The recent press release from Tor (which I took some liberties with here) confirming Terry Goodkind's new contract for three more Richard and Kahlan novels came as no real surprise. His widely publicized Law of Nines, dubbed a thriller, was a bomb, and not the good kind. I don't have any hard figures on the sales, but it is pretty clear that the hard cover print run was severely ambitious. When you start seeing hardcover copies in your local B&N for $2.99 and on Amazon for less than the cost of most paperbacks, well, you can be sure sales are not as rosy as you expected.
Further evidence of the Law of Nines relatively poor sales can be inferred from what happened to Mr. Goodkind's "revolutionary" website and all its fancy Flash functionality. It stopped working for six months. My assumption is that someone, somewhere, just wasn't getting paid. Did I mention the website magically returned to coincide with the announcement of the next Sword of Truth book?
Lastly, the issue of timing. A well known moderator of the Terry Goodkind forums asserted that the new Richard and Kahlan novel with Tor will be released before any further books from Terry under his Putnam contract. Now, given the early 2011 release date set for the new Sword of Truth book, and the nature of the publishing cycle, this means that for all intents and purposes the book is already written?! Which, in turn, means that Mr. Goodkind started writing it shortly after the Law of Nines sales figures came in and his next book, something about the Devil being chained in someone's basement, got a red light?!!
I could reference more circumstantial evidence, but then this might actually come off as a rational argument as opposed to the unfounded rambling that it is. Did I mention I might be biased? Not surprisingly, a number of forums have addressed these issues more or less rationally, so I refer you to those explanations in lieu of any sort of logical rigor on my part. So what if your average author would sell her firstborn for figures like Goodkind's, or hitting the New York Times bestseller list like he did... doesn't mean I'm not right.
Interview with Author Lee Thompson
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