|This cover art is pretty darn amazing. It's like all the covers in this series.|
Sullivan was traditionally published by one of the Big Six, and I think he parted ways with them because he makes more money by doing so. That's not to say that anyone could do this. Rather, what I'm saying is that he (specifically) does this extremely well. I always participate in his kickstarters and I haven't seen one that ran for less than a month that didn't go over $100,000 in backers, which is kind of incredible. They also hit The New York Times bestsellers, etc. All the usual stuff you'd expect from a major publisher. Only, it's just him, his wife, and some employees that are essentially friends doing all the work.
The print in these books is incredible. The paper is super high quality, the cover art is stunning, the book jackets are the best in the business, and there's even foil imprints on covers behind the book jackets as well as the fancy curlicues you see at the top of chapter heads. It's kind of ridiculous. I never thought such a small operation could produce products like these. He signs all of them, and you get all the nitty gritty details in their email blasts.
For example, his wife (who does a ton of the kickstarter stuff) sets up the kickstarters in the most professional way I can imagine. They have totes you can buy and other add ons. They have an actual composer writing original music for the series, and it's basically the same quality as you'd get from Alan Silvestri or some other film composer. Imagine having someone compose music for your books...I can't even think of how I'd go about finding someone to do that. They've got voice actors to do the audiobooks. I haven't listened to any, but if it's like anything else he's doing then it's the best in the business.
In one of the email blasts, his wife talked about how they dealt with Covid and how she lived out of a trailer in their front yard for fourteen days. And then to do the book signings they rent out an actual warehouse where the books are brought in by forklift so that Michael can start signing them, and then they have a table set up to package and put shipping labels on things. It's basically an assembly line similar to what I imagine car manufacturers have over in Detroit.
But again...it's like a super small operation...like three to four people with a couple of extras here and there.
On top of that, Michael Sullivan can apparently write a book in the same time that it takes me to use the restroom in the morning. Which also blows my mind. Each of the last three books in the Legends of the First Empire (again these are big books mind you) has had a kickstarter pick up within like a month of the last one ending. Seriously. My mind just cannot comprehend how prolific and fast this man is with writing his books.
If you get a chance, I recommend them highly. Quantity in this case is not indicative of quality, as the books and stories are amazing.