Life, art by Keith Parkinson

Life, art by Keith Parkinson

Bestselling fantasy author Terry Goodkind is self-publishing his next novel, The First Confessor. The author has been releasing tidbits about the book via social media–he has shared links to two book trailers through Twitter and his Facebook page–and, on Tuesday, unveiled the title of the work. The book will be available on July 2.

Goodkind’s agent, Russell Galen, of Scovil Galen Ghosh, declined to offer any more details about the book, but confirmed that this will be the first title the author has self-published. Goodkind is arguably best known for his Sword of Truth series.

Without a lot to go on (except for one personal story that makes this whole situation extremely interesting to me, but will remain behind my sealed lips), I’m curious whether this is a decision made by Tor (which I doubt) that might reflect the poor sales of his recent novels. The Law of Nines underperformed so poorly that he abandoned that series to return to the Sword of Truth universe (though, really, he never left in the first place), and that novel was published by Putnam Adult, an imprint of Penguin (best known to Fantasy readers for their imprint, Ace), rather than Tor and Macmillan, Goodkind’s long-time publishers.

Or, is this a bold move by Goodkind, who has long felt that he is the master of not only his own domain, but all domains which intersect on the venn-diagram of his existence, looking to capitalize on the success of his name as a brand. I think we can all breath a sigh of relief to see Goodkind finally escaped from the tyrannical clutches of traditional publishers and will now be able to tell the story of “The First Confessor” without bending to the sway of Tom Doherty.

  • Stephen June 13, 2012 at 8:46 am


    Just wondering if you were being sarcastic with your last few comments. They sound sarcastic, but I’m not enough of an insider to know for certain. I liked the first few novels of Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series, but then he started re-writing Atlas Shrugged in every novel after that. Isn’t Tom Doherty, um, pretty good at what he does? Again, I probably sound like an idiot, I just don’t know. Thanks, pal.

  • Aidan Moher June 13, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Tom Doherty is very good at what he does and I have great respect for him. (There is no irony or sarcasm in this comment.)

  • Jared June 13, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I love you.

  • Mieneke June 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Oh dear… That’s just… Oh, dear…

  • Bryce June 13, 2012 at 11:31 am

    He’s been reading some J.A. Konrath lately I guess.

  • Rob June 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Or maybe, more accurately, Goodkind is supporting his work with Tor (the sequel to THE OMEN MACHINE is coming soon, after-all), and this is his way of expanding his audience and offering more content, sooner. You might remember that Tor decided to withhold THE OMEN MACHINE’s ebook release for 6 months, after the hardcover. This could be Goodkind’s way of rebuilding the bridge to his digital fans.

    Poor sales for THE LAW OF NINES, you say? How about the #1 New York Times Best Seller that came out after…?

    Just saying.

  • Aidan Moher June 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Maybe, Rob. As I said, I doubt this was Tor’s idea. Too bad we’ll never know The Truth™…

    *Cue mysterious music*

  • Michael J. Sullivan June 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I’ve been saying it for a long time now the future is the hybrid author. The time to market in traditional big six is long and it’s easier to live collecting 70% of an ebook’s list rather than 14.9%….plus you get paid monthly rather than twice a year. Frankly, I’m surprised that more traditional authors aren’t doing this – although just recently both Goodkind and Sanderson have done so.

  • Howard Sherman June 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    My hunch is that Terry Goodkind made up his own mind to self publish. Michael Sullivan nailed the reasoning perfectly to the point that all I can say is “Ditto” The traditional publishing model is archaic. The handwriting is on the wall; the days of the vaunted publishing industry’s existing business is model are coming to an end.

    I wish Terry Goodkind all my best and I’m 100% behind his decision.

  • Shane June 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I loved Wizard’s First Rule so much. Khalan is still one of my favorite characters. But we all know what happened to the books. As for Goodkinds newest endeavors, The Law of Nines was mediocre at best and I’ve been stuck in The Omen Machine for a while now. The characters are just such shadows of their former selves. I guess I’m at the point where I just don’t care what Goodkind does anymore. I tried.

  • Raphael June 20, 2012 at 12:45 am

    I read the first three volumes of “Sword of Truth” and never felt the urge to read the successors (although I have four through six on the shelves). Goodking self-publishing won’t change that.

  • Casey M. June 29, 2012 at 9:05 am

    My question is will this be published in paper? or only ebook?

  • Aidan Moher June 29, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Ebook only, as far as I know.

  • Rod July 1, 2012 at 10:06 am

    The only paper version of the book is through a presale he did that sold out in minutes and some contests. It’s only in E-book format for the rest of us. Terry Goodkind is awesome, I hope this Book outsells all his previous and removes the need for publishers and anyone else that might make true artists like Terry conform to their ideals.

