast (who mentioned he and his son Jacob have been bonding over the books) wrote to show off this amazing artwork that his son made.

Jacob had an art project due (he's a senior in high school) and he created this amazing piece showing Royce's and Hadrian's trip to Percepliquis. I'm honored that Jacob chose to use my work as inspiration for his assignment . . . and I don't think it could have come out any better than it did. Jacob used an exacto knife to carve poster board with delicate detail and used a light to eliminate the layers.

In a subsequent email, I learned Jacob is about to enter the Army after high school. I wish him well in his new career and thank him for his service. I'll also treasure this picture, and I'd like him to know how much I enjoyed finding out about it.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Unbound World's 50 Page Friday: Age of Myth

How did I miss this? Oh, I know, I've been so busy finishing up the edits on the last book of this series. In any case, Del Rey has featured Age of Myth for it's 50 Page Friday segment. So, if you've not started the Legends of the First Empire yet, here is an easy and free way to take a look at the first three chapters of the first book. Age of War will be coming out soon, so it's an excellent reason to give it a look.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Age of War a Featured Pre-order

Right now there sure 1,616 titles on Audible that are waiting to be released and available for pre-order. I can't even imagine how difficult it is to decide what books to feature out so many. So I was thrilled when Robin mentioned that Age of War is getting top billing.  This shows that Audible has a good degree of faith in this book's release....kinda like being picked to be featured in the "hot new releases" section of a bookstore (but without the publisher paying a co-op fee). 

I think the exposure is helping. I also checked the best-selling pre-orders in Epic Fantasy and Age of War is #1.  So, thank you all for picking up the book early.  Robin is in the process of putting together some "pre-order goodies" for people who have the book orders already. We'll announce how to get them on Monday, and all formats will be eligible for the freebies (audio, hardcover and ebook).

It's starting to feel real! Won't be long now before Age of War is officially on the streets.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Book Giveaways!

Hey all, Age of War is coming, and as such I have a few giveaways to tell you about.

  • First, there is a drawing for first edition copies of all three Legends of the First Empire books.   This is open to people from all countries and we'll do the drawing at the end of June and ship the books in early July. There have been several printings of Age of Myth (and I think Age of Swords has also gone into at least one reprint) so this is an excellent chance to get books that might not be available anywhere else.
For people who are pre-ordering the book, I hope to have a pre-order promotion posted soon where you can receive some initial chapters of the new book as well as some bonus material. Stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hardcover editions of Riyria are going to be a reality

For those who don't know, all my recent books (those published since 2015) have had hardcover editions, but the original 5 books of Riyria were only produced in trade paperbacks. There were a few hardcovers produced as a book club edition, but they (a) sold out years ago and (b) weren't the best quality.  We've finally received agreement from Orbit to buy the rights to do a hardcover edition on our own (yeah, it's odd to pay someone for the right to publish books I wrote, but that's the nature of traditional publishing).

Now, there is a catch...we had to limit the print run (Orbit wouldn't let us base the number on demand). When we get all our ducks in a row, we'll be launching a Kickstarter, and since the numbers are limited, it'll be one of those first come first served things. So, we are have a sign-up form and all people on it will be told ahead of time the day and time of the Kickstarter's launch.  So, if you want copies, please sign up now.

Okay, a few things to note:

  • The books will have new covers, and I'm sure Marc Simonetti will be the designer for them (although I've not yet commissioned him for them, but he's always done any covers I've asked him to).
  • There will be two versions (a) a Rare edition (which should match the rare editions of The Death of Dulgath and The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter) and (b) a limited edition.
  • As for the covers of limited edition versions, they'll match the limited editions of the other books (full graphic rather than a small graphic with a color block). But, I'm also going to get pricing to see if we can offer a dust jacket that matches the hardcover edition, that way you can have a "match a set" even though we don't have three versions of the books like we do the other ones. No promises until I find out the printing costs, but that's my plan.
  • If you plan on getting a matched set of the limited editions, and don't already have the other two books, you'll have to hurry. We have about 50 copies left of Winter's Daughter, and about 75 copies of the Death of Dulgath. You can buy those limited editions here.
  • If you don't have a hardcover edition of The Death of Dulgath, there are 2 copies left at Amazon, but, we do have about 300 copies here and once those are gone, there will be no more of them. You can buy those limited editions here.
Well, that's about it. Robin's been working on this contract for over 2 years, and while the ink is not yet dry, it is being "written up" so we feel confident in making the announcement now. Hope you are as excited as we are.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Age of War Pre-ordering

