Just one more week

It’s amazing how quickly time flies! We are down to our last week for the Age of Death Kickstarter!For those that don’t know. These are just some of the perks of the project:

  • Backer get the story in October – more than 3 months before the February release
  • Hardcovers are signed and ebooks are DRM-free and can never vanish like ebooks purchased from stores.
  • If desired, your name will be in print (all backers are listed in the acknowledgments for both the hardcover and ebook)
  • Bonus content including a short story, screensavers of the amazing artwork and custom-designed (and signed) bookmark to match the novel.

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So, let’s update you with where are so far:

  • Fully funded in 25 minutes – so the printed books will be created, yeah!
  • We were selected as a “Projects We Love” by the Kickstarter staff
  • This is my most-backed Kickstarter to date (125 more backers than Age of Legend)
  • Currently, we’re the 2nd most-backed and the 6th-most funded fiction Kickstarter of all time.
  • Multiple stretch goals have been reached which are providing backers with a bonus short stories, a matching signed bookmark, and the ability to get all the other matching bookmarks if desired.

We are just $2,577 away from our next stretch goal ($100,000) which will bring in:

  • 4 additional short stories
  • 10 musical scores created by Will Musser and inspired by events of the books
  • 6 bonus screensavers featuring Marc Simonetti’s artwork for Age of Myth, Age of Swords, Age of War, Age of Legend, The Death of Dulgath, and The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter.
  • Access to print-ready files for DIY printing of t-shirts, posters, and puzzles. Including 3 t-shirt designs, 6 posters, and 6 puzzles.

If you haven’t joined us yet, I hope you will soon!

3rd most-backed fiction Kickstarter

top_3As we start the 5th day of the project, the Age of Death Kickstarter has moved up to spot #3 on the most-backed fiction projects of all time. While I don’t think it has a chance of taking the first spot, I do think it can become my most successful project and surpass Age of Legend in the number of backers.

It also has recently taken spot #8 in the most-funded fiction projects of all time. I’m not expecting it to earn more than my last Kickstarter, but then again, you never know what the future might bring.

There are 15 days left, so check it out, and if you are interested in getting the book three months early, then consider becoming a backer.

Age of Death Kickstarter – day 1 results

Yesterday, we had our first full 24-hours of the Age of Death Kickstarter, and as past backers probably already know, we are proceeding much more quickly than our former “best Kickstarter” (Age of Legend).  Here’s some data for those who like such things:

We’ve added 7 FAQ’s that might answer some of your questions:

  • Can I have my books signed? Yes, all books are signed. 
  • Expected delivery says October 2020 – is that right? No – it’s 2019. 
  • If I don’t want my name printed in the book, can I “opt-out” of this reward? Yes 
  • Can I have my books dedicated? No. They are just signed for fulfillment ease. 
  • Will there be an “ALL IN” for digital? – No. We don’t own the ebook rights for 3 books in the series.
  • How can I get two copies of Age of Death? Use the DOUBLE TROUBLE and select Age of Death for the “additional book.” 
  • Can you add shipping for my country – Yes, just let me know what country needs to be added. 

We’ve added a few things to the project based on reader’s requests:

  • We now have a DIGITAL DOUBLE TROUBLE – for those who want Age of Death and Age of Legend in ebooks
  • We added shipping for a few new countries: Slovenia, Ukraine, & Bulgaria
  • We added a new stretch goal (#2 for funding above $73,164). This will provide a free short story (Autumn Mists)

We’ve hit several accomplishments:

  • Selected by Kickstarter as a “Project We Love”
  • In 1 day became the 6th most-backed fiction Kickstarter of all time
  • In 1 day became the 13th most-funded fiction Kickstarter of all time
  • Reached stretch goal #1 — providing for a custom bookmark
  • We reached 300% of the project’s funding goal

As you can see, that’s a pretty incredible first day.  I hope it will continue to go well. Thanks again, all for the fantastic support.

Age of Death Kickstarter Launching on Thursday

Tomorrow at 12:00 noon EDT (Thursday, Aug 22nd), I’ll be pushing the Age of Death Kickstarter live. To find it you can go to the page posted at this link, and press the graphic. Doing that right now does nothing but on Thursday it will take you to the Kickstarter page.

HINT: You can also find the page by going to Kickstarter and searching for Age of Death or by looking for projects created by Michael J. Sullivan ;-).

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So what are we offering through this project?

Well, for the most part, it will mirror the Age of Legends crowdfunding, with a few notable exceptions.

