Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The First Empire - it's done...for now.

Some may be aware that I've been working on a new series.  It's tentatively called The First Empire and early this week I completed the third book of the series. Well, completed probably isn't the right word as it's just a first draft, but it's still a milestone worth celebrating.  I'm in my re-write/edit of book #1 at present and the first five chapters are looking clean, with very few changes required.

What are the next steps?  Well in about a week Robin will get the first book and after she reads through it, there may be a number of changes needed to be made. Once she does that, then it is off to my publisher to see if they are interested in the series. If they are, then there will be additional edits from Devi and I'll also be getting some input from beta readers.  So we are still a ways from "done"

I do like to write all my books before releasing any and so I've written book #2 and book #3 of this series. That's all there was supposed to be, but somewhere along the line this turned into four books, and at this stage I just don't have the steam to go on to book #4 at this time. I need some time away from this series and I have a few different ways that Book #3 could go depending on feedback from others, so I'm going to be stepping back from it for a while. I need to write something new and recharge my batteries. I may even take a well deserved I write every day including Christmas.

I'm sure I'll be saying more about this series over the next few weeks, but for now it's good to know that another three books are "on the books."  This makes books 24, 25, and 26.  That's a lot of writing and I hope that with each one I get just a little bit better and a little bit closer to "being a real boy" ah... author.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hollow World Book Launch Party!

If you've not discovered One More Page Books, you really need to. It is my far my favorite indie bookstore and this Wednesday at 7:00 PM we'll be there celebrating the release of Hollow World!  This will be my third book launch with them and I'm hoping they have a successful night. 

Indie bookstores are a dying breed but One More Page knows how to do be successful in this competitive marketplace. One look at their calendar and you'll see 22 events for this month alone!  And that is not an unusual month for them.  They are always having someone coming in and something going on. I love this about them. Not only are they selling books but they are a leader in their community and  it's little wonder that they have such an avid following. I'm sure they'll have both Riyria and Hollow World books on hand and I'll sign anything put under my nose, you don't have to buy it there...but please consider buying something to support them. 

So what will be going on at the party?  We'll we'll have cake...everyone likes cake.  I'll keep my remarks to a minimum and have some time for a Q&A. There will also be Hollow World Posters - which have the incredible artwork of Marc Simonetti.  

As well as book marks and a giveaway of a limited edition copy of the Hollow World from the Kickstarter.  Sound like fun?  I hope so.  So here is all the specifics:
  • Where: One More Page Books: 2200 N Westmoreland Street #101 Arlington VA  22213
  • Date: Wednesday April 23, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 PM (probably going to get drinks nearby afterward)
  • Phone: 703.300.9746 
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

AudioBookneer's Picks of the Week

I must say I'm a huge fan of the AudioBookneer. First they have a great name, but more importantly I've picked many audio books based on their recommendations and I've not been steered wrong yet. So, it was a huge honor that they included Hollow World in their picks of the week (April 9th - April 15th).

Here is what they had to say about my newest book:

Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan was originally Kickstarter-funded, then officially released just a bit early in print/ebook by Tachyon. Finally (though, admittedly, on the long-announced release date) the audiobook edition is here, read by Jonathan Davis for Recorded Books. While on the one hand I’m sad to see a Sullivan title not read by Tim Gerard Reynolds (who has read all of Sullivan’s epic fantasy Riyria books), on the other hand: Jonathan Davis! whom I’ve enjoyed immensely on a long list of audiobooks, giving an instantly and dramatically different flavor to this first science fiction novel from best-selling fantasist Sullivan. “The future is coming … for some, sooner than others. Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. The fifty-eight-year-old ex–auto factory worker has played it safe all his life. But when he is faced with a terminal illness and has nothing left to lose, Ellis takes an insane gamble on a reckless plan. He has built a time machine in his garage, and intends to use it to search for a cure for his disease in the future. If it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began … but only if he can survive the Hollow World.”

I've already added the others to my wish list - and I'm sure I have some great listens ahead of me.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hollow World hits the Audible Bestseller List for Contemporary Science Fiction

Two days ago Hollow World became available on Audible for downloading. It was a nice surprise when I checked in on it today and saw that it was making the Bestseller list. Thank you all for supporting the work, and please leave a review when you are done to let me know what you think of it.  Yes, I do read the reviews...even the negative ones!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

AMA on reddit - Ask Me Anything

For those who aren't aware, reddit has something known as an AMA, which stands for Ask Me Anything. I've done a few of them before, and I've always enjoyed the great questions that are posed.  Today I'm doing another one and you can stop by from this link.

