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  1. #1

    Riyria Revelations to be published by Orbit

    Just thought I'd point out that indie author Michael J Sullivan's books, The Riyria Revelations, will be published by Orbit as a trilogy. No date was given as to the release, and this means that the last book Percepliquis won't be published this spring by Ridan, but this is great news for Michael and his wife, and everyone involved. I've been following the series for a bit now and really enjoyed the story and the characters. I've had some correspondence with Michael and his wife and they are great people to chat with, so this is really cool to see.

    More info on his blog: http://riyria.blogspot.com/

    It will be interesting to see how they work as three books rather than 6. And to see how the re-editing of the book affects the story, if at all. I'll definitely be picking this re-issue up.

    EDIT: Sorry, a date has been given. They will release the books one per month starting this November.
    Last edited by Haliax; February 23rd, 2011 at 08:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Northlander newfiesailor's Avatar
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    Great series of books, truly in the spirit of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, an old D&D style campaign and The Lies of Locke Lamora. I was really surprised how much these books slipped under the radar of a lot of fantasy readers. Maybe the new publication and covers will draw more attention.

    That being said, the books would do well with some tighter editing.

    Good News! I'll definitely be picking up this collection and look forward to it.
    Last edited by newfiesailor; February 23rd, 2011 at 04:13 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by newfiesailor View Post
    Great series of books, truly in the spirit of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser and The Lies of Locke Lamora. I was really suprised how much these books slipped under the radar of a lot of fantasy readers. Maybe the new publication and covers will draw more attention.
    Added to the 'must-definitely-read-then-list'. And good to know I still have some time before publication of the first omnibus, so I can try and work my way through the still waiting pile of must-reads

    Thx for the heads-up,

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfiesailor View Post
    Great series of books, truly in the spirit of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, an old D&D style campaign and The Lies of Locke Lamora. I was really surprised how much these books slipped under the radar of a lot of fantasy readers. Maybe the new publication and covers will draw more attention.

    That being said, the books would do well with some tighter editing.

    Good News! I'll definitely be picking up this collection and look forward to it.
    "Tighter editing" is definitely one of the reasons for going traditional. I've heard nothing but great things from authors regarding the valueof having "the professionals" edit the book. Orbit assigned their Senior Editor (Devi Pillai) to the project and she mentioned that Michael's books were very clean (from a story standpoint) - she was not addressing copy edits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darksbane View Post

    EDIT: Sorry, a date has been given. They will release the books one per month starting this November.
    Actually this is not quite true since they will release two books per month in Nov/Dec 2011 and Jan 2012 since they will be publishing 3 omnibuses of two volumes each.

    I did a post yesterday on FBC about the announcement since I have been a big fan of the series from the first volume in 2008 and the series has truly grown from a fast-fun but lighter first volume to a pretty convoluted and awesome traditional fantasy which is as good as anything in its space out there.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    Actually this is not quite true since they will release two books per month in Nov/Dec 2011 and Jan 2012 since they will be publishing 3 omnibuses of two volumes each.

    I did a post yesterday on FBC about the announcement since I have been a big fan of the series from the first volume in 2008 and the series has truly grown from a fast-fun but lighter first volume to a pretty convoluted and awesome traditional fantasy which is as good as anything in its space out there.
    Ah yeah, thanks for clearing that up. That's what I meant, but I misphrased it a bit.

    And I agree with that last bit. The series definitely has its unexpected moments and mysteries, which you wouldn't expect in the first couple books. It's been an interesting series to follow, and I'm glad to see them getting the attention they deserve.

  7. #7
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    But, but, but, publishers hate self-published authors and seek to destroy them! Right?

    That's great news for the author and good luck to him with it. I'm all for more charming rogues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    But, but, but, publishers hate self-published authors and seek to destroy them! Right?
    .
    Who claims this? Sure independent (and for that matter the tons of small presses that are mushrooming today) are competition and there are self-published authors that struck it big and sell tons and rejected deals with major houses, but I think that the relationship is symbiotic and will become even more so as time goes and established authors will go independent with expired rights back-lists

    I recently read another (non-sff, Heart of Lies) book that was independently published in 2008 and it's been reissued by HC in 2010 with part 2 in 2011 and it was excellent and I could give tons of examples...

