Thank You All, Very Much

The last month and a half have been a whirlwind for me—so much so that I’ve spent more time out of my house than in it. Phoenix ComiCon was very successful, and two weeks after that I was in Columbus, Ohio for the Origins Game Faire. The weekend after that found me in Albuquerque for the Albuquerque Comic Expo, then six days after my return from there, I boarded a plane to Prague and the Fantasy Festival in Chotebor. Since the middle of June I’ve logged about 20,000 air miles, shaken countless hands and have had wonderful conversations with a ton of absolutely fantastic people.

I know I’ve mentioned this before in posts—writing can be rather solitary. It’s only when a writer gets out into the world and talks to readers that he gets any real sense of the fun and joy folks get out of his work. Seeing people dressed up as characters I’ve created, or watching them smile as I talk about a scene here, or answer a question about a book; that’s where the writing becomes the real interaction between readers and me. Sure, authors can use inventory numbers, sales figures and money to keep score, but when you see that your work inspires other people’s creativity, the feeling I get inside is all warm and fuzzy and pretty much takes my breath away.

Thank you, everyone, very much.

Writers say that they’d keep writing even if we weren’t getting paid. (We just don’t say it too loudly around publishers.) We write because something inside us demands to get out. It wants to be shared. The fact that our stories find receptive hearts and minds out there is simply amazing. The fact that you trust me enough to let me hijack your imagination and entertain you for hours is a humbling experience, and one that I will forever treasure.

While I was on the road, two projects launched and I’ve not had a chance to mention them here yet. Time Traveled Tales is a Kickstarter project I’m involved in with eighteen other authors, including Timothy Zahn and Aaron Allston. TTT is a new edition of the Origins Game Faire limited edition anthology, released at the convention in 2012. The project is very special because the authors all entered a profit-sharing agreement. After production costs are met, like paying our artist, the money earned will be split between the authors and an equal share will go to a literacy charity. This model, which I put together along with Silence in the Library, is designed to rewrite the way authors get paid for projects.

TTT launched while we were at Origins, and within a week had reached its initial funding goal. As of this posting the project has raised over $16,000, which means we’ve added more stories, more illustrations and more bonus content. The next stretch goal is at $17,000, and the big one is at $20,000. There’s only four days left to get in on the project. You’ll get some great fiction and literally reshape the future of publishing.

I want to thank everyone who’s already joined us as supporters, and especially those who have shared the project with friends. Turning them on to this deal is a great way to help us hit the stretch goals and create more content for each and every supporter.

The second project is running over at StoryBundle.com. Kevin J. Anderson invited eight very talented authors and publishers to join him in offering DRM-free ebook copies of our novels for a package deal. The trick is this: you pay whatever you want to get seven of them. If you pay more than $10, you get two extra novels. These books are by Kevin J. Anderson, Kristine Kathyrn Rusch, Mike Resnick, B. V. Larson, David Farland, Frank Herbert, Gregory Benford, Lightspeed Magazine and me. That’s a lot of great reading for next to nothing. It’s definitely a deal you don’t want to miss—and lots of folks, so far, are taking full advantage of it.

The changes to publishing have impacted the lives of writers and readers pretty much the same way a meteor hitting Mexico impacted the lives of the dinosaurs. What’s been amazing is how readers have embraced these new programs like Kickstarter and StoryBundle. I’ve talked to a lot of writers this summer, from Phoenix to Prague and points in between. All of us know that the only thing keeping us in the game are readers who are willing to support writers they enjoy. As I’ve told readers, if you keep buying, I’ll keep writing.

I love this job, and I can’t thank you enough for letting me continue doing it day after day.

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3 Responses to “Thank You All, Very Much”

  1. I have done both – if the kickstarter gets to the $20k mark, each author will add a new story, which will mean a third for Mike, Aaron Allston and Timothy Zahn. One of the Timothy Zahn stories is a 20k word novella unseen since 1988.
    The artwork for the book also looks amazing, and you can just get the ebook for $5 (when it released in Nov), or go upto $500 or even $1000, but for each level you get what you pay for.

    I also got the Storybundle, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I liked how you could set how your money would get distributed between the authors, charities and StoryBundle themselves. As I already have bought “In Hero Years…”, I’m still trying to work out who to give it to – the advantage of no DRM means I can do it easily.

  2. Miguel Passeira 23. Jul, 2013 at 4:31 am

    Hi Michael.

    Nice to hear your projects are all rolling alone quite well.

    It is nice to hear you were in Europe in June. I hope you had a chance to visit Prague, since is quite beautiful city, not as much like my hometown of Lisbon, Portugal. :) When i visited Prague it gave me several ideas for stories, which most haven’t seen the light of day, but they will.

    Good luck with those and future projects.

    Miguel

  3. I did make it to Prague and loved it. My hosts were great and I cannot wait to get back there.