Hey all, sorry I meant to make a "page" and I instead created a "blog post."  Doh!  For those who want to pre-order Age of War directly from me, I can send you a link where we are offering a limited number of signed copies.  I'm keeping the link to just members of the "Dark Room" at the moment (our secret/private Goodreads Group). If you want an invite to it, send me an email with the subject "Dark Room Invite"

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Last of the First Edition & First Printing

Age of Swords
Hardcover First Printing 
Signature Options:
Dedication Name:

Hey all, Robin and Sarah spent the weekend organizing our new shipping department in the carriage house we built out in the valley.  In doing so, we now have all our books organized and categorized. For those who have been asking about first printing and first edition, we don't have any Age of Myth left. The only copies we have here are 4th printing ;-(.

But...we do have 22 copies of Age of Swords 1st printing. Since there are just a few of them, we have set them aside and you can only get them from this page.  All future shipment of those books will be the most recent printing (which I think is on it's third printing)

We also have a VERY few copies of the original paperback editions of Riyria self-published books (including 8 "full sets" and a few extras here and there. If you are interested in getting any of those books, send us an email and we'll coordinate with you.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Advice from the mailbag: Write bad books

People often email me asking for advice about writing. I answer the questions directly, but as I do receive similar questions, it makes sense to post some of them in the hopes of helping other authors, published or aspiring.  Here is a paraphrased question I received recently:
I'm struggling with writing fiction. I find planning a book extremely difficult let alone a series of them. I have abandoned more than a few projects in the past, frustrated that I couldn't come up with good enough plot twists or how to satisfyingly end the book. Any advice?
Here is how I responded:
It is hard to remote diagnose, but my advice in how to avoid being discouraged about not coming up with good enough plot twists or a satisfying end, is to not try to write the perfect book. One of the biggest obstacles for aspiring writers is to think what you create must be great. All too often writers make impossible goals and when they fail, grow discouraged. It is highly unlikely that anyone can hit a home run the first time they step up to the plate; one does not make a symphony after their first piano lesson. 
What separates writing novels from brain surgery, (or more accurately one of the things)  is that no one dies when you screw up a book. It can take from eleven to seventeen years to become a good surgeon. It took me twenty years to become a decent writer, and that doesn't include the first ten years where I wrote three complete novels, dozens of partials, and a dozen short stories. That's what I did  between the ages of thirteen and twenty-three. I doubt too many kids get to practice medicine at the age of thirteen. 
Writing is insanely complex. All literate people can do it, so it appears easy, but while most people can whistle a tune, few can compose a jingle much less an opera. Even after thirty years, and more than thirty novels, I still learn all sorts of new stuff every day. Why? Because good fiction writing has so many facets, but at its heart is how you think, and how you communicate this using words. There is an infinite number of ways to do this, and as a writer you need to make millions of decisions, many of which will make or break a book. Only through trial and error, only through committing to your sub-conscious and muscle memory of the basics, can you hope to master enough of the complexity to get it right enough to succeed at making people love what you write. 
So don't sweat it. Write bad books. Write awful books. Make lots and lots of mistakes. That's how you learn. And never, ever, aspire to become perfect. To be perfect is to give up. Concentrate, instead on constant improvement, on learning, on doing better on the next novel you write. Give yourself the freedom to fail and you will learn to write.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

3 days left to save on Age of Myth

Thank you Del Rey for putting the ebook of Age of Myth on sale. This is making now a perfect opportunity to jump into the Legends of the First Empire, especially given that book #3 (Age of War) is just a few months from releasing. If you haven't picked up the deal yet, you need to hurry. It'll go back to $9.99 in just three days.  

And thanks to the thousands of people who have already read, and loved the books. I can't wait until you get Age of War, and I'm anxious to see what you think of the next installment.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Smashwords is running it's annual ebook sale where for 7 days various books will be either Free, or 25%, 50% or 75% off. I have two books at Smashwords and both can be read independtly of my other works. Here's a bit on each that is in the sale, sample chapters, and discount calls.

The Death of Dulgath: $2.50 Save 75% from $9.99 regular price (USE CODE: RAE75)
Three times they tried to kill her. Then a professional
was hired. So was Riyria.

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 life as rogues-for-hire. Things have gone well enough until they're asked to help prevent a murder. Now they must venture into an ancient corner of the world to save a mysterious woman who knows more about Royce than is safe and cares less about herself than is sane.

