Frequently Asked Questions
The book will have an audio version, and yes Tim Gerard Reynolds will be doing the narration, just as he has for all the Riyria books and shorts. The issue is the audio right was sold to the publisher so I can't distribute it as part of the Kickstarter.
That being said, I do have a contest running and if you want a chance to win one of 10 copies of the audio book - you can enter the contest at:
Yes, of course, any of the books can be signed and dedicated if you wish. If you are buying multiple copies each one can have their own dedication, so you and your friends can have personalized editions. Not only will I sign Death of Dulgath copies, but any books bought through the Kickstarter can be signed.Last updated:
This happens after the Kickstarter is over. You'll be provide access to the BakerKit self-service portal where you can
1. Manage your shipping address
2. Distribute your extra pledge to the add-ons you want
3. Purchase other add-ons through a standard shopping cart checkout.
Let's work through an example. Say you live in the US and are backing the project at the HARD CORE level, but you also want a hardcover for a friend and a t-shirt for yourself. You should pledge: $80 and choose the HARD CORE level. That amount covers (a) $35 for HARD CORE pledge, (b) $25 for an extra hardcover, (c) $4 for shipping the extra hardcover, and (d) $16 for the t-shirt.
After the project is over, you'll get an email which provides access to a self-service portal. From there, you'll be able to allocate the additional $45 to the extra hardcover. At that time you'll also specify things like t-shirt size and color and whether you want your books signed or not.Last updated:
You can buy as many of these products as you want. There is a "quantity" field when you are distributing your extra pledge money and you can specify any number for any of these (or other add-on products) then.Last updated:
I don't charge for signatures. Any book that is shipped as part of the Kickstarter can come in one of three ways:
2. Signature only
3. Signed and Dedicated
For those that are overseas, shipping of physical books can be expensive. Also, there are a number of people who already have the books and would like them signed. For those reasons I do offer book plates that can be signed (and dedicated if you wish). There is a small charge for bookplates: $3 in the US and $5 overseas. But that's not for the signature. It covers the printing of the bookplates and the postage to deliver them.Last updated:
This question has been posed to me in a few direct messages, so I thought I should discuss it here.
The Death of Dulgath is being self-published, which means I own and control all the rights. I sold the audio rights (which is why you don't see those as part of this Kickstarter). For the other 8 Riyria books, they are published by Orbit (the fantasy imprint of big-five publisher Hachette Book Group). They bought audio, print, and ebook rights.
Selling a right means they are the only ones able to sell the work in that format in the language and territories where the rights were transferred. In this case, that means English, the world, and ebooks, print, and audio. So, even though I wrote the book, I can't sell or giveaway, or otherwise do anything that will take money from the publisher who paid me for the right of exclusivity. For that reason, only books that I have the digital rights to can be sold by me...and at this time that means only The Death of Dulgath and Hollow World.
So, if that is the case, why am I selling the physical copies of the book? Well, that's easy. I BUY the copies from the publisher (at the same rate that bookstores get them) so the publisher gets "their cut" from those sales. If I were to sell the ebooks they wouldn't have a cut, not to mention they don't provide me DRM-free ebooks, whereas they do let me buy print copies.
So, how do you get copies of those other books? You can buy them anywhere ebooks are sold: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, google Play, Kobo, etc. I'm trying to get them to reduce the price during or slightly after the Kickstarter, I'll certainly post an update if that turns out to be possible.Last updated:
Long ago, I was doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) and someone asked me this question. I wrote a Top Ten Reasons to Read Riyria response and it still seems pretty relevant, so here goes:
1.) A traditional fantasy that’s not a Tolkien clone, but also isn’t morbid to the point of having to down a pair of Prozac to get through.
2.) All six books were written before the first was ever published, enabling the weaving of threads and planting of clues about ongoing mysteries, allowing readers the added pleasure of trying to unravel the plot twists.
3.) Unforgettable characters that provide scenes both heartwarming and heart-wrenching that will make you cry in the end—not because they die a horrible deaths (although some do), but because you don’t want to leave them.
4.) A story that is gritty to the point of killing off half the cast, and yet always leaves the reader feeling people are basically good and heroes can and do exist.
5.) A finished series with a designed arc that ties up all loose ends and as such provides a truly satisfying conclusion.
6.) Written for adults, but without gruesome violence, sex, or profanity so that it can be read by people of all ages and shared with the whole family.
7.) Lacking the overly grim portrayal of some fantasy worlds, it is infused with humor including witty banter and laugh-out-loud moments even during dire and serious moments.
8.) Designed such that each book is better than the one that came before, so if you like the first, you won’t be disappointed with the last.
9.) Written to be an “easy read” it lacks the intimidating wall-of-world-building-information, utilizes modern dialog rather than archaic speech, and is paced like a thriller to keep the pages turning.
