Souldancer Makes Amazon's Top 100 Free eBooks

Best Award

Yesterday I kicked off a free giveaway in support of my Dragon-nominated SF/horror novel Souldancer. The idea was to make my book available to Dragon Award voters much as Hugo voters receive a free packet containing many of the works nominated for that award..

Giving voters easy access to nominated books means that those works are more likely to be read, and the voters' decisions more informed. I want Dragon voters to select books, movies, and games that they genuinely enjoyed.

My expectations for the promotion were modest. I'd hoped to give away a couple hundred copies over the five days when the book would be free.

Instead, Souldancer was downloaded over a thousand times, ranking it among the top 100 free eBooks on Amazon.

This achievement was only possible thanks to the help of several friends, including Vox Day, Larry Correia, Nick Cole, David Hallquist, Mr. X, Escape Velocity, Bradford C. Walker, Daddy Warpig, many other dear friends and hundreds of awesome readers. All of you have my deepest gratitude.

Souldancer Amazon top 100 free

What it all means

Unlike Larry Correia's Book Bomb! for Nethereal a few months ago, my motive for the Souldancer giveaway isn't to GET PAID. I'm actually not making any royalties on the eBook version for five days this week. Though sales of Nethereal are up, the proceeds pale in comparison to what I'd have earned from selling over a thousand copies of Souldancer at even half price.

I am making this effort, not for my sake, but for yours. My readers are my beloved patrons and the reason I am both able and willing to write professionally.

If you're reading this post, then you are who I do this for. This past Saturday, your judgment and honor were publicly insulted by a small clique of ageing elitists who believe that they set the tone and tastes of all science fiction fandom.

I didn't initially seek to be nominated for any awards. But when my readers said they found my works award-worthy, I bowed to your will with enthusiasm and vowed to do right by you.

Some of you have asked how I plan to keep this pledge in light of recent events. I'm happy to report that, with your help, we have already made major strides toward shattering the lie that you do not belong in SF fandom.

Souldancer vs. The Fifth Season

These screencaps were taken last night. Well before Souldancer had reached its top position in Amazon's top 100 free eBooks, it had already far surpassed Hugo winner for Best Novel The Fifth Season.

Though The Fifth Season appears on the paid in Kindle Store list at #371, the free and paid sales rankings are based on very similar metrics, i.e. getting into the top 100 on both lists requires moving approximately the same number of books. For context, a book at #99 moved almost ten times more copies than a book at #371--and 5S's rank had slipped significantly by the time SD broke into the top 100.

Last night we demolished the alleged best that the Hugos had to offer. We did it despite placing last in the same contests at Worldcon, and all it took was a free promotion.

Let that sink in: a giveaway that any KDP Select member can run yields a ten times bigger sales boost than winning the most prestigious Hugo award.

I think we've sufficiently demonstrated that the Hugos' value and relevance have drastically declined.

This ain't over

The Hugo Awards are no longer a substantial benefit to authors. They no longer represent the tastes of science fiction fans who want authors to entertain them with fun, honest stories.

This Labor Day weekend, the first annual Dragon Awards will be held at Dragon Con in Atlanta. Anyone can vote in the Dragons for free. It is a true fans' choice award.

Like pretty much all of my colleagues, I uphold awarding works on their merits and not based on the authors' politics. I've repeatedly expressed my aversion to saddling my own works with political messages. SFF stories should be fun; not dreary civics lectures.

The clique that gave The Fifth Season this year's Hugo for Best Novel disagree. They see everything as political, even storytelling. J.R.R. Tolkien, the father of modern fantasy, rebuked them when he said that the only reason to tell a story is to tell a story.

Make no mistake, the same misguided people who destroyed the Hugos will try to corrupt the Dragon Awards. That's not to say that people who do like stories with overt political messages should be silenced. They can sign up to nominate their own favorite works and compete on a level field like everybody else.

Troubles arise when a small group that doesn't represent the interests of wider fandom take control of an award's administration. Their attempts to make the process conform to their fringe beliefs are what kills once prestigious awards like the Hugos, which are now openly given for political reasons alone.