Hollow World: $4.00 Save 50% from $7.99 regular price (USE CODE: RAE50)
Award-nominated sci-fi in the tradition of Heinlein, Asimov & Wells. He wanted to escape his problems. He wanted to see the future. He never considered what the future wanted.

Confronted with a painful death from cancer, Dan Sturges foregoes treatments to try an idea of his own. With nothing to lose but a few months of pain, Dan builds a time machine in his garage and pins his hopes on a future where his disease might be cured. How could he have known that what happens after he presses the button is more shocking than the eighteen car batteries he connected himself to?

Friday, March 2, 2018

Age of War is coming, and Age of Myth is on sale

Age of War (coming July 3rd) is just a few months away, and to entice readers into the series, Del Rey has lowered the price of Age of Myth to just $2.99.  That's 66% off the regular $9.99 regular price. I think if you've enjoyed the Riyria tales, you will like the Legends of the First Empire as well. I'm not sure how long the book will be on sale, I actually just stumbled over it today, but if you've not tried the new series set 3,000 years before the events of Riyria, now is a perfect time to give it a try.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

2 Days Left to Get Theft of Swords on Sale

As part of their "First in Series Sale" has Theft of Swords on sale for just $6.95. If you haven't started listening to Riyria on audio, this is an excellent chance to give it a try.  This volume is an omnibus and so you will receive two full-length novels (The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha) for less than $3.50 each. But you have to hurry the sale ends 11:59 PM tomorrow (Sunday)!

Tim Gerard Reynold's narration really shouldn't be missed. If you're not sure if you want to take the plunge. You can check out either of these free short stories. They are a great introduction to the world of Riyria (and Tim as the narrator) so you might want to listen to them first. Each is right around an hour and you can access them by clicking on the covers below.

Several years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start their thieves-for-hire organization better known as Riyria. Things have gone well enough for the team as they do "jobs" for various nobles throughout Elan. Usually that means stealing something, but when a young heiress asks them to steal her…well, that's a first for the pair. All is not as it seems, but Royce is determined to get the bottom of what's actually going on. After all, he has his professional integrity at stake.

Originally released in the Blackguards anthology published by Ragnarok Publications, this is a standalone short story of 10,800 words (1 hour 18 minutes listening time) . No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for existing fans to spend a little more time with old friends.


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 to them 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.

This is a standalone short story of 7,200 words (54 minutes listing time) . No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Riyria veterans to spend a little more time with old friends. The Jester is a story of adventure, bonds of friendship, and a recognition that the choices we make dictates the future we find.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Age of War Audio Recording Begins!

On Sunday, Robin and I returned from a little vacation in the Caribbean (St. John was hit last year by two massive hurricanes - one direct hit from a Cat 5 and a glancing blow from a Cat 4 but it's "back" and we couldn't wait to go visit it again).

While we were there, we were busily reviewing the printer proofs for Age of War (more on that soon). In addition, we had the recording of Age of War (yes, Tim Gerard Reynolds will once again be doing the narration) line up.  Recording was supposed to start on Monday, but it was delayed a few days due some family emergency issues with Tim...thankfully everything turned out better than originally expected.

We made it through the first 13.6% so we're off to to a good start.  Recording continues in just a few minutes, and it's great to be sitting in on the process. Normally, we would go to New York and be in studio, but with the travel to St. John we didn't book back-to-back travel.  We'll let you know how it's going, and in the meantime, if you haven't pre-ordered your copy of Age of War please consider doing so.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Proud Father of a Nine Year Old

I can't believe I missed an anniversary!! Luckily it wasn't with Robin, or I'd be sleeping out in the cold. I recently looked back to see when I started my blog and low and behold it was January 9th, 2009, so this post is one month late.

Before I was published, or actually just after, no one would listen to my advice or comments on publishing. I didn't blame them because, well, what did I know? More recently, aspiring or newly-minted authors still refuse my advice, but for a different reason.  They claim my techniques only work for me because I'm established, and I know nothing about the trials of being an unknown author lost in the wilderness that is the publishing world. Apparently these folks assume I, like Athena, sprang fully formed out of the head of Amazon, fully armored and ready for battle.

Not so much.

When I wrote my first post, I was newly settled in Washington, DC, recently publihsed, forty-seven years old, and had just obtained my first iPhone. I also had recently joined my first writer’s group, was playing Fallout 3, and reading Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth. My wife of almost thirty years told me I had to start a blog because she thought writing blog posts once a week was just the thing to get me noticed.

