Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Of course I know...

Man, how I love Goodreads. Earlier today I was there and noticed someone (a complete stranger to me) liked my review of  To Kill a Mockingbird. I noticed she was also an author so I sent her a few resources that help fellow authors getting familiar with the site.  (They are re-posted here for those that are interested):

 Anyway, this person thanked me for the links and mentioned, "Of course I know about our books." As if they were common knowledge or something of that nature.  I can't begin to explain the warm feeling that hearing this brought. It's so hard for an author to know if their books are gaining any mind share, until a comment like this from a total stranger comes along. Don't get me wrong, writing the books is its own reward, but sharing them with others takes a great experience and elevates it to a whole new level.

It's great to live in a day an age when such interaction between authors and readers is possible. I'm often applauded by readers for being so "interactive" on sites like Goodreads and reddit, but the truth is I enjoy the interactions just as much (if not more so) than the readers.

Anyway, just wanted to provide the links in case it helped others, and to let people know that feedback (both good and bad) is always welcomed, whether it be in the form of an email, a  private message on one of the forums, or even a review on Amazon, Audible, and Goodreads. Thanks to all those who have taken the time to post or write - it really "makes my day."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Only a few more hours to get in on Blackguards Anthology

I'm in the mountains on a little mini-vacation Robin arranged for my birthday.  More on that, as well as the bike ride to conquer cancer in upcoming posts.  I just have time to jot off a quick announcement as the Kickstarter is coming to a close.

As I write this, it's raised more than $33,600 and has over 1,060 backers.  That's huge! And a testament to both the idea and the team that Ragnarok Publications put together. I predicted when it was launched that it would surpass the Hollow World Kickstarter - and it has.  (Moving HW down to #16 most funded - fist shake at Ragnorok).

An entire book dedicated to rogues, assassins, mercenaries, and thieves is an excellent idea, and I'm proud to share the pages with so many amazing authors. As part of this project, a number of us have written blog posts about why rogues are so awesome to write about.  Here is a list of them if you would like to dig a little deeper in what goes on in the minds of a writer of this type of fiction:

Also, I should mention that there is a giveaway running through rafflecopter so if you want a chance to win a hardcover or 2 paperback copies you can enter here.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Goodreads Giveaways

Yesterday I was supposed to be at a writer's conference talking about (a) marketing books and (b) self-publishing, but unfortunately I got a bad fish Friday night and got a bout of food poisoning (never good). But my intrepid wife filled in for me, and probably did a better job than I would have.

One of the things she discussed, and something all authors should consider, is Goodreads Giveaways.  As I already mentioned I have a giveaway going right now for some limited edition copies of Rhune.  These giveaways are great...both for the writer and the reader. So I thought I would take a little time to point out a few running right now that you might be interested in. Just clieck on the covers to enter to win. Of course, I'll start with my own:

BookAuthor# of copies ending date 

2 copies
 signed & limited
edition versions
(all countries) 
 1 copy
 signed, doodled
 first edition hardcover
(all countries) 
5 copies
(US Only)
 25 advanced reading copies
(US Only)
1 copy
(all countries)
     25 copies
 + signed bookplates
(US & Canada)

Friday, September 19, 2014

The sounds of a Gilarabrywn

One of the most amazing things about being an author is interacting with other incredibly creative people. Some of them you already know.  Marc Simonetti, who has done an amazing job depicting the worlds of Elan and Hollow World.  Tim Gerard Reynolds and Jonathan Davis whose narrations of Riyria and Hollow World make my works sound much better than they are.

Well today I want to introduce you to another amazing artist...Will Muser who creates original musical scores for television, film, games, and multimedia productions. I'm thrilled that Will was so inspired after reading Riyria that he wrote music inspired by it.  How cool is that!

Will created a soundtrack to depict the terror and the might of a Gilarabryn, and I'm pleased to share it with you here. Will would love to hear what you think, so please leave comments below...and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It's my birthday - and I have presents for you!

I don't need an excuse to give away some free stuff to my readers, but having a birthday is as good a reason as any. I can't give away copies of my novels that Orbit owns the rights to, but there are some things I do control, and I've made them either free (or as cheap as the various online outlets will allow).  I also have several chances to win a VERY limited edition of an early release of my next novel.  Let's start with that one because it's something quite special. The print run will only be ten books (and I'm only giving away five copies), so it will be the envied due to its rarity. But probably even more importantly, you'll get to read the story a year or more before it's officially released.

