Michael J. Sullivan's Blog

October 14, 2016

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:
$2.99 -  Theft of Swords: (The Riyria Revelations #1 & #2) by Michael J. Sullivan$1.99 -   Strong Poison (The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries Book 6) by Dorothy L. Sayers  $1.99 -   The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Series Book 1) by Anne Perry $0.99 Rogue in Red Velvet (The Emperors of London series) by Lynne Connolly$1.99Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie ColwinAlso, 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!
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Published on October 14, 2016 10:12 • 32 views

October 12, 2016

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
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Published on October 12, 2016 06:30 • 75 views

October 11, 2016

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.  
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Published on October 11, 2016 06:15 • 61 views

October 7, 2016

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.
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Published on October 07, 2016 11:32 • 76 views

October 6, 2016

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!

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Published on October 06, 2016 09:37 • 114 views • Tags: crowd-funding, fantasy, kickstarter, riyria

October 5, 2016

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:

* Digital Version - $12 rather than $15 (100 Available
* Paperback  Version - $16 rather than $20 (100 Available)
* 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.
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Published on October 05, 2016 07:05 • 58 views

October 3, 2016

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!!
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Published on October 03, 2016 12:52 • 137 views

September 26, 2016

Wow, I'm thrilled that so many people are taking part in my belated birthday sale. I "think" this is the first time this book hit the #1 spot, but I'll have to look back through my records. In any case, I'm thrilled that it hit #1 now.

And don't forget if you buy the e-book you can get the audio version for just $1.99. So you can have both copies for less than $3.  Not a bad deal.  The discounted audio has no time limit, but to get in on the $0.99 sale for the e-book, pick up your $0.99 copy before the end of the day tomorrow.
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Published on September 26, 2016 13:48 • 116 views

I recently turned double nickels,  and I wanted to give a little gift to my readers. Unfortunately, Del Rey and Orbit control the pricing on most of my e-books, and it's not always easy to get them to reduce the price. Luckily I have a copy that I control, so for the next two days I've lowered The Death of Dulgath from it's normal price of $9.99 to just $0.99. I would have made it free, but since the book isn't enrolled in Amazon Select, $0.99 is the lowest I can go.

Now, the good thing about this book, is that although it is the third in the series, it's written as a standalone. So even if you haven't read the other books, you can jump right into the adventures of Royce and Hadrian with this one.

If you are aren't familiar with this title,  here's the "marketing copy" from the back of the book:

Three times they tried to kill her. Then a professional was hired. So was Riyria.
When the last member of the oldest noble family in Avryn is targeted for assassination, Riyria is hired to foil the plot. Three years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and the cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start life as rogues-for-hire. Things have gone well enough until they're asked to help prevent a murder. Now they must venture into an ancient corner of the world to save a mysterious woman who knows more about Royce than is safe and cares less about herself than is sane.

From the best-selling author of The Riyria Revelations comes the third installment of The Riyria Chronicles. Although part of a series, it's designed to thrill both new readers looking for fun, fast-paced fantasy and Riyria veterans wishing to reunite with old friends. For those who do wish to experience the entire Riyria saga, two reading options exist:

Oh, and one more thing I should mention. This book is also WhisperSync enabled. If you aren't familiar with it,  it's a really cool program.

First, it keeps your kindle and your audio book "synced" up. So if you were listening to the audio book in the car and go into the house to read the e-book, you'll find it right where you left off...and vice versaSecond, you can get the the audio book at a SUBSTANTIAL discount, if you purchase the ebook first.  So pick up Death of Dulgath for this incredible price and get the audio as well. After hearing Tim Gerard Reynold's amazing narration. You'l be glad you did!Thanks everyone for your continued support. And I hope you'll take me up on this little reverse birthday gift - or gift a copy to a friend so we can all celebrate!
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Published on September 26, 2016 06:59 • 172 views

September 19, 2016

In the past, I've not posted book reviews on my site. There are several reasons for this. First, I don't think it's an area that I'm particularly good at, and second, I don't want to field the inevitable flood of review requests that come with opening that particular Pandora's box. All that said, I do run across authors from time to time that I think are worth mentioning, and I would like to do what I can to bring readers and authors together. So here I am trying to shine a bit of a spotlight on someone you might not have heard about before. But first a bit of a preamble.

