Friday, December 8, 2017

Audible's Editor's Select: Best New Releases of December

2017 has been an exceptional year for audiobook releases, and as the year winds down Audible's editors picked their final batch of best-of titles.

I'm honored to have The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter make the cut. I think this is the first time one of my books has been an editor's choice (although several titles have been awarded Listener's Favorites and Age of Myth was a finalist for Best Book of the Year in 2016). Here's what the editor had to say about the book.
I'm so glad to hear that Michael felt it could be enjoyed as a standalone. That was certainly one of the goals of this book, and it's always good when a bar you set for yourself is cleared.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Audible 50% off Sitewide Sale

Hey all, there is a great sale going on at Audible right now: 50% everything.  Of particular note is a number of titles that are under $5 including:
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry By: Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Wonder by: R. J. Palacio
  • The Great Gatsby By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Cosmo by: Carl Sagan
  • A Christmas Carol: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry by: Charles Dickens
I'm thrilled that my latest release, The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter is also featured in the sale as an Editor's Pick:

Winter's Daughter is a standalone that can be read without any prior knowledge of the Riyria Chronicles but thanks to the 50% off sale, you could grab the first three for half the price.  Gotta move fast, though. Sale ends on the 14th.  Happy listening no matter what you pick up!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Winter's Daughter - A great first day!

Yesterday The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter was officially released!  Release days are so exciting. You are hoping for good results. You are hoping for people to like the book. You are hoping you won't have to crawl into a hole afterward.

The book hit #7 overall, which is pretty good considering it shared release day with two power hitters (Nora Roberts made her debut into the fantasy world with her book Year One, and Kel Kade's King's Dark Tiding also launched).  In addition, to the sales from, a number of people 604 to be exact, have pre-ordered print and ebook copies directly from me.  The distribution of ebooks, is, unfortunately, manual at this point and Robin, myself, and Sarah worked long into the night to get them all sent out.  So, if you pre-ordered, look in your email for your books.

But what's even better than all the the enthusiastic sales is that people seem to be enjoying the new release. Here's what has come in so far.

 They're Baaack...! 

What about Tim Gerard Reynolds and Michael J. Sullivan ’s performance did you like?
Tim Gerard Reynolds should be in Audible's Narrator Hall of Fame. Michael J. Sullivan takes us on another epic adventure with my favorite duo. Delving ever deeper into Ryiras history gap MJS spins gold and TGR brings it to life! Oh how I hope MJS keeps writing these I've had it on pre order for the past 5 months!!

 4th book in the series and still great! 

I worried that this type of series could feel flat after a few entries but found no need to worry! Great book! my only complaint is I wanted more!

This is in addition to the accolades that have been coming in from the Kickstarters. It's still early, but I'm cautiously optimistic that people are enjoying the new adventure.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Release Day - The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter

Today The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter is officially released!  Yes, many people have already received the book as part of the Kickstarter, but it's not available to the public at large.  Leading up to the release, we've been in the top 100 Bestselling Audio books for the last four days and I have hopes of climbing even higher than it's current position of 75. Oh, and if you are new to Riyria, no worries this book is a standalone and no prior knowledge of Riyria is needed to enjoy this to the it's fullest.

For those who are looking online for the print and ebook, you won't find them. This is an "audio first" release so for the first six months it'll only be the audio version available for sale in the retailers. But if you just can't wait that long, no worries you can get copies directly from me. The ebooks are a manual process and we'll check for orders a few times a day, so if you don't receive your copy right away, you should within a few hours.  As for the printed versions...they are still on the press and are due to ship 12/08. Allowing for a few days of shipping, we should have copies by the 12th and we'll start shipping the pre-orders then.

For people who would like to read a sample can find one here!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sandwiched between Tolkien and Sanderson - not a bad place to be ;-)

The Disapperanace of Winter's Daughter will be released in audio (and ebook when bought directly from me)  in just 2 days!!  So I was curious to see how the pre-orders were doing and ventured over to Audible's Epic Fantasy page. To be honest, I didn't expect to see it within the Best Seller listings, but there it was nicely sandwiched between Tolkien's master works and a soon to be released Brandon Sanderson tale. I'll take that!

Seriously, thank you everyone for pre-ordering the book, and I hope you are as excite as I am about it's release. Robin and I were in New York in the middle of October for it's recording, and I gotta say, Tim has done another fabulous job. I can't wait until you can hear it as well.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Congratulations Jonathan Davis

Because the Riyria novels and the new series, Legends of the First Empire are my more popular works, you probably already know about my love for Tim Gerard Reynolds, the narrator of my fantasy books. Heck, I even dedicated Age of Sword to him!

