OMG – temporarily the world’s 4th-highest selling (free) unicorn sharehousing fantasy story

Okay, it’s not quite like that. It’s EVEN BETTER. I’m currently the author of the world’s HIGHEST SELLING (free) ‘unicorn sharehousing comedy fantasy story featuring a protagonist called Stanley’, and don’t even try telling me that hasn’t been your dream since childhood.

All right, all right. Amazon slices and dices the genre categories a bit, but not quite that thinly. But thanks to some enthusiastic downloading, Problems With a Girl and a Unicorn is currently sitting at #13 in the US Kindle rankings for (free) contemporary fantasy.

This is the time for all Australians to don the green and gold, download like bandits and make it infiltrate the top ten while the Americans are sleeping.

Who knows what they’re expecting when they download it? As was pointed out to me earlier, most of the people downloading it in the US seem to be scooping up every unicorn story they can point their Kindles at. Yet my story is a reasonably grubby 90s sharehousing story, that happens to feature a unicorn housemate. It can’t possibly be what they’re expecting. All the more reason I want it on their Kindles.

The story came about because, after John Birmingham had come out of the blocks with the definitive Australian work on sharehousing (He Died With a Felafel in His Hand) and then followed it up with another hit or two (Tassie Babes, for instance), it seemed like loads of people were trying to get some buttock purchase on his bandwagon. We were deluged with sharehouse stories, some of which started to look, dare I say it, a little derivative.

So I decided, as my own private way of commenting on that, to suggest that a writer would have to go to extraordinary lengths to write a sharehouse story with anything new in it at all. And I decided I’d do that by setting out to write the same story everyone seemed to be trying to write, but I would people it with a guy, a girl and … a unicorn. A sharehouse that no one had seen before.

I played around with it for a while, but it didn’t go too far. Then I was suddenly struck by how it might end, and I knew I had myself a story. It was published in my collection Headgames and has twice been turned into a short film. It’s also been optioned for claymation by someone who worked on the Wallace & Gromit movie. I want to see that.

For now, though, it’s at least fully resuscitated as a story, and free for another day or so for Kindle and the Kindle app. Please download one here. I’d like to see how far and wide I can make it go.

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12 Responses to OMG – temporarily the world’s 4th-highest selling (free) unicorn sharehousing fantasy story

  1. oldnewortrue says:

    It has always been my favourite of your stories, and rates up there with my all time favourite stories. Whenever I come across someone that hasn’t read your books, I drag out my copy of Headgames and read them this. I did once read it to a friend of mine from Buffalo, NY. She may have spread the word…

    Actually, now that I think of it, i have an uncharacteristically candid photo of me reading this story to my now ex-boyfriend and now dead dog (emotional minefield). But since everything seems to be about survival stats these days… What does it mean if Headgames and I are the last “men” standing in this snapshot of my life?

    Books are forever. Take that e-lit.

    • nickearls says:

      It’s not a parable I can interpret with complete confidence, but you know I’m glad you’re still standing.

      My interpretation is complicated by the fact that, if you and I care for our copies of Headgames, they might last 500 years, but new ones stopped coming off the production line a few years ago. So, there was a time when people might not have classed it as one of the survivors. However, e-lit’s letting me resurrect it. For now that’s in bits and pieces, but I have a few new ideas about how to bundle it up that I’ll be putting into practice over the next year or so as well.

      Now all I need is to work out how people find readers in this crazy new world …

  2. oldnewortrue says:

    This is Kate Lilley btw. Am not sure why wordpress now likes to put up my non-functional blog name instead of mine…

  3. Waving my little green and gold number madly for you Nick! Unicorns rock.

  4. Hi everyone. I’m Will Entrekin, Exciting Press director. Helping Nick bring these books out. Just wanted to add a thank-you note here–the story totally cracked the top ten in contemporary fantasy this morning, and it’s in the top 30 for overall fantasy. I’ve been a fan of Nick’s since reading Perfect Skin just about a decade or so ago, so you can imagine how awesome I think it is to be helping new readers find Nick’s work, and how much I appreciate your help there, too.

    Also wanted to thank the reader who left a review for the story. We always appreciate when readers let others know what they thought, whether they’re helping us spread the word through reviews, retweets, or just in-general enthusiasm.

    Happy reading!

  5. Just went over and downloaded a copy – big deal for me as I’ve never ‘bought’ and ebook before. I don’t have a kindle, but that doesn’t matter. BTW, have you put your story sales link on twitter? I would do it for you, but my old dial up is jacking up on me these days (getting BB in May, that’s the plan). Please do consider putting that link on twitter, I’ll TRY (that’s the operaive word) to get on and follow you; then I can retweet your content.

  6. louiseforster says:

    Thanks to Danielle, I’m about to download Problems With a Girl and a Unicorn, but have to wait for my techi adviser. I’ll make him coffee while he does the thing. I can’t wait to read it.
    Congratulations for getting your story this far in the US!
    I’ve tweeted it and I’ll tweet it again this afternoon

  7. Fiona says:

    Thanks for the story.i will never think about unicorns the same way longer are they rainbow coloured sugar coated creatures.
    By the way I still giggle very time I am in the lift at toowong towers thanks to nick earls

  8. louiseforster says:

    Hi Nick, every time I see those little pumpkins I want to pluck one off the screen and eat it…’cept it’s glass not a boiled lolly.
    Danielle de Valera put me onto your story. Congratulations for taking a leap forward in the top selling freebies. I downloaded Problems With a Girl and a Unicorn, and enjoyed every word. The end did surprise me! I had envisaged something else entirely.

    • nickearls says:

      Thanks very much Louise – it’s very good to hear that. I didn’t have an ending in mind when I started playing around with the characters, and I had fun with them but then wondered where it might be going. I put the story aside for a while, then noticed it one day and the idea for the ending struck me. I had to write it right then, even though I had no home for it at the time (no one was in the business of commissioning anthologies about irrational chain-smoking unicorns, as it turned out). But it’s ended up having more of a life than I thought it would, and it’s great to get the chance to give it another life as an ebook.

      If you’d feel happy to review it on Amazon, that’d be very welcome – no pressure though.

      • louiseforster says:

        Hi Nick, I certainly will write a review, I’ll do it this afternoon as soon as the visitors leave.
        I hope this venture creates amazing sales with your other books.

      • nickearls says:

        Thanks a lot for that – much appreciated.

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