  • First, we have doubled the number of early-bird specials (100 rewards will be 20% off), but I still expect them to go fast.
  • Second, we won’t have any “Nights in Avryln.” There are still too many people who haven’t yet had their visits, and until we get those knocked out, I don’t want to add to that backlog.
  • Third, we’ve significantly reduced overseas shipping. Basically, we’ve taken a big cut out of our profit margin for those who live outside the United States: $20 (for 1-book rewards) and $46 (for those who buy all 5 books). We have applied these discounts to reduce the shipping costs charged to backers. Now, if we get enough overseas orders, we can do shipping locally from overseas fulfillment companies, and we might be able to recoup some of that sacrificed profit. We won’t know if that is possible until after the Kickstarter is over and we know the number, weight, and volume of all the packages.
  • We are using BackerKit for fulfillment. This will provide an easier way for us to distribute electronic content, and it will also aid the process if people want to “trade up” to other reward levels after the Kickstarter has ended. This will also allow us to take pre-orders for people who miss the Kickstarter.
  • By popular demand, we’ll be bringing back Robin’s Tip Jar. So, if you want to help get her a little something special for the work she puts in, consider backing at a slightly higher amount then your reward level, and you’ll be able to tip her in BackerKit when the project is over. She’ll use the tips to get “something special” and she’ll share with you what that is.
  • Unfortunately, we can’t offer the audiobooks as those rights were sold to Audible Studios, and only they can distribute those files, but we have made a low-cost pledge ($5 – SOUND ADVICE) so people can get their names in the printed books and receive digital rewards such as the screensavers and any other electronic files that become available through stretch goals.
  • We are also discounting the hardcovers ($25 rather than $27-$28) and allowing you to get 1, 2, 3, 4, or all 5 of the existing titles. If you want to ensure a full hardcover set, I highly encourage you to get these copies through the Kickstarter. Age of Swords is already out of print (although we have a large shipment in our warehouse), and both Age of Myth and Age of War was on their way to an “out of print” status when I convinced Del Rey to do one more small press run for the Kickstarters. My guess is once those are gone, there won’t be anymore.
Okay, so that’s what is new, but what’s the same?
  • Have you ever wanted to see your name in print? Do you want to show off to your friends (and the rest of the world) that you helped to make the hardcover edition possible? Well, all backers (unless they opt-out) will have their names listed in the acknowledgments of both the print and ebook.
  • The ebook is still offered at retail price, so you’ll be paying the same whether you are preordering through the Kickstarter or buy it through online retail sites. The difference? You’ll have an actual electronic copy (which can’t be erased from your device), it’ll be DRM-free, and you’ll put a higher % of your money into our pocket by cutting out the middlemen. In addition, you’ll get to read the story months before the retail release.
  • All reward levels that have a physical book will be signed.
  • All reward levels (except SOUND ADVICE)  will get the ebook in late October (a full three-months) before the retail release. So, if you are chomping at the bit to see what happens next (and I know many of you are), then you’ll want to be a backer.
  • The hardcovers will match the existing books, and once more we are using Marc Simonetti for the amazing artwork.
If you are wondering why we are doing a Kickstarter, it’s a subject I’ve talked about in the past, but maybe you missed it. You see, we sold the audio rights for the entire series long, long, ago. When Del Rey purchased the rights to the first three books, that wasn’t a problem and they licensed just the ebook and print rights.  A few years later, when it came time to negotiate for books #4 – #6, we found out that there had been a corporate policy change with Penguin Random House and they no longer let Del Rey sign any contract that doesn’t contain audiobook rights. Well, with those rights already gone, that meant Del Rey couldn’t sign the rest of the books.

For a while, we worked on getting another publisher to do the books, but we weren’t happy with the release schedule they wanted, nor certain clauses in the contract. So we decided to self-publish the book. That said, we know how important it is for readers to have all their books in a series be consistent so we use the same printer, paper, size, and even the same font, for our versions so the last three books will match the first three. But doing a print run is expensive, and by using the Kickstarter we hope to fund half of the production costs.

There is a lot more information about the Kickstarter, too much to go into here, so here is preview link, that will let you see all the details before it goes live.

We’re pretty excited about this Kickstarter, and we hope you will be as well. It’s always a fun and hectic time when we have one going on, and it’s so great seeing everyone’s excitement toward the project. I hope you’ll join us!

USA Today Bestseller List — again!

Recently I posted about Age of Legend hitting the New York Times Bestseller List, but I should have dug a bit deeper

Why? Well, it also hit the  USA Today Bestseller list. This is especially great because the first list singled out the audio release, but the USA Today list is only for print and ebook. So, by hitting both lists, we have all the basis covered!

Of course, this really isn’t my accomplishment, it’s due to all of you who showed so much support for the book and bought them as soon as you could get your hands on them. Robin and I greatly appreciate your support!