You've nominated my book Souldancer as one of the first ever finalists for Best Horror Novel at the inaugural Dragon Awards. As I said, I reject giving awards based on politics and using stories as vehicles for political points. If I didn't agree with you that Souldancer was worthy of the award, I would have followed John Scalzi's admirable example of withdrawing his nomination.

Souldancer is unequivocally my best work. Enough of you have said the same that it's not necessary to take my word for it. You've said that the book's quality alone merits the award, and I'm not one to gainsay my readers.

Worldcon did gainsay you, though. The same readers who found me worthy of a Campbell nomination were told in no uncertain terms that their judgment and taste weren't up to the Hugo clique's standards when they voted me not just in last place, but under No Award.

Like I said, I don't chase awards. My top priority is serving my readers. After the grave insult they suffered at Worldcon, serving them now means winning the first ever Dragon Award for Best Horror Novel.

Sure, I'm biased in thinking that my work deserves the honors you've nominated it for. But we have data showing that the world's number one book market agrees. To safeguard the Dragons' integrity, we need to show the Worldcon clique that their peculiar preferences don't represent the tastes of all fans everywhere. That means rewarding good works that put fun above politics.

Thankfully the denizens of Worldcon were largely repudiated at the nomination stage. The members and friends of Dragon Con have graced the ballot with an embarrassment of riches. Voting for pretty much anything but the Worldcon darlings will show how out of touch they are.

Among the fan favorites on the Dragon Horror ballot is my friend Declan Finn. He's an upstanding individual, a lot of great things have been said about his book, and I'll be overjoyed if he wins.

The way I see it, and my readers will probably agree, there's one compelling reason to vote for Souldancer over Honor at Stake. Though I value the opinion of Declan's readers, his fans weren't singled out for mockery by having a bunch of snobs say that their guy didn't even deserve to be at the table.

If Honor at Stake wins, Declan and his fans are happy, I'm happy, and the Dragons' integrity is firmly established.

But if the Dragon to goes to Souldancer, you get all of the above (I know that Declan and his fans are good sports). Plus you get the satisfaction of taking an author whose readers were mocked by a bunch of insular elitists from 6 out of 5 under No Award at the Hugos to #1 in the Dragons.

Beyond even the crushing victory we already won on Amazon, it just doesn't get any sweeter than that!

You placed your faith in me, and I proved that we can beat the Hugos' best in the free market. Together, we will win the first annual Dragon Award for Best Horror Novel, reward a deserving book, vindicate you the readers, and most importantly have a damn good time :)

Thanks again to everyone who's read and supported Souldancer. Today Amazon, tomorrow the Dragon!

Souldancer, my Dragon-nominated SF/horror novel, is free in the Kindle Store until Saturday.

Vote for Souldancer and your other favorite books, movies, and games in the Dragon Awards by registering here for free. The registration deadline is Sunday, August 28th. Voting closes on September 1st.



Souldancer Is Free on Amazon


The only good reason to become a professional writer is having stories that you are maniacally driven to share with people. The only way to stay a pro author is to write for your fans--not for editors, not for critics, and not for yourself.

Most authors are insecure introverts who write, at least partially, to seek validation. That's why so many of them sign away their rights to big New York publishers and chase awards.

I don't work with the Big Five. I work for you. Entertaining readers is how I stay in business, so it had better be my number one concern.

Likewise, I could take or leave winning awards. While I've done some light campaigning, most of my efforts have been focused on getting nominated, which helps new readers find my work. The truth is that winning awards doesn't help an author's career much.

Author Nick Cole recently told me an Oscar-related proverb that's well known in Hollywood: "You want to keep getting nominated. You don't want to win."

My main goal as a writer isn't to win awards. It's to do right by the readers who pay my bills.

Recently I was nominated for a Campbell Award. Worldcon considers you and me to be the wrong kind of people. They sent a public message that our kind aren't welcome by voting me below No Award.

Worldcon is a private enterprise. They can blacklist whoever they want, but they can no longer pretend to give awards based on quality. The public now knows that the Hugo Awards are a fraud, and Worldcon is dying.

I would be content to let the Hugos die a slow death of a thousand self-inflicted cuts, but Worldcon made a serious mistake. The insulted my readers.

You said I was one of the year's best new writers. Worlcon said you were wrong.