I've always been vocal about my views on things like the state of publishing today, the self verses traditional publication wars so I'll be happy to talk about that, my writing process, or any of my books.  To get the AMA kicked off here are the bullets I outlined at the top of the thread:
  • My debut books, The Riyria Revelations are epic fantasy. They started out at a small press, then I self-published, and in late 2011 Orbit picked up the series and re-released the six books as three, two-book omnibus editions so each one has two full stories in it.
  • My second series, The Riyria Chronicles, came into being because my wife got depressed because Revelations was over. It is a prequel and can be read before or after The Riyria Revelations
  • Hollow World is actually my fourth science fiction novel, but the first one I've published. It wasn't a book I intended to write, but once the idea came to me, I just couldn't write anything else until I purged it from my head.
  • I've written 23 novels and published 9. I spent more than a decade trying to break into publishing, and when I got no where after 14 novels I quit writing altogether. When I started writing again, it was only on the condition that I wouldn't seek publication. It was my wife who took up the publication work and eventually got me "out there."
  • Hollow World has a really weird publishing history. It was turned down by Orbit, had a really high advance offered by another publisher that I turned down, had a really successful Kickstarter, and is now released as a hybrid...print version from Tachyon Publications, audio book from Recorded Books, ebook by myself.
  • Some of the reasons I kept the ebook rights is so I could distribute DRM free, bundle ebooks for print/audio purchases, and provide multiple formats so people can read on any platform they want.
Feel free to ask me anything...that includes questions about publishing, writing, or any of my projects. I look forward to hearing from you. I hope some people will come on over - so I don't sit all alone hearing the crickets chirp.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's HOLLOW WORLD release day!

Which means it's time for another giveaway!  I'm doing this one a bit differently. The other giveaways utilized goodreads, a great site, and doing so really helped to get Hollow World noticed (nearly 4,200 people signed up to win). But I wanted a giveaway that would give people who know me, or friends of those people, a better chance of winning. Based on how I'm doing this giveaway I think the number who will enter will only be a few hundred most. Here's how it will go.

Currently I have 1,248 likes on Facebook. A pitiful number for someone who has sold over a half million books. I attribute this to a few things, most importantly that I suck at Facebook. Anyway...Robin has been talking to a "social media expert" that insists that Facebook is the key to success (I guess my current sales aren't proof of success) and so she came up with a way to get a few more likes. Winners will be drawn randomly from new people who like the page. "But what about people who already like me?" I'm sure you'll ask. Well that's simple. Just get one of your friends to like the page and then you are entered into the contest via them.

You see, I'm going to give away two signed copies of Hollow World, one to a recent like, and the other to a friend of the person who was picked. Both can chose from either signed advanced reading copies (limited print run) or the official book that came out today. This giveaway is also open to any countries even though the shipping is a lot more expensive outside the United States. I just want to make sure everyone has a chance to win.  So click on the image below, and like the page, or send this link to a friend.  Heck you can even do both if you'd like.

For those not familiar with Hollow World, here is a bit about the book:

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but when diagnosed with a terminal illness, he's willing to take an insane gamble. He's built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he'll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. Ellis could find more than a cure for his disease; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began -- but only if he can survive the Hollow World.

“This book made me laugh. It also made me cry. And in the end, it made me think. I highly recommend Hollow World for anyone looking for a book that brushes on and plays out some political and social issues we face today.” — N.E. White,

“Hollow World was easily one of my top reads of 2013...I rate this book highly based on pure enjoyment factor; Hollow World is so many things, but without a doubt, the best part about it is also its most obvious duality: that is it at once a light and entertaining read, but also heavy on important issues and philosophy.” — Stephenie Sheung, The Bibliosanctum

“I'm happy to report that not only does Hollow World establish Sullivan as a force to be reckoned with in any genre he chooses to ply his talent to, it also is a prime example of one of the reasons speculative fiction is so important.” — Matt Gilliard, 52 Book Reviews

