Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lightning Strikes Twice...

Hey all, It's Robin again as Michael is once more tied up (not physically - although I've considered chaining his ankle to the desk) and can't post. What's he up to?
  • He has the final copy edit changes in for Hollow World and we want to hit the early July release date for the people on Kickstarter
  • The Crown Tower is just over a month away and Orbit's PR team is scheduling a blog tour so he has a number of blog posts to write.
  • He's approaching the final scenes in Rhune and is always pretty focused when he's at this part of a novel
On top of all that he is signing up a storm...He got in (and shipped out) the author signature pages for the limited editions of Unfettered.  And as if that wasn't enough signing, he also has to put his mark on hundreds of bookmarks and posters for the Hollow World Kickstarter.

Normally, we would just let the site sit dormant - but something exciting has happened that is worth posting about. Theft of Swords has once again been selected as the Kindle Deal of the Day for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Category. For today only it will be on sale for $2.99 which is significantly lower than it's $9.99 list price.

For those that don't know, this is a highly coveted promotion that usually produces an incredible signal boost to an author's visibility and discoverability. Michael was fortunate enough to get this last December and here is just one of the results from that time around:

Screen shot taken December 12/24/2012

Yep, if only for a brief period of time Michael was the third most popular author in fantasy.  It also put Theft of Swords in the Amazon top 100 for a few days. (It got as high as #17) and a lot of readers learned about The Riyria Revelations because of the Kindle Daily Deal. For those that aren’t familiar with...

It’s a program where Amazon takes one book (or sometimes a group of books) and deeply discount it for 24 hours. They actually currently run 4 daily deals (general interest, science fiction & fantasy, romance, and children’s books). 

If you already have a print or audio version, and want to pick-up the ebook this would be the perfect time to do so.  But it also provides a great opportunity for sharing Riyria with your friends and loved ones. At less than $3, it costs less than a Starbucks Cappuccino and Amazon makes it easy for you to gift an ebook. Here’s how it works.

1.    All you need is the email address of someone you want to send the book to.
2.    On the right side of the screen you’ll see a button to give as a gift

 3.    Then just fill out the form.  You can either have the email sent to you in which case you can print it and place it in a card or give to someone in person, or you can forward the email to someone far away. There is also an option to send the email on your behalf and you can add a personalized message. (You can even buy it, and have it auto-delivered on the date you specify.

4.    The person who receives the gift can download the book anytime they want…they don’t have to receive it on the day of the Daily Deal.  If they already have Theft of Swords, or just don’t think it’s the right book for them…they can accept a gift card instead and use the money to buy something they would rather read.  

NOTE: Even people without kindle ereaders can read a kindle ebook.  Amazon has a kindle application and their software runs on ipad, iphones, blackberries, computers, tablets, and just about anything with a screen. So even if your friend or loved one doesn’t have a kindle…they’ll still be able to read the book.

So, if you’ve enjoyed Riyria, or maybe you’ve heard of it but haven’t purchased yet, today is a great time to do so.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

A New Riyria Short Story - Exclusively in the Unfettered Anthology

Unless you are living under a rock, you've probably heard about the Unfettered Anthology. Earlier this week the ebook version went live on: Kindle | Nook | Kobo.  There are two editions of the hardcovers (the signed limited edition leather copies sold out almost immediately) but there was a press run of 5,000 standard hardcovers that were printed and orders for them are going out now.  If you want to buy a copy you can find it here for $35. We (the authors, artist, and publisher) of Unfettered did a AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit a few nights ago, if you would like to learn more about how this project came into being you can find it here

So what is Unfettered?  I'll let the book's description fill in the details:

You define life or it defines you. In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both.

Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story that Shawn could sell to help alleviate those bills—and suggested he ask the same of his other writer friends.

Unfettered is the result: an anthology built in order to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.

Twenty-three tales comprise this incredible collection, and as the title suggests, the writers were free to contribute whatever they wished. Here is the table of contents:

  • Foreword by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Introduction: On Becoming Unfettered
  • Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks
  • How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
  • Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
  • The Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey
  • Mudboy by Peter V. Brett
  • The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian
  • The Coach with Big Teeth by R.A. Salvatore
  • Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood
  • Heaven in a Wild Flower by Blake Charlton
  • Dogs by Daniel Abraham
  • The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne
  • Select Mode by Mark Lawrence
  • All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
  • Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth
  • Nocturne by Robert V.S. Redick
  • Unbowed by Eldon Thompson
  • In Favour with Their Stars by Naomi Novik
  • River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
  • The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Duel by Lev Grossman
  • Walker and the Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks
  • The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman

With the help of stalwart friends and these wonderful short stories, Shawn has taken the gravest of life’s hardships and created something magical. Unfettered is not only a fantastic anthology in its own right, but it’s a testament to the generosity found in the science fiction and fantasy community—proof that humanity can give beyond itself when the need arises.

