Thanksgiving in September
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!
9/30/2019 12:37:54 pm
Congrats Will, thank you for thanking me specifically!
9/30/2019 12:37:57 pm
Your logic on First Reads lines up with my logic on first reads. Otherwise how does a book with a 2* average end up as #3 on any day?
A Pie Construct
9/30/2019 12:42:23 pm
Well I'm just a lowly Pie Construct, so my opinions on anything other than pies and the utensils used to eat them is subject to scrutiny... but I must say your stories sir are better than apple pie. That's saying something. I cannot get enough of the worlds you have built, and the characters within them. Bravo Sir, Bravo.
9/30/2019 12:46:42 pm
I like blog posts like this, data is fun. Good job on 100% definitely mercilessly crushing the opposition!
9/30/2019 01:25:23 pm
Will ever since I finished House of Blades I realized I'd found my favorite author. With every book you've put out I just get pulled in more and more. I can't wait for the Willvengers with Lindon, Yerin, Simon, Orthos, Shera, Calder, and Little Blue led by Eithan.
9/30/2019 01:42:37 pm
Books are great!! Wish you made them longer and more in depth.
9/30/2019 02:14:18 pm
Will, while I did express some small disappointment with Uncrowned in a post in the other thread, by no means did I not greatly enjoy the book and look forward to more with great anticipation. You are my favorite author and a wonderful person to boot so I hope any less any than glowing reviews by us readers did not add more burden to your existing stress.
9/30/2019 03:05:09 pm
I'm pretty sure Will reads reviews and takes them at face value so long as the reviewers provide reasons for the review score. Maybe some of them will help him produce better work - after all that should be what we take away from valid criticism. I gave Uncrowned a 4 star review but was tempted to go 3 for actual content yet the writing was still very good so stayed with a 4. Part of the danger with ongoing series like this is, especially in third person perspective, is too many character perspectives taking away from the central characters. That is what seems to be happening with Cradle. Lindon is obviously the MC yet Uncrowned seemed to have much less of him and for the most part I just didn't care what they did or saw or thought. My personal view after reading way too many books is that most series should stop at book 5. Some will succeed at longer series but most start to flag from book 6 or thereabouts - some get back on track and some don't. Will is suffering from his own success. Write for yourself first Will and us next. If you are happy with your work that's all that matters.
10/1/2019 07:08:59 am
I don't mind that we saw less of Lindon. It's natural, given that the whole point of the series is that you can't advance alone, you need rivals to advance with you, that extra time is focused on the other characters, especially since Lindon's current challenge is the fact that he never was given basic combat training. That is... boring. So focusing on other characters while Lindon is doing vital, but boring stuff for nine months, makes sense from a writing perspective. It's also necessary because we, as readers, have been in Lindon's head for six books, and know what he thinks of himself. Seeing Charity's opinions of him and Yerin helps flesh out the world around them.
9/30/2019 02:52:06 pm
Will, it was wonderful. Each one gets me more and more excited, not just about the series but about your long future as a writer. Cradle is getting more and more amazing. But I also can't wait for your true but underrated genius, Elder Empire. Congratulations mate, and thank you.
9/30/2019 02:56:23 pm
This is my favorite book series and I can't wait til the next. I am trying to figure out when best to reread uncrowned. However I do have some criticism and I hope you get to read some of the comments in Amazon because I think others have said this better than I can. This book feely like half of a story arc. Or half a novel. The characters and story are so good we want more but it's not just that. And it's not just that the cliffhanger hit us hard. It really seemed like the story should have been at the halfway point when it ended. Also dross had me laughing out loud at so many points. Well done
9/30/2019 03:33:23 pm
That makes perfect sense to me Will. I was wondering how the first reads program affects your rankings. I am glad to see that your actual sales increased and that your fan base is growing. I love your work and hope you are able to make a living wage plus off of your sales for years to come.
9/30/2019 05:20:10 pm
Congrats! All your success is well deserved! The hard work you put in is apparent and appreciated!
9/30/2019 06:22:26 pm
I love how much you interact with the fans, between things like twitch/reddit/discord/your blog, it shows you really care both about your work and your fans. Congrats on your success! Now go on a vacation dammit, you've earned it ;)
10/1/2019 07:12:54 am
Lots of twists in Uncrowned and while others might not appreciate the expanded character views, I loved it. Lindon is fantastic, but there are so many more interesting characters - Eithan, Mercy, Yerin to name a couple - with missing back story pieces that it was refreshing to get/hear more from them. I started over the weekend & finished it at work yesterday because I couldn't put it down. Now, I anxiously await OKAK....
10/1/2019 07:23:49 am
Who wants to Bet that Lindon makes it into the 8 because the Shia entry gets disqualified for being a monarch.
10/1/2019 09:21:25 am
she should just withdraw herself. this tournament is getting too serious for a monarch to play around. good point though.
10/1/2019 12:21:06 pm
Or another contestant gets murdered. If Northstrider is unable to separate Dross from Lindon, there will be a situation where the Monarch who is in charge of the tournament has a vested interest in seeing Lindon (and Dross) returned to the contestants list, in the interest of seeing how Dross does and collecting information for creating his own Dross.
10/1/2019 02:49:13 pm
My personal bet is that the current round being single elimination is just as much of a lie as the list of opponents. The hound, being aware of that, allowed Northstrider to maintain that fiction by separating Lindon from the other contestants but made sure he was still present.
