Last Among Equals

So after being knocked off my perch on the New York Times Extended Best Seller List after a mere two weeks, it looks like I’m…



That’s right. I’m BACK. Yeah, keep scrolling. Further. Further. There I am! At number 35, out of–you guessed it!–35. Needless to say, this isn’t a bad place to be last place. The odd thing I learned is that my sales numbers have been pretty much rock solid over the last month, so my fluctuations up and down and off the list are either because other people on the list have had their sales fluctuate or because of that pencil-neck joke. But hey, I’m not complaining. Getting on the list for even one week is a whole lot more than most writers get. Ever.

So, cheers, New York Times, and if I make it high enough, I promise I’ll buy a print edition. (But $10 for the Sunday paper? Seriously?)

Everything’s Big in … France?

Recently got my copies of The Way of Shadows as translated into Dutch and French. I think now I can say, “I’m big in France.” (If only literally.)

Here are shots of the books next to their American counterpart.

My Dutch Big Brother

French front cover


Back blurb en francais

(Click any to enlarge.)

How cool is that? It’s still amazing and very weird to think that someone with whom I couldn’t communicate if I met them in real life could read what I’ve poured so much of my life into. So thank you to my translators Peter Cuijpers and Olivier Debernard, and to editors Jürgen Snoeren and Stéphane Marsan of Mynx and Bragelