Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Age of Myth paperback release day

Today the premium mass market paperback version of Age of Myth is released.

This means two things:
  1. The ebook price has come down. It's now under $10, which is important for those who have the "never above $10 for an ebook" rule.
  2. The print copy is much cheaper. Instead of paying $26 for the hardcover you can get the book in print for less than $10.  
The book is available for sale at bookstores everywhere, and of course you can pick up a copy from my site to get one signed. I also still have hardcovers, which will be going out or print soonish. So you can choose either one. 

This is the first time I'm released in the mass market paperback. Originally Del Rey wanted to do the trade paperbacks (like my Orbit books) and those tend to run $16 - $17 a pop. For myself, I preferred to have the smaller/less expensive size in the hopes that it will make it affordable for more people. I'm hoping this will help to spread the word on a debut book I'm already very happy with the sales. 

If you like paperbacks rather than hardcovers - now is the time to get your copy. And as always, thanks for your support.

Monday, January 30, 2017

"On The Clock" with Age of Swords

I'm rarely under "deadline" pressure, mostly because I write all the books of a series before publishing the first. Still, even with that process, there are times when I'm "on the clock."

That's a picture of my new clock, custom made for the cabin. I needed to "white out" the address, because I'd have a thousand people camping out on the deck waiting for the next book. Well, okay, maybe not, but it doesn't seem to be a great idea to post one's address online. Anyway, that picture, and the one that follows are the first public glimpses of the cabin that Robin has spent so much time on. My writing oasis.

But I digress. We were talking about deadlines. Anyway, I have four more days until my new desk arrives, and when it does, I'll be locking myself away. You see, recently I've been building stairs, installing door knobs, building furniture, hanging mirrors and doing all manner of final work on the cabin. This means I've not been writing, and I can already feel my skin crawl and the DT's are hitting hard.

Anyway, while I've been working on the cabin, Robin has been busy going over the copy edits that have come in for Age of Swords. She's done a great job of pulling together my changes and edits from Linda (our favorite freelance copy editor) and Laura (Del Rey).  Yesterday, I finished addressing the things she needed me to implement, so it's time for the "final read." That's what I was doing last night, and what I was working on until I started making this post. Really I was!  And here is my proof.

Yes, that's a selfie, and no the look on my face doesn't indicate displeasure. I'm just concentrating.  I'm finding very little that has to be changed, and every now and then I shoot a question up to Robin, who's currently sitting in the loft above me doing her own final read. Come Monday, the book returns to Del Rey for layout and there will be no more changes. That means everything has to be perfect.  Well, it's my book so maybe "good enough" is a better description.  Still, I'm really pleased with how the book has come out and I hope you will be too.  Pre-orders are up.  Release date is 6/20/2017!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Checking in with Age of Myth

In just a few days (1/31/17), the Age of Myth premium mass market paperback will start shipping. For those that want print copies (but find that the hardcover prices are beyond their reach), this will mean you can get the book for just $9.99. That's only 38% of the hard cover price -- a savings of 62%!

For those who want signed and/or dedicated copies, you can pre-order them from my store. I buy the copies from the publisher (so they still get their cut), but by cutting out the distribution middlemen (warehouse, book distributor, and retailers) I make 50% per book rather than 8% when bought through a store.

Age of Myth was my first hardcover release through a major traditional publisher, and I think we can say it was a huge success. By my best estimation, we have sold about 62,000 copies (in the English language during the first 7 months of it's release (counting audio, hardcover, and ebooks). That's by far my most successful launch. To put it in perspective, at the height of my self-publishing career, I was selling about 10,000 - 12,000 books a month across 5 titles.

Sales of Age of Myth were so good, that it became my first book to hit one of the major best-seller lists (#2 on the Washington Post's Hardcover Best-seller List). And it hit the Barnes and Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Bestseller List in both July and August.

