Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Checking in with Age of Myth


In just a few days (1/31/17), the Age of Myth premium mass market paperback will start shipping. For those that want print copies (but find that the hardcover prices are beyond their reach), this will mean you can get the book for just $9.99. That's only 38% of the hard cover price -- a savings of 62%!

For those who want signed and/or dedicated copies, you can pre-order them from my store. I buy the copies from the publisher (so they still get their cut), but by cutting out the distribution middlemen (warehouse, book distributor, and retailers) I make 50% per book rather than 8% when bought through a store.

Age of Myth was my first hardcover release through a major traditional publisher, and I think we can say it was a huge success. By my best estimation, we have sold about 62,000 copies (in the English language during the first 7 months of it's release (counting audio, hardcover, and ebooks). That's by far my most successful launch. To put it in perspective, at the height of my self-publishing career, I was selling about 10,000 - 12,000 books a month across 5 titles.

Sales of Age of Myth were so good, that it became my first book to hit one of the major best-seller lists (#2 on the Washington Post's Hardcover Best-seller List). And it hit the Barnes and Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Bestseller List in both July and August.

Okay, so sales have been good, but has the book been well-received?  It has! Besides hitting a number of Best of 2016 lists by bloggers, it also received the following industry accolades:

  • AudioFile Earphones Award Winner
  • Winner of Reddit's Fantasy Stabby Award: Best Artwork
  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy
  • Named to Amazon's 20 best fantasy & sci-novels list
  • Finalist for Reddit's Fantasy Stabby Award: Best Novel
  • Named to Audible's Best of 2016 List
  • Named to AudioFile Magazine's Best of 2016 List
  • Named to Goodread's Hottest Books of the Summer List
What is really great about those acknowledgements is it reflects the high quality of other professionals who have worked on the book: Marc Simonetti for cover design, and Tim Gerard Reynolds for his audio narration. I want to thank (for the thousandth time) both of these talented individuals for their hard work and excellence.

But I've saved the best two metrics for last. What about the readers? After all, these are the people whose opinions I care the most bout. From emails I've read, the book seems to be liked, but I asked Robin to provide some hard numbers rather than relying on the warm-fuzzies I'm getting from letters. 

My first question was: "Are people actually reading the book?" According to Robin, they are! The book has received more than 10,000 review/ratings when counting those on Amazon (US), Goodreads, and Audible.com. Here's a graph that shows the reviews over time.




Now of course, some of those may be duplicates (as people can rate or post reviews on multiple sites, but it's still an impressive number. In fact, when I first released The Crown Conspiracy in 2008, Robin asked how many sales were necessary for me to feel like the book was a success. I said "Fifty,"
but quickly added, "but they have to be people I don't know." So that bar's been cleared ;-)

But the last piece of information and the most important is: "Do people who read the book seem to like it?" Well, once again Robin came through with the following data (again when looking at stats from Amazon (US), Goodreads, and Audible.com).



Having 90% of the review/ratings at a 4 or 5 is pretty mind-blowing, and seeing that only 2% gave it a 1 or a 2 is certainly something I can live with.


So, that's where things are with Age of Myth, as I said it was a great debut novel for the Legends of the Fist Empire Series, and the good news is book #2 (Age of Swords) is just a few months away!  It's my favorite book of the six-book series, and I can't wait to hear what people think about it. My mood could best be described as "cautiously optimistic."

Thanks all, for the amazing support, and thanks to Robin for pulling the numbers together.

5 comments:

  1. Currently re-reading Age of Myth. I haven't read it since the beta read, and am enjoying the changes. Chapter 5 changes were a surprise. I had to go back to my beta copy and make sure of it. ;)

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  2. Michael, I wish I was still writing reviews (Iceberg Ink), since I'm almost done AGE OF MYTH, and it's blowing me away (Goodreads will have to do). Just an excellent progression, and you've really done a great job for us original Riyria fans in enlarging the world and history of Elan. Just wanted you to know that while I no longer am able to review books at the old blog (I have an infant daughter now who happily eats up most of my time) I am still a massive fan and your new series is pure, undiluted Sullivan excellence. I can't wait to read AGE OF SWORDS...and after reading the above I think I'll order it right from you to give you the most profits. :D

    Also: I have a trip coming up, so maybe it's a prime time to re-read Riyria!

    ~Scott

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    1. Scott, you are still one of my favorite reviewers. You were one of the first (along with Bookworm Blues and Fantasy Book Critic) to see in my work what I hoped people might see. I still have a copy of those early reviews. I will always be in your debt. Your encouragement helped me survive the hard times, so thank you.

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  3. Michael, when do you think you will start taking pre-orders for signed hardback copies of Age of Swords?

    -John

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  4. It was my pleasure. I'm glad to have been of some help! :)

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