From the Author
When I started writing Hollow World, I suspected getting it published would be challenging. First, I'm established in epic fantasy, so crossing genres and moving into science fiction isn't what my (or I suspected other) publishers would be interested in. Also, it is very much a cross-genre piece containing elements of science fiction, a heroes journey, and even a murder mystery all in a single book. To make matters worse, it deals with controversial subjects which I won't get into here as I don't want any spoilers. Last, but not least, it has a classic, retro vibe of the science fiction I loved in my youth, and I was told that the current market was focusing on space opera and military science fiction.
None of this deterred me. As with my other books, I was writing something I wanted to read. While I hoped there would be those that would want to read it, too, that was secondary to the fact that I just "had" to tell this story. I had already been successfully self-published in the past, and I was more than willing to do that again in order to get this book in front of readers. As it turned out, I got a nice five-figure offer for the book...but (the devil isn't in the details, it's in the buts) that publisher wanted full rights: print, ebook, and audio. I REALLY wanted to keep the ebook rights so I turned that down and went in search of a "print-only" deal.
For those that don't know, there have only been a few "print-only" deals...and all of them by authors who sell at blockbuster levels (Hugh Howey, Brandon Sanderson, Bella Andre, and Coleen Hoover). But I figured nothing ventured nothing gained, so my agent approached Tachyon Publishing (who did Brandon Sanderson's print-only deal for his Hugo winning The Emperor's Soul) and they made me an offer which I gladly accepted. I then sold the audio rights to Recorded Books, which have done such a great job with my Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicle novels.
One of the big advantages about retaining ownership of the ebook is that I can do some things that other publishers can't...namely:
- I can offer free ebooks for anyone who buys the print or audio versions version
- Provide my books DRM free so that they can be read them from multiple sources
- Provide all ebook formats so readers can read it on their kindle, ipad, or nook
- Offer a non-explicit language version for those who are sensitive to swearing
So, anyway that's probably more than you wanted to know about how Hollow World came into being and the unusual way in which it is being published. I do hope you'll enjoy it, and if you do, and would like more books in this world and with these characters, let me know. It's feedback from readers that often determines what I write in the future.
Michael J. Sullivan | @author_sullivan | firstname.lastname@example.org