Friday, December 2, 2011

Zero Sum: Top 10 In Contemporary Fantasy

I remain haunted by this song. It helped build a book in my brain which I'd love to put to paper. Too bad I'll have no time to do that. Stupid Dieter and his Top 10 Book In Contemporary Fantasy are to blame.

I'm plain staggered by the crazy surge Zero Sum is having right now—and I cannot thank you all for your kind reviews. There can be no doubt that your strong endorsement of the characters and the plot are what is driving new readers to the series. For that, I owe you some more books.

Only a few years ago, a select few decided what could be read. They were a dignified lot, but their views didn't represent everyone's. The arrival of the e-reader changed all that. Now readers can assume some of the risks. They can try out some titles they've never seen before. They can try out titles that have never even been reviewed. Sure, some of the books they take a chance on are going to be terrible—but sometimes these literary spelunkers come across some real gems, and they are kind enough to share them with the rest of us.

I want to thank the folks taking these risks. Dieter's story would have remained balled up in my skull if they take those chances. And it's crowded up there. I've got all those coagulation pathways to keep track of.



Bookblogger said...

Congrats on the success! It is well deserved as you have written a great story.

SmokinDan said...

People wouldn't be buying your books if they weren't great in the first place :)

Keep up the awesome work.

M@ said...

Congrats on this. Speaking of "Stupid Dieter," how many books do you think will be in his series?

B. Justin Shier said...

Hmm...a few.

Mature. Yes. I know. : )


Anonymous said...

I don't suppose you'd feel like telling us how many copies were sold? I'm very curious, I'd seen reports that 5k copies sold constituted a successful fiction book, which seems low to me.


B. Justin Shier said...

I post my monthly numbers over on Kindleboards.,93642.0.html

Five years ago, 5K sold was considered a sort of break even point for a print release in fiction. 10K was considered a great debut. And anything beyond that sale-point was pure gravy town. Now consider that a first time author was only making 5-8% of the cover price of a novel, and you can begin to see how little the mid-list authors you loved were actually making. Sure, a Stephen King could negotiate a better royalty rate, but there are like 100 King-class authors in the world.

Why were the values so low? A lot of those books only got about 3 weeks of display time at a bookstore before they were pulled off the shelves (just like a bad opening weekend dooms a Hollywood release). Nowadays, it is even worse. A trad author is lucky if they even get on the shelf in the first place. Visit your local B&N. Note what percent of the store is for actual books. Thus, getting into a bookstore is actually getting harder, and I have no idea what the industry considers a decent print release nowadays.

From talking to my fellow indie-authors, I can tell you that if I walked up to an agent and said, "Hey, my self-published novel sold 10K an Amazon. Would you be interested in reading a new manuscript?" I'd get some serious traction. Beyond that, the entire industry is in far too much flux to make generalizations.


George said...

Excited to see you second book out. I liked the first one so much I read it twice and I really like you bring your medical background in to enhance the story and you create a character that, while he may have special gifts, always has a strong work ethic and that is what is most special about the main character. One thing to mention about changes in book marketing, social networking, I'll make sure to post on facebook and twitter about the new book!

Rex Jameson said...

Congratulations on the amazing success!

B. Justin Shier said...

Thanks, Rex!