10.) Written with an emphasis on character and plot it packs an emotional punch focusing on reading entertainment rather than intellectual allegory.Last updated:
This goal provides signed bookmarks. Anyone who is receiving a shipped item (book, poster, t-shirt, coffee mug, bookplates) will receive 3 bookmarks, each signed by me:
* A newly designed bookmark for the Death of Dulgath
* The Hollow World bookmark
* The "old" Riyria bookmark before this book was released.Last updated:
There will now be two different posters that are available as add-ons. Both were created by famed artist Marc Simonetti, who has created covers for myself, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Terry Pratchett, George R.R.Martin, and dozens more. If you like both posters and can't chose between them $4 will get you one of each. These are very large, very high end posters suitable for framing and are 24" x 36" in size.Last updated:
I knew Kickstarter didn't allow for contests as "the project" but I didn't know they would object to them as part of a stretch goal. I had used them in Hollow World without problem. So...I've removed the audio books raffle as part of the Kickstarter and setup a contest from my website. The only real difference is you won't be automatically entered...you'll have to sign up separately at this link: http://michaeljsullivan.polldaddy.com/s/death-of-dulgath-audio-giveaway.Last updated:
When I received my original print estimates, I had a number of different options available including cover colors, paper stocks, end papers and so forth. To keep costs manageable, I picked a nice "middle of the road" option when doing my Kickstarter calculations. By reaching this level, there is extra money to spend on upgrades to my original options. Those include:
* Creme paper rather than white for all editions of the hardcover
* A matching slipcase for the RARE BREED version
* Linen covers for the UNCOMMON VALOR version
* Gold foil stamping on the spine for all hardcovers
* An embossed seal on the title page for ALL print books
This is nice for those buying print copies, but what about those that are only getting digital editions. Well, I wanted to give them something as well, so I'm going to do something unusual...signed ebooks. Yes, that's right you can get your ebook signed...but it's not easy. Here's how it will work.
Every person who has the digital version AND contributes before the stretch goal will have the ability to have their ebooks personalized. You'll get an email so you can tell me what you want yours to say. I'll print out copies of the "title page" for the book and sign/dedicate them based on your instructions. Then I'll add this title page to YOUR own personal copy of the ebook (.mobi and .epub only - not PDFs as that is too hard to do) and send it to you.
Doing the ebook signing is going to be a lot of work, but all I have to do is the signing, Robin has graciously volunteered to make the hundreds of individual copies...so you can thank her for that!Last updated:
For the same reason as Goal #3 - see that FAQ for it for more details. I'm still going to be giving away 5 copies of Rhune, but I'll do so through a contest independent of the Kickstarter via my website. The only real difference is you'll not be automatically entered and the contest will be open to people outside of the Kickstarter. You can sign up from here:
Updated maps! The maps have long been a sore spot for me. I'm a writer, not a cartographer, and the original maps were only created to give me direction as I wrote the story. I needed to know where various places were and what kind of terrain would be encountered. So I drew up something I never intended for the books. When self-published, I didn't have the extra budget for better maps but figured my crappy one was better than nothing. When the series was sold to Orbit, I assumed they would have them redrawn...they didn't.
The maps actually can appear in a number of different ways. So here goes:
* Everyone will get the black and white map in the book (both print and ebooks).
* Everyone will get access to high-resolution versions online (in both color and B&W).
* I'll have both an all-encompassing map and various detail areas for important regions.
* Printed maps will be available as an add-on, see that section for pricing details
* Printed copies will be 11 x 17 and in full-color.Last updated:
Now that this goal is met we have enough money to do a print run of the paperback editions in addition to the hardcovers. Now that we aren't using print on demand it will mean the trade paperback can match the Orbit books in size. It also means that going forward I'll be able to keep a higher amount of the money paid by readers as the per book printing cost will go down significantly (print on demand is very expensive on a book by book basis). Also, we should be able to get the books into the distribution chain so the chances of finding it in your local stores and libraries goes up significantly.
It also increases the number of bookmarks to all those who are receiving physical packages. Now you'll get 3 full set (9 total). In addition, those at the (D)EARLY BIRD and DIGITAL DELIGHT levels (who weren't getting bookmarks in the past), will get them now. I'm not sure exactly how many but it will be however many will fit in envelope and still be under 1 ounce from a shipping perspective.
Lastly, the audio book giveaway (that is happening independently from the Kickstarter, has been increased to 10 copies from five. If you want to enter that, here is the link:
Comic adaption of my short story, "The Jester." I've found an artist and he has created a script for the graphic adaptation. He's currently working on concept drawing for Royce and Hadrian.
All backers will get a digital copy of the comic, if you would like a printed version, you can order them as an add-on. The US version will cost just $6 and $9 if you are overseas.Last updated:
Anyone at the DIGITAL DELIGHT version and above will receive 4 short stories and one novel in ebook format. They are: Hollow World (novel), Burning Alexandria (short), The Jester (short), Professional Integrity (short), and Traditions (short).Last updated:
Michael (and maybe sometimes Robin) will post regular video diaries to talk about writing, the industry, or what's new with regards to his work. We are hoping for the posts to be weekly, but they'll at least be monthly. All backers will have access to these videos and receive updates when the are posted.Last updated:
An ebook will be created entitled, "Inside the Death of Dulgath" which will chronicle some of the "behind the scenes" aspects of making this book. Michael will share his notes, timelines, images and all sorts of reference material. Robin will add her insights regarding the alpha and beta reading process.Last updated:
Three women's cut t-shirts have been added to the Riyria T-shirt design in colors (dark red, black, and Coral). In addition there will be a Rose and Thorn T-shirt. I'm working on the design for that new one now, and it will be posted as part of the Backer Kit. Remember you can purchase add-ons after the close of the Kickstarter, so if you aren't sure if you want one, just don't increase your pledge now, and you an do it after the project.Last updated:
All backers of the Death of Dulgath Kickstarter will get the first look (a sneak peek) at any sample chapters for the books of my 5-book series, The First Empire. In other words, before any of these samples are published to the world at large, they'll be shown to backers here first.Last updated:
A new ebook will be written and distributed to all backers titled, Riyria Revealed. This will be a behind the scenes look at the making of the Riyria Revelations series. It will contain numerous spoilers so readers should beware when using it. The bulk of it will be written by Michael's wife Robin, although Michael will be a major contributor as well.Last updated:
The first eight Riyria novels were traditionally published by Orbit, so why not continue that way for this novel?
Well, there are several reasons. I decided to write this book some time ago, but I've been busy writing my five-book series, The First Empire for Del Rey. Because of this, serious writing for this book started in early 2015. I expect to have the first draft completed by mid-July. The editing process should take a few months, and if all goes well, the final book will be ready in mid-November 2015 and printed and ready to ship by mid-December. This deadline is extremely tight, and no traditional publisher could work under such constraints. In fact, I didn't even bother trying as I knew it just wasn't possible.
So, why not just slide the date? There's nothing magic about it, is there? Well, there is. I MUST get The Death of Dulgath published before December 31st. Here's why. Del Rey has paid a lot of money for The First Empire series, and they are concerned that a self-published Riyria story could affect their release. So there is a provision in my contract to put distance between my other books and theirs. Long story short, if I don't publish this book by the end of 2015, I'll have to wait until early 2020 to get a new Royce and Hadrian tale told.
All that being said, I should mention that I love self-publishing. Having 100% freedom over the work makes it so much easier for a control junkie like me. Ideally, I'd like to have a good mix of both self and traditionally published books. So far, that hasn't happened because I've had some amazing deals that I just couldn't turn down. Presently, most of my work is firmly in the traditional camp. By self-publishing The Death of Dulgath, I'll be able to balance the scales a bit more.
There is one other reason why I wish to self-publish, and it comes down to income and keeping more of the reader's money in the pockets of the creator. It's always difficult to figure out which publication path will earn best, but there is no denying that self-publishing cuts out a lot of middlemen. Therefore, a much higher percentage of the money paid by readers comes to me.Last updated:
In a previous FAQ I explained why the book is self-published, but why do a Kickstarter? Well, first off, my wife and I love being entrepreneurs. She's a card-carrying member of Shark Tank Nation, and I love how Kickstarter is democratizing the creation of art. It's an incredible experience to be part of a group of people all pulling for the success of a project and spreading their enthusiasm to others.
Second, Kickstarter allows me to offer extra perks that I just couldn't do without the concentrated sales of a large group of buyers all at once. t-shirts, coffee mugs, and posters can't be produced at a reasonable cost in small quantities, but by having a bunch of orders all at once, I can produce these items at a decent price.
Readers like supporting authors and want them to receive the lion's share of the money they pay, unfortunately this isn't the case outside of a Kickstarter. When buying a book through conventional channels there are a lot of middlemen, all of whom earn much more than the author does. By self-publishing we are cutting out the publishers, and by doing a Kickstarter we are also cutting out the retailer, warehouse, and all the other organizations in the distribution chain. Through Kickstarter the creator gets the highest percentage of the amount you pay.
For instance, Amazon takes 55% off the top for any print books sold,and when selling to other chains (like Barnes and Noble), I have to give up 70% of the list price. Ebook margins are better as I only lose 30% with them. With Kickstarter, their fees only run 10%, half of which goes to credit card processing. That's a big difference. So, if you want to ensure the highest percentage of your purchase comes to me, then getting them through a Kickstarter is THE best way to ensure that happens.
