BOOK BOMB! Short Stories from the Sad Puppies Slate!

It is time to spread more awareness about Puppy Related Sadness. The following are our suggested nominees for the short fiction categories, novelette and short story.

The way a Book Bomb normally works is that we pick one good book worthy of more attention, which is available on Amazon, and then we get as many people as possible to buy it in the same day in order to boost it up through the ratings. As the the rating climbs, it gets in front of more people, until it ends up on an Amazon bestseller list, where lots of people who aren’t involved in the Book Bomb see it. Success breeds success, the author gets lots of new readers, but more importantly, the author GETS PAID.

This Book Bomb is a little different. Because the ones I’m doing right now are to get more people exposed to the works we nominated for the infamous Sad Puppies slate, we’re bombing a bunch of works at the same time. I don’t like putting this many links, but time is of the essence, and next week I’ll post about the Campbell nominees and Best Related Works.

We did three novellas last week and it was a huge success. They’re still selling well a week later. Overall we sold a couple thousands novellas, which in novellas is freaking huge.

But shorter fiction is tough, because it isn’t always available for sale by itself, but is usually bundled as part of an anthology, or in a magazine which often isn’t available on Amazon.

As you can see from the list below, luckily many of these are available on Amazon, and some are available for FREE, and for the ones that you can only get in magazines the Evil Legion of Evil Blue Care Bear of Flamethrowering (i.e. Brad) contacted them and asked for a work of theirs which was available for us to plug. So those won’t be the nominated work from the current year, but if they sound cool, check them out, that way the author GETS PAID.

Best Novelette

“The Journeyman: In the Stone House”
by Michael F. Flynn
(Analog magazine, June 2014)

Mike doesn’t actually have this novelette available for sale, but he did recommend the following item:


“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale”
by Rajnar Vajra
(Analog magazine, July/Aug 2014)

Rajnar came up blank. He literally has nothing original for sale. This is an unfortunate habit with some of the Analog authors who don’t publish much outside of Analog.

“Championship B’tok”
by Edward M. Lerner
(Analog magazine, Sept 2014)

The specific story is not for sale, but Ed says we can go with this one:


“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium”
by Gray Rinehart
(Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show)

(Requires a subscription, which costs $15/yr)
Since Gray doesn’t have a novel or other fiction available online, you can support him by checking out his album at:


Best Short Story

“Goodnight Stars”
by Annie Bellet
(The Apocalypse Triptych)
“Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer”
by Megan Grey
(Fireside Fiction)

Megan apologizes. She is so new she has nothing for sale, but the story is FREE at the following URL:

by Kary English
(Galaxy’s Edge magazine, July 2014)
“On A Spiritual Plain”
by Lou Antonelli
(Sci Phi Journal #2)

Appears in:

“A Single Samurai”
by Steve Diamond
(Baen Big Book of Monsters)

So there you go, a whole bunch of short fiction that the Evil Legion of Evil enjoyed and thought you guys might like. Sadly, because we’re not imbeciles, we didn’t check with each author to find out their race, sex, and sexual orientation to see if they’d be okay to read as part of the Social Justice Warrior Racist Reading Challenge. We’ll try to rectify that in the future… if we come down with a case of extreme brain damage.


Normally I try to list all the current starting sales rank numbers, and then update them through the day, but we discovered last time that Amazon has started using some massive, like eight hour delay on their hourly tracking system. We basically we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out how we did.

There are so darned many of these, that I’ll go ahead and post. Then come back and edit in the starting stats later. I’ve got a deadline, but I’ll do this because I love you guys. 🙂

EDIT: I forgot to add, please tell your friends! tweet, blog, facebook, graffiti, body art, interpretive dance, whatever works, but the more people who know, the higher the books get, the more attention the authors get.

Here are our opening stats:

Captive Dreams: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,809,985 in Book

Time Foreclosed: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,938 Paid in Kindle Store

The End is Now: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,949 Paid in Kindle Store

Totaled: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,088 Paid in Kindle Store

Sci Phi Journal: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,635 Paid in Kindle Store

Baen Big Book of Monsters: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,892 in Books

EDIT:  Let’s see what we did.