But did you know I have another narrator that I've used? His name is Jonathan Davis and he lends his incredible voice to Hollow World. Jonathan was a perfect choice for this novel because I needed someone with a very "mid-western" sound to his voice and he did a fabulous job characterizing: Warren, Pax, and Ellis Rogers. Well Jonathan's amazing talent was just recognized by Audible when he was inducted into their Narrator Hall of Fame. Great work Jonathan!

If you are interested in classic science fiction in the vein of Heinlen, Asimov, and Wells, then you probably would like Hollow World.  It explores many themes among them: what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. I hope you'll check it, or other books narrated by Jonathan out.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

NaNoWriMo: What it takes to be a writer...

I hope everyone is doing well on your NaNoWriMo goals. You are, right? Since we are at the end of the month I thought I would share a bit about being a writer. So here goes.

  • First off, people seem to get really hung up on when you can and can't call yourself a writer. Some same (a) if you write, you're a writer (b) others say, if you publish you're a writer (c) others say if you earn a full-time living you're a writer.  What's the correct answer?  Take your pick. For me, I think if you are writing then you are a writer, but if you have specific goals that will make you feel like "you made it," then by all means set those goals and work toward it. The important thing here is you have the opportunity to define what the term "writer" means. The outside world doesn't agree on a definition so use the one that fits for you.
  • Second I often hear people say, "I want to be a writer, but I don't want to market." Okay, fine, I understand that sentiment, just realize that if that's the approach you take you're going to struggle and you certainly diminish your chances of "getting anywhere" with your writing. There are a lot of things we do that we don't like. If I was in the housebuilding industry could I tell my foreman, "I like to frame walls I just don't like to drywall or paint them." If I were my own boss (contracted labor) I could do that, but I'd earn a lot less money as it'd be harder to find jobs that let me pick and choose what areas I will do and what I don't.  If I worked for a company, my boss would likely tell me, "That's nice to know, now go tape those drywall seams!" In other words, publishing traditionally won't absolve you from marketing (the marketing team has only a small window of time to focus on your books as each month a new set of books are released). And if you are self-published, you are going to have to do something to get people to know your books exists as otherwise you are the proverbial tree falling in a forest with no one to hear.  So, what if you still say, "I hear you but I'm not going to market...period." Fine, you can still write. Nothing stops you from doing that, but just realize that by making that decision you won't likely have readers. "But I want readers!!" some might say. To that I respond, "Well, then you have to work for them."
  • Regarding self-publishing...I have a small group of indie authors I'm a part of and there was a discussion about whether or not you have to pay for editing and covers to be a writer. Going back to bullet #1, the answer is no. You are a writer just by the fact that you write. Let's say you don't care about money...okay, fine. Post your stuff for free and ask people to read it. In such a situation it can have typos and bad formatting, and be a little rough. People understand they get what they pay for, and since they aren't paying anything, they'll understand if the work isn't polished.  But...let's say you want to publish...well now you've crossed a line to a different level, and from my perspective that line comes with extra responsibilities. When you ask for someone's hard earned cash, they deserve a quality product. And that means you need to invest in covers and editing. "But I don't have the money for those things" some may say.  My first response is..."well I don't have the money for a private jet, so guess what...I don't get one." But when I was self-published and I didn't have the money for editing we cut back and saved.  Cut out beer for a few months, or stop eating out, or forgo desserts. You can get decent editing for $350 (for 100,000 words) and I've seen exceptional covers for $250.  How long will it take to save $600?  For some that may be a very long decrease the time by taking on extra work. Hand out flyers, walk dogs, clear brush--there's always people looking for manual labor on the side. But let's say you disregard my advice and you put out a book without investing in covers and editing? Well, then don't be surprised if (a) your book isn't found by anyone (b) it is torn apart by the few people who do find it because the quality is poor  and (c) you don't grow your career because you lack repeat buyers. 
Bottom line, writing is like anything, it comes with a price. You may like the idea of "writing and doing nothing else" but that's a fairytale. If you don't want to do what's necessary...then stay a hobby writer. Nothing wrong with that. But if you want to make a living from your writing then you have take all that comes along with it.

That's my 2 cents at get back and finish your 50,000 words.