At the time, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but was consoled by the assurance that no one would ever read my blog. A few months later my website had 64 total views, and 14 members, which in Internetese translates to silence. This is what I came up with for my blog’s maiden voyage:

 The Proud Father of a Three Month Old

The Crown Conspiracy is three months old, and I have no clear idea of how well it is doing. This being my first published novel, and not knowing any other published authors, I have no idea if this is typical or disturbing.

The reviews on Amazon look good (as do the reports I am seeing on Goodreads). Readers appear to genuinely like the novel. My only other data point is how well I’ve done at book signings, but I can’t imagine that every reader, every buyer of TCC, has obtained it through my hands. At least I hope not. I trust there are people out there who have read it on a lark, on a dare, out of boredom, or because they happened to see a review somewhere that struck a chord and were so pleased that they felt compelled to spread the word. “I just read this incredible book…” is how I imagine the multitude of conversations beginning, or maybe, “Have you ever heard of The Crown Conspiracy by Michael Sullivan?” I suppose the day you can ask that second question and not be certain of the answer is the day I will need to take a great deal more care in what I write in this blog

Around that same time,  I read Raymond Feist’s forward to his revised edition of The Magician. In it he wrote, how it marked his tenth anniversary of the book, and how it had been in print continually all that time. I read his comments about how he considered himself blessed to be a full-time author, and I couldn’t begin to imagine what that might be like.

During those first few months I went on a poor-man’s book tour, meaning that I did book signings at all the local bookstores that would have me. Eighteen did.

Robin handed out bookmarks advertising my novel outside the front door to the store. Inside, I stood for hours at a desk with a stack of my books, and a sign we had printed up and glued to a foam board. On a good day I sold seven, on a bad day, two.

By that January I began to notice a few emails trickling in. My first fan mails:

Hello Mike, Two months ago I bought The Crown Conspiracy. Honestly when I bought it I had doubts. (No offence.) I started reading it, and reading it, and reading it, until I was so engrossed in the book that I would stay up at night reading it even when I was dog tired. (…) You probably don’t remember me but I was the teen in the gray sweater who you caught walking out of Borders Express.

Mr. Sullivan, This past Saturday I wandered into Border's in Manassas to look around. Walking in I received a bookmark for your book, The Crown Conspiracy. As soon as I walked in the store, I noticed you standing at the table to the left and was intrigued. Thank you again for such a wonderful story.

Somewhere around that same time, I was online in a writer's forum and ran across some less-than- positive sentiment. My fellow writer wanted to let me know that my books were awful (even though I'm sure he never read them), I was a hack, the entire fantasy genre was for losers, and that in ten year's time no one would know I existed. He went on to tell me that he was a real writer, as evidenced by the fact that he'd never been published because no one appreciates his geinus.

Well, the first book of The Riyria Revelations was published on October 1st 2008. So this autumn I'll cross that decade milestone. I’m crossing my fingers that people will still be reading my work, so that, if nothing else, it'll prove that guy was wrong. It doesn't matter that he'll never know because I will.

And now, it would seem, that I must take greater care with my posts. While I'm sure the question "Have you read Michael J. Sullivan's books?" will still produce the response of "Who?" more often than any other answer, I suspect that from time to time the reply comes back, "I've heard of him, but haven't read anything yet." There may even be a few times when someone says, "Yes, I have." Hopefully the statement that follows that is "And I love his books."

One last thing I should can probably expect more nostalgic posts as the anniversary draws closer.

You’ve been warned.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sold out...well almost

If you've been looking for copies of the hardcover edition of The Death of Dulgath on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite bookstore, you may have noticed it's out of stock. That's because the warehouses are bare and all that's left is a few boxes I have at my house.  Our original print run for the books was 5,000 regular hardcovers and 500 limited edition versions, and when these are gone, there won't be no more printed.  Here's what the covers look like:

I should also note, that we have finally come to an agreement with Orbit to print hardcover editions of  Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire, Heir of Novron, The Crown Tower & The Rose and the Thorn. Quantities on those editions will also be limited, so if you plan on getting them (and haven't picked up your Death of Dulath hardcover), then you better hurry or you'll be missing one book in the set.

