The Beginning of the End

So I’m now starting the climax which will be the beginning of the end of this series. It’s an exciting time, and the writing is going well. I officially started writing this series on Feb 17 2013, so it’s been two straight years.  I did have about six months “conceptualizing it” so it’s even longer than that…but anyway you cut it, that’s a long time for a project without knowing if anything will come of it.

The offer from Random House, and the other publishers for that matter, took a lot of pressure off my mind.  Not that I was ever “too scared” as I’ve self-published before and could have taken this series that way if that is what was required. Still, it’s nice having that portion over and just concentrate on the writing aspects.

Totally unrelated to this series…I have, in my off time, started doing plotting on the third book in The Riyria Chronicles.  Now that I know the First Empire wont be out until 2016, it’s important to get that book out in 2015 so I’m doing a bit of multi-tasking.  That’s possible because Fhrey  is going so well. It’s a pretty exciting time.

14 down 12 to go!

It’s Wednesday, so I’m off to the pub.  My walks to and from really helps me to work on plot and get ideas.  It’s been cold and snowy here, so not much of that going on as of late.  Instead I annoy my wife by pacing the floors of my office (which is right over her head).  Currently at 76,000 words.  Fourteen chapters down and twelve left to go. Yesterday I wrote a whole chapter in one day.

Definitely over half way now.  Won’t be too much longer.

First Empire Updates!

The second beta ended last week, and I wanted to take a moment to thank all the people who participated in the read. If you’ve not heard from Robin, it is because the contract came in from Del Rey and she is deep in the analysis/negotiation of it.  You have no idea how much that helps me and my writing.  Usually, when dealing with things of this nature all my creativity disappears completely. I get tense, I get grumpy, and I have no desire to write.  Thankfully, having Robin deal with this end of things has allowed me to concentrate on the final book which is going swimmingly!

I use a feature of Scrivener where I type in an expected word count, a date to finish by, and it gives me a word count to meet. I had the date sent to the end of April and it was requiring about 950 words a day.  I kept beating those and the numbers went down and down (a good thing). This weekend I adjusted the date to early April and it has me back up at 1,100 words a day which I’ve been beating regularly, so I think that is a better estimate.

All in all, the mood around the Sullivan household can best be described as “busy but happy.”

More Advance Copy Giveaways of Rhune!

A while ago, I did a giveaway of the early, early editions of Rhune.  I just got the copies in and shipped them out, but I also bought a few more so I could guessed it.  Another giveaway!

So, another batch of some lucky people will be able to read the books before the summer 2016 release date.

The contest is open to people from all countries and there are a number of ways to win.

Most of these are pretty straight-forward, but I should explain “The Dark Room” a bit.  This is a secret and private group on goodreads for fans of my writing. Because it’s secret, it doesn’t show up on your group list, and any posts you make in it don’t appear in your friend feeds.  The fact that it is private means you have to be invited and approved…which I’ll do as part of this giveaway.
So what goes on in the Dark Room?  Well, all kinds of things such as:
  • This is where I pull beta readers from
  • I can leak information that isn’t public yet
  • We can talk about books
  • You can ask me questions
  • I can giveaway stuff not available to the general public
  • Other cool things but you have to join to see them
It’s a really cool group, and I hope you’ll join us there.
Now, about the copies that I’m giving away.  These are NOT the final version of the book.  What we have here is essentially the version that went to the second beta group (with a few fixed typos). There will definitely be changes, such as:
  • Feedback from the second beta test
  • Some things that need to be adjusted once I finish the last book
  • Editorial feedback from my editor at Del Rey
  • Copy edits, line edits, and final proof reading
So yes, the final book will be different, and yes, you will find typos and grammar issues, but it’s still “pretty clean.” For the winners, they’ll be able to see the difference between an interim and the final version that won’t come out until the summer of 2016.  Good luck on winning!

The First Empire Publisher Announced

This is actually “old news” as it came out two days ago. I made the official announcement on my Riyria site (and yes I have to get these two sites combined.  But here are some links about the news of The First Empire being picked up by Random House’s Del Rey imprint.  Here are some links to learn more:

Rhune Publishing Update

As some may know, publishing goes on a kind of hiatus between Christmas and New Years.  I’ve always found this strange since it is also when a lot of books are sold, but I also have stopped trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of this industry that provides my income.

So anyway, my agent planned on January 5th to be the day to provide Rhune to a number of editors she thought might enjoy the series.  She already gave them warning it was coming and thought it would “go quickly” so she had her ducks in a row.  She was right.

Within a few weeks we had multiple offers in, and a few more saying, “Wait for us, we just need a few more days.” One of the offers was from EXACTLY who I wanted, and for an advance that showed they valued me and my work.  There were a few points of clarification regarding how many books, which rights would be sold and which would be held back, but none of those were sticking points.

So we did a “reverse pre-empt.”  What’s that you may ask?  Well, it’s something I made up, but I think it fits.  For those that don’t know…a pre-empt is when a publisher makes an offer (usually a very attractive one) and says to the author…sign this now before any of the other offers come in.  It’s usually done to prevent an auction where the price goes up and up as publishers are pitted against one another.

When the offer came in from the publisher we are going to publish with, my agent said, “I like the offer, but I think a few more will still come in.  A number of people are rushing to get through the process, and I’ve told others who have made offers that they will have to up their advances.”

My reaction,  “Tell them not to bother, we’re going to be taking this one.”

Now that sounds really stupid. Why not hear what others have to say? Why not get the BEST deal you can? Well, to me. I DID get the best deal. I got the publisher I wanted and an advance that I felt was in line with the value of the series. If another publisher came back with a slightly higher (or even largely higher) offer, it wouldn’t change the fact that I wanted to work with THAT publisher. Besides, I have every intention of earning out my advance, and so any other offer wouldn’t mean “more money” it would just mean “more money sooner.”
Bottom line, I had the publisher I wanted, a fair price, retained the rights I wanted (foreign and audio)…in short I already got everything I wanted.

All that being said, we don’t have a signed contract yet, but I’m not overly concerned with that.  We ironed out the important points before agreeing to the deal. Sure, there will be some back and forth over particular contract points, but this isn’t my first rodeo, and I know what to expect on that front.

I don’t want to say who the publisher is until they may an official announcement.  But I’ve already seen a draft of the “Publisher’s Marketplace” announcement and once it is approved by their PR firm and out publicly I’ll come back and tell you more.

For now, what I can say, is I’m thrilled with the choice, and they are too. Always good to be doing with people who you WANT to do business with.  I’m very excited.