    I think the unusual thing here is the size of the deal, but even so I remember a novel about Salem that went for 7 digits after being self-published several years before

    So again it goes both ways and this will only intensify...

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    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    Who claims this?

    Check out the Kindle author boards over at Amazon, apparently publishers wouldn't know real talent if it jumped up and drop kicked them in the nuts > though with the popularity of self published ebooks the days of the traditional publisher is dead, no longer will they stifle the genius of these poor downtrodden writers of awesomeness .

    Or something along those lines.

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    I have the first five editions already...Will the sixth be published as one book or do I have to buy Wintertide again? I suppose it is a wonderful deal for the writer and I for one wish him the best, but isn't it a bit of a sell-out to leave a series incomplete just like that for those readers who supported him from the start?
    Couldn't he at least have published the last one like the other five? Now I have an incomplete series and they expect me to buy book five twice? Is this normal procedure in the wonderful world of books?? Some of you will undoubtedly get nice ARC'S and not bother about these things, but I for one am a bit miffed about the whole thing...
    Delay I can handle, this sort of contempt for the reader not so much...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Bard View Post
    I have the first five editions already...Will the sixth be published as one book or do I have to buy Wintertide again? I suppose it is a wonderful deal for the writer and I for one wish him the best, but isn't it a bit of a sell-out to leave a series incomplete just like that for those readers who supported him from the start?
    Couldn't he at least have published the last one like the other five? Now I have an incomplete series and they expect me to buy book five twice? Is this normal procedure in the wonderful world of books?? Some of you will undoubtedly get nice ARC'S and not bother about these things, but I for one am a bit miffed about the whole thing...
    Delay I can handle, this sort of contempt for the reader not so much...
    From the sounds of it, the sixth book will be published at least as an ebook on its own. There is some talk about publishing a paperback copy as well, but given the discussion about the costs that would go along with a small run like that, I have a feeling it just won't happen.

    I understand not wanting to buy the book twice, but I don't understand the hyperbole behind calling it reader contempt. If you read the blog post, or have followed Michael at all, you can tell that he greatly appreciates his readership and the support that they have offered. In this case, he is looking out for his own personal welfare. I don't personally have a problem with this, and nor would I call it selling out. Selling out, to me, would indicate that this deal in some way changed how he wrote his story in order to fit a more mainstream market. This is obviously not the case. And I'm happy that he has been able to achieve this level of success. And no, I will not be receiving an ARC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darksbane View Post
    And no, I will not be receiving an ARC.
    I received an arc of Wintertide (and Emerald Storm, both pdf's and signed tpb) and I still bought the ebook for about 5-7$ in both cases for the simple reason that both were the kind of books I monitor daily when it's time for them and the moment I saw it up for purchase I got it and started reading it. In Wintertide's case I actually got the pdf arc next morning for that matter, but I was already almost finished with the book

    So, yes I agree that waiting sucks a bit - though again it's like 8-9 months extra counting from an April supposed date and that is nothing as traditional publishing speed goes - but I doubt that financially it will be worse for people who bought the first 5 books since the Orbit double will most likely sell at about the price of one tpb, while for ebooks there will be most likely a cheaper one off version anyway for the latest; having a nice same looking 6 book collection yes, I can see that, but hopefully Orbit will keep the same look

    As for

    "Check out the Kindle author boards" in regard to publishers vs self-publishing authors, I am not sure how reliable gossip is; numbers talk and in some cases books were picked up for good advances after being self-published, in others series are dropped and the authors do better on their own...

    Personally if I were to write a novel - not in my current plans btw but you never know - I would go directly the Kindle route since i think it's the future and the traditional publishing will follow cherry picking the successes like here; is it fair? no, but again, publishing is a business while writing may be a business, may be a hobby, may be a need for self-expression, may be all three...

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    A bit of an explanation...

    Hello all...Just wanted to bop in and fill in some of the details since people may be speculating on things. For those that don't know, I'm the wife of Michel Sullivan and generally handle the "business side of things" for him.