Rhune is still in the very early stages of creation. Neither my agent nor my publisher has seen it yet. In fact, the only one other than myself who has seen it is my wife, Robin. Needless to say, it won't be the released version, but that's part of its'll be one of the few people who will see the differences between the initially written book and the final version. Also note, this book hasn't gone through the various editors that will polish it before the official release, so don't be surprised if you find various typos and/or other imperfections. Still, both myself and Robin have edited it, so it's not like you are receiving a rough first draft. The printed book will be the same version the beta reader will be receiving, and I don't release anything to others until I'm satisfied with the story. For those not familiar with this book, here is an introduction:

In the land of the Rhune, trees can tell the future; raow can’t sleep before adding more human bones to their beds; crimbals steal children through secret doors in the forest, and the gods are beyond reproach. But Raithe does the unthinkable when his father is slain...he fights back. From this act of aggression rises the legend of the God Killer, the seeds of a rebellion, and the question of whether the gods are all powerful.

Okay, so how can you enter for a chance to win?  Well, there are several ways to do so...and you can sign up multiple times if you are eligible.

  • Beta readers - 1 drawing will be made from those who filled out the survey. You don't have to do anything else to be entered - you have a 1 in 415 chance to win (yes there were that many beta readers signed up!)
  • Goodreads users -  2 drawings will be made from an official goodreads giveaway. I have no idea how many entries there will be, but if past giveaways are any indication, it will probably be 1 in 800. If you aren't yet a member of goodreads, you can sign up for free. Here is the link to enter.
  • Dark Room member - 1 drawing will be made exclusively for member of The Dark Room (presently about 860 members).  Click on the link in the header to enter.  For those who don't know, The Dark Room is a secret and private group where readers get access to special perks (like this one). If you aren't a member and want to become one, send me an email (michael (dot) sullivan (dot) dc (at) gmail (dot) com - with the subject of DARK ROOM INVITE.
  • Everyone else - 1 drawing will be made from those who sign up for the Rhune early release notifications. Currently, there are 190+ people signed up. Here is a link to add your name to the list.
All drawings will be made at the same time (to make it easy for me to co-ordinate the shipping) 12:00 am EST on November 13. I should also mention all of the giveaways are open regardless of location...I'll spring for the more expensive overseas shipping.

 Okay, so that takes care of the giveaway...let's move on to other things. When I released "The Jester" (the short story I wrote for the Unfettered Anthology) I enrolled it into the Amazon Select program. The down side, is I have to make it exclusive to Amazon...but the upside is they allow five days in ninety to make it available for free. I have indeed set it to free for the next two days.  You should find it free on all Amazon sites.  Here is the link for the US version. Here is a bit about that story:

Who Will Have the Last Laugh?
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 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 7,200 story of adventure, bonds of friendship, and a recognition that the choices we make dictates the future we find.

One last thing, which isn't a freebie (because it's not in Amazon Select so not eligible for the five free days promotion), but is the absolute cheapest I can make it.  My latest novel has been reduced to $0.99 in the US (and the lowest possible price allowable in other countries) for a few days. This is usually priced at $4.99, so that's a saving of  80%. For those reading this post, if you want a free copy...I don't mind losing the $0.34 I make per copy when you buy online.  Just email me michael (dot) sullivan (dot) dc (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject of FREE HOLLOW WORLD and let me know what file format you wish.  Here is the link for the US version. Here is a bit about that story:

The Future is Coming...For Some,
Sooner Than Others
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 faced 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. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World.

Okay, so there you have it my birthday presents to you include:
  • Several chances to win a very limited early edition of Rhune: Book 1 of the First Empire
  • Free short stories for all (for two days)
  • Highly discounted (or free if you email me) copies of Hollow World
This is just a way of me saying thanks for all the incredible support you've given me over the years. I'm hard at work finishing up The First Empire Series and hope to have some new novels for you soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

And now it's just a matter of waiting...

As some may know, I've been training for to do a 150 mile ride to raise money to help cure cancer. I have to ride 75 miles for each of two days coming up this weekend. I've been regularly riding a few times a week for 30 - 50 miles but yesterday was the first time I made it for the whole 75 miles...well 80 miles to be precise.  Generally the day after I do a long ride I'm completely wiped out.  I'm actually writing this post after getting back from my ride (and scheduling it to go out in the morning) so I have no idea what shape I'll be in.  But this much I do was my last ride before Saturday.  I'll need at least that amount of time to recover.