Okay, so sales have been good, but has the book been well-received?  It has! Besides hitting a number of Best of 2016 lists by bloggers, it also received the following industry accolades:

  • AudioFile Earphones Award Winner
  • Winner of Reddit's Fantasy Stabby Award: Best Artwork
  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy
  • Named to Amazon's 20 best fantasy & sci-novels list
  • Finalist for Reddit's Fantasy Stabby Award: Best Novel
  • Named to Audible's Best of 2016 List
  • Named to AudioFile Magazine's Best of 2016 List
  • Named to Goodread's Hottest Books of the Summer List
What is really great about those acknowledgements is it reflects the high quality of other professionals who have worked on the book: Marc Simonetti for cover design, and Tim Gerard Reynolds for his audio narration. I want to thank (for the thousandth time) both of these talented individuals for their hard work and excellence.

But I've saved the best two metrics for last. What about the readers? After all, these are the people whose opinions I care the most bout. From emails I've read, the book seems to be liked, but I asked Robin to provide some hard numbers rather than relying on the warm-fuzzies I'm getting from letters. 

My first question was: "Are people actually reading the book?" According to Robin, they are! The book has received more than 10,000 review/ratings when counting those on Amazon (US), Goodreads, and Audible.com. Here's a graph that shows the reviews over time.

Now of course, some of those may be duplicates (as people can rate or post reviews on multiple sites, but it's still an impressive number. In fact, when I first released The Crown Conspiracy in 2008, Robin asked how many sales were necessary for me to feel like the book was a success. I said "Fifty,"
but quickly added, "but they have to be people I don't know." So that bar's been cleared ;-)

But the last piece of information and the most important is: "Do people who read the book seem to like it?" Well, once again Robin came through with the following data (again when looking at stats from Amazon (US), Goodreads, and Audible.com).

Having 90% of the review/ratings at a 4 or 5 is pretty mind-blowing, and seeing that only 2% gave it a 1 or a 2 is certainly something I can live with.

So, that's where things are with Age of Myth, as I said it was a great debut novel for the Legends of the Fist Empire Series, and the good news is book #2 (Age of Swords) is just a few months away!  It's my favorite book of the six-book series, and I can't wait to hear what people think about it. My mood could best be described as "cautiously optimistic."

Thanks all, for the amazing support, and thanks to Robin for pulling the numbers together.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Barnes and Noble picks some under the radar series to check out

Barnes and Noble picked five series that people should be checking out, and I'm honored that The Riyria Revelations is one of them. Here's something nice they had to say about my books:

This is one of my favorite suggestions for fans of Game of Thrones. Riyria has everything you could possibly wish for: the characters are some of the best I’ve ever encountered in fantasy literature, the writing is top notch, and the plotting is so tight you’d be hard-pressed to find a mouse hole in it. It also has one of the most satisfying endings of any series I’ve read.
How great is that? But my real reason for posting is to help shine a spotlight on some of their other choices, so here goes:

  • The Samuil Petrovitch trilogy by Simon Morden - is a series that's put out by Orbit (the publisher that released The Riyria Revelations).  I don't often go for post-apocalyptic stuff, but if that's up your alley, then I think it'd be worth a look. It won the 2012 Philip K. Dick Award.
  • The Johannes Cabal books by Jonathan L. Howard - another new one for me, and one of the reasons I love "underrated" lists like this. Described as mixing darkness with humor in the vein of Terry Pratchett, that's enough to get me interested.  It's on the TBR list!!
Hope this list gives you some good ideas of reads to pick up. And read the story that goes along with it, I think the writer does an exceptional job.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Tribute to Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien was born January 3, 1892, more than 125 years ago. His contribution to the fantasy genre cannot be overstated, and his influence is far reaching. To mark this occasion, Audible asked a number of fantasy authors to talk a bit about what Tolkien meant to them and their writing, as well as sharing a favorite quote from his books.

I'm honored to join Patrick RothfussMercedes LackeyJoe AbercrombieChris Philbrook, and Jodi Taylor in this celebration of Tolkien and his work.

Here's what I had to say.

Interested in seeing what others had to say? Well stop on over and see.