Sunday, October 30, 2016

How Do Goodreads Members Rate Books?

Some time ago (April 2016 to be exact) Goodreads hit a milestone of 50 million reviews. That's a lot of feedback! The first review was written by Otis Chandler (founder of Goodreads) on September 4, 2006. The gang at Goodreads analyzed the reviews and they showed some interesting data about how the ratings breakdown. Here it is:

If you calculate the average, it works out to 3.98. I was, not unsurprisingly, interested about how my own books stacked up against the site-wide average, and Robin was nice enough to do some number crunching for me.  Here are the results:

Theft of Swords
Rise of Empire
Heir of Novron
The Crown Tower
The Rose and the Thorn
The Death of Dulgath
The Crown Conspiracy
Nyphron Rising
The Emerald Storm
Age of Myth
Total Reviews
% of Reviews

 Difference with Average  

I'm pleased to say that after almost 150,000 reviews (for the Riyria books and Legends of the First Empire) the 5-star and 4-star reviews have been much higher than most books, and the 1-star and 2-star reviews were much lower.

It's always great to take stock and see how people are receiving what I write, and I'm so glad that you all seem to like the books! Thanks for reading, and if you rated one (or several) of my books on Goodreads, thanks for that as well.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Theft of Swords is a Kindle Daily Deal - $2.99 Today (10/14/16) Only

Wow, I didn't know it was coming!

Every day Amazon picks a few e-books from the millions they have for sale and put them on a deep discount known as the Kindle Daily Deal. Generally there are titles from Mystery/Thrillers, Romance, Sci-fi/Fantasy, and Non Fiction. Today's Fantasy pick is Theft of Swords and until the end of the day you can get it for just $2.99 (normal price $9.99 - that's a saving of 70%). It's rank has risen nicely and it's already a best seller. So thanks for people who have picked up a copy.

As for the other daily deals. Here's what's on sale:

Also, keep in mind that if you buy the kindle version of Theft of Swords you can get the audible version at a discount because it is whisper sync enabled. $12.99 rather than $29.39 member price. Not as big of a discount, but for two books read by the amazing Tim Gerard Reynolds, it's worth considering. Congratulations on all who get in not he deal!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

We're getting there!

I love times when a Kickstarter is running. It's so great seeing people's enthusiasm for backing the project through tweets, Facebook posts, and posting at places like reddit and Goodreads.  The hard part is over, and just a bit more to go to get fully funded.  Thought people might like to see how we've been doing over the first week or so. So I'm including the Kicktraq code so we can watch the project's progress. I think we are going to get there!  As always, thanks everyone for the amazing support.

If you want to become a backer, just click here, or the graphic below.

Riyria Graphic Novel: Epic Fantasy (The Death of Dulgath) -- Kicktraq Mini

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Advice for Aspiring Indie Authors by Successful Indie Authors

The month of October is #PoweredByIndie. And I'm honored to be featured on Goodreads's blog in a piece offering advice to aspiring self-published authors. I was surprised (but in retrospect I shouldn't have been) that the others responses were also things I've said many times int he past. I think it speaks to the core secrets to success when publishing, regardless of the path chosen. I've listed the snippets they featured on the blog, but you can click through to read each author's full advice.
  • Michael J. Sullivan: Listen to everyone, but always decide for yourself. Anyone has the potential to help you become a better writer. It's a marathon not a sprint.
  • Bella Andre: Write what you love! Your passion will shine through and keep you going.
  • Andy Weir: Make a rule for yourself that they only way anyone will see your stories is by you writing them.
  • Colleen Hoover: The key is finding the core group of readers who love your books enough to tell the whole world about them.
  • Hugh Howey: Don't stress about your sales. Just keep writing.
By the way, these comments came from the "Ask the Author" program. And if you are an author on Goodreads and not participating in it, I highly recommend you start. It's a great way to connect with your readers and for them to learn a bit about you. And, if you have questions for me, by all means ask away. It can be about my books, publishing, or anything really.  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Wrap-Around Cover Reveal of Unfettered II

As some may know, the original Unfettered Anthology was written to help Shawn Speakman pay off a massive medical debt.

All the authors contributed stories for free (mine was "The Jester") and it took us almost no time  to erase more than $200,000 to get Shawn debt free. Now, as a way of giving back, Shawn has started a charity to dispense funds to authors who find themselves caught in similar financial straights. Once again I'm proud to join an amazing line up of authors with a book in what is sure to be an incredible anthology.

As for my own contribution it's a short based on my Legends of the First Empire series. It's a folk tale the demonizes Gronbach, a dwarf reviled through the centuries for his deceit and treachery. Gronbach is still known in the world of Elan even though thousands of years have passed since the origins of this tale. For those who are interested, they'll get to meet the legendary Gronback in person in my upcoming novel from Del Rey, Age of Swords (June 2017). I hope you'll consider pre-ordering Unfettered II. It's sure to be a fabulous collection. Here's the line up:
  • Foreword by Terry Brookss)
  • Jim Butcher (Dresden Files)
  • Rachel Caine
  • Sarah Beth Durst (The Queens of Renthia)
  • David Farland (Runelords)
  • Charlaine Harris
  • Mark Lawrence (Gunlaw)
  • Erin Lindsey (Bloodbound)
  • Seanan McGuire
  • Aidan Moher
  • Naomi Novik
  • Peter Orullian (Vault of Heaven)
  • J.A. Pitts
  • Anthony Ryan (Raven’s Shadow)
  • Brandon Sanderson (Stormlight Archive)
  • Scott Sigler
  • Shawn Speakman (Annwn Cycle)
  • Michael J. Sullivan (The Legends of the First Empire)
  • Django Wexler
  • Janny Wurts (Wars of Light and Shadow
  • Todd Lockwood (Cover Artist)
  • Don Maitz (Interior Illustrator)
You can learn more about origins of the cover at Unbound Worlds. And pre-order it from Grim Oak Press. Check it out and consider picking up a copy. You'll get some great stories, and authors in need will get some much needed cash infusion. A win-win for all I'm sure.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

