Age of Legend in the Top 0.25%!

It’s just three days before the release of Age of Legend, are you as excited as Robin and I are? Well, we were so excited that Robin decided to see how the pre-orders for the audiobook were going and she found something really interesting.

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Right now there are 2,915 audiobooks available for pre-order, and when organizing them by which are selling the best, Age of Legend is #7. Being in n the top 10 with the likes of Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Lee Child, Malcolm Gladwell, and a new Star Wars book is pretty surreal. Being the math person Robin is she tells me that puts it in the top 0.25% of all audiobooks for pre-order (top 0.24% to be precise).

Our thanks go to everyone who has pre-ordered, it was this kind of early support that got Age of War on the New York Times bestseller list. Whether we can repeat that with Age of Legend, who knows, but in some respects, I don’t care because making the list once was the dream of a lifetime.

Oh, and we are working with Audible to get the pre-orders up for Age of Death (coming February 4, 2020) and Age of Empyre (coming May 5, 2020). So you’ll be able to listen to all three remaining books in a span of just under 10 months of each other. That’s much better than the 2 years span for the first three books. Recording starts in early November!!

4-book Giveaway including Age of Legends!

Grim Oak Press (the distributor for Age of Legend) is running a giveaway for signed copies of all 4 books of the Legends of the First empire series. You can enter to win here.

Even if you have all the books, this would be a great opportunity to introduce the series to a loved one. Plus, there’s another reason to enter. Shawn and Jeff (who run Grim Oak) are also going to be giving away 3 copies of Terry Brook’s Street Freaks and one copy of the exclusive Emerald City Comic Con edition of Unfettered III.

Oh, and while we are speaking of giveaways…don’t forget we still have two other giveaways for Age of Legend.  

Good luck on the drawings!!

 

Age of Legend Giveaways

Age of Legend books will be coming off the presses any day now, so it’s time to do some giveaways!  We’ll have three ways for you to win.

  • Goodreads (only open to US and Canada residents). I’m not sure why Goodreads limited the giveaway to just these two countries, but they did, which is one of the reasons why I’ve got two other ways to enter. There are 3 books being drawn on June 30th at 11:59 PM EDT.
  • Reddit’s /r/Fantasy sub (open to all countries). Reddit can be a divisive site filled with people with very strong opinions from all facets of the spectrum, but the fantasy sub is an oasis of civility among the chaos. If you’ve not visited it before, this would be a good time to check it out. I’m sure you’ll find reasons to stay.  To enter, you just have to add a comment to the thread and I’ll send you a message via the Reddit site. I’ll be drawing 2 books on June 5th at 11:59 PM EDT. This drawing is open to people from all countries.
  • Private giveaway (open to all countries). In today’s publishing environment, there is always some “big entity” between the author and the reader (Amazon, Barnes and Noble or the publishers). I like having a direct relationship with readers such that if these other people ever get “wonky.” I can still reach out to my readers and tell them about sales, giveaways, and Kickstarters. Entering here will require an email address (so I can notify the winner), but you can opt out of being added to my email list. I don’t use it often (I think 6 times in the last 3 years), so don’t worry about being bombarded. But I like having the safety net of being able to reach people if the “big boys” are getting in the way. There are 2 books being drawn on June 30th at 11:59 PM EDT.

All books will be signed (and can be dedicated if you wish). If you haven’t read the other three books there are spoiler-filled recaps available on this site.

I hope you are as excited about the next release as I am, and good luck on the drawings!

 

30 hours and $2084 to go

Hey all, we are in the final hours (30 to be exact)  of the Age of Legend Kickstarter, and to say things have gone well would be a gross understatement. We are just a few thousand away from joining the other 4 fiction Kickstarters that have surpassed $100,000 in pre-order sales. How nuts is that?

Seriously, the support has been nothing short of amazing. Not only have you covered the costs for the print run, but also the cover design, copy editing, the production of soundtrack music by Will Musser, plus I’ll end up getting an advance…something that usually only happens when you sign a traditional deal. And since traditional publishing isn’t something I can’t do for this project (because the audio rights were previously sold and no traditional big-five publisher will take on a project without those rights), that’s a tremendous gift you’ve given me.

In return for the amazing support, I’m able to give back to the backers who pre-order by offering things you just can’t get when buying through the store. Here is the current list.

  • ebook delivered April 9th rather than July 9th
  • you’ll see your name in print – all backers are listed in the acknowledgments
  • hardcovers delivered as soon as they come off the presses
  • ebooks are DRM free and come in .mobi, .epub, and .pdf
  • signed hardcovers
  • 4 custom-designed bookmarks (one signed)
  • Screensavers for phones, tablets, and computers that features artwork by Marc Simonetti.
  • Soundtracks created by Will Musser (4 songs for Age of Myth, and one song each for Age of Swords, Age of War, and Age of Legend)
  • Save $3 off the hardcover list price for Age of Legend only
  • Save $22 off the hardcovers list price when purchasing all 4 books
  • Short Story featuring Suri and Minna
  • Short Story: Burning Alexandria
  • Short Story: The Game
  • Access to two video calls (one for readers the other for writers)

And if we can reach that $100,000 level all backers will get a free copy of one of my self-published standalone novels. You can choose from The Death of Dulgath, The Disapperance of Winter’s Daughter, or Hollow World. Those run from $8 – $10, so that’s an exceptional freebie, especially for those that back at the $5 or $10 level 😉

We have just 30 hours left for the Kickstarter. So, if you’ve already backed the project, thanks so much for the support. If you haven’t backed it yet, check it out and see if it is something you’d like to join. Oh, and if you know other fans of my writing, please tell them about the Kickstarter.  After all, if we reach that final goal, all the backers will benefit.