10/1/2019 06:01:51 pm
The abidan have interfered. my bet is that it has greater effect on the rules and format. Maybe Lindon can use his connections to his benefit
10/1/2019 09:17:00 am
Hi will, just curious. What helps authors more? Buying an ebook or reading it through Kindle unlimited subscriptions?
Timmothy the Sword Sage
10/1/2019 02:39:43 pm
Your books seem pretty dense compared to a lot of self published novel's I've read in terms of word count per page. I presume you kindle unlimited page count is higher than the kindle page estimation displayed on the Amazon web page?
10/1/2019 03:30:25 pm
Hey Will, what if I read it through kindle unlimited and then buy the book?
10/3/2019 12:14:37 pm
Do you get something each time I reread one of your books on kindle unlimited or just the first time through? Every time I go for a to read one of your books again I download it again from KU so hopefully you get some compensation for that.
10/1/2019 11:38:55 am
I was really enjoying the book until i got to what i thought was 50% of the way through and it turned out to be the ending????
10/1/2019 12:25:23 pm
It was meant to demonstrate that in the last three years Lindon has gone from weak and helpless and relying on Yerin's protection to literally barely losing to her in a fight. He's still in her shadow.... but they are almost equals now. And the deciding factor may be that Yerin has the ability to sense the Way, but he does not. Which.... well, didn't an earlier book say that everyone who makes it into the top eight eventually becomes a Sage? If Lindon can't currently sense the Way yet, he isn't currently Sage material.
10/2/2019 06:13:49 pm
Three years? I believe its been closer to 5-6 no? Lindon was confirmed around 20 in Uncrowned by the Heart-Sage. Not explicitly 20 though. He was 18 in Skysworn. He started at 15 in Unsouled.
10/3/2019 09:13:42 am
In the chapter with Kelsa's point of view, it's said that at first their father was consumed with anger but it's been almost three years, and it's slowly faded. Now that I read it again I'm not sure if that's three years since they were first captured by Heaven's Glory (immediately after Lindon left) or if it's three years since they escaped.
10/3/2019 03:36:36 pm
Diego, maybe the time dilation from when Lindon was in Ghostwater bumped home further along and she just rounded up.
10/1/2019 06:41:48 pm
It's also possible there's some perspective trickery going on. There is limited confirmation of the result of that round. One character's personal perspective, and an 'unreliable' character confirming what he knows that character already believes.
10/1/2019 11:37:57 pm
Egg the Platypus
10/2/2019 11:00:52 am
I loved the book. It was really interesting to see how the relationship with Lindon and Yerin changed as he got stronger, and refused to fight and stuff, and it showed a more interesting side of her character. But what really annoys me is that you seem to be building towards a love triangle thing with mercy, and that’s so annoying! This is the only good series I could find that didn’t have some element of romance in it, and now you’re adding it in! The story was progressing well anyway, and any of the interesting plot things that could be done with their romance and stuff could be done any other number of ways! It’s infuriating! In this case, I have to agree with the people who said that you’re paying to much attention to what your fans want. Stick with what you’ve done before, Will! Before, it was just a nice friendship, plus Mercy. Now, you’ve just totally convoluted what you’ve been doing all along!
10/2/2019 06:05:27 pm
I don't think it'll lead anywhere. Mercy 'might', and I still find that a bit of a stretch, have a crush on Lindon, but its likely only because he's her only male friend her age. She acts similarly to Yerin so I have my doubts. I think Lindon and Yerin are a lot closer, and its clear Lindon does not think of Mercy like that. And the Jai girl was his wife in an alternate timeline....choices... lol. But thats life, you gotta choose.
10/3/2019 09:18:19 am
With kids their age, and in their environment (where alliances with other factions are an Important Thing) it makes just as much sense to have Sophara as a love interest for Lindon as it does for Mercy. Mercy seems more fascinated by Lindon and Yerin's relationship/not a relationship than interested in Lindon for his own sake.
Egg the Playpus
10/3/2019 02:07:34 pm
I don’t mean that Mercy has a crush on Lindon. I’m talking more about that line from Pride where he says something along the lines of “fine, he might be good enough for you.” I don’t think either of them have any interest in each other, I think that they’re gonna be forced into an arranged marriage or something.
"you're paying too much attention to what your fans want."
10/3/2019 12:44:52 pm
You've just got to give Lindon some horrible deformity, like a get half his face ripped off or make him gain weight. That will keep the romance away!
10/2/2019 11:58:17 am
So just finished Uncrowned, great addition to the series. Have you already finished the next book, how long will we have to wait for it to come out? That ending was brutal, I had to pull over to see if there was more book left. Again great book just hurry up and get me the next one.
10/2/2019 10:17:05 pm
Any relation to Boy Georgie
10/2/2019 04:48:10 pm
Top 8... I guess that means this book would rank as an Uncrowned.
10/2/2019 08:45:41 pm
I see you've sneakily added another 50 pages to Uncrowned based on the Amazon listing, Will Wight.
No, it's Amazon finally catching up to the actual page count. Their initial count is based on their initial automated estimate of the Kindle length, which is almost always wrong. They readjust it when the paperback edition comes out and match it to the number of pages the book ACTUALLY has.
10/3/2019 12:42:30 pm
Gotcha. I was hoping you added a few scenes to the book but I figured background changes by Amazon were more likely.
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