BOOK BOMB! Novellas from the Sad Puppies Slate!

Today we are Book Bombing the three suggested novellas from the Sad Puppies slate. These are novellas that the Evil Legion of Evil thinks are great, and should be considered for fancy awards. No gimmicks, no BS, just awesome stuff.

How a Book Bomb works is that we try to get as many people to buy them off of Amazon in the same day. Because they have a rolling average best seller list that updates hourly, this causes the book to move up the list. The higher it gets, the more people outside the Book Bomb see it, and check it out too. Success breeds success, and best of all, the author GETS PAID.

And all authors should have GET PAID on their mission statement.

Throughout the day I’ll update the sales rankings. This is Very Special Book Bomb because someone accused me and Brad of trying to get people to vote without reading the works. On the contrary, that misses the point. These are good, so we want you to read them, and if you don’t read them, how does the author GET PAID?

First up, John C. Wright, who I think is one of the greatest wordsmiths alive. The man is brilliant.

One Bright Star to Guide Them [Kindle Edition]
by John C Wright


Our next recommendation is Tom Kratman, who makes me look like a big softie. He’s also a bad ass writer, and I think this is one of the best things he’s ever done.

Big Boys Don’t Cry[Kindle Edition]
by Tom Kratman

On our  third Sad Puppies novella nominee we ran into an issue. Our nominated story by Arlan Andrews was originally published in a magazine that we couldn’t sell on Amazon. Brad contacted the author, and he was kind enough to say that he would be willing to email a free copy to anybody who asked him for it.

If you would like a free copy of the Sad Puppies recommended story, send a message to and he will give it to you.

However nice that is of him, that does not make the author GET PAID, so here is something that he does have available for sale on Amazon that you can try out in addition to the free one.

Other Heads and Other Tales[Kindle Edition]
by Arlan Andrews Sr

Right now the stories are at the following ranks:

One Bright Star to Guide Them: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,731 Paid in Kindle Store
Big Boys Don’t Cry: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,018 Paid in Kindle Store
Flow: No idea, it is free. Go get it.
And the non-Sad Puppies, but author should get paid entry:
Other Heads: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,337 Paid in Kindle Store

EDIT: to add, I forgot to say, please tell your friends. Repost, reblog, tweet, whatever it is you are into. The key to Book Bombs is spreading the word. Thank you. 🙂

EDIT 2: Well, apparently Amazon changed its methods, so after a whole day of the rank not moving at all, late last night (after everybody quit looking at bestseller lists) they finally started updating, so, thanks a lot Amazon. If you’d left it normal I could have sold a couple hundred more books for you.

But after that, long after everybody in the US had gone to sleep, Amazon FINALLY started updating the day’s sales. And this Book Bomb was a massive success

For Wright

For Kratman

And for Andrews, keeping in mind this isn’t even the work we’re pushing for the Hugo nom

Again, if you are a Sad Puppy voter and you’d like to check out Flow, email Arlan at that address above and he’ll give you a copy to read so you can nominate intelligently.

So, top 500 on ALL of Amazon, for works of SHORT FICTION (which don’t sell nearly as well as books), plus #1 in their genres (except for John, who is up against the cultural institution of Harry Potter!), and I heard the actual stats from Tom and John’s publisher last night, and damn, we moved a shit ton of books. 😀  No. Seriously. Between the two of them it was like 20 really good book signings, or probably 40 average book signings.

This is going to get its own blog post when I have a chance, but I want you to think of something for a moment. I was accused of trying to get the Sad Puppies volunteers to vote stupidly, without reading the works, because I never explicitly came out and specifically said READ BEFORE NOM, (and the reason I didn’t say that was because it was so blatantly obvious and we were making fun of the SJWs for doing just that so I didn’t think I needed to).

But now, with yesterday’s Book Bomb, we not only encouraged you to read our slate, but we made it so that these novellas are now the most widely read items in that category, by far.  Suck on that, SJWs.

And more importantly, the authors GET PAID.

EDIT 3: Because it keeps going up, so why not? I told you guys, once you get them up there high enough, they’re seen by new eyes who weren’t part of the Book Bomb to begin with.

One Bright Star to Guide Them

Big Boys Don’t Cry

Other Heads

EDIT AGAIN: What? Still going up? UNPOSSIBLE!  Other Heads  dropped 10 whole spaces, so I’ll just leave the above cut and paste for that one’s high mark, but let’s be honest now I’m just documenting these out of spite. 🙂

One Bright Star to Guide Them

Big Boys Don’t Cry

Book Bomb Success! Behold the Power of Sad Puppies.
Kickstarter News! And you can murder me, Mike Williamson, or Howard Tayler!

76 thoughts on “BOOK BOMB! Novellas from the Sad Puppies Slate!”