    For those that are not familiar with the publishing business it generally moves slow...really really slow. Michael and mine's intention was to "try" to break into traditional publication after the series was completed. In general, the entire publishing business shuts down from about a week before Thanksgiving until a week or so after new years. We released book #5 (Wintertide) in October and started showing (for the first time) some decent sales that made me think that we might have something worth offering to the big-six. Michael had a foreign rights agent and I asked her if she was interested in representing the book in the US and she agreed.

    Here is what I "thought" would happen...The agent would send out some books (if lucky) in the end of October but no one would really read them as the "break was coming soon". More realistically she would submit them 3 weeks after they returned from the Holiday giving them some time to process the submissions that came in over the Holiday. So an editor "might" start to read them in the end of January. It would probably be rejected by the first couple so it would be moving from "pub to pub" if things went REALLY well we might have someone show some interest in Late March but more realistically sometime in June. Then it would go through the various committees the editors need to get other departments to buy in (sales, marketing, etc). So maybe we would get an offer around Setember - which is about a year from when the process started (October) which is pretty standard but can sometimes take 15 - 18 months.

    So when I started this whole idea I figured the whole series would have been out for 6 months before any "traditional published" deal would come around. This is not what ended up happening. As it turns out we kind of hit a perfect storm. At the same time the publishers were reviewing the series our sales skyrocketed (because I did a promotion where I put Avemartha ebook version free for a few weeks). This really meant that just out of coincidence the iron was really hot at the time we submitted. I would love to have said "I planned it that way" but I really didn't. In any case the result was that very quickly several of the traditional fantasy imprints showed immediate interest and Orbit moved quickly to get a "preemptive bid" to avoid a bidding war.

    At this point I got a bit scared because the sixth book was not out - the timeline had accelerated MUCH faster then I ever thought it would. I talked to our agent and asked...can I "slow down" tell them that we'll be interested "later" but not now because we don't want to disappoint those waiting on Percepliquis. She looked at me as if I grew a second head. "No...you can't do this...you get one at this and if you don't follow through you'll not be able to until you have another book/series." She went on tell me how "tight" the publishers have been on offering deals (especially to new authors) and if we passed he would not get another shot at it (for this series) and would be tainted for new books.

    Are we disappointed that the sixth book won't be published in the same look and style as the others....hell yeah. If nothing else...Do you think Michael wants one for his own collection? But getting published (especially right now) is dang near the same odds as getting hit by lightning. So we could say "Sorry to bother you...we're not intersted after all" or take a once in a lifetime opportunity to get the book available to a wider audience.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bard View Post
    I have the first five editions already...Will the sixth be published as one book or do I have to buy Wintertide again? I suppose it is a wonderful deal for the writer and I for one wish him the best, but isn't it a bit of a sell-out to leave a series incomplete just like that for those readers who supported him from the start?
    We are currently working with Orbit to get versions of Perceliquis (i.e. seperated from Wintertide). We've even offered to give up 100% of the money made becaue we don't care about the $'s we care about finishing out the series. Orbit, Michael, and our Agent are working hard to find some way to make this happen. I can't make any promises but I can say that we are doing EVERYTHING we can.

    As for leaving the series incomplete - it was NEVER our intention. You kind of sound like we "planned" this to somehow cause harm to Michael's fans - but the fact is the stars aligned in such a way that we either had to leave the series with a publishing option that would guarantee only a few would hear about it...or we could take the offer (even though it's timing was bad) and give this series a chance at reaching a larger audience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bard View Post
    Couldn't he at least have published the last one like the other five?
    As mentioned that was always our intention - and we are working with Orbit to do just this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bard View Post
    Now I have an incomplete series and they expect me to buy book five twice?
    Well, yes and no...Ridan does not have the economies of scale that someone like Orbit does. The six book is big...really big. It is almost as large as Crown and Avempartha put together. Ridan would probably have to sell the tradepaperback at $15.95 - $16.95 just because of the number of pages. A VERY high price. But Orbit will probably make their "combined" Wintertide/Perceplquis for $9.99 - $12.99. So you'll be spending considerably less and "just happen" to get Wintertide for free. Overall you're going to pay less with Orbit publishing it other than Ridan. And...if you are a ebook reader .... I think that Orbit will definitely put out a Percepliquis only verssion at 50% of the combined "Heir of Novron" version. So those people won't be paying more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bard View Post
    Is this normal procedure in the wonderful world of books?? Some of you will undoubtedly get nice ARC'S and not bother about these things, but I for one am a bit miffed about the whole thing...
    Delay I can handle, this sort of contempt for the reader not so much...
    No this is not normal...It is not normal for traditional publishers to pick up books that were previously published as an independent. To be honest I thought the chance of getting any offer was like 5%.

