I'm going to do a full "state of Uncrowned" post on Thursday (because that's one week after release), so today I thought I'd express my gratitude to you, the reader!
First of all, a big heartfelt thank-you to all of you who have already read the book. Whether you're reading on Kindle Unlimited or Audible or you bought a copy, thanks for reading! I love writing, and you're the only reason I get to keep doing this.
A specific shout-out to Travis Baldree and Audible. The audiobook audience continues to grow, in no small part to the awesome skill of Travis, our narrator, and Audible has really gone above and beyond in promoting my books to other fantasy fans. In the coming weeks and months, we're going to continue seeing some awesome growth in the audio world.
Another thanks to everyone who left a review! Whether you loved the book or hated it or anywhere in between, I'm grateful that you cared enough to spend your time letting other people know what you thought. The book already has over four hundred Amazon reviews in less than a week, which is insane.
Speaking of insane...
As you may have noticed, Uncrowned peaked at the #8 best-selling book in the Kindle store and stayed there for over 24 hours. Both of those things are incredible, but if you remember, Underlord briefly reached #5.
All the while, Uncrowned was selling, is selling, and has sold significantly more than Underlord.
So why the slightly lower ranking?
Well, back when UL was released, we looked up the four books ahead of us in ranking. They were all traditionally published by publishing imprints of Amazon, which was immediately curious. What were the odds that the best-selling titles in the Amazon store would all be published by Amazon?
We did some digging and found out that all of those titles were in the Amazon First Reads program. It seems like those titles may gain sales ranking when they are given away to Prime members, which means there would be no way to compete with them. How can you sell more than someone else can give away?
To be clear: this looks to be a fantastic promotional program for the authors in it, and you don't get published by Amazon unless Amazon thinks you have a great book. No disparagement whatsoever meant to the authors in the program.
But our research made us wonder...if the ranking of the First Reads books isn't based on sales, then maybe Underlord was actually the best-selling title on the Kindle Store at the time of its release.
This time, we decided to release UC toward the end of the month, because Amazon First Reads seem to always release on the first of the month. Once we did so, we found that there were seven titles ahead of us...seven titles published by Amazon imprints and part of the First Reads program. Available as a pre-release before their official release date of October 1st.
Seeing that, combined with the fact that we stayed locked in eighth position for an entire day instead of peaking there and falling back down in a few hours (as is usually the case), has made us believe that Uncrowned was actually the best-selling title on Kindle on the day of its release.
Which is incredible! I can't claim that officially, of course, because this is all based on speculative information, but it might really be true!
As I said last week, that's overwhelming to me. I don't know how to live up to expectations like those.
But it's an illustration of the kinds of passionate, dedicated, awesome fans I have the privilege of interacting with every day.
You guys are the best, and I'm grateful and humbled by the experience you've allowed me to have.
P.S. All this speculation about how the First Reads program affects Kindle Store ranking is just that: speculation. We put it together from seemingly logical inferences and publicly available data, but Amazon could come out tomorrow and reveal that no, none of that is counted and those books just sold more than we did. In which case, I'll be relieved. Eighth out of thirty-two million is great!
Since Uncrowned is coming out in just two days, we’ve taken the opportunity to put some books on sale!
The first book in the Cradle series, Unsouled, is free for five days starting today!
On top of that, the Traveler’s Gate trilogy collection (my first series bundled into one book) has gone from its regular price of $9.99 down to $2.99 for a week!
Get them while they’re hot!
...but search for them on Amazon yourself, because I’m making this blog from my phone app, which isn’t as convenient for including links.
I’m on my phone because I’m on my way to Ringling College in Florida, where I will be speaking as a visiting writer tonight!
There I can teach everyone how to write about psychic dolls.
Now that all the i's have been dotted and the t's have been systematically crossed, I'm finally allowed to share with you that my audiobooks will from now on be produced by Audible Studios!
Will the narrator stay the same? Yes! Travis Baldree will still be the narrator for Cradle, as well as for the Sea half of the Elder Empire audiobooks that are about to come out.
Oh, did I not mention those yet? They're done. EDIT: Psych, just the audio for the first four books. Don't get too excited, Jeremiah.
What does this mean for the audio listening public? It means that, unlike when I was releasing the audiobooks on my own, I can actually guarantee a release date now!
The audiobook for Uncrowned will be available on September 26th, and is up for pre-order now! Check it out on Audible.com! (or Amazon!)
SPOILER WARNING: I am obligated to inform you that these lines are technically spoilers.
They have been selected for the purpose of intriguing you without giving anything significant away. I think of this post as kind of like a "trailer" for the book.
But those wishing to remain completely spoiler-free might want to skip this post as these are real lines that are really in Uncrowned.
For the most part.
Iri was robbing the Abidan.
[My model for her doesn’t have a lot of testing,] Dross said. [Should we think about this a minute? That’s a good idea, let’s think about it.]
“Begin!” the Overlord called.
Information requested: Luminous Queen Sha Miara, Monarch of the Ninecloud Court
The next thing Ziel knew, his hammer was covered in blood that slowly dissolved into light.
“Let it be so!” Eithan said triumphantly, and then he strode toward their waiting room. “Come, Yerin! Let's get ready to beat our new friends to death!”
Lindon had never before been so worried about Little Blue's opinion.
Yerin coughed. “Who's telling you I'm afraid of anything? I agreed, I agree, I'm agreeing now.”
The Sword Sage is a wiry man with messy hair, half-lidded eyes that make it look like he’s falling asleep, and tattered black robes. Six sword-arms hang limp from his back, and he draws his white sword back. He’s about to lunge forward.
The Burning Cloak sprung up around Lindon, a flame of black and red surrounding his body, and the dragon advanced.
"Why isn't this Elder Empire?"
--My friend Ian
"My favorite part was when Lindon bonded with Sophara, finally allowing him to undertake the Path of the Double Dragon."
"Still not enough fighting."
"The tournament does not get interrupted by the Dreadgods."
"This book would have been more fun if it were part of an elaborate simulation game."
"Why isn't the next one out yet?"
--You on September 27th
"I was initially skeptical about the introduction of sexy vampires, but the supernatural love triangle really sold me."
--You on September 26th
"Why don't you just skip to the bloopers? In fact, don't write anything but bloopers."
angry bell noises
Did you guys not know that I put out my pumpkins, skeletons, and cobwebs on September 27th? I call it "Scary Day."
I can see now how it might have been misleading to suggest that the book will be released before Halloween, but to be fair, this is before Halloween.
The Uncrowned pre-order is now live and with it the official release date, so go and pre-order! ...if you want to!
Otherwise, follow this and my other sites as the pre-order period unfolds and we gradually release news and content in celebration!
Emriss Silentborn, Memory of the World.
Tiberian Arelius, the fallen Patriarch.
Akura Malice, Queen of Shadows.
Seshethkunaaz, King of Dragons.
Reigan Shen, Emperor of Lions.
Luminous Queen Sha Miara.
The Eight-Man Empire.
The Monarchs, the most powerful sacred artists on Cradle, rule with unquestioned authority. They are mysterious and distant, and catching a glimpse of one is privilege enough for a lifetime.
Now, they have all gathered in one place, bringing their heirs and greatest students together for a competition to determine whose successor is the best in the world:
The Uncrowned King tournament.
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