Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 4, 2013.

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The future is coming...for some, sooner than others. Preorder and receive Hollow World 6-7 months before the official 1/20/14 release.

Summary of Stretch Bonuses (15 and maybe more?)

We've reached so many of the stretch goals (and thanks for that!) that I thought it would be best to summarize where we stand at the moment. 

  • Everyone is getting TWO bonus short stories written by me 
  • Everyone who has contributed will be mentioned in the acknowledgements
  • Everyone is receiving the screensavers regardless of contribution level

Everyone will have a chance to win special bonuses (one "ticket" for each $1 contributed):

  • 1 chance at an original one-of-a-kind watercolor of one of the characters by Marc Simonetti
  • 4 chances to have a character named after them, a character based on them, or have a short story created based on input they provide
  • 21 chances at an "original" Crown Conspiracy copy (never before sold)
All people with a print editions will receive:
  • DRM free ebook versions
  • The 24" x 36" poster
  • 3 signed bookmarks (Hollow World)
  • 3 signed bookmarks (Riyria)

All people with the ebook edition can request the poster and/or bookmarks. I'll provide US postage, overseas backers will have to pay their own (which I won't know until I get the materials in - but I'll let you know when I know).


Also keep in mind that...

  • Everyone who gets a print book will get a free copy of the DRM free  ebooks
  • Everyone who gets a hardcover book will get a free copy of the paperback and the DRM free ebook

One last thing I should note, to help other authors achieve success with their own Kickstarters, I'm going to write up what I learned and make those notes available free to anyone who wishes.

Much like my Riyria Revelations series, Hollow World was developed with just one purpose in mind—to write a story that I wanted to read. I'm a story teller first and foremost and considerations such as genre, marketability, and profit potential weren't important to me. Instead, I focused on writing a fast-paced, humorous, and entertaining tale with memorable characters set in a fascinating world.

Wikipedia says that science fiction is “a literature of ideas” which is used to explore “philosophical ideas such as identity, desire, morality and social structure.” On that score, Hollow World definitely fits the bill, but it doesn't read like any science fiction that I've read before. If you are expecting hard science fiction, this probably isn't the book for you. Hollow World is a cross-genre piece mixing elements of science fiction, fantasy, adventure, mystery, and thrillers. It’s also what makes it nearly impossible to “sell through traditional publishing.” 

Everyone in “the business” who has read the book, from my editor at Orbit to my agent, has recognized just how good a book Hollow World is, but right now science fiction is a tough sell and most of the projects being bought currently are space operas. The truth is, they don’t think it will find an audience…I respectfully disagree. 

This isn't the first time I've been in this situation. Every major publisher passed on The Riyria Revelations the first time around. Fantasy had evolved to the “dark and gritty” and no one wanted traditional, classic fantasy with heroes, even those trying to rid themselves of the darkness in their pasts. Truth be told, they did me a favor. I learned a lot about self-publishing and made enough money to make the dream of being a full-time writer a reality. Now that those books have sold more than 250,000 copies I can confidently say my instincts were right. And I’m betting they will be again. 

The premise is actually pretty simple, Ellis Rogers is an ordinary guy who has always done the right things and played by the rules. But like many, his life didn't turn out as he had planned. Facing a terminal disease, he’s willing to gamble that a cure could exist in the future, and although it is insanely dangerous to try, he really has nothing to lose. 

There are many books that explore what life might be like many years from now, and they cover the spectrum from the idealized world of the original Star Trek, with its progressive stance on equality and civil rights, to Huxley’s dystopian Brave New World. For years I've been fascinated by the observation that perception can make people see the same thing in very different ways. So I created a future, which if I've done my job properly, will be seen by some as a utopia and by others as exactly the opposite. 

What will your money be used for?

Self-publishing doesn't mean, or shouldn't mean, throwing a book “out there” to see if it will stick. For me, it means donning the hat of the publisher and taking responsibility for releasing only the highest quality product, produced in the most professional manner possible. 