  • colby July 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Rob, not to be rude but what are you talking about new york bestseller, that is printed on nearly every book that does ok. i have books at my house that i bought thinking they where going to be good because of that and found they weren’t worth five minutes of my life, not to say other people wont like them but still.
    But if you go to terry goodkinds website and facebook even he said he had low sells with that book compared to most of his others. oh and A Stanford Business School analysis found that the majority of book buyers use the Times’ list for buying ideas. The study concluded that lesser-known writers get the biggest benefit from being on the list, while perennial best-selling authors such as Danielle Steel or John Grisham see no benefit of additional sales. that effectivly means that terry goodkind being a more known writer wouldn’t see much of a difference because he was on the list which makes your rebuttal about him being on that list unrealistic.

    i also hope his book outsells his others but unless he does a print copy i don’t think there is a possibility, personally i can’t read them, i have bad eyes and they light from the readers, smaller font and the backgrounds on the readers kill my eyes and give me migraines, i bought a reader and returned it in a week because of this. plus if im going to spend that much on something i want a physical copy i can hold in my hand. generally speaking the Ebook should be 50 percent or less, you don’t have to pay for paper, ink, and you don’t have to ship it so why does the ebook cost the exact or slightly less and in some cases more then the physical book. plus because he made this a digital and audio release only its really going to hinder the public library system and ruin it for a lot of people who don’t have the money to purchase the book. im pretty sure with this decision even if its just to save his digital fans he is going to loose a lot of his original fans in the process. i won’t be able to read this book which is a real bummer but i still love his books just think this was a very bad move, if anything he should have some rerelease in the near future for normal print books, oddly enough he said that if did prints on these books he wouldn’t be able to break even, which completely stunned me. if i have my info right ( i didn’t have the chance to even look at his physical copies of the book) but he sold them for 300 dollars, so he didn’t break even with that (those books had better be leather bound for that price, actually i just checked the website and its premium bound covering but there is a lot of extras that come with it that i wasn’t aware of. but he still said that if he where to sell the physical book it wouldn’t break even, if authors go to a publisher and have to pay them and their book sell then they make it, but if a person publishes his own book and sells it himself, ignoring the middle guy, and his book does well i don’t see how he couldn’t possible break even. i would def pay 20-30 dollars for a simple paperback book, plus of course shipping, now unless that paper was made of gold then he would def break even it doesn’t cost 30 dollars to bind pages together and to write his book, if 5 thousand sell (i think that is the number for the new york bestseller) then he made 150000 dollars alone, he doesn’t have to pay a publisher all he had to pay for was material, in mass production paper and ink are largely discounted to 60 percent off public price and 5 thousand would be considered mass production, and im sure he would sell 20 times more then 5 thousand if not more. so he isn’t quite going to pull the wool over my eyes with that one. I still love his books, and don’t mean to offend him in any way shape or form, his stories are amazing, he was the one who started my interest in writing i just think this was an extremely bad move on his part.

  • Abby July 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Colby — Was it a Nook Touch or Kindle fire? Any eReader that is backlit will put strain on your eyes (like a computer screen would) but the regular Kindle is designed to read like paper… accept it is even easier on the eyes than regular paper because the sun can’t glare off the white pages.. Also, font size is adjustable…

    I like regular books, sure, but the convenience of eBooks cannot be diminished or ignored. Libraries are now starting programs where they lend eBooks to accounts. And seeing as nearly everyone has a computer or smart phone, you don’t actually have to have an eReader to access eBooks (kindle app, anyone?) With that in mind, I don’t think that it will “really going to hinder the public library system and ruin it for a lot of people who don’t have the money to purchase the book”.

    If people want to read it they’ll find a way. If not, they don’t need to complain about it.

    Also, the reason authors have to pay publishers is because they don’t have the equipment to publish books. It’s not the cost of paper or ink, lol.

    After reading your post again, it seems like trolling. Just saying…

  • Rob July 9, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Colby, The New York Times Bestseller list isn’t arbitrary. It’s based on sales data; thus being on it, means you sold a lot of books and presumably, it’s probably worth buying or at least taking a second look. Having multiple #1 bestsellers on that list is significant.

    So the fact that THE OMEN MACHINE was on that list means it sold well, contrary to what you are suggesting.

    I also love that your ebook cost analysis doesn’t include the 9-12 months that an author spends writing the book. Of course, the pice should only be about the ink and the paper, right?

  • colby July 9, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hey Abby, if trolling is speaking your mind then guilty, its hard not to read all the posts when for some reason when you log in from facebook and come to this website it seems to automatically subscribed you too it, i received an email for every post before i even posted on anything. Ive tried it on multiple devices, including the original kindle and it still hurts, ive tried it on my phone, computer, tablet, and kindle, ive got some really messed up eyes so i guess i have to stick with paper. And yes libraries are updating their content to allow for ebook, but they don’t use their own servers etc. it would be to costly so they use a third party gov controlled and payed for company, ie for utah its overdrive, and they don’t update their books when books come out just when they feel like it, they don’t even have all of the terry goodkind books to begin with, so just because they are expanding doesn’t mean they aren’t hindered. if i am lucky enough to be able to get it from overdrive it will be in at least 4 years, there is no way to request a book from them, unlike the library.
    No Ebook convenience can’t be ignored but who walks around with 10 to 15 books that they are currently reading, most people stick with one book while they are reading and pack a second when they know they are nearly done with the first book, so whats the difference from packing around one book and one kindle or tablet, at least with a book you don’t have to pack in a special bag hoping the screen wont get broke. if you walk around with more then one book you are currently reading, good for you, studies show that multitasking actually diminishes the amount of information you receive from the task.

