A little over three years ago, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller began writing a Liaden Universe side-story novel, Fledgling—which soon expanded into a sequel book, Saltation. These books were written as crowdfunded “Storyteller’s Bowl” projects: The drafts were posted to the web one chapter per week in return for reader donations, with the promise of a professionally-edited-and-revised hardcover book sent to donors of a specific level at the end of the project.

Subsequently, the novels were picked up by Baen along with the rest of the Liaden Universe series, with Lee & Miller to receive part of their royalties for those two books in the form of bulk shipments of books which they could use to fulfill the pre-orders. Fledgling shipped last year (and I reviewed it here), and Saltation is just coming out in print form.

Now Sharon Lee and Steve Miller report, on the Friends of Liad mailing list and the “Binjali’s” Baen Bar forum, that there is a delay in filling the 1,200 pre-orders for Saltation. When they requested the copies from the warehouse, a report came back that there were insufficient numbers to fill all the orders—the book sold out its entire first print run in just two weeks!

Baen is immediately going back to print.  But!  That means we need to ask those who pre-ordered to be patient…some while longer.  We apologize, but this is something that is completely out of our control—mid-list genre books just don’t sell out in two weeks.

Speaking as a long-time fan of the Liaden series, I’m delighted that this book seems to be selling so well—even if, as one of those who supported the Storyteller’s Bowl version, I’m a little disappointed in the further delay.

It’s unclear why the book should have sold out so rapidly—Fledgling didn’t have this happen, after all. I’d like to be able to give some credit to its early exposure as a Storyteller’s Bowl draft—but then, as an e-book fan, I’d like to give e-books the credit for anything and everything I possibly can. Here’s hoping that this startling success leads to many more books in the Liaden Universe!


  1. When Baen signed up Lee&Miller they released a pair of Liaden Universe ebook Bundles. This probably increased the series’ visibility a notch or two among the Webscription faithful.
    And, as has long been observed, ebook sales tend to boost print book sales.
    A nice problem to have.

    • Yeah, I know. And I considered it. But OTOH, I had already paid $25 for the physical book way way back when it was just getting started, and didn’t feel like I could afford to buy a redundant e-copy being unemployed and all. I’m finding it more tempting now. 😛

  2. Well, it looks like Saltation just hit #4 on the Wall Street Journal Science Fiction list for April 25th. That’s based on actual consumer sales, not distributer shipments. It looks like it really is selling very well. I’m glad I got my copy as a pre-order with B&N. There might be a hiccup in the supply before the second print run makes it into the system.

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