Thanks to the generous support of others I've raised $2,549.  For those who would still like to contribute to this worthy have until Friday evening to do so. Just click on the handsome picture of me and my wife's bike (she has a racing bike I have a hybrid and riding the racing bike is the only way I'll be able to do this). Or you can click on this link here.

I wrote about why I'm riding and you can read about it in this post. But I'm riding in part for the great voices we lost to this dread disease such as Iain M. Banks, Jay Lake, and A.C. Crispin. I'm also riding on behalf of Sarah Chorn from Bookworm Blues (a great fantasy review site).  She fought back the beast once, but it has returned...let's hope she beats it back again. Also I'm riding so people like Shawn Speakman (my hero because he fought back twice and won), don't have to be crippled by medical expenses from putting up the good fight.  If you don't know, I and some other authors helped him raise money to pay off his medical debut through an anthology called Unfettered. He's debt free, but future proceeds are being used to help other authors in similar situations. Last but not least, I'm going to be riding in the names of many people who wrote to me about their own losses or fights against cancer. I'm inscribing them all on a card I'll be riding with me. Thanks for your inspiration.

I would like to send a special shout out to Anthony Ryan, author of the incredible Raven's Shadow series (which starts with Blood Song).  He did a giveaway for his books and added in a component for those who donated to my ride and that raised $1092 and I thank all his readers for their generous support.

In any case, most of my work is done...until the day of the race. Unfortunately, my wife didn't raise her required minimum so she won't be riding with me...but as always she will be there to lend support. She'll have access to my account and may be posting live updates Saturday and Sunday so keep your eyes open for that on Twitter and Facebook.

So, that's it for now.  I'm sure I'll be back to let you all know how it went. And, please, continue to donate by clicking here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Now that's inspiration...and dedication

If you are reading my blog you probably are already familiar with the origin of the word Riyria (\rye-ear-ah\ Elvish for two, a team or a bond) Recently on twitter I saw this picture.

Two friends who wanted to express the way they feel about each other had the word tattooed on their wrists. It's a huge honor that someone would take something from my books and make such a public and permanent declaration for a concept I came up with.  I do hope that they will indeed be bonded to each other for life. Thank you, whoever you are for sharing this picture on twitter. It was amazing to see.

Friday, September 5, 2014

It's coming...and I'm so excited!

I've been digging on crowd-funded projects as of late. One of the ones I'm most excited about is Marc Simonetti's coffee table book with several hundred pages of his amazing art - including some of the stuff he's painted for my stuff! So what got in?  Well I'm glad you asked...

Below is the illustration Marc did for the mass market paperback edition of The Crown Conspiracy. I love the depiction of Melengar and the drama of Royce and Hadrian on the rooftops.

This is a new piece Marc did specifically for the Coverama book. It's a depiction from Percepliquis during the celebration that is occurring on the day it is destroyed. I actually have an idea for a book I'm calling "Fall of Percepliquis" and I'd love to get this for that cover.

Then of course there is the amazing depiction Marc did of Hollow World. Pax and Ellis are on the balcony overlooking the splendor created by those artisans who have carved out earth that people live in come a few thousand years from now.

I don't know if Marc will be offering the book post the crowd-funding campaign. But if he does...pick up a copy, I'm sure you'll love it. And for those that got in on this when it was running good for you!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

More News on Foreign Translations, this time France

The entire Riyria Revelations series is now available in France in trade paperback editions. Previously my publisher had released the first two books as mass market paperbacks, but they decided to switch to the larger version and put them out as omnibus editions.They followed Orbit's suit of releasing them in back to back months.
  • Theft of Swords: June 18, 2014
  • Rise of Empire: July 2, 2014
  • Heir of Novron: August 20, 2014
I'm so glad that the entire series is out without the wait that can sometimes be long when doing translations. I wish I knew some French so I could say something cool and snazzy to my new readers in France, instead I'll just say: Amusez-vous! and hope that Google Translate didn't screw that up to badly.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

More Riyria for the Czech Republic

Last week I received an email from my publishers in the Czech Republic, asking for cover artwork for The Emerald Storm and Wintertide. They are actively working on the translations and so I expect we'll have release dates relatively soon.  

The Czech Republic editions have a special place in my heart. Even back when I was self-published they wanted these books.  And in fact, it was the first foreign rights contract that I signed. I'm so glad they incorporated my original artwork their design, and I love the way these hardcover editions look on my shelf.  I can't wait for the next two...and I hope there are a few people in that part of the world who feel the same.