So what's the difference between the two? Well, the biggest is that the limited edition is, well, limited. Only 500 copies were printed, the cover stock is linen with gold foil stamping, the signature page is embossed with my personal seal, and of course they are signed, numbered, and dated.  Due to the rarity the limited edition are twice the cost of the regular hardcover ($50 verses $25).  If you purchase either edition from my store you can have them signed and/or dedicated.

I'm thrilled that we sold out, or nearly have, the print run for this book. Usually a self-published book utilizes print-on-demand technology, and that can make the unit costs really high...too high to offer economically in bookstores. But due to the Kickstarter, we were able to use a distribution partner and that meant getting the books into bookstores, which certainly helped it sales.  I do hope you'll be able to grab one of the remaining copies, and as always thanks for your support.

Friday, February 2, 2018

And it's name is...

People are always asking me what I'm working on. Usually, that's difficult to say because I'm often working on more than one thing at a time.  Presently,  I'm....
  • Waiting on printer proofs for Age of War
  • Revising Age of Legends based on alpha feedback and getting it ready for a beta read.
  • And up until recently I was starting work on my new series. Which now has a name.

No, I can't tell you what it's about.  Well, I could, but then I'd have to kill you, and tracking everyone down would be quiet time consuming.  What I can say is this new series falls between Legends of the First Empire and The Riyria Chronicles. I'm about 50,000 words into it so far, but for now it goes back into hibernation because others I was waiting on (Del Rey for production work on Age of War, and Robin for alpha feedback on Age of Legend) have moved their balls back into my court. The good news is I did wrap it up in a nice stopping place before returning to Legends of the First Empire. So it's sitting there all safe and sound.

Oh, and one other thing this book has besides a name; it also has a page on Goodreads.  If you add it to your shelf, you'll see updates from me as I'm working on it. That way you won't have to ask me what I'm'll already know!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

New and Improved Store

Hey all, Robin, here. I wanted to let you know that I've made some long overdue changes to our online store. Here are some of the changes:

  • Added The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter: Previously you could only order this title from a "special site," but now you can get copies directly from our store. Due to a non-compete clause this book (in ebook and print) won't be in the retail chins until June 2018, but if you buy direct from our store you can get your copies now!

  • Added the mass market paperback edition of Age of SwordsYesterday was the release of Age of Swords in mass market paperback format which means (a) the price on the ebook has dropped and (b) your can now order either hardcovers or paperbacks directly from us. And of course you can get them signed and/or dedicated if you wish.

  • Grouped the books by series: Previously we grouped the page by the "type" of book: ebook, mass market paperback, trade paperback, hardcover, or limited edition hardcover. That made it easy for creating the page, but it wasn't always intuitive for ordering the books.  We have now broken the page by each series and the books in those series. You'll notice that some books don't have the ability to purchase an ebook, that's because they are traditionally published and the right to sell the digital copy is reserved to the publisher. We can always sell print books for any edition that is in print.

  • Age of War pre-orders: Are not currently in the store, but we will have a "secret page" that you can preorder from once we get closer to release. If you want to be notified when that page goes live, here is a link to the signup page. Once the secret page goes live, we'll email you.

Speaking of "books in print," the hardcover editions of The Death of Dulgath are now officially sold out, and there's less than 100 copies of the trade paperback edition.  There won't be a reprint for the hardcover so once they're gone, they're gone. We do have some copies here, and are selling them on a first come first serve basis. We also are dangerously low on the LIMITED EDITION versions of that book as well, so I expect those to go out of print soon. As for the paperback, we won't be doing another printing, but we will offer the book through print on demand.  This will make it a tad more expensive and the book will be slightly taller than all the other Riyria trade paperbacks.  I know a lot of people like their books in a series to line up perfectly, so if you're one of those people, I'd suggest ordering a copy of those from either our site or your local retailer. 

I hope you'll check out the new store, and if you see something you like go ahead and order a copy. We are through the shipping rush that included a ton of pre-orders and the Kickstarter books, so shipping is going much more smoothly now. And please let me know if you have any problems. I did extensive testing, but that doesn't mean I didn't miss something somewhere.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Get Age of Myth for less than a fin

Audible is having a sale where they are taking every Daily Deal from 2017 and re-running those great prices. As such, you can get Age of Myth for less than $5! And there are plenty of other great books on sale as well. The Hobbit is less than $4!  Here are the fantasy books that I found for sale. Oh, and you have to hurry, Sale ends January 28, 2018 at 11:59 PM PT.

Here's a bit about each title:

  # of Ratings   
   Sale Price