An exceptional 24 hours

First and foremost, thank you to the nearly 300 backers who have brought in over $13,000 for the Riyria Graphic Novel during the first 24 hours of the Kickstarter. We are over 50% of the way to making this happen, and your enthusiasm is infectious.  We've sold out of the early-bird hardcovers, and there are just a handful of early-bird paper back levels left. 

It was an amazing 24 hours. Some highlights include:
  • More than 20 backers and in excess of $1,000 in the first 4 minutes of the campaign!
  • More than 60 backers and in excess of $3,000 in the first hour
  • More than 200 backers and in excess of $10,000 in the first seven hours
That's incredible momentum, but we still have a ways to go get to get fully funded. So, if you know a Riyria or Graphic Novel fan, please let them know about the Kickstarter. Even if you've never backed a Kickstarter before, why not make this your first? It's an incredible way to be part of something amazing and you'll get bonus material that you can't get when purchasing through the retail chain. Hope to see you there soon!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Death of Dulgath Kickstarter Exclusives

One of the cool things about Kickstarter is the ability to get items that are impossible if a book is only released through retail chains.  The Kickstarter for the graphic novel edition of The Death of Dulgath (A Riyria Chronicle novel) is now open!

The truly unique items may run out quickly, so I wanted to highlight some of them here so people don't miss out on some of the exceptional opportunities.
  • $175 - Own one of the original pages from the Riyria comic The Jester. This short story was adapted into 20 pages so that's all there is. Each one is a one-of-the-kind artwork by artist Max Raynor (20 available)
  • $180 - Drawing with you and Royce on the job (you will be clad in fitting garb and sufficiently armed). (20 available)
  • $225 - Have your image drawn into the novel (in a crowd scene or other background character). You'll be famous and appear in thousands of copies (10 available)
  • $250 - Max Raynor hand-inked page from The Death of Dulgath Graphic Novel with a certificate of authenticity. (5 Available)
  • $350 - part of the Cast - your image will be drawn into the novel as a speaking-part character. You be even more famous than those in the supporting cast . (10 Available)
Now obviously those are pricey items because they are so rare and require the talent of a comic artist that you just can't hire on your own.  But we did want to provide some incentives for the more cost-conscious people who hop onto the Kickstarter early.  So there are a limited number of "early-bird" pledges which will save you 20% - but only for those who act fast.  Here's what's available:
  1. Digital Version - $12 rather than $15 (100 Available
  2. Paperback  Version - $16 rather than $20 (100 Available)
  3. Hard cover Version - $24 rather than $30 (50 Available)
I think this is going to be a pretty exciting Kickstarter, and I hope you'll find something you want to get your hands on.  Early thanks for your support.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Announcing the first ever Riyria Graphic Novel

Royce and Hadrian, those two unlikely heroes from the Riyria novels are being adapted into a graphic novel!!  Here is the cover of Volume 1 of a special Kickstarter edition of The Death of Dulgath.

Doesn't that look fabulous!  The publishers of this graphic novel, The Dabel Brothers have put together an amazing international team to bring Royce and Hadrian to life.  Here's a bit about who is involved:

  • MAX RAYNOR (Pencils and Inks) is a British artist, best known for his work at Marvel (The Avengers), Upper Deck (Marvel: Legendary), and Red Giant (Wayward Sons, Markiplier). 
  • DEREK RUIZ (Adaptation Writer) began his career in comic books writing The Legend of Isis for Blue Water Productions before coming to work at Dabel Brothers Publishing where he became the writer, editor and publisher he is today. At Dabel Brothers, he has adapted such best sellers as Dean Koontz's Fear Nothing, Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush into graphic novels. He has been working closely with me on the story.
  • MICHAEL BARTOLO (Colorist) hails from Pasay City in the Philippines. Michael has worked for Marvel comics, Image, Wildstorm, Dark Horse comics, and most recently for Dynamite and Zenescope entertainment.
  • DAVE LANPHEAR (Letterer and Production Design) is a 2016 Harvey Award Nominee who has collaborated with Marvel, Disney, DC/Time-Warner, Sony, Image, Lakeshore and RoseArt.
Well, if you like the cover, how about a sneak peek inside?

A Kickstarter for this project is going to be launching on Wednesday at 12:00 noon. There are a number of early bird specials where quick backers can receive a 20% discount, but space is limited. If you want to order the ebook ($15 for just $12) or paperback edition ($25 for just $20), you'll have to be one of the first 100. To get a hardcover ($30 for just $24) you'll have to be one of the first 50.

But there are other perks for supporting the Kickstarter early. For instance, there will be limited editions, one-of-a-kind pieces of original artwork, and a few lucky people will find themselves inside the pages of the graphic novel as their faces will inspire characters in crowd scenes and even speaking parts. 

To try to get as many followers in on the time-sensitive material, I'll be posting an update just after the project goes live, so check back here for a link to the Kickstarter. This is an opportunity to be part of something truly remarkable. I'm glad to be involved, and I hope you will be, too.  See you on Wednesday!!