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Some nice round numbers!

As of yesterday, we've sold 3000 copies of Seventh Bride!

December was the best month of self-pub sales I've ever had, probably owing to the fact that Bride ended up as a Kindle Daily Deal (which I would never have noticed if haikujaguar hadn't pointed it out!) Bride has blown the doors off my previous self-pub books, selling slightly more books in around two months than Nine Goblins did in over a year (although it's gotten a nice bump from Bride, thankfully, because I want to keep writing about the Whinin' Niners...one of these days...)

The Kindle sales bump lasted through most of December, sliding down over time, but still above where it'd be on its own, I'm guessing. (Smashwords is only good for the intial sales bump for me, Draft2Digital sells around a book a day to people in other eco-systems, Kindle is where most of the action is. These are the facts, even if I could wish for a more diverse sales world.)

While none of the money has landed yet, assuming Amazon does not drop dead tomorrow (seems unlikely) and that the various vendors pay me,* that puts hard numbers for Bride above the median for an unagented fantasy novel advance (at least, as of a decade ago, re: Tobias Buckell's author advance survey 2.0) and so far as I am concerned, everything after that is gravy. (It is still substantially less than my first agented advance for my first children's book, but we're talking, if not apples and oranges, at least oranges and nectarines.)

As I said on Twitter some weeks ago, it's all because of the bird skull on the cover. Bird skulls sell. That's my theory. I'm putting bird skulls on everything and changing Red Wombat Studio to Bird Skull Press. (Not really.)

And also Cloak Guy.

Anyway, you can find ways to order Seventh Bride or read free short stories by my alter-ego, T. Kingfisher, over at said alter-ego's website

*Old freelancer habit. That is Schrodinger's payment until it lands in the account.

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I think you have a point on the cover art, actually. Only the other way around. With all respect possible to your art (I was a fan of your art way before you started this writing thing!... and btw, SOME of us are still hoping for House of Red Fireflies one day. Or at least Happy Little Chupacabra Vists the Mayan Underworld), I'm not sure how much the 9 Goblins art is really helping. My impression was "kid's novel. Silly little light kid's novel." And then I read your description and thought "wait, NOT silly light kid's book? But..!?"

Admittedly, this isn't why I didn't buy your book. That was because I'm not getting anywhere near enough reading done anyway, and because I don't have a kindle, and don't like trying to read big things on my computer. So I'm a mostly irrelevant market-survey data point, until you manage to start publishing these not only in paperback but also with a special paper that reduces procrastination.

But personally, I didn't really feel I knew what I'd be getting into with Nine Goblins - despite being a long-term fan of yours - in part because of the art, whereas Seventh Bride I felt I had a pretty clear idea. I suspect that's even stronger for people who aren't long-term fans of yours.

Also, anecdotally, I know some people who hadn't heard of you but liked your piece in the Women Destroy Fantasy thing, and wanted to find other stuff by you. Seventh Bride seemed more in the vein of your established brand!

[Don't know whether that means you should break out of that brand before it becomes constrictive, or whether you should stear into it and milk the brand for all it's worth, but it may be a part of the difference in sales.]

Congrats, anyway.

No, that's totally fair, and part of the problem is that *I* don't know what to call Nine Goblins...my agent pitched it a bunch and the response was usually something along the lines of "We like this but we cannot for the life of us figure out what it is or how to sell it, so we're passing."

Covers are primarily to tell people what kind of book they're getting, and...well, there's the problem. I suspect that Nine Goblins (and the eventual sequels) will always be weird little comic-and-then-horror fantasies that are hard to classify, and I will probably eventually settle for just having them all look like each other.

It was much easier with Seventh Bride, and I deliberately set up the cover for Toad Words so that I'd have a cohesive visual "brand" for the fairy-tale retellings. I don't have any desire to break out of that yet--I've got at least three more in the works before I get tired of them!--and I wanted them to be kinda unified visually in that regard, so the later books will probably all look similar but with different objects breaking out of the banner frame.

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