Captive Dreams: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,841 in Books.
The only one to not get on a bestseller list, but we moved it up 1,524,144 spots.

Time Foreclosed:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,470 Paid in Kindle

.The End is Now:


Sci Phi Journal:

Baen Big Book of Monsters:

That was an interesting Book Bomb. It was the first time I’ve ever Book Bombed this many items at once, they’re short fiction, we just did this last week, and Amazon isn’t updating the numbers until after most folks are in bed, so I wasn’t expecting to do what we normally do with a single novel, but despite that we still bumped everybody on here up at least a couple hundred thousand spots, and got nearly everyone somewhere onto a list. (Looking at it, again, the only one we didn’t get onto a list was one that isn’t actually on the Sad Puppies slate, but was one of the ones posted so the author could Get Paid). Smallest overall number shift was on the last one that most of my regulars already bought months ago (that’s the one that has my Tokyo Raider story in it).

Overall, an interesting experiment that worked better than I’d hoped. Next week, Campbell and Related Works.

Good work everybody.

Book Bomb Results, More Free Stories, and Sad Puppies Slate Update
Monster Hunter Nemesis, out in paperback today

47 thoughts on “BOOK BOMB! Short Stories from the Sad Puppies Slate!”

  1. Molakesh was pretty good. I’d enjoy seeing that expanded out, or even made into a more expansive short film. Only in our genre can you feel sad for a demon. That’s the very power of the perceptual shift innate to our genre social justice warriors just don’t get. Principle over identity – the entire history of our genre, until radical dingbats assaulted it. Now I have to read Nebula-nominated stories from TorDotCom called “The Devil in America.” We know who that devil is and no, you are not made to feel bad for him. He is a real demon, and he lives next door, and he’s out to get you.

      1. Molakesh is definitely NOT eligible. “For any work, the year is from the printed publication date if there is one, or else from the copyright date.”

        It will be eligible in 2015.

      2. That type of delicate poignancy is difficult to come by, and for some reason something I crave in SFF. You sometimes see it in those old Outer Limits episodes on youtube. Bradbury was very good at that, and Leigh Brackett used to pull it off in the strangest places, her Planet Stories pieces about Eric John Stark. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised Bradbury claims Brackett was his mentor. I miss that wistfullness.

      3. That’s been the frustrating thing this year. Some of the best SFF of the year has been reprints of previously obscure stories (Awake in the Night Land), reprints of indie releases (The Martian), or in the process of establishing themselves (Sci Phi Journal and Molakesh). That we’ve tripped again eligibility requirement so often alone calls the Hugos into question.

    1. What does “expanded out” mean? Is it the same as “expanded,” in which case the preposition is mere grating superfluity? Or does the preposition add a secret layer of additional meaning?

  2. The Apocalypse Triptych books (both of them) are definitely worth getting. It’s an interesting concept and works well with the short story format. I liked “Goodbye Stars” but “Dancing with Batgirl in the Land of Nod” is the one that haunts me. The first book has Bellet’s “Goodbye Moon” which is connected-yet-seperate from the recommended story.

  3. Darn it, I need help.

    I picked ‘interpretive dance’, and although miming some of the titles isn’t overwhelming, getting someone to read “Sci Phi Journal” is trickier than it seems.

  4. I’m probably completely behind the curve or otherwise out of line… I do that a lot. But, just in case, here’s this from the Mad Genius Club:

    According to that article, at least what I can glean from it, there’s a need to change tactics in the book bomb strategy.

    It seems Amazon has moved to a sales over time rather than a sales in one day metric.

    – Pugmak

    1. Yep. There appears to be about an 8 hour delay now, so we don’t really know the real results until the next day. This bleeds off some of the momentum, but probably gives a longer sales tail the next day.

      1. Again, I’m probably wrong in understanding, but just to be sure…

        What I got from that posting is that to get the placement hoist the sales need to be boosted over a month or so period.

        1. Haven’t read it. Last week to get up to the top of a genre, we moved several hundred novellas in one day. They’re still up there, but have tapered off over a week.