You liked my work enough to put your money where your mouth is and nominate me for a Campbell. Worldcon says you're cretins with horrible taste.

Some of you even voted for me to win, though it boggles my mind that anyone would vote for me over Andy Weir or Pierce Brown. But hey, you're the readers. You call the shots.

Worldcon drowned out your voice under a lockstep chorus of No Award.

The Hugos used to be the only game in town. The right kind of author kissed up to win, and the wrong kind of author--if he somehow got nominated--took a lot of abuse and quietly went home.

But now there's an alternative. Now a far larger group of fans, in fact fandom as a whole, can honor their favorite works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror across all media. Now we have the Dragon Awards.

The Dragon Awards are administered by Dragon Con, a major Atlanta SFF convention with fifteen times Worldcon's attendance. In stark contrast to the elitist Hugos, voting in the Dragons is free. You don't even need a convention membership.

The SJWs in trad publishing and the legacy media are terrified of the Dragon Awards. They know that a true people's choice award will fully expose the fraud of the Hugos once and for all.

For the sake of my fans, I'm going to help you expose Worldcon's petty award rigging by vindicating your faith in me.

You have nominated my novel Souldancer for Best Horror Novel at the first annual Dragon Awards. I'm deeply grateful, and what's more I will win.

Having the unbiased votes of fandom as a whole take my work from last place in the Hugos to first place in the Dragon Awards will vindicate you and deal a crushing blow to Worldcon's delusions of relevance.

Winning an award offers far less of an economic windfall than I already got from Larry Correia's Book Bomb! I'm not in it for the trophy. I'm doing this for you, but I can't do it without you.

So to help you make an honest, informed decision on your Dragon Awards ballot, I've reduced the price of my nominated book Souldancer to zero. From today until Saturday, Souldancer is totally free in the Kindle Store.

Souldancer Brian Niemeier

My book is available for free. Voting in the Dragon Awards is also free, and the deadline to register is August 28th. After you register, you'll be sent a ballot via email. Voting closes on September 1st, and the Dragon Award winners will be announced over Labor Day Weekend at Dragon Con.

Register for a free Dragon Award ballot.

The old publishing establishment and biased media are dying. Nontraditional publishing models and free, open forums are rising up to take their place. The era of trying to control people's opinions is over. Successful artists understand that they are called to serve their audience.

We can prove that the reign of oligarchs who handed out careers and awards to favorites as if artists were vassals is over. We can send this message by doing something as simple as voting for a humble SF/horror novel to win an award.

You are the readers. You call the shots. I'll keep working to entertain you while waiting patiently for you to express your will.

Hugo delenda est.



Hugos 2016: The Canary in Worldcon's Coal Mine

The 2016 Hugo Awards were held this past weekend at Worldcon in Kansas City, MO. If you only get your news from the same legacy outlets that libeled Sad Puppies leaders Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, and Kate Paulk, you probably buy the Narrative that a cabal of right wing extremists tried to hijack the awards for nefarious political ends.

Because Worldcon welcomes everyone regardless of their personal beliefs and would never expel someone, much less a legendary SF editor, for disagreeing with them.

Midamericon II Dave Truesdale expulsion

This year's Hugos proved that decrepit Worldcon is dying.

Worldcon has released the final voting results for the 2016 Hugo Awards. They tell a starkly different tale than the false media Narrative.

The truth is that Worldcon's militant conformity to fringe politics is alienating the vast majority of SF fans. Everyone from young, up and coming authors to venerable masters of the craft are abandoning Worldcon like miners escaping a pit filled with toxic gas.

Case in point: the No Award-ing of Dr. Jerry Pournelle.

Jerry Pournelle No Award
Dr. Pournelle is the definition of a living legend. He has been working in science fiction for almost 50 years. His There Will Be War anthologies are among the greatest in the genre's history. Yet a majority of Hugo voters deemed him unworthy of consideration for Best Editor. They not only voted him below No Award, they banished him to last place.

Worldcon may as well have snubbed Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, or Frank Herbert. Their shabby treatment of Dr. Pournelle, and their ingratitude for his pivotal role in shaping the genre they claim to honor. proves beyond doubt that the Hugos have renounced their station as sci-fi's most prestigious award.

