Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fantasy Book Critic - Ten Year Aniversary

Fantasy Book Critic has hit their 10-year anniversary. Oh how time flies! What started out as a hobby by Robert Thompson has become one of the biggest blogs for fantasy fans working tirelessly to introduce fantasy readers to great books by fantasy authors new and well-established. I've said many times that the early support of bloggers and Goodreads has been paramount in my career, and I'm thrilled that they posted a guest post by me to celebrate.  So far there are 5 posts in their anniversary celebration. Definitely worth checking them all out.
Of particular note is the last link in the celebration. There are 32 books (including one of mine) in the list being given away.  To enter, please send an email to "" with your Name, Mailing Address, and the subject: FBC 10Giveaway will end on 1/5/18 and is open to participants WORLDWIDE

Thursday, December 21, 2017

An Update on pre-order shipping of The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter

Hey all, Robin here. For those that don't know I'm Michael's wife and the "go to woman" for shipping Michael's books.  I'm getting swamped with emails about shipment of pre-ordered copies of The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter, so I thought I would take over Michael's blog and post and provide an update.

First, the easy things.  ebooks and audio versions went live on December 5th. You can get your audio version exclusively from Due to a non-compete clause in Michael's Del Rey contract you CANNOT get the audio book (or physical copies) in the retail chain...yet.  The books WILL be in retail sometime in June 2018.  Now, for those who don't want to wait that long, you can order the book directly from us and we have several formats for you to purchase: ebook, trade paperback, hardcover, and limited editions. I should also note that if you buy an ebook, it's not an automated process, and I email them a few times a day so you should get your copy within 24 hours of purchase.

Now some updates on shipping of the physical books. As some may know, we held a Kickstarter for this project to make hardcover editions possible (in three formats: rare, limited, and regular). It was a huge success (2nd most-backed and 4th highest funded fiction project of all time). The plan was to use a fulfillment house to process those Kickstarter orders (as well as any pre-orders that were "signed only').

Here's how that was supposed to work. When the books came off the press they would be shipped to a fulfillment house. While they were traveling, Michael and I would simultaneously be driving there and we'd "meet the books" where he would sign them, I'd add a bookmark, and the employees of the fulfillment house would ship them. Since all of the Kickstarter orders (and a large % of the pre-orders) were signed only this would take care of the bulk of the orders and all we would have to worry about was orders that had t-shirts, and books that needed to be dedicated.

Okay, so the books came off the press on December 7th, so I called the fulfillment house to make sure they were on the look out for them. That's when we got the bad news that they had some big orders come in and they are completely booked until the middle of January!  That wasn't going to work as I knew many people made their orders for Christmas gifts.  So time to think fast.

I arranged for the printer to ship the books directly to us in Virginia (yes, all 13,600 pounds of them), and I rented a storage locker.  We'd just have to ship them ourselves...and with the help of our daughter Sarah who has been helping me with some of the business stuff (and shipping) for some time.

After some trials and tribulations that I'll save for another day. The books arrived on the coldest night of the year in the dark of night (Tuesday December 12).  By midnight all the books had been moved out of the parking lot (where the delivery truck dropped them) to either the storage locker or the garage and there very cold and very tired people went to bed.

Signing table

Sarah and I started unboxing and stacking books on the dinning room table and when Michael got up he started signing...more than 1,700 copies!  Sarah and I organized and started the shipping. Now, I have to confess that we concentrated on the Kickstarter orders because after all those people's pledges made the printing possible in the first place. Our goal was to get all the Kickstarter orders done by Monday morning...and we almost made it. All the book orders went out but we still had a bunch of orders that involved both books and t-shirts. By this time Sarah was really showing signs of wear...with good reason. She generally stayed up until around 2:00 am packaging books and when I woke up around 6:00 am we'd start into it again. She fully expected to drop off all the orders on Monday and then be able to go back to her house in Fairfax.  The fact that we still around 300 orders to process after Sunday night was heart-breaking.