After all, isn’t that the driving narrative in fantasy literature?

As for the piece I contributed it is indeed a Royce and Hadrian short story and I'm very proud of  how it came out. Here is the introduction to it:
The characters of Royce and Hadrian came to me during my self-imposed ten-year hiatus from writing. After crafting twelve novels and spending a decade getting nowhere, I had determined that publication was hopeless, and I had vowed never to write creatively again. But they kept invading my mind, and as hard as I tried to silence them, I finally gave in, on one condition: that I would write a book that I wanted to read and forgo any thoughts of publication. What a fun time I had bringing these two rogues to life. My wife decided to circumvent my plans and got the books published, and hence Riyria was born.

The six books of The Riyria Revelations were released by Orbit in three two-book omnibus volumes, and while I thought that would be the end of Royce and Hadrian, readers clamored for more. Because I didn’t want to “tack on” to a carefully choreographed ending, The Riyria Chronicles were born to explore adventures that occurred during the twelve years the pair were together before Revelations began.
The short story I’ve provided is a Chronicles tale. It takes place after the events of The Rose and the Thorn and before those of Theft of Swords. Even so, it’s a stand-alone story and no prior experience with any of my books is required to enjoy it to its fullest.

Crafting a work for Unfettered was quite a daunting experience. I wanted to help Shawn and his cause, but how could I not be intimidated by the esteem of the authors I’d be sharing the pages with? Like Riyria, I hope that I rose to the challenge, and that you’ll be entertained by “The Jester,” a story of adventure, bonds of friendship, and a recognition that the choices we make dictates the future we find.

If you're a fan of Riyria, or any of the amazing authors I encourage you to go get a copy.  You'll get a great read and Shawn will get his medical debt wiped out. If you want to do something nice for the authors who contributed...consider leaving a review on goodreads or Amazon, and then maybe someone else will learn about an author they aren't familiar with and give their books a try.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

And so it begins...

The final countdown to the  the release of the new series The Riyria Chronicles is upon us!!  <>

Hey all, Robin here (for those that don't know, I'm Michael's "other half"),  I'm hijacking Michael's blog as he is pretty focused on writing at the moment and I don't want you to miss out on any of the great things Orbit has going on for the new series's release.

We are just 54 days -- see handy countdown clock in the sidebar -- until the release of The Crown Tower and I've been working with Orbit's marketing director on the various goodies he has in store for you all.  I don't want to let the cat out of the bag prematurely, but he's got some nice goodies up his sleeve and I'll be updating you as they go "live."

To that end...the first of these launched a few days ago, and that is that Orbit is running a Goodreads Giveaway for The Crown Tower:

As you can see it's only been open a few days and already we have quite a few people signed up for it.  Free copies are always a good thing, but there's an added bonus in this giveaway because Orbit is going to ship copies to the winner as soon as copies arrive to them.  Based on current estimates this means winners will  get the book almost an entire month sooner than it's official release date.  How cool is that?

Now, Orbit has more than just Michael to concern themselves with, and coordinating the shipping of giveaway copies is no small feat so they set these giveaways to the US to simplify logistics.  I fully support this practice, it means they can do more giveaways for Michael (and other authors), but Michael wanted to make sure the overseas people have a chance to win as well. So here's what we've done...

Michael setup a "parallel giveaway" and it is open to everyone, regardless of  location.  What we plan on doing is matching the ratio of the Orbit giveaway (up to 10 copies) so if you have a 1 in 10 chance of winning Orbit's versions you'll have a 1 in 10 chance of winning our giveaway. But...those that are overseas will actually get two "entries" while those from he US will have only one ticket in the drawing.  We're doing this because a US person can enter in both giveaways but an international person only can sign up for one.

Orbit's copies will be processed directly from New York, so unfortunately they won't be signed.  But since Michael and I will be sending out the winners for the parallel giveaway you can sign up for both.

As I said, this is just one of the nice perks that Orbit has planned, and we'll let you know about the others as they launch.  I can't say enough good things about how Orbit supports their authors in launching their books, and I'm not just referring to Michael here. I've watched the rollouts of Brian McClellan and Mur Lafferty and they were phenomenal as well.

So, if you want to get your hand on The Crown Tower as soon as humanly possible sign up here:

And stay tuned for other goodies, coming soon.