Even more damning, no sane SF fan can look to the Hugos as a metric of literary quality. It's now painfully obvious that the awards have been corrupted beyond all relevance.

Hugos dead 2
Hugos dead
Hugos dead 3

By now might be thinking that the Hugos are a joke. But it gets worse.

Much, much worse.

Worldcon voters tried to throw child abuse allegations down the memory hole.

Two nominees in the Best Related Work category this year were "Safe Space as Rape Room" and "The Story of Moira Greyland". Both are chilling accounts of the very real child abuse allegations in the same old guard SF community that still controls Worldcon.

You can read both reports at the following links, but be warned, they're not for the faint of heart.

Safe Space as Rape Room

The Story of Moira Greyland

Worldcon reacted to these scathing exposes by first banning them from the voter packet and then voting their entire category below No Award.

Best Related Work No Award

The clique that runs Worldcon has revealed itself as not just politically biased, but as so desperate to cover up allegations of child abuse that it burned its own house down in a clumsy attempt to hide the evidence.

Take it from a lifelong Catholic, Worldcon members. When your leadership tries to cover up evidence of child abuse, it never ends well.

Paying the price for their lack of vision

Worldcon's incessant political posturing, heavy-handed and arbitrary rules, and general depravity are taking their toll on the Hugos.

Best Novel is the most popular category and consistently gets the most votes. We can use it as a reliable metric of the Hugos' public profile.

2015 Hugo stats

2016 Hugo stats

In one year, participation in the Hugos was almost cut in half. That is not a sign of a healthy, thriving award. Worldcon and its signature award is losing a self-inflicted war of attrition.

But speaking of healthy, thriving awards/conventions...

Enter the Dragon Awards

SF fans disgusted by Worldcon's decline have been calling for a new award to replace the discredited Hugos for years. At last, Dragon Con has granted their wish.

Unlike the members-only Hugos, the Dragons are a true populist award that anyone can vote for. In fact, you can register to receive a free ballot right now.

Ask yourself who you'd rather party with:

Representative Worldcon Attendees

Dragon Con Leias
Representative Dragon Con Attendees
Google Trends gives us an indication of the public's answer.

Worldcon trends

Dragon Con trends

Rest in peace, Worldcon. I can't say it was nice knowing you.

The final word

I don't claim to be unbiased in this matter, even though I'm confident that neutral observers will reach the same conclusions from the documented evidence.

If I'm grateful to Worldcon for one thing, it's that I now have something in common with the great Dr. Jerry Pournelle: we both placed last under No Award.

Being snubbed by geriatric perverts isn't what I'd call a personal tragedy. However, the CHORFs have made the tactical error of insulting the readers who nominated me for the Campbell. The Worldcon clique have publicly rebuked my readers by declaring that I was unworthy of their consideration.

I answer to my readers; not a bunch of leftover hippies. To vindicate the fans who believed in me, I will dedicate my victory in the first annual Dragon Award for Best Horror Novel to them.

Though I'm doing this for you, I can't do it without you. The Dragon Award winners will be decided entirely by the fans. If you enjoy my work, you have it in your power to confound the CHORFs who mocked you by taking an author you support from last place in the dying Hugos to first place in the rising Dragons.

To help you out, my Dragon-nominated SF/horror novel Souldancer is now 50% off in the Kindle Store. Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime subscribers can also download it free of charge.

Vote for your favorite books, movies, and games in the Dragon Awards by registering here for free.



H.P. Lovecraft and Larry Correia: The Stars Are Right Again

It's been another eventful year in science fiction. What better time, with H.P. Lovecraft and Larry Correia's shared birthday occurring on the same day as the Hugo Awards, to repost this classic?

Lovecraft and Larry Correia

Today should be a global holiday for horror geeks. For on this day, the stars aligned not once, but twice, to gift the world with authors of singular vision whose work defined and popularized their genres.

I speak, of H.P. Lovecraft, Prince of Weird Horror, and Larry Correia, International Lord of Hate and Urban Fantasy author par excellence--both born this day almost a century apart.

Long may their works fuel our nightmares of tentacled horrors in forgotten attic rooms, and our fantasies of defenestrating evil lycanthrope accounting department managers!