When I originally self-published, I worked on a shoestring budget. I created the covers myself, labored over the editing, and while the books were indeed high quality, it came at a price…less time to write new books. 

As a traditionally published author, I’m spoiled now. Orbit has an entire team of professionals ensuring excellence at every stage. I only need to review and approve, and as such I can continue to focus on what I really love, creating new worlds, and breathing life into new characters. 

Changes in the publishing industry have resulted in staff reductions and a shift to utilizing freelancers for book production. This is good news for me, as I can employ the same professionals that work on my traditionally published books. These people aren’t cheap, but they are worth every penny. 

Marc Simonetti created the wonderful covers for the French edition of my Riyria Revelations. He’s also done covers for Patrick Rothfuss, George R.R. Martin, and dozens of other high profile fantasy and science fiction authors. I’ve already hired him to create an illustration to depict Hollow World, a future where mankind now lives underground. The “matte painting” he created is beyond gorgeous, and if we reach various stretch goals, will be available as limited edition prints. 

Betsy Mitchell was the editor-in-chief at Del Rey for over a decade. She has over thirty years in the business and has edited more than 150 novels from authors such as Michael Chabon, Terry Brooks and many other New York Times bestselling authors. Betsy now has a freelance editing service, and while I think the book is great the way it is now, I’m sure her input will give it the additional polish that only someone with her experience can provide. 

Professional copy editors and proofreaders will ensure that the book won’t be littered with grammar errors and poor punctuation, which can distract from the reading experience. Because my roots were in self-publishing, I support many “indie” authors, and while I’m often impressed with their ability to spin a tale, it’s unfortunate that they often contain numerous errors. I’m dedicated to ensuring that Hollow World won’t suffer from this problem. 

When will the books be released? 

Because I also have books coming out from Orbit, there are some contractual restrictions that dictate what I can publish and when. This is done to ensure that the books they have invested so much money in have an exclusive window that won’t be distracted by other titles from me. As such, I’m not permitted to sell any new books between April 6th 2013 and January 17th 2014. This actually presents me with an excellent opportunity. 

 The supporters of this Kickstarter will essentially be pre-ordering Hollow World and while it won’t officially go on sale until January 20th, 2014. I’ll actually be receiving orders before April 6th. My intention is to ship any books funded as part of this project as soon as the professionals have finished their contributions. I’m anticipating this will be in early July, although it could be sooner. 

What other books have I written?

The Riyria Revelations was my first series, which was published two different ways: as six books (through a small press and later self-published) then as three, two-book omnibus editions by Orbit (fantasy imprint of big-six Hachette). I wrote a second series, The Riyria Chronicles that will be released this summer/fall. Here is a list of all my books:

The Riyria Revelations
  • Theft of Swords (contains The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha)
  • Rise of Empire (contains Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm)
  • Heir of Novron (contains Wintertide & Percepliquis

The Riyria Chronicles 
  • The Crown Tower (August 6, 2013) 
  • The Rose and the Thorn (Sep 17, 2013)

Stand Alone Novels
  • Hollow World (January 20, 2014)
  • Antithesis (release tbd) 
  • A Burden to the Earth (release tbd)

Can I read an excerpt?

You sure can. Click on this link, and you read the first section of the first chapter of Hollow World.

I set the funding of this project to cover just my out of pocket costs, but ideally I would like it to fund for more, as I had originally intended that the book would be traditionally published, which would have provided an advance. 

At this stage of my career I’m a full-time writer, but still living “book-to-book” so with Hollow World not being picked up, it presents a potential cash flow problem. I’m confident that the book will do well through self-publishing, but I won’t be able to see any of that income for nearly a year from now. I have squirreled away money to pay bills should it not fund, but I would prefer to not have to dip into that nest egg. After all, once the reserves are gone, it will mean the need for a day job and a decrease in the amount of time I have available for writing. 

