Michael J. Sullivan (Blog, Twitter) is the author of the six-book fantasy series The Riyria Revelations. He has been independently published, self-published, and published by one of the major houses. You can read a short summary of that journey here.
But the real reason I highlight Mr. Sullivan is not because of his publishing history (as interesting and inspiring as it is), but because of his outreach to aspiring writers, particularly on Reddit. Two of his recent posts include a guide to self-promotion and resources for writing queries and where to send them.
Having worked with a variety of publishers (and his wife, Robin Sullivan, now runs Ridan Publishing), I appreciate his ability to intelligently discuss the pros and cons of each segment of the industry. I think you’ll find Mr. Sullivan’s advice and comments written in a straightforward and honest manner. And I think you’ll appreciate them because they contain keen insights that would benefit almost any aspiring writer, but particularly those writing genre fiction.
I urge you to familiarize yourself with Mr. Sullivan during your free time this holiday season. Not only should you pick up the first book of The Riyria Revelations, THEFT OF SWORDS, but search around Reddit and other sites for Mr. Sullivan’s advice. I think you’ll find it well worth your time. It will educate and entertain you, and it might even help you improve your writing and even get published.