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.



  1. >Soul Dancer is free now.
    Like I've said in the past, I liked Nethereal but I've been putting off reading the sequel since I've been busy procrastinating on my own writing, and justified it as a expense issue. Now I have no excuse. But seriously keep up the good work. (And again this is a great example of how you do your stealth marketing with precise timing. "My book is up for a Dragon award. How about that? Oh now the deadline is a approaching. How about that? Also suddenly my book is free now that I have a triple storm of attention on me from the Hugo mess, the upcoming dragon awards, and the shadowban thing. How about that?")

    Also since I'm here, I'm going to copy pasta a comment I couldn't leave on Vox's blog for some reason:

    >Brian Joining Castalia
    I figured something was up when both blogs started talking about "neat undisclosed projects in the future that may or may not be inspired by star trek/star trek" on the same day.

    Giving up on the indie evangelism and selling out to 'the man' eh Brian? I kid because I love. (Though I am curious how this is going to affect your own self publishing efforts since it's obvious you plan to continue those.)

    1. Thanks for reading. You've clearly been paying attention, and that bodes well for your own writing career. Let me know when you've released something you'd like me to cross-promote.

      Blogger can be a bit finicky, so no problem posting your VP comment here. I'm glad you brought up my forthcoming work with Castalia House since it gives me the chance to restate and clarify my position on the current state of publishing.

      1) As I'm sure you're aware since you most certainly have been paying attention, I've never been an indie evangelist. My first pro work was published in Sci Phi Journal, a curated magazine, before I went indie. I'm a hybrid author, not an indie author, so working with CH isn't an essential change to my publishing model.

      2) Vox Day is not "the man". He is the Supreme Dark Lord. Courtesy dictates that he be styled correctly ;)

      3) I love you, too.

      4) My prior statements of reluctance to work with Big Five publishers, and my refusal to work with Tor Books in particular, obviously do not apply to Castalia House, which I can firmly attest from personal experience is not a traditional publisher.

      5) In fact, in my posts calling out trad publishers, I'm always careful to exempt Castalia House and Baen, who put readers and authors first.

      6) My CH projects will not interfere with my self-publishing efforts. Vox made it crystal clear that he will accommodate my stated schedule for Soul Cycle Book III. He further assured me that CH will pull none of the dirty tricks that legacy publishers use to indenture authors and otherwise restrict their output. If The Secret Kings misses its planned Christmas launch, there'll be no one but me to blame.

      7) To reiterate another position I've often expressed, I self-publish out of mercenary pragmatism; not idealism. I still affirm that indie is the best starting point for an author. Even though I was first published in SPJ, it was my indie work that got other publishers' attention--and no, CH isn't the first, though theirs is the only offer I've accepted.

      Thanks again for your questions.

    2. Suggested code-name for this project: 6 of 5

      In all seriousness, congratulations! I have a David Gemmell book to get through first, but Souldancer is next on the pile.

    3. 6 of 5. Nice. I'll pass it on.

      Thanks. Let me know what you think of SD, and be sure to vote!

  2. All falls in line what you have previously written. I was simply making a bad joke that you have now thoroughly eviscerated. :)

    And yeah, Castilia house is definitely not a traditional "big 5" publisher. (But it the rate their star is rising, while others fall, it's not going to stay that way for long.)

    1. Your joke was fine. I simply used it as a springboard for an apologia that I knew I'd have to give sooner or later.

      Re: Castalia - not only are they growing faster than any other publisher I know of (The Big 5 are shrinking), CH's rate of growth is increasing. I may not have gotten in on the ground floor like John, Josh, or David, but I'm confident that I can do well for myself and my readers here on the third floor.

    2. Yeah, might as well get it out of the way now.

      (As another aside about nothing, I love that since your shadowban, your comment sections have been exploding in activity.)

    3. That makes two of us! And the comments' explosive growth is indicative of a proportional traffic increase overall.

      That's antifragility :)

  3. Replies
    1. Confound it! You--


      Oh, I see.

      Good. Good, then.

  4. Heck I'll take another copy if it's free.

  5. I'll still purchase it for $17. I'm one of those who needs tangible books.

    1. You're not the only one who's voiced similar sentiments today. I appreciate it.

  6. Word
    To paper
    To ear
    To soul...

    Congrats on the Hugo Snub we need trophies for those!

    Heading over for my free bite, I don't read allot of horror, but for you and all the rest... I shall read!

    1. Thank you, sir!

      If it sweetens the deal, SD isn't just horror. There are fantasy and SF elements--even a touch of romance.

      Regardless of genre, it is the best work I've written.

  7. And now, your book is mine. And you know what? I'll do the long form review, after I finish. Cheers!