“This is social science fiction that H.G. Wells or Isaac Asimov could have written, with the cultural touchstones of today. A modernized classic, Hollow World is the perfect novel for both new and nostalgic science fiction readers.” — Justin Landon, Staffer's Book Reviews

“This is a clever and thought-provoking story, with loads of interesting ideas, some adrenalin-pumping action and plenty of humour...overall an entertaining read with Pax being one of my favourite characters of the year.” — Pauline M. Ross, Fantasy Review Barn

“Hollow World is one of those old style science fiction books I never really expected to see again…I very much enjoyed Hollow World.” —Christopher Mansell, A Writer's Sidequest

“I fully expected this to be a good speculative read, I had not expected it to be one of those rare literary gems that exceed the speculative genre to become worthy of any English literature class.” — Stephan van Velzen, Ranting Dragon

“Michael J. Sullivan has made a name for himself with his excellent series of fantasy novels and Hollow World proves he can deftly tackle science fiction just as skillfully. The ideas are big and the future plausible, this is one of those rare gems you'll be thinking about long after you put it down.” — Bryce Lee, Only the Best Science Fiction & Fantasy

“Hollow World is a must read for all those who have enjoyed the Riyria Revelations and are looking for something different. Engrossing, imaginative and incredibly awesome – Hollow World may be one of the best books of the year.” — Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

“Hollow World is a modern science fiction classic. It is well suited for multiple reads and I for one would love to take a college-level class discussing the book…It's perfect for both fans of science fiction as well as those curious about the genre. I'd also recommend it to anyone that likes to read books that encourage the reader to pause and ponder.” — Brannigan Cheney, The Qwillery 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Featured in GoodReads Newsletter

There are so many great sites these day for connecting readers and writers. Among my favorites is Goodreads, a site I love as both a reader and a writer. When I'm trying to help new authors find their audience, I always bring up Goodreads as it has been instrumental in my own career. So of course I was thrilled to be featured in their April Newsletter:

I was part of their Good Minds Suggest program and I discuss my five favorite fantasy reads:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Audible's Spring Preview 2014: The Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Audible has come out with its top picks for spring, and I'm honored that Hollow World was one of 22 titles they selected for their Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy titles. Here is the full list:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hollow World is a Barnes & Noble Bookseller Pick for April

It's always encouraging to see "those in the know" saying something I wrote is worth reading. When you consider the number of titles released in a single month, getting the attention of a major curator isn't easy...getting them to add your book to their top picks is an honor in the extreme.

Here are some further detail from about their Barnes & Noble Bookseller's Pick program. "For over a decade, Jim Killen has been the driving force behind Barnes & Noble’s remarkably well-chosen science fiction and fantasy sections. has partnered with Jim for a series of appreciations, the “Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s Picks.” Each month, Jim curates a list of science fiction & fantasy titles, which various contributors will then explore. "

A complete list of their April picks:

  • A Feast for Crows (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four—George R. R. Martin (Bantam)
  • Baltic Gambit: A Novel of the Vampire Earth—E. E. Knight (Roc)
  • Cauldron of Ghosts—David Weber, Eric Flint (Baen)
  • Dark Eden: A Novel—Chris Beckett (Broadway Books)
  • Lexicon: A Novel—Max Barry (Penguin)
  • The Sentinel: The Sundering, Book V—Troy Denning (Penguin)
  • Stone Cold (Broken Magic Series #2)—Devon Monk (Roc)
  • Tomorrow, the Killing—Daniel Polansky (Hodder)
  • Saga, Volume 3—Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Artist) (Image)
  • Battle Royale: Remastered—Koushun Takami (Haikasoru)
  • Robot Uprisings—Daniel H. Wilson (Editor), John Joseph Adams (Editor) (Vintage)
  • Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion…So Far—Terry Pratchett, Stephen Briggs (Harper)
  • Hinterkind Vol. 1: The Waking World—Ian Edginton, Francesco Trifogli (Illustrator) (DC Comics)
  • Hollow World—Michael J Sullivan (Tachyon Publications)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

An Evening with Hugh Howey and Brian D. Anderson

The other night I was on The Writer's Lounge with Hugh Howey (best known for his excellent Wool series) and Brian D. Anderson (The Godling Chronicles). It was a two hour show and I think there was a lot of good information about writing, publishing, and where things may be going. If you would like to give it a listen, click on the photo or the link above.