          From prior experience, if it was still updating hourly I bet I could have spiked each one a bit higher, just because of the extra eyes on the lists during the individual days. Getting into the top couple thousand is easy. Each hundred above that gets way harder, until you get in the top 2 or 3 hundred on all of Amazon, and then we’re talking tons and tons of books to make a dent.

  5. Hi, everyone!

    I’d like to offer huge thanks to Larry for hosting this and to everyone who’s reblogged, bought the books and left reviews. What an awesome thing to do. Puppy treats all around. 😉

    As of 2:30 pm PST, I’ve sold 55 books, gotten one lovely new review and my rank has rocketed up to #8917 Paid and #48 in the Hard Science Fiction category.

  6. As a book-devouring fiend who enjoys paying value for value received, who has purchased all of the available listed Sad Puppy and Rabid Puppy works, I have one technical question for the writers in the room – how difficult/costly/time-consuming would it be for authors to make their short stories, like the Analog stories for example, available on Amazon? Assuming a reasonable cost for the short stuff, like a buck or two for stuff of lengths similar to the Molakesh story, how many copies would they need to sell to make it worth their time getting it on the amazon market?

    1. Looked it up since I couldn’t remember from when I put up my own novellette, but 99c is the minimum list price for an author to get the 35% royalty rate.

      $2.99 is for the 70% rate.

      There’s some file size limitations listed there, but I personally think 99c is a reasonable price for a short story/novellette; I’d be okay with paying more for a novella, but that’s me.

    2. “…[H]ow difficult/costly/time-consuming would it be for authors to make their short stories…available on Amazon?”

      Excellent question. The short answer is, ‘easy, cheap, and quick if you don’t like sales.’ The more precise answer is, ‘Usually too much to make it worthwhile.’

      An ebook’s biggest challenge is distinguishing itself from the sea of mediocre-to-horrible stuff available online. The keys to getting your signal heard above the noise are: 1) good writing, 2) professional quality editing, 3) professional quality formatting, 4) cover art that meets or exceeds legacy publishing standards, and 5) effective product description/ad copy.

      Short stories have an advantage over novels at step 1, because they take roughly 1/10 as long to write. Ditto for steps 2 and 3 if you hire editors and formatters who charge by the word (but one novel-length MS is usually cheaper than doing several shorts piecemeal).

      And now comes the rub, because every artist I’ve researched charges the same for a cover, no matter if it’s for a novel or a short. Which makes sense, because it’s the same amount of work for the artist.

      “…[H]ow many copies would they need to sell to make it worth their time…?”

      Where ebooks are concerned, novels far outsell short stories. Then factor in Amazon’s graduated royalty rates, which Shadowdancer already listed. Practically nobody is willing to pay more than $.99 for a short, which effectively limits short story royalties to 35%.

      So figure (and I’m lowballing) 10 hours of your time to write a short, which we’ll call $125, plus $20 for editing, another $20 for formatting, and $120 for a cover. That’s a total production cost of $285. Earning 35% on a price of $.99, the author must sell 815 copies to break even.

      In contrast, a novel that cost $1790 to make and sells for $3.99 (well within the sweet spot) at a 70% royalty only needs to move 640 copies to see a profit.

      The moral: it’s best to release shorts in an anthology first. Then you can split them up and offer each story as a separate ebook.

  7. Thanks for book bomb, Larry. Thanks to everyone who reblogged, FB posted, tweeted, etc. to pass along that post. Within 24 hours “A Time Foreclosed” jumped in rank from ~700,000 to 3569. It reached #25 in hard SF.

  8. Hi all! Thanks so much to Larry and Brad for picking my Tuesdays with Molakesh the Destroyer story for the Sad Puppies slate and for sharing the link again here, and thanks to all of you that are checking it out! I just heard from my editor that Molakesh had a huge spike in views, which is pretty amazing. The Hugo Committee wasn’t able to tell me specifically whether it will be eligible this year or next (they have a policy against commenting on specific eligibility), but based on the wording in the rules that an earlier commenter mentioned, my guess is that it will actually be eligible next year. But regardless of all that, I am just so honored that so many of you are enjoying the story. Thanks again!

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