Many people have already seen Marc's exceptional artwork, and expressed an interest to having a copy to hang on their walls.  This seems like the perfect thing to provide to others so I'm making it a part of every stretch goal, with larger sizes for higher goals reached.

Reach #1: $5,000 - COMPLETED

For anyone who has purchased the print editions, I’ll provide an 11" x 17" (30 cm x 43 cm) print of Marc’s exceptional artwork, which will be included when their order ships. For anyone who gets just the ebook, I’ll make the print available on request (in the US) by emailing me an address. International buyers can have the print, if they are willing to pay for the shipping. 

Reach #2: $10,000 - UNLOCKED

I’ll upgrade the print of Marc’s artwork to a 18" x 24" poster size (46 cm x 61 cm). Again, anyone who has purchased the print editions, will receive the poster when their order ships, and ebook-only purchases will be shipped on request (in the US) and internationally if postage is provided for. 

Reach #3: $13,000 - UNLOCKED

One person (chosen by raffle where the number of tickets of each person is based on dollars contributed) will be selected to receive one of the following: Name a character after them, base a character off of them, or have  a short story written for them.  For more details see this update thread.

Reach #4: $15,000 - UNLOCKED

Hollow World bookmarks will be created, printed and signed. For each person getting a poster, they will also receive 3 bookmarks (1 for them and two for friends). In addition, I'll include a short story with the setting of my choice.

Reach #5: $16,000 - UNLOCKED

One person (chosen by raffle where the number of tickets of each person is based on dollars contributed) will be selected to receive one of the following: Name a character after them, base a character off of them, or have a short story written for them. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #6: $19,000 - UNLOCKED

One person (chosen by raffle where the number of tickets of each person is based on dollars contributed) will be selected to receive one of the following: Name a character after them, base a character off of them, or have a short story written for them. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #7: $20,000 - UNLOCKED

I’ll upgrade the print of Marc’s artwork to 24" x 36" (61 cm x 91.5 cm). Again, anyone who has purchased the print editions, will receive the poster when their order ships, and ebook-only purchases will be shipped on request (in the US) and internationally with the same restrictions as above.

Reach #8: $22,000 - UNLOCKED

One person (chosen by raffle where the number of tickets of each person is based on dollars contributed) will be selected to receive one of the following: Name a character after them, base a character off of them, or have a short story written for them. For more details see this update thread. 

Reach #8-1: $23,000 - UNLOCKED

3 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle.  For more details see this update thread.

Reach #8-2: $24,000 - UNLOCKED

3 copies upgraded to 6 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #9: $25,000 - UNLOCKED

  • Riyria bookmarks will be created, printed, and signed. For each person getting a poster, they will also receive 3 bookmarks (1 for them and two for friends). 
  •  I'll include a second short story with the setting of my choice.
  • 6 copies upgraded to 9 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #9-2: $26,000 - UNLOCKED

9 copies upgraded to 12 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #9-3: $27,000 - UNLOCKED

12 copies upgraded to 15 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #9-4: $28,000 - UNLOCKED

15 copies upgraded to 18 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #9-5: $29,000 - UNLOCKED

18 copies upgraded to 21 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #10: $30,000 

  • I'll create an author's afterword that will go into the some of the "behind the scenes aspects of this book...where the idea came from...and possible story lines for future development.
  • 21 copies upgraded to 24 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #11: $31,000

24 copies upgraded to 27 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle. For more details see this update thread.

Reach #12: $32,000

27 copies upgraded to 30 copies of the original, never available for sale versions of The Crown Conspiracy will be added to the raffle. For more details see this update thread.


I have a lot of fans that aren't based in the United States, and I of course want to make the books available to them. Unfortunately, overseas shipping can be expensive, and so international orders will require an additional contribution to cover the shipping.