  1. Huh… I kind of thought this post would sell the novellas a little more. Like explain why the novellas are Hugo worthy beyond just “it’s awesome.” What are the intriguing ideas in each novella that make it stand out, etc…

    I’ve only read the John C. Wright one. I like that it is revisiting the concept of a children’s portal story but with the children as middle-aged adults looking back on their experience and questioning if they can ever return to it. There is a mourning for a loss childhood and resentment towards the corruption of adulthood that plays throughout. It’s high-brow but accessible. It’s comparable to Lev Grossman’s The Magicians but with more poetic writing and less obnoxious characters.

    So what more can you tell me about the other two? My reading time is precious.

    1. I don’t like to tell people what to think about books. You’ll note at most my Book Bombs only ever have a line or two of description. I usually pick stuff I like and think my fans will like. Or in this case, these are the things the ELoE thought were awesome. I figure you guys are grown ups, you can look at the blurbs and reviews, and make your own calls if you want to read them or not.

      I’m already getting jumped all over by angry people who think I’m somehow mind controlling a few hundred people in perfect lockstep. 🙂

      1. (mindless, shambling hordes of vacant-eyed, slack-jawed minions)

        “Laaarrrrryyyyy . . . Laaarrrrrryyyy . . .”

      2. By the look of things, a fair number of the commenters here have blogs. Maybe after they’ve *gasp* read the stories, they could say a few words about them (intriguing ideas, general Hugo-worthiness, etc.) on their own blogs.

        That would certainly lay to rest this whole lockstep-haven’t-read-it notion. 😉

    1. On behalf of the Minions Local 512, we apologize for the inconvenience. The problem has been repaired and those responsible have been punished in accordance with the ILOH’s Guide Book for the Minions of Evil.

  2. Bomb run mostly completed. Had a mis-drop though, Target Kratman already hit.


    Anyone know if Arlan has a paypal account of some sort so we can put a couple bucks in the tip jar for him for the novella?

    Got the other two.

  3. Just heard back from Arlan, pointed me at “Valley of the Shaman” by well… him. Anyway, bought that one for a little extra bombing run.

    (Sorry the metaphor keeps going in my head. Been playing War Thunder too much. But on tanks, so usually I’m the one getting hit by bombs! Which are really un funny).

  4. This is my first time participating in a book bomb, so I went and bought these, and waited for the hour to roll… and the best sellers rank got worse for all three? Is that expected right at the start? It just all seems very odd.

  5. Arlan responds very quickly, so now I need to make space on my reading queue to fit these in before the deadline.

    Thanks, Larry.

  6. I’d already bought the LTC Kratman’s entry but I have never read anything by John C. Wright. Achievement unlocked! Novella downloaded!

  7. Hmm. Sales rank has dropped from #89,731 to #100,862 for One Bright Star to Guide Them. Is there a counter-book bomb going on?

    1. I don’t even bother to check for the first couple of hours. The ways of Amazon’s weird rolling average thingy are mysterious and confusing. Just watch. 🙂

      1. Yeah, there’s a lot going on with Amazon’s rankings, which include what everything else is selling.

        I’ve gone a day without selling anything and watched my book’s ranking go UP. It makes no sense, mostly because you can’t see what other books are actually doing.

  8. I’d already bought, read, and blogged about the Wright and Kratman novellas (liked both of them very much, by the way), but I just sent an email to Arlan and bought his collection on Amazon.

  9. I already own and have read “One Bright Star to Guide Them” – and most of John C Wright’s other works because he’s brilliant. But I went ahead and left a review both on Amazon and on my blog to help the spirit of the bomb.

    The other two I’ve gone ahead and picked up.

    1. Wyldkat, there’s a kindle app for Android (presumably for iOS as well, although I don’t know for sure, since I don’t use iOS). If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet, you can read them on that device. Although I personally find reading on a smartphone to be difficult, my husband does it all the time.

      1. I don’t have a tablet or smart phone. I tend to prefer to keep things uncomplicated.

        I tried to buy the first story and put it on my sister’s Kindle and Amazon put it on a “cloud” instead. -sigh- Wonderful, no way for two people to share one of those stupid readers? Puts a major damper on my being interested in getting one.

        I wanted to be able to take it to bed with me, not spend the night sitting at the computer. Oh well, such is life.

  10. Just have to ask… did the book bomb bomb or did Amazon change their ranking algorithm? Because I don’t see any significant change in the rankings for any of these three works (yes, I can see that they’ve actually moved down a bit – but the amount that they’ve moved doesn’t seem very significant to me).

    My guess is actually a change in Amazon’s ranking algorithm. I’ve seen stuff to suggest that they’re trying to filter out the impact of one day sales bombs. They might be further along than I’d thought.

    1. I think Amazon is tweaking it. They put in a delay a few years back, but nothing like this.

      I emailed the publisher earlier to make sure copies were actually moving. From prior experience the numbers he quoted me for both would easily put them both into the top 1000 normally, so something weird is going on.