    Rob, im only saying it didn’t do so well was because Terry Goodkind said it didn’t sell very well, and like i said before i have a bookshelf full of books that are #1 that wasn’t worth the money.

    And of course it should include the time writing it, i wrote a book 250 pages in less then a month, so granted i might be able to type fast and think better then most of the authors out there but i should be payed less because of the time. Right? my analysis wasn’t of the time because that is a constant usually an author gets payed a specific amount no matter what, but those are usually determined by his sales Y=X+B+A (x is author, B is paper and ink, and A is production cost or paying a publisher) so discounting A its just Y=X+A
    if you are implying that the ebook and the paperback should be the same price then you are also implying that you should pay the same price for a thirty pound watermelon and a 10 pound watermelon, i meant they are both watermelons right? or possible a 55 inch plasma screen HD tv and a 24 inch boxed tube tv, i meant they are just tvs right?
    im looking at it logically, the physical copy should be more it 10 while the ebook should only be say 7.99 or something, it doesn’t cost much to have your computer to convert the copy of MW to PDF, then submit it to the online website and have them convert it to the format they can use, i can send my copy of my book in right now for free, and only pay them for the amount i sell because its would all be ebook, not a physical copy that sits on a shelf wasting away if nobody buys it. trust me on this ive already talked to amazon about it.
    you can’t expect me to believe that to make one physical copy of a book would cost $10 by itself, i do understand the time and effort goodkind put into his book coming from an authors stand point but i still think that by saying that the ebook cost the same amount as the printed copy is a lie like he did (he said something to the extent that if he where to do printed copy he wouldn’t break even) so in essence he lied by saying that they should be valued the same then to say if he where to do it one of the ways he wouldn’t break even, so the next logical point would be to conclude that doing an ebook wouldn’t break even but with a little research you would know that its much cheaper for the author to do it this way circumventing the publisher, and to know that it is a money scam so people will spend more money on the same product.

    I would def buy the ebook and take an aleve, but at this point im going to wait the 4 years and rent it from this overdrive website.

    if everybody is going to criticize me on this then answer me one question first. why should you pay the same price for a cheaper book.
    go into Microsoft word, type in a page of something then go to save as and under file type go to PDF, (of course this requires Microsoft word 7 and above i think) then you create an a sellers account with whatever website you are using, send them the file and then they will convert it (which normally takes less then a day for a 400 page book) and post it to your account for the price you ask for. should that cost the same as typing the same amount, verify everything, including how its written to the publisher, send it to the publisher so they can do all the copywrite that the online sellers do, then to have them mass produce a set number of copy’s and no more until the sells go up, ship them to specific store and keep a quantity in a warehouse so if somebody does an online order they can ship it, then the stores can sell their copy’s.
    I’m seeing a real disconnect in your thinking when you say that the price should be the same.

  • Michelle July 25, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Just curious. But is that the Rob I think it is?

    As in, Goodkind’s cover designer?

    I’m not sure how the book will sell self-published. Probably still pretty well as he has plenty of vocal fans. Good or bad, Goodkind will probably make just as much money (if not more) by self-publishing so I can see why he probably did it.

    That said, I probably won’t read the book for various personal reasons as well as my taste incompatibility with the author’s fiction.

  • Michael August 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    He is so so smart for publishing this way. Now he can write and release and as the producer of the work, get the majority of the profits. With the world of distribution being demystified by social media, ebook readers, and the intertent, it would be stupid not to self-publish after creating your own brand.

    My biggest beef with Goodkind is how he held out so long to do a t.v series or movie and shot down so many offers. And then backs the lamest, poorly casted, awefully written, Zena Warrior princess style show called “Legend of the Seeker”. Really Terry? Someone should be shot for that, cause the fans want to see a “harry potter” rendition of the Sword of Truth, not freaking “legendary journeys of hercules.”

  • Traci September 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Regardless of his reasoning, I’m just bummed beyond comprehension that I can’t have the latest book in hardcover to add to my collection of the rest of his Sword of Truth series books :'(

  • Jess September 13, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I wanted a hardcover copy too!! I really would have liked to read this book. I hope he considers this at some point and maybe decides to release more physical copies of the book.

  • Troy B November 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Never ever,ever going to pay for an e-anything. If you can’t hold it, crease it, smell the paper it isn’t a book its just an annoyingly long e-mail. Would have gladly plunked down the $30 bucks for the real deal. I have for every other volume of this series. Shameful!

  • sue netherway May 13, 2013 at 1:00 am

    hi is there any paper book copy of (The first confessor – the story of Magna) my daughter is searching for this book