I decided many years ago that I wouldn’t post negative book reviews. I’m not a critic, and I don’t want to be one. It’s not my job to steer readers away from "awful books," particularly when I feel that the evaluation of any art form is a subjective one. Also, I’ve felt the sting of being on the receiving end of negatives reviews (although thankfully, they've been just a trickle rather than a deluge), and I don't want to inflict similar pain on others.

So why not just review books I love? Well, many of the books I read are written by already famous authors who don’t need me. Sales of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green are already astronomical and any mention from me won't move the needle. Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One has Steven Spielberg directing his movie. And Andy Weir, of The Martian fame, has no idea who I am nor should he, even though we met briefly this summer. So when a book is already well known and well loved, my comments would be a drop of water in the ocean.

Okay, well what about the books you love from lesser known authors? Well, that's something worth dipping a toe into, so here I am.  But let me start with a disclaimer.

One of the things I found I sacrificed when learning to write is my ability to enjoy most novels. Training myself to find fault in my own writing is something I can’t easily turn off when reading for pleasure. Most often all I see are missed opportunities. These days it’s a struggle to find a book I can finish. Now I’m not declaring that all those unfinished books are horrible. Many of those I put down are major bestsellers, so clearly I am in the minority. What I've discovered is I have specific preferences and the books I enjoy have managed to thread a very narrow needle. So while a recommendation for me might not mean it will appeal to all people, it SHOULD appeal to people who enjoy my work, since I write the kind of books I want to read.

Which brings me to Amy Braun.

Full disclosure: I don't know Amy. I’ve never met her. She didn't send me her book. She didn't ask me to write a review, and has no idea (until now, should she read this) that I have even read anything by her. No one else asked me to read it either. In short, there are no strings attached. I hate strings.

I was, in fact, attracted by the cover of Crimson Sky. That’s what made me click on the “inside the book” feature on Amazon. Then I was impressed by the writing style. The first page is a challenge for everyone, and Amy's opening was filled with the nice crisp, clean, clear quality that I appreciate. She brought me right into the story with an action scene that wasn't a tease (and as it turns out was indicative of the book as a whole). Nor was the opening a mass of fast-paced, emotionless confusion, which is too often the case with opening action scenes.

All of this led me from reading the free teaser to buying the book. What made me keep reading after that was the creativity and logic that went into the world and characters. The details were surprising, (I loved the bit about sugar), and the pace rapid. The characters were not perfect, but they were sympathetic. The world was dark, but not without hope.

I was delighted to find a novel I could read with only minor jolts to my inner editor. Of course, I find fault with any novel, even my favorites. Crimson Sky is no different. It isn’t perfect, but I haven’t found a book that is. I’m sure if you read it you will discover aspects you don’t like, and others you do. But honestly, how can anyone not applaud the audacity of mashing up extra-dimensional vampires and pirates in a post apocalyptic world where engineers are wizards, and the main character wears a key but has no idea what it unlocks or starts.

Unlike Green, Cline, and Weir, Amy Braun doesn’t have a major motion picture, and judging from her Amazon numbers, she isn’t being read by nearly as many people as she deserves. So while I’m not a critic, and don’t plan to become one, I do want to offer her my thumbs up. If you think you might like an action-packed, fast-paced, swashbuckling adventure that is light on graphic violence and profanity, and has a dash of steampunk and a sprinkling of romance, I know a book series you might enjoy. And it'll cost you less than $3 on Amazon (US) That's about the same price as the iced tea I have for lunch yesterday, and Amy's book was even more thirst quenching.

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Published on September 19, 2016 07:01 • 193 views