Then, of course, is the most important reason...the funding for a large print run of hardcover books is simply beyond my capabilities. As mentioned elsewhere, I'm willing to spend the $4,400 for creative costs (editing and cover design), and I'm even able to absorb the $3,200 shortfall that my calculations predict. But $7,600 is a long way from $33,600 which is the total cost for everything.Last updated:
I'm doing something that I hope will benefit a new or aspiring author. As a way of giving them a moment in the spotlight, I'll bundle their short story with my novel. Based on past sales, your story should obtain exposure of 30,000 - 100,000 readers. Provided my Kickstarter funds (and I have no reason to suspect it won't), I'll do the following for the winning author:
* Pay more than twice the pro rate for short story anthologies.
* Work with the winner to polish the book by providing structural editing feedback.
* Hire a professional to copyedit their piece.
* Include the short story in all ebooks and print editions of The Death of Dulgath.
* Include a brief biographical introduction to your story, providing the opportunity to cross-promote any existing or future works.
* All entrants will receive a critique of their query, and if it interests me enough to check out the short story, I'll provide feedback on that as well.
So, here are the details:
* The submission window open and will end midnight EST on July 16th.
* Submission will be via email and must include a query and attached Microsoft Word file of the short story. If you are unfamiliar with writing queries, check out the FAQ about how to write one.
* The short story must follow standard manuscript formatting, which is double-spaced, 12-point font, 1" margins all around.
* The header of the short story must contain the author's name, email address, and the story's word count.
* Pay rate: $0.15 a word for up to 5,000 words, and yes, shorter works are perfectly acceptable. 5,000 words is not a "preferred" length; it's the size I picked to budget the prize amount.
* The story may be a maximum of 7,500 words, but the payout will not exceed $750.
* While I'll consider any work regardless of genre or style, it should be noted that the audience who will be reading the story will be fans of my work. So, to capture THEIR attention it may be best to submit something that you suspect my readers would enjoy. What does that mean? Well, I write light, fun, classic fantasy with a bit of humor. If you aren't familiar with my work, you can ask for some free samples from the button in the main Kickstarter page.
* Author retains all rights. NOTE: If the work hasn't been previously published, you'll lose first-publication rights, but there's nothing I can do about that. Bottom line, you'll be able to publish the work elsewhere and earn whatever income you can outside this contest.
* The contest is open to people regardless of locale, who will be responsible for taxes based on their country. US residents must provide a tax identification number (social security or business FEIN). A 1099-MISC form will report income to the IRS.
* The contest is open to all writers regardless of past publishing history.
* While I would prefer a never-previously-published piece, I'll consider all works.
* You do not have to be a backer of the Kickstarter to participate in the contest, although I would appreciate you telling friends or loved ones about the project if you think they would be interested.
That's about all I can think of at this time, if you have additional questions, send me a message or ask in the comment section.
Good luck and happy writing.Last updated:
To participate in the short story contest, you must send an email to: email@example.com with a subject of SUBMISSION. If you have any questions, you can use the same address but use QUESTION in the subject.
Your submission must include a query letter. If you don't know how to write one, this resource (www.reddit.com/r/Write2Publish/comments/1azerj/traditional_publishing_resources_for_writing/) should help.
Attach both the query letter and the short story as Microsoft Word attachments, with the following formats:
* Query - single spaced preferably 1 page
* Short Story - double spaced, 1" margins, 12 point font (Times New Roman preferred, Courier discouraged), Page number in footer, Name, email, and word count in header, maximum word count 7,500.
In the body of the email include the following:
* Name (please use an actual name, not an Internet "handle")
* Short Story Title
* Short Story Word Count
* Short Story Genre
* Has this story been previously published? (Yes | No)
* If yes, a brief indication of where and how
* Which best describes your previous publishing history? (None | Self | Small-press or Magazine | Big-five, More than one on list)
REMEMBER, deadline is July 16th at the end of the day (midnight EDT).Last updated:
Query letters are a brief introduction to you and your work to help a prospective agent or publisher to pique their interest enough to check out your writing. Generally they consist of
* A salutation that correctly addresses the person you are sending to (too often queries are "too generic" or addressed to the wrong person, this is the best way to make a bad first impression.
* A paragraph on the work, written in a way to entice the reader to check it out.
* A paragraph on you and your prior writing history
* A professional closing that doesn't beg or come off as needy.
Writing a good query letter is not easy, and it takes "marketing savvy" rather than creative writing. I've assembled some great resources on writing queries and you can read more about them from here: http://www.reddit.com/r/Write2Publish/comments/1azerj/traditional_publishing_resources_for_writing/Last updated:
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