Still, Sarah was a trooper and by late afternoon Tuesday the 19th. All the Kickstarter orders were on their way and it looked like a good 95% of them would receive them by Christmas.  I didn't have the heart to tell Sarah that there were still another 233 pre-orders to go.  So, I had Michael drive her home Tuesday afternoon with the plan that I would finish up.

Garage turned into a shipping station

I spent most of the day on Wednesday organizing the orders and getting out critical packages for people who had written me that they needed their pre-orders by Christmas. And given that it is now is Thursday right--everything since last Tuesday night has been a blur. I'm going to cut off the "one-off" I must have it now orders since I can't get them out by Christmas anyway. This will allow me to do a more efficient shipping process - because those on-offs throw a wrench into everything.

So, with a last push I SHOULD be able to get the remaining 150 orders out today and Friday. Please don't email asking where your order is.  It takes time away from shipping. Just know that I'm working as hard as a broken-down 56-year-old woman can and getting the orders to you are my #1 priority.

Okay, I've already taken enough time away from shipping to write this post. Time to get back at it. Thanks all for your understanding. We are trying to get the books to you just as soon as we can.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Another Top 10 Bestseller!

As reported by the New York TimesThe Disappearance of Winter's Daughter hit the Top 10 Bestselling Audiobooks. To be honest, I didn't think we'd make it this time around as there were a number of highly anticipated releases to come out on the same day, but we snuck on in the 8th spot. Since the release of The Death of Dulgath in December 2015, we've had the following books hit that prestigious list:
  • #9 - The Death of Dulgath week ending December 18, 2015
  • #1 - Age of Swords week ending July 28, 2017
  • #8 - The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter week ending December 8, 2017
That's three for four! Age of Myth was the only one not to hit the list, but seeing as how it was a finalist for Best Fantasy Audiobook of the year (for both AudioFile Magazine and we'll still consider it a success ;-). So checkout the top 10 books, many of which are fantasy or sci-fi so a good crop of listens for people who enjoy speculative fiction.

Release Date
# Ratings
Andy Weir
Rosario Dawson
Year One
Nora Roberts
Julia Whelan
Jacob T. Marley
William Bennett
The Force
Don Winslow
Dion Graham
Persepolis Rising
James S. Corey
Jefferson Mays
King's Dark Tidings
Kel Kade
Nick Podehl
Dan Brown
Paul Michael
The Disapperance
of Winter's
Michael J.
Tim Gerard
The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas
Teen Fiction
Kate Reading & Michael Kramer

Friday, December 8, 2017

Audible's Editor's Select: Best New Releases of December

2017 has been an exceptional year for audiobook releases, and as the year winds down Audible's editors picked their final batch of best-of titles.

I'm honored to have The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter make the cut. I think this is the first time one of my books has been an editor's choice (although several titles have been awarded Listener's Favorites and Age of Myth was a finalist for Best Book of the Year in 2016). Here's what the editor had to say about the book.
I'm so glad to hear that Michael felt it could be enjoyed as a standalone. That was certainly one of the goals of this book, and it's always good when a bar you set for yourself is cleared.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Audible 50% off Sitewide Sale

Hey all, there is a great sale going on at Audible right now: 50% everything.  Of particular note is a number of titles that are under $5 including:
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry By: Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Wonder by: R. J. Palacio
  • The Great Gatsby By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Cosmo by: Carl Sagan
  • A Christmas Carol: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry by: Charles Dickens
I'm thrilled that my latest release, The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter is also featured in the sale as an Editor's Pick:

Winter's Daughter is a standalone that can be read without any prior knowledge of the Riyria Chronicles but thanks to the 50% off sale, you could grab the first three for half the price.  Gotta move fast, though. Sale ends on the 14th.  Happy listening no matter what you pick up!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Winter's Daughter - A great first day!

