Amber asked Michael J. Sullivan:

Whenever you do put out more Riyria Chronicles I was wondering if Tim Gerard Reynolds will also be narrating again? It would be hard to read the book without his voice at this point. He brings so much life to your stories. I think he should narrate all of your books, if that was at all possible :)

Michael J. Sullivan Hey Amber, we are in 100% agreement of keeping Tim Gerard Reynolds as "the voice of Riyria." Here's a bit of back story on that. In general my contracts with Orbit don't give me any say over how or who does the publication of the audio books. It's what is called a subsidiary right, and that gives the publisher full authority to sell those rights at their own discretion.

Recorded Books licensed the audio book rights from Orbit and picked Tim for the narrator...and boy was I glad they did. When it came time to negotiate the contract for The Riyria Chronicles, I tried to keep the audio rights because I wanted to ensure that Tim and Recorded Books would remain part of the team. I wasn't able to get those rights retained, and Orbit was going to move the audio book rights in house to Hachette Audio. By doing so I would make more money (when sub-contracted 50% goes to Orbit and 50% to me), but I risked losing Tim. My agent was able to keep the audio rights with Recorded Books and hence we got Tim for The Crown Tower and The Rose and the Thorn.

When I came to the conclusion that I would write another Riyria Chronicle, foremost in my mind was keeping Tim with the project. To ensure this I'm making loss of audio rights a "deal breaker." In fact, I checked out ACX (self-publishing organization for audio books) and talked personally with Tim to ensure that if I did go that route I could have him associated with the project. Also, I've been approached by two different audio producers for the rights on the next Riyria book and both have agreed with language in the contract that ensures Tim's continued association with the books.

So, long story short...while I initially had no say, I lucked out and got Tim. Nowadays I do have a say and as such the only person who can control this is Tim himself...after all I can't chain him to the recording booth (though I'm definitely considered that). Tim assures me that he loves the books and wants to continue to be the narrator.

On a different front, I've been offered an audio contract for The First Empire series and in it there is language to not only ensure Tim is the narrator, but to also provide him with a higher fee than he normally gets. This publisher listened to my concerns about the pay for the narrator, and put their money where their mouth is. It's this type of behavior that makes me feel good about doing business with them.

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