And as always, I and Robin thank you for your support.

Magda Gets a Television Appearance

No, this isn’t an announcement about a Legends of the First Empire television series, but it’s still pretty cool.  Allstate Insurance recently did an advertisement about the resilience and strength of Carolinians in the wake of Hurricane Florence. In this ad, they focused on the Angel Oak of Johns Island South Carolina. It’s an amazing tree (and some say it’s the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi). It’s estimated to be between 400 – 500 years old, and it’s magnificent. It was also my inspiration for Magda, the wise and ancient oak of the Cresent Forest in the Legends of the First Empire series. Even though Marc Simonetti did a fabulous job interpreting the Angel Oak for the cover of Age of Myth, I thought people might want to see Magda in all her glory.

 

 

 

Age of Swords Hardcover Updates

As you may know, the hardcover edition of Age of Swords has gone out of print, and resellers have been charging outrageous amounts (currently $92 – $119) to get copies. We ran a crowdfunding campaign to buy the excess copies from Del Rey and I thought I should update everyone on the status of the the Age of Swords hardcovers. So here goes:

  • Yes, we have copies now, and they are shipping from our online store.
  • We’ve also full-funded our Indiegogo campaign to buy all the remaining stock from Del Rey, and we are heading toward our 3rd stretch goal.
  • Goal #1 and #2 are providing signed Age of Swords bookmarks, and if we reach the next goal, Robin and I will do some online Q&A sessions on writing and the business side of publishing.
  • The big shipment from Del Rey is in the warehouse, and I’ll be going there to sign those books after the holiday.

In doing this project, I thought it would be interesting to look at the money side in a bit more detail so Robin pulled some data from my most recent royalty statement (sales through 03/31/18) and here’s some interesting information from that:

  • $15,360.42: Our “cut” of the hardcover sales of this book to date  (once we subtract off the money we paid Del Rey)
  • $108,016.88: Del Rey’s cut of the hardcover sales of this book (including what we paid them).
  • $21,490 – gross amount the crowdfunding campaign has raised so far. Yes in 5 days I’ve brought in MORE money than over a year’s worth of royalties from the traditional publisher! Now granted, not all of that is profit, but we still have 2 weeks and 3 days to go, so who knows how much money we will raise.
  • $75,264 – my potential income if all the remaining books are sold at the same price as the crowdfunding campaign ($22).

I don’t know about you but I find that pretty eye-opening.

Hardcover crowdfunding launches today at noon EDT

Today at noon, this IndieGoGo campaign will go live.

No, it’s not the project for making Age of Legend (although that project will be launching early next year), but something came up out of the blue and we need to act fast. You see, Del Rey has put the hardcover edition of Age of Swords out of print, and we have a small window to do something about it.

I discovered the out-of-print status when I tried to order copies to replenish our online store, and I wasn’t able to get any. After a little digging, I found that the only way to get copies were through Amazon Marketplace resellers and they had jacked up the prices to $89 – $191 for both new and used copies. That’s an outrage!

To make matters worse, I won’t earn a dime from any sales of the hardcovers from here on out. But, honestly, that doesn’t upset me as much as the fact that people will either have to “do without” or pay outrageous prices to have hardcovers on their bookshelves.

So, here’s the deal, Robin found out how much it would cost for us to buy up the remaining copies, send them to a warehouse, and hire a logistics company to ship them out. It’s not cheap, but it is doable if we can raise $11,360. 

So, we’re doing what we’ve done in the past…turn to crowdfunding. We started out by making a Kickstarter project, but as it turns out, you can’t use that platform for an existing product. So this campaign will be run on IndieGoGo.  It’s pretty straightforward; you’ll be able to get signed hardcovers and bonus perks like a short story, screensavers, and public acknowledgment for helping to make this project successful. You’ll be able to receive one, two, or all three of the hardcovers that are currently released in the Legends of the First Empire series, and because we’ll be getting the books cheaper than we normally do,  we’ll pass some savings on to you and give 20% off the list price.  (I’m essentially extending the “early-bird” discount that I’ve used in the past to apply to everyone.)

So, if you haven’t picked up hardcovers yet (or are looking for a gift for a friend or relative…Christmas and Hanukkah will be here before we know it), now would be a great time to get copies. And we’ll also keep these books out of the reseller channel, and without the ability to buy new stock, they won’t be able to rip off more people with their price-gouging techniques.

Oh, another thing I should mention…there is a limited number of special perks which will be for a one-night stay with Robin and I in our cabin in Luray (maybe you saw a bit about it in our recent post).

Okay last thing, unlike Kickstarters, we get funding from IndieGoGo even if we don’t hit our goal, so we’ll be able to buy a subset of books if necessary, which means you will get your copies no matter what funding level we reach. But buying a fraction of the remaining stock will mean that the resellers will be able to get more, and I’d hate to facilitate their bad behavior.

Anyway, check out the campaign starting at noon, and if you like what you see, please consider backing the project.