NOTE: Shipping in the US is included with all print book orders.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Unlike most novel projects that fund a potential future book to be written, Hollow World is already completed. Feedback from the beta testers have indicated no significant changes are required, and incorporating their input should require a minimal amount of time.

For some, the production of producing a self-published book can be daunting. For me, however, that’s not a problem. I've produced 5 of my own novels, and provided layout and formatting for dozens of others through my wife’s small press.

In short, I see the risks involved in this project to be extremely small, to practically non-existent. In the years of my self-publishing, I never once missed a deadline, even though I was producing books on a demanding schedule.

FAQ

  • I've had huge success in the audio book arena. My Riyria Revelations have been in the Top 25 of Epic Fantasy for months now, and I've been nominated or a 2013 Audie (audio book equivalent of a Grammy). So yes I will most certainly have an audio book. My agent is in Germany right now, and I don't want to do an "end run" around her with regards to selling the audio rights. So when she gets back she'll get on it. If for some reason she can't find a buyer...then I'll do it myself...but yes there will be an audio version.

    Last updated:
  • Hollow World was written as a stand-alone novel there is no "to be continued" aspect to it and everything is completely resolved. Since completing the novel, the beta readers, my wife, and my agent have all expressed a desire to see more of both this world and these characters. I've "brainstormed" 4 - 5 ideas that could be written, but have no plans to write any of them presently (which is to say that I have my next 4 or 5 novels queued up). But...if the book is a big success and the readers want more, then I would add (and prioritize) another Hollow World book.

    Last updated:
  • Yes, at the end of the project there will be a questionnaire where you can specify your signing preference: unsigned, signature only, signed and dedicated.

    Last updated:
  • The Riyria Revelations was my first series, which was published two different ways: as six books (through a small press and later self-published) then as three, two-book omnibus editions by Orbit (fantasy imprint of big-six Hachette). I wrote a second series, The Riyria Chronicles that will be released this summer/fall. Here is a list of all my books:

    The Riyria Revelations
    * Theft of Swords (contains The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha)
    * Rise of Empire (contains Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm)
    * Heir of Novron (contains Wintertide & Percepliquis

    The Riyria Chronicles
    * The Crown Tower (August 6, 2013)
    * The Rose and the Thorn (Sep 17, 2013)

    Stand Alone Novels
    * Hollow World (January 20, 2014)
    * Antithesis (release tbd)
    * A Burden to the Earth (release tbd)

    Last updated:
  • Yes, everyone will get the screen saver and mention in the book.

    Last updated:
  • Yes, US shipping is included, there is additional shipping required for international but US shipping is covered.

    Last updated:
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    DRM free ebook (pdf, ePub, and Mobi file) of the completed book, compatible with all major eBook readers (Kindle, iBooks, Sony, Nook). Delivered six months before it's officially available for sale. (Plus the poster (on request) if the stretch goals are met)

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    Limited edition hardcover signed and numbered AND DRM free ebook (pdf, ePub, and Mobi file) of the completed book, compatible with all major eBook readers (Kindle, iBooks, Sony, Nook). Delivered six months before it's officially available for sale. Also special mention in the acknowledgements for making Hollow World a reality. (Plus the poster if stretch goals are met)

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    An even rarer limited hardcover edition (signified by a different cover design), PLUS a trade paperback to share with friends and family, AND a DRM free ebook (pdf, ePub, and Mobi file) of the completed book, compatible with all major eBook readers (Kindle, iBooks, Sony, Nook). Delivered six months before it's officially available for sale. Also special mention in the acknowledgements for making Hollow World a reality. (Plus the poster if stretch goals are met)

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    Patron for life: Your choice of hardcover edition (faux leather with gold foil stamping or cover from reward #5 or #4). Trade paperback to share with friends/family, DRM free ebook (pdf, ePub and Mobi file)...PLUS receive ebook of all future books written. Also you will be listed as a Patron for life in the acknowledgements of all future works

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