Poison or Protect: How’s Hybrid Life Going So Far?

So my new self published novella, Poison or Protect, has been on sale for a whole 3 days, or so and here’s a run down of how it went. And how I am feeling paddling through the new world of being a hybrid author…

I’m feeling pretty darn elated. Nothing went horribly horribly wrong… yes! Pretty much, in publishing, that’s all I ask for these days. Low expectations are so manageable.

Thank you for your enthusiasm! If you pre-ordered and/or purchased the book this first week, I love you so much. I was hoping for around 2000 pre-orders and we managed 2500 (that I could see, some platforms don’t show this information), which it pretty darn great. Also I’m always happy when I have a feel for the numbers and am not wildly off base.

On Amazon

It’s hard to track details without a physical book for Nielsen to keep track of (more on that later). But Poison got up to an Amazon Bestseller Rank of #478 on its first day of sales.

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In its categories it held steady at:
#1 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Steampunk
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Steampunk

And got as high as:

#6 in Books > Romance > Historical > Victorian

And it has 21 reviews THANK YOU. Reviews really do make a great deal of difference to any author. They effect how/when Amazon shows the book to people who haven’t bought it (among other things) so if you are at all inclined to leave a review, please please do.


On Kobo

#1 in Science Fiction & Fantasy, Steampunk
#6 in Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy
#4 in Romance, Historical

With 5 reviews. I’m not super familiar with Kobo as a platform. Although I know it’s popular with my international readership. My guess is this platform is doing next best sales for me, which is not unsurprising, although I did think in this day of mobile devices it might be iBooks.


Well, you know Apple, even harder to extract information. Two reviews is all I can see, and all I know. Oh Apple, you’re such a mysterious silver fox. Come here and just let me love you, and take care of you, and fill the void that is your broken heart. Or something.


It took way longer to verify the upload and then it took an additional three weeks to put the description up dropping it only a few days before it went on sale. I’m not sure if this had an effect on the pre-order number or sales in general but it was a trial working with this platform.

There is one adorable review (a convert!) and if B&N has a ranking system, Poison isn’t in it. I’m pretty nervous about Nook, to be honest with you. B&N has been, over the years, one of my staunchest supporters (and the cause of some of my biggest heartaches) but I’ll stick with them as long as they keep trying.

Meanwhile, yes the 3 other short stories are pulled. They are in process of being professionally formatted and given new cover art. Because B&N is a challenge they need to be totally clear of their system before I upgrade. This will be fixed by October at the latest.

You see one other way reviews count, Gentle Reader? Emotional bolstering for the authorbeast. (Like tea.)


Directly from my website (via Gumroad) I’ve sold a dozen or so. That’s the place to get the .pdf if you’ve no other way to read electronic.

I know very little about inktera or 24symbols. If anyone uses those, would you let me know? The back end distribution is a bit of a pain to deal with, and with a long delay in all changes I may pull out of these platforms in future.

Why is this book not on Google Play or Smashwords?

Here’s an old blog from a few years ago talking about some of the issues (from an author standpoint) with Google Play. From everything I’ve been able to dig up, none of these issues have been fixed and I’m really not wild about some of the codicils in their distribution contract. They aren’t a big enough fish to take the risk, so far as I am concerned. I’m sorry if this is your preferred venue but that’s why I’m putting these novella up on my website you can use that as a work around.

For those few who asked, I’ve quit Smashwords. They were proving very difficult to work on tax stuff and I just don’t want to take that risk.


I’ve got the internal matter formatted (thanks Nina!) and uploaded to Createspace for distribution on Amazon. It’s 200 pages long. However, I needed to know the page count before Starla could finalize the cover art. Now we’re ready, she’s going to get on that as soon as possible. Things aren’t awesome for her right now and she really needs our support to get through a rough patch, so, while you’re waiting how about trying out one of her books? She’s a wonderful author in her own right and if you get a printed one you can see her lay-out style and what you might expect with Poison.

Because this isn’t something I can do anything about, we are all going to have to be patient. Once it’s ready I will accelerate the production process as fast as I can (while still meeting my rather exacting standards). I will also be trying for venues other than Createspace, because I don’t believe in an Amazon monopoly. But all signs point to the fact that Ingram is even slower, so we start with Amazon.

Imprudence is coming, so you’ll get your print fix soon regardless. And you’ll love this next book, I promise you will. (There are even some signed editions out there.)



Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second

Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.

Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are… is frightened.


Steampunk book ends!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Fearless Photographs of the First Tornado Chasers (1884)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

If you doubted there was gender bias in literature, this study proves you wrong

Book News:


Petunia fan art.

Quote of the Day:

“You can either shut yourself up in a country house and stare into a newt tank, or you can be a dasher with the sex. You can’t do both.”

~  Bertie Wooster (P. G. Wodehouse)….tv version of the original quote

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!


Posted by Gail Carriger

5 Responses

  1. Dana said:

    The “hippo in a corset” comment is truly the only visual I could come up with that got the point across. Glad you liked the review. I really did love the book, up to and including the bit where I cried in anguish over Presha’s brokenness. I especially liked that the flaws of young Presha weren’t washed away by some great atonement or epiphany, but you can understand why she was that way, and affected her later.

  2. Melody Powers said:

    I have my copy of Poison or Protect all ready to go on my eReader – just want to finish Timeless before I read it (and therefore review it).

    I am so excited for Imprudence (re-reading Prudence is up next after P&P), but I will confess I just squeed VERY LOUDLY when I read the summary for Romancing the Inventor (I am already sad about the end of Timeless and Alexia hasn’t even visited the Countess yet!).

  3. Ann Brookens said:

    My dear Ms. Carriger,
    I wish to apologize for not purchasing Poison or Protect until the second day. My work schedule was wonky and I just lost track of publication. I was, I believe, the twelfth review posted (aannbrr). So far, I own all of your books, short stories, and novellas on Kindle, purchased through Amazon. I am, however, looking into acquiring print copies this year as funds become available.
    Your books are just…topping!
    Thank you for sharing your world with me.
    (Ms.) Ann Brookens

  4. Liz said:

    I really, seriously need those steampunk bookends. Heart eyes all over the place.

    I pre-ordered, on the Nook (thank you for dealing with the problems relating to this platform, I wasn’t aware of all that but I’ve had my Nook for something like 5 years and would so sad if I couldn’t have ordered it that way!) and haven’t read it yet but will definitely post reviews when I do. I’m sure it will be fan-tab-u-lous as always. 🙂 I’ll also be ordering the hard copy whenever it’s available!

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