Yesterday The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter was officially released!  Release days are so exciting. You are hoping for good results. You are hoping for people to like the book. You are hoping you won't have to crawl into a hole afterward.

The book hit #7 overall, which is pretty good considering it shared release day with two power hitters (Nora Roberts made her debut into the fantasy world with her book Year One, and Kel Kade's King's Dark Tiding also launched).  In addition, to the sales from, a number of people 604 to be exact, have pre-ordered print and ebook copies directly from me.  The distribution of ebooks, is, unfortunately, manual at this point and Robin, myself, and Sarah worked long into the night to get them all sent out.  So, if you pre-ordered, look in your email for your books.

But what's even better than all the the enthusiastic sales is that people seem to be enjoying the new release. Here's what has come in so far.

 They're Baaack...! 

What about Tim Gerard Reynolds and Michael J. Sullivan ’s performance did you like?
Tim Gerard Reynolds should be in Audible's Narrator Hall of Fame. Michael J. Sullivan takes us on another epic adventure with my favorite duo. Delving ever deeper into Ryiras history gap MJS spins gold and TGR brings it to life! Oh how I hope MJS keeps writing these I've had it on pre order for the past 5 months!!

 4th book in the series and still great! 

I worried that this type of series could feel flat after a few entries but found no need to worry! Great book! my only complaint is I wanted more!

This is in addition to the accolades that have been coming in from the Kickstarters. It's still early, but I'm cautiously optimistic that people are enjoying the new adventure.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Release Day - The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter

Today The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter is officially released!  Yes, many people have already received the book as part of the Kickstarter, but it's not available to the public at large.  Leading up to the release, we've been in the top 100 Bestselling Audio books for the last four days and I have hopes of climbing even higher than it's current position of 75. Oh, and if you are new to Riyria, no worries this book is a standalone and no prior knowledge of Riyria is needed to enjoy this to the it's fullest.

For those who are looking online for the print and ebook, you won't find them. This is an "audio first" release so for the first six months it'll only be the audio version available for sale in the retailers. But if you just can't wait that long, no worries you can get copies directly from me. The ebooks are a manual process and we'll check for orders a few times a day, so if you don't receive your copy right away, you should within a few hours.  As for the printed versions...they are still on the press and are due to ship 12/08. Allowing for a few days of shipping, we should have copies by the 12th and we'll start shipping the pre-orders then.

For people who would like to read a sample can find one here!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sandwiched between Tolkien and Sanderson - not a bad place to be ;-)

The Disapperanace of Winter's Daughter will be released in audio (and ebook when bought directly from me)  in just 2 days!!  So I was curious to see how the pre-orders were doing and ventured over to Audible's Epic Fantasy page. To be honest, I didn't expect to see it within the Best Seller listings, but there it was nicely sandwiched between Tolkien's master works and a soon to be released Brandon Sanderson tale. I'll take that!

Seriously, thank you everyone for pre-ordering the book, and I hope you are as excite as I am about it's release. Robin and I were in New York in the middle of October for it's recording, and I gotta say, Tim has done another fabulous job. I can't wait until you can hear it as well.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Congratulations Jonathan Davis

Because the Riyria novels and the new series, Legends of the First Empire are my more popular works, you probably already know about my love for Tim Gerard Reynolds, the narrator of my fantasy books. Heck, I even dedicated Age of Sword to him!

But did you know I have another narrator that I've used? His name is Jonathan Davis and he lends his incredible voice to Hollow World. Jonathan was a perfect choice for this novel because I needed someone with a very "mid-western" sound to his voice and he did a fabulous job characterizing: Warren, Pax, and Ellis Rogers. Well Jonathan's amazing talent was just recognized by Audible when he was inducted into their Narrator Hall of Fame. Great work Jonathan!

If you are interested in classic science fiction in the vein of Heinlen, Asimov, and Wells, then you probably would like Hollow World.  It explores many themes among them: what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. I hope you'll check it, or other books narrated by Jonathan out.