3rd MostSuccessful (2)Author Michael J. Sullivan and his wife/business partner Robin, are the guests on this episode of The Author Biz.

Michael J. Sullivan

Michael J. Sullivan

Author Michael J. Sullivan and his wife/business partner Robin launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to print hardcover editions of Michael’s new book, THE DEATH OF DULGATH.

The goal of the ambitious campaign was to raise $26,000 of the $33,600 needed to do a hardcover print, warehouse the books, and distribute them through retail stores. If the project didn’t fund, there would still be a book, but it would only be released in trade paperback, ebook, and audio formats.

The Kickstarter launched on June 4th and within 48 hours they had achieved their goal.

Robin Sullivan

Robin Sullivan

When the Kickstarter “officially” closed on July 16th, they had raised $73,163, making it the 3rd most successful Kickstarter fiction project of all time.

But that wasn’t the end of the story.

As you’ll hear Robin explain, their use of Backerkit allowed them to continue offering fans of the series the opportunity to support the campaign for an additional month., This brought the final total raised by the campaign to over $90,000.

In this 70 minute episode, we’ll take a deep dive into how the two of them planned and executed their Kickstarter campaign and how they’ve arranged for the warehousing and distribution of the 5,000 hardcover books they’ll be printing.  

Show Notes

  • Michael shares his writing background and describes how he and Robin have worked together for the past several years.
  • Robin is a long time Kickstarter user, and she believed the platform would work for authors.
  • Their first Kickstarter effort was an experiment with Michael’s book, HOLLOW WORLD. Robin expected the experiment would be a success, but even she was surprised at the level of success they achieved with the campaign.
  • The goal for their HOLLOW WORLD campaign was $3,000. They raised $30,800.
  • Their most recent Kickstarter campaign was to create hardcover books for the indie release of Michael’s new Riyria Fantasy novel, THE DEATH OF DULGATH. The goal for this campaign was $26,000. They passed that level within 48 hours.
  • Using Kickstarter allowed them to release numerous book-related items for fans of the series.
  • Robin describes the pre-launch process she used to generate interest in the Kickstarter.
  • Robin explains some of the rewards they used and how they encouraged people to get involved early by offering a limited number of discounted rewards.
  • Michael and Robin used BackerKit with their Kickstarter, for a variety of reasons. Robin explains why she’s such a fan of the company.
  • Robin is writing a Kickstarter Primer that she’ll be giving away for free. If you’re interested in receiving a copy, you can sign up in advance through this link.
  • Kickstarter fees are much lower than Amazon or other distribution channels, so books sold through Kickstarter projects generate higher net revenues to the author.
  • Robin explains the importance of the reward levels. She encourages listeners to feel free to borrow hers.
  • The importance of having achievable stretch goals in a Kickstarter campaign.
  • The value of having reward levels for fans of all types.
  • We discuss the process of selecting a printer and finding distribution for the hardcover books they’re printing.
  • Since Michael’s books are currently sold in bookstores, they believe the odds of stores stocking this new, indie published novel, are increased.
  • A discussion of the various printing options the Sullivans considered, as well as some suggestions for printers at different volume levels.
  • A discussion of their plans for getting the books into libraries.


Michael’s Website www.riyria.blogspot.com

Kickstarter Campaign for THE DEATH OF DULGATH

Robin’s Kickstarter Primer Signup 

Michael’s Publishing Posts on Amazing Stories 

Michael’s Reddit – Write2Publish

Backerkit website

Printers mentioned: 

SIGNATURE BOOK PRINTING, INC – Gaithersburg Maryland
Bookmasters – Ashland Ohio
Thomson-Shore Inc – Dexter Michigan
Book1One – Rochester New York (short run hardcover books)

Distributors Mentioned:

Mascot Books
Partners Publishing Group, Michigan
Atlas Books, Ohio
Independent Publishers Group
Legato Publishers Group
Greenleaf Book Group

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining me again this week. Do you have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below.

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Thanks to Michael and Robin Sullivan for joining us this week.

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