2016/05/29

Geek Gab: Apocalypse

On this episode of Geek Gab, we discuss the new Marvel mutant universe film Wolverine 9 X-Men: Apocalypse.

Listen as Daddy Warpig, John, and I nitpick all of Bryan Singer's directorial decisions and almost get sucked into a debate about which is the best Iron Man film (correct answer: Iron Man 2).

Check out what may be the geekiest episode of a show that already brings you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of geekiness.


2016/05/25

John C. Wright's Iron Chamber of Memory

John C. Wright - Iron Chamber of Memory

The mystery of an island where the past never ended.

Riddles in an ancient house whose doors remain locked; not to keep thieves out, but to keep ghosts in.

A quest for the Holy Grail, and a love triangle worthy of Arthurian legend.

Murder plots, skin changers, cases of mistaken identity, and meditations on memory and storytelling itself--all of these things, and many more, reside within the Iron Chamber of Memory.

Every writer has a deeply personal project--a labor of love written not under contractual obligation or an editor's deadline, but at the muses' direction. All too often, commercial pressures relegate such convention-defying works to obscurity in lower desk drawers and forgotten shoe boxes in the backs of closets.

Luckily for us, John C. Wright submitted his trunk novel to the fine folks at Castalia House, who have published it to high acclaim.

Whatever you're expecting from Iron Chamber of Memory going in, know that the book will deliver on your expectations, plus myriad others you never knew you had.

Craving a romance about lovers desperate to overcome the insurmountable obstacles keeping them apart? Wright has dreamed up the most creative and diabolically clever source of conflict I've ever heard of in that genre.

Looking for a mystery set in a medieval mansion on a remote island fiefdom that turns on masterful misdirection, ingenious plot twists, and philosophical pondering on the nature of memory to shame Christopher Nolan? Iron Chamber of Memory will keep you turning pages long past bedtime.

Do you seek something more profound--answers to why heaven allows evil to reign on earth, or how mercy can coexist with perfect justice? Wright's novel treats these questions as seriously as any work by C.S. Lewis while maintaining the integrity of the story as story.

It's rare for a book that combines so many genres to achieve such a satisfying result. A major reason why Wright excels where countless others manage only mediocrity is that he didn't set out to create a genre mashup. He wrote as the spirit moved him and left the genre labels to his publisher.

Describing Iron Chamber of Memory much further is difficult without risking spoilers. I can mention other books that this one reminded me of, including The Sorcerer's House by Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and Lovecraft's Dream Cycle. Yet here, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

To indulge in a bit of brazen flogging, the mood, themes, situations, and symbolism found within Iron Chamber of Memory reminded me of my own book Souldancer. Any connection may not be entirely coincidental, since Mr. Wright's wife also edited my novel.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Iron Chamber of Memory by John C. Wright to any lover of Gothic romance, preternatural mysteries, or historical fiction who also appreciates the higher Mysteries of supernatural love and atonement.

2016/05/23

BOOK BOMB! After Action Report

bomb

As far more people than I'd expected are aware, superstar author Larry Correia held one of his celebrated BOOK BOMBS for my debut novel, Nethereal.

Obligatory BOOK BOMB! Explanation: For those who are unfamiliar with Book Bombs, how it works is that Larry picks a book, usually by a new writer, and encourages all of his fans to buy it from Amazon on the same day. This mass influx of sales drives the book's rankings to ever loftier and more rarefied heights. As a result, the book finds lots of new readers and the author GETS PAID!

Lots of folks have been asking me how my BOOK BOMB! went. To be honest, the aftershocks are still being felt. Nevertheless, I can now share some details about the initial impact on Wednesday.


By the numbers
Larry kicked off the BOOK BOMB! late Tuesday night. Here's what Nethereal's Amazon numbers looked like when the festivities commenced:

NETHEREAL Starting Ranks:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,367 Paid in Kindle Store
  • #723 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera
  • #1129 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera
  • #1555 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,369 in Books
  • #1581 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera
All things considered, that's a pretty strong starting position. It's about 20,000 places higher than Bad Penny by John Brown (remember: when it comes to Amazon ranks, higher is worse). I mention John's book because its BOOK BOMB! performance is the most similar to Nethereal's among novels in a series.