    I'm sorry you are miffed...I'm sorry you feel we have contempt for you. Yes, when it came along faster than we thought we could have walked away - and branded Michael as a "diva author" that no traditional publisher would touch again. We could have said, "Oh ... you've made a very fair offer...that's nice...but no thanks...we just wanted to see if we could waste some of your time."

    Personally, I blame myself. With 20/20 hindsight I would have waited until after the sixth book was released and "then" tried to get it published. But the publishing world changes fast. And we happened to accidentally time it such that Orbit was interested at this specfic point in time ... if we approached them 6 months later - they might have had no interest. As with many things in life ... if you only knew then what you know now - you would have done things differently.

    If I could leave with one final thought. If you need to be mad at someone - make it me...not Michael. To hear people use terms like "contempt for reader..." really is a dagger in his heart. Writing is a tough business. To be honest...I wouldn't wish this profession on my worst enemy...there's hundreds of rejections...hours of writing wondering if anyone will ever read it...nearly impossible to get an offer...and every good review is quickly forgotten when the next bad one comes in.

    Michael doesn't write for the money...he doesn't write for fame...he writes to put his ideas out there and hope that they provide a bit of entertainment to people his hope is that what he has produced is appreciated...that people feel that they got something of value for their investment of both time and money. I'm not exagerating when I say that seeing comments like this has put him into a terrible depression. He felt like he finally reached a goal that took him more than 30 years to accomplish and hearing such things really is making it that he doesn't want to write at all.

    Anyway...thanks for letting me explain and bend your ears. I don't want to discourage people voicing their displeasure (well maybe a bit of me does because I know how hard it is on someone I love so much). But I wanted to at least let you know that whatever motives you might be attributing to what we did ... I assure you our intention was not that and we will continue to work with Orbit to see if we can get you "the last" in the series.

    Thanks again for listening.
    Robin Sullivan, wife of author Michael Sullivan.

  14. #14
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    I haven't kept up on the series as well as others, so I'll be looking forward to the omnibuses. Will Michael's cover art still be used? The covers have been some of my favorite in recent memory.

  15. #15
    Mrs. Sullivan,
    I don't post particularly often (or ever really) but after reading your post I have a few things I would like to say. First off, it was extremely classy of you to come on this forum and explain the situation. It also, to me, seems very unnecessary. Anyone could Google you or your husbands name and find examples of you two reaching out to your fans, taking the time to read their thoughts and respond. However, since this is the internet, apparently there are a few people out there that feel it is necessary to make mountains out of mole hills, and remind everyone that they are in fact the center of the universe. So let me congratulate you on such a wonderful turn of events for you and your family. Hard work deserves to be rewarded, and I know a lot of work has gone into making Riyria a success.
    It's also interesting to hear that your free offering of the Avempartha e-book had an effect on your good fortune. I am pretty sure that promotion led directly to myself and my brother reading your series. It actually was the genesis of the most pleasantly surprising and fulfilling long weekend in my adult years i.e. very recent memory. My brother and I were turned on to the series and realized pretty quickly that it was promising. So we went, chopped a whole bunch of firewood, and started a fire. We proceeded to read each of the released works, in order, sitting by the hearth with an occasional Irish coffee mixed in. We read at remarkably similar rates, so we would typically finish within half an hour of each other; A discussion would then follow, where we would exhaust any ideas or theories that particular book had raised. Once this was done we would move on to the next volume together. We did this for 4 days or so. It was some of the most fun we had had together since we were children; Since we don't get to see each other all that often, much less bond, it was pretty special. So truly congratulations! Don't let any nay saying get you down, and definitely don't worry; Considering a lot of us also read Martin, Jordan, etc. 8 months or so just doesn't seem that long.

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