Sunday, January 31, 2016

Contract Review Assistance

It's been pretty busy around the Sullivan household.

  • I finished edits on book #2 and #3 of The Legends of the First Empire.
  • Robin and I reviewed the copy edits for Book #1 of Legends of the First Empire
  • I'm trying to get edits on book #4 & #5 of Legends of the first empire done by April or May
  • Robin is almost done shipping a ton of books for the Kickstarter - and I mean that literally I think she is up to 2,300 pounds of books shipped to date.
  • We went to New York to oversee the recording of The Death of Dulgath
  • We released The Death of Dulgath
  • A few other things are going on that we can't talk about yet.
Anyway, that preamble is a way of saying, I've been to busy to do my weekend "Helping Author's" posts. But a few things have happened that have made me take a break to pen this quick message.

First, The Author's Guild is finally turning their attention to something they should have been doing all along...fighting against some really terrible contract terms that authors have been subjected to for years.  I hope they are able to move the needle.  I'll write more about this later, but for now...go read the letter put out by The Author's Guild and if you agree with what they are trying to do, sign this petition.

Second, Kameron Hurley has written a fabulous post on non-compete clauses and rights grabs that is a must read for everyone, authors especially but readers as well.  You can find it here.

Third, point number two has sparked  a discussion on reddit, which you can find here.  In that conversation it was mentioned that (a) many authors don't read their contracts and (b) authors can't always trust their agent when it comes to contract clauses and (c) many authors could use an IP attorney but can't afford one.  So now we come to the point of this article.

It is not widely known, but my wife reviews contracts all the time - not just mine but plenty of other ones as well. No she's not a lawyer, and isn't even one on television, but she has an eye for things that can be disastrous to an author's career and has helped many from making huge mistakes. So, just like I do the "First Five Pages" thing, Robin will do the "Review a Contract" thing.  Yes, it's free, and no, it shouldn't be considered "legal advice" but she'll point out areas that you should address with a professional.  

So, if you have a contract and want her to look at it, send a copy to my email ( make the subject ROBIN'S CONTRACT REVIEW as the subject to make sure it stands out and she'll take a look.

Okay, that's it for now - a kinda "Sullivans helping Authors" post.  I hope some of you take advantage of it.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Goodread's 200 Most Popular Lists

I thought I was pretty Goodread's savvy, and I am for the most part. But until a reader pointed out this feature I didn't know it was there.

Apparently Goodreads uses its mass of data to find the books that have been published in a given month and ranks them by how popular they are.  I don't know the complete algorithm but certainly the number of times a book shows up on a shelf has something to do with it.

In any case, I was curious, of course, about my most recent release and my next book to come out. To my delight both are making their respective lists.

How cool is that!  I can't believe how excited people are for the new series - I know I am. Thanks to all the goodreads readers who are showing your support for the books by putting them on their shelves. I'm forever grateful.  June can't arrive soon enough!

Friday, January 15, 2016

An Interview at The Grim Tidings Podcast

I really enjoy doing interviews via podcasts.  Especially because typing  and editing written interviews can be quite time-consuiming. Recently the guys over at Grim Tidings Podcast had Robin and myself on the show to talk about a wide range of topics including Kickstarters, hybrid authorship, how we picked T.C. Powell's short story to be included in The Death of Dulgath and a whole bunch of other things. I was honored by the flattering intro they put together. And they are graciously having Robin back in the near future to discuss Goodreads in more detail.

If you like the interview, checkout the site for conversations with other authors such as: Anthony Ryan, Mazarkis Williams, Sebastien de Castell, Kameron Hurley, R.A. Salvatore, Tim Marquitz, John R. Fultz and many more.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Death of Dulgath Artwork Earns Best of 2015 Stabby

A huge congratulations to Marc Simonetti whose artwork for The Death of Dulgath won Reddit /r/fantasy's best artwork for 2015!

Marc always does such amazing work and so of course I return to him again and again for covers whenever I can.  What has he done for me to date?

  • French, Hungarian, & Bulgarian editions of The Crown Conspiracy
  • French, Hungarian, & Bulgarian editions of Avempartha
  • French, Hungarian, & Bulgarian  editions of Nyphron Rising
  • English edition of Hollow World 
  • English edition of The Death of Dulgath 
  • English edition of Age of Myth

Marc has created covers for top names in fantasy including: George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Barndon Sanderson, Terry Pratchett, and dozens of others. He truly is one of the best artists working in the business today.

As for the Stabby itself, I was fortunate enough to win one of my own a few years ago.  Here I am wielding it. Like the Gemmell Award it's one of the few trophy you can also defend yourself with--an actual dagger.

Again a big congratulations to Marc, and I'm so pleased to have played a part in this award by asking him to do the artwork for The Death of Dulgath's cover.  I'm looking forward to many more future projects with him.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Death of Dulgath Makes Fantasy Faction's Best of 2015 List!

I'm honored to find Age of Myth on a number of Most Anticipated Lists and The Death of Dulgath is hitting quite a few best of the year listings.  The latter is pretty amazing considering the book came out so late in the year.  The audio and print hit in mid-December and the ebooks sometime in October.

Well, one of the most prestigeous  lists is the one compiled by Fantasy-Faction.  And I'm pleased to find The Death of Dulgath among some truly amazing company.  Here is the full list:

  1. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  2. Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien De Castell
  3. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  4. Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb
  5. The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence
  6. Black Wolves by Kate Elliott
  7. The Iron Ghost by Jennifer Williams
  8. The Vagrant by Peter Newman
  9. Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley
  10. The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
  11. The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
  12. The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
  13. The Dread Wyrm by Miles Cameron
  14. Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu
  15. Gemini Cell by Myke Cole
  16. The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett
  17. The Builders by Daniel Polansky
  18. Guns of Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  19. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
  20. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  21. The Hunter’s Kind by Rebecca Levene
  22. Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
  23. Ruin by John Gwynn
  24. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  25. Half a War by Joe Abercrombie
  26. The Boy Who Wept Blood by Den Patrick
  27. Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher
  28. In Midnight’s Silence by T. Frohock
  29. Starborn by Lucy Hounsom
  30. The Death of Dulgath by Michael J Sullivan
  31. Lord Of Ashes by Richard Ford
  32. Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
  33. A Court of Thorns and Roses by SJ Maas
  34. Swords and Scoundrels by Julia Knight
  35. Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
  36. Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan
  37. Sword of the North by Luke Scull
  38. The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
  39. The Price of Valor by Django Weller
  40. The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette De Bodard
  41. The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan
  42. The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley
  43. The Iron Ship by K.M. McKinley
  44. Trial of Intentions by Peter Orullian
  45. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
  46. The Dragons of Heaven by Alyc Helms
  47. Sky Born by David Dalgish
  48. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  49. The Dragon Engine by Andy Remic
  50. Skin by Ilka Tampke

If you are looking for some new reads, check out the list, read some sample chapters, and hopefully you'll find something new to dig into.  I hope you find something you love.