      I’ll keep checking to see, but I’ve got a suspicion that Amazon is trying to suck the fun out of Book Bombs. The author still Gets Paid, but half the fun is checking back every hour to see how much we pushed it. I’m still thinking they’ve got to register those sales eventually because I want to see them get up there. Getting them on the list in front of other new eyes is very important.

  11. They would be foolish to interfere with the book bomb format. It is why we link to Amazon instead of Barnes and Noble Or some other place…but I noticed that it took a day to register changes in Dec. I guess we can see tomorrow.

  12. FYI, lower ranked books don’t update every hour like high ranking books do. Or at least so say the folks on Kboards. I don’t know where the cutoff is – 30,000? 10,000? Some things only update a few times a day.

  13. Strange thing is, over LTUE weekend my individual overall ranking shot into orbit, and has been slowly falling since Saturday. But the book rankings have not changed. Something funny about that. If I went as high as the individual ranking says I did, my books should have been in the top 100 for their categories, and they weren’t. I suspect a metrics malfunction.

  14. As of midnight the ONE BRIGHT STAR Amazon Best Sellers Rank was #61,322 Paid in Kindle Store — earlier today it had been 108,000

  15. As of quarter past midnight, ONE BRIGHT STAR Amazon Best Sellers Rank was #1,096 Paid in Kindle Store.

    A drop of two orders of magnitude.

  16. at 23:15 Central, Big Boys Don’t Cry has moved from to #1286 in Paid in the Kindle Store, up from 52,018. That’s quite a punch.

    One Bright Star has moved to #1096 up from 89,731 again, a huge jump.

    Other Heads is now at #2441 up from 403,337 which is just wicked amazing.

    Additionally, they are #3, #8, and #4 respectively in their first category.

    I honestly think that this just reflects that very low ranked books get updated far less frequently, but that the book-bomb still works as well as it ever did.

    It was never likely that even Larry and the League of Evil could push NOVELLAS into the top 100, but wow, this worked.

    Plus, the authors get paid… how cool is that?

  17. Current rankings as of this comment submission. You all ROCK.

    Arlan’s book:
    #2,441 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    #3 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Anthologies
    #3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Anthologies & Short Stories
    #6 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Satire

    #1,286 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    #4 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > Two hours or more (65-100 pages) > Literature & Fiction
    #5 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > War
    #9 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > Two hours or more (65-100 pages) > Science Fiction & Fantasy

    #1,096 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    #8 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Sword & Sorcery
    #24 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic
    #44 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic

  18. And worth noting – that #8 in kids sword and sorcery? 1-7 are Harry Potter.

    The #9 for Col. Kratman is after 8 Romance novellas. (Same with the #4 slot, the top 3 are Romances.)

    And #3 in anthologies – “Howey to the left of me, Bradbury to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.”

  19. Good work. This is what’s called creating institutions.

    In terms of the SFF community, in the space of less than a year, new institutions are already being formed by people who’ve been attacked, banned and deleted from public arenas they used to share. They are simply no longer engaging in fruitless arguments they know they’ll never win against almost fanatical bigots and the just as fanatically naive people who carry their water. Instead of addressing these idiotic exaggerated hysterias about privilege, racism and sexism in something as innocuous as the SFF community, people are folding up their tents and walking away and setting them up elsewhere. In hypocritically maintaining they’ve been marginalized according to their skin and sex while marginalizing others according to their race and skin, it is the social justice warriors who’ve been marginalized, not their targets. It’s only a matter of time before new awards are set up and over time regain the credibility the now discredited Hugo and Nebula awards have lost by virtue of being nothing more than a repository for radical intersectional feminist resentments. Guess who won’t be invited to that party.

  20. And Tom Kratman cracks the top 500 at #483….

    Wright appears to be peaking at #421, but we shall see. Andrews is off a bit at #1,003.

  21. Picked up “Valley of the Shaman” yesterday as well from Arlan as way for him to get paid, it went from about 1,400,000, to about 59k today.

    Since it really was not on the list, and I only found out about it from talking to Arlan via email, that’s pretty dang neat.

  22. Bought all 3 and got the free one thanx! 🙂 I’m curious – how much money does the author get from a kindle sale for these kinds of stories? Are these considered self-published?

    1. It depends. John and Tom are through a publisher. Arlan’s was self published. The royalty percentage will vary.

    2. In this case, the books are listed through Amazon at prices that give the publisher 70% of the sales price. Mr. Wright and Mr. Kratman are published through Castalia House, which has stated that it pays its authors 50% of what the publisher makes (individual authors may have varying contracts – I’m not privy to their business deals). So for the two cases in question, the authors are bringing home about a dollar a piece from each sale (before taxes). That’s about as good as it possibly gets in the publishing industry. For most non-self-published authors the rates are FAR lower.

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