Bad Penny John Brown

Now that we've established the starting point, where did my book finish?

NETHEREAL Best Rankings:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418 Paid in Kindle Store
  •  #4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera
  • #5 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera 
  • #13 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror
This is absolutely earthshaking, and I'll tell you why.

First, as you can probably tell, I did my homework. By my calculations, the normal effect of a BOOK BOMB! is to reduce a book's ranking by one degree of magnitude. That in itself is awesome.

Not only did Nethereal enjoy double that effect, the drop in rank by almost 56,000 places and its best ranking of 418 makes it the fourth most successful BOOK BOMB! I could find records for.

Book Bomb! Top 10
Source: Amazon ranks published at monsterhunternation.com
I'm deeply grateful to everyone who helped get Nethereal so high on that list. We showed that my readers can roll with some of the heaviest hitters out there.

Then there's the small matter of my Amazon author rank.

Amazon author rank - Brian Niemeier

Thanks to you guys, for one day I was the 28th best selling horror author in the world. I outsold every Stephen King book in that category except for Misery.

Yep. I'll take that :)


Follow the money
Let's get down to brass tacks. What everybody--especially other authors--want to know is, "How much is a BOOK BOMB! worth?"

I'm not trying to weasel my way out of giving a direct answer; I will point out that the answer varies based on several factors, including cover price, royalty rate, whether you've got to split the loot with an agent, etc.

However, this should give you an idea of the awesome power of a BOOK BOMB!

In the week leading up to the event, I was averaging eight sales a day (a figure which I'm sure was boosted by pre-BB announcements).

Yeah, Wednesday's sales exceeded the average by more than a factor of 75.

Considering how my books are priced, and taking into account that I get a 70% royalty rate, each sale earns me around two bucks, which is actually pretty decent.

As the Lord of Hate hath prophesied, the BOOK BOMB! sales boost is still going. All told, I'll make out with a total windfall equivalent to a standard advance for a first-time author.

Except my royalty rate is 5.6 times higher than that hypothetical new author's, I don't have to give fifteen percent to an agent, and I don't have to pay it back :)

Instead I can invest the profits in my business. Soul Cycle Book III is gonna need editing and a nice cover, after all. Plus, I'm cooking up some plans for other projects. Keep watching this space.


In conclusion
Next month marks my first anniversary as a self-published novelist.

When I first started out, I had no idea if my book would break even, never mind turn a profit. For that matter, I didn't know if anyone would buy them at all.

I'm thankful to my readers for making me sell twice as well as most indie authors even before the BOOK BOMB!

I'm prostrating myself in awe before Larry Correia and the Monster Hunter Nation for multiplying that success by almost ten times!

Special thanks to my author friends who boosted the BOOK BOMB! signal, including Russell Newquist, Mike CernovichVox Day, John C. Wright, Declan Finn, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Nick ColeJeff Duntemann, my Sci Phi Journal editor Jason Rennie, and my Geek Gab cohost Jasyn Jones.

And of course, thanks to my family and friends who supported me.

The ride's just getting started.


Nethereal - Brian Niemeier


Follow me on Twitter: @BrianNiemeier


2016/05/21

The Rageaholic: Geek Gab Episode 54

Join your hosts Daddy Warpig, John, myself, and our special guest star, Razorfist of the Rageaholic vlog, for a super-sized episode of Geek Gab!


In this very special episode, the famed Rageaholic holds forth on the AVGN Ghostbusters controversy, Microsoft's stupidity, and #NotAtMyTable; presents his theory for why SJWs tried to invade gaming, and reveals his favorite Battletech mechs!

Bonus: John finally gets to discuss the Street Fighter series with Razor.

And of course, I plug my recently BOOK BOMBed horror/SF novel Nethereal.

Nethereal - Brian Nimeieer

I'll be honest. This is our best episode since the legendary Larry Correia interview. Except everything actually worked this time, so we didn't have to patch Razor in on DW's cell phone. That might put this installment over the top!


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