BOOK BOMB! After Action Report


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


  1. Well done, and richly deserved. I remember back in 2004 when a computer book I'd written beat out Bill Clinton's autobiography. (We got a review in *Parade.*) That's almost the textbook definition of validation, as far as I'm concerned.

    At this point, I consider you Validated.

    Needless to say, keep going. Remember Larry's advice on success as a writer: BE PROLIFIC. That just takes time. I think you've got all the rest of it nailed.

    1. "a computer book I'd written beat out Bill Clinton's autobiography"

      I thank you on behalf of a grateful nation :)

      "BE PROLIFIC."

      I hear you loud and clear! Work on SC III is clipping along.

  2. I bought both this and vol. 2 during the book bomb, because so far, Larry hasn't steered me wrong in recommendations. When I FINALLY get around to reading it, I will also leave you a review on both Amazon AND Goodreads. Unfortunately, there are at least 30-40 books ahead of yours, depending on my whim. So it may take some time before it appears, but I promise not to forget. After all, reviews help just as much as book bombs.

    1. Thanks for your readership, and the valuable info! Really helps with marketing.

      No worries, by the way. You should see my TBR stack ;)

      Looking forward to finding out how you like Nethereal and SD.

  3. Don't forget you will now get the added bump of Amazon pushing out advertising emails for your other books to everyone who bought Nethereal. I received an email this morning recommending Souldancer to me. I don't know how many sales these emails will generate for you, but I can guarantee it's more than zero.

  4. You're so very welcome, Brian. It's really great to see this doing so well for you - you've certainly earned it! And I can't wait to see more about these other projects you're working on!

  5. Glad to see it worked out so well! Nethereal, and you, both deserve it.

    1. Getting what I deserve is nice.

      Knowing that my readers are getting what they want is awesome!

  6. Congrats, man. Congrats. Good to see a new author succeed. I haven't gotten around to finishing you book yet, but when I'm done, I'll review it on my site.

    Helping out new authors like this...Larry Correia really is generous.

    1. Thanks! I really appreciate your support.

      Every pro worth his salt is always reaching up for the next rung on the ladder.

      Larry is among the rare ones who are also reaching down the with the other hand to help the guys below them up.

  7. Congratulations! I was pleased and honored to be in a position to help you out. (And thanks to spellcheck, that almost said I was in a positron to help you out.)

    1. Thanks, John! Belated congratulations on your Night Lands BOOK BOMB! as well.

      I'm not sure that spellcheck did us any favors. It sounds like there might be a short story concept in your original wording.

      Glad you stopped by the blog. Don't be a stranger!

  8. Congratulations, man! It's really awesome to hear about stuff like this, and see deserving people succeed. *cheering!!*

    1. Thanks for the kind words! It's always good to hear from you :)

  9. It turns out that Mr. Correia and I have very similar tastes in books, which is no surprise considering how much I enjoy his work. I haven't read _Nethereal_ yet, but it's on the stack.

    1. Please enjoy Nethereal with my compliments. And please let me know what you think in an Amazon review!

  10. That is outstanding! :-) And yes, Larry DOES help out new authors!!!

  11. I bought the first two books. Glad to hear of your success with the BB. Thanks for sharing. Good luck in your future writing!

    1. Thank you for giving my books a chance!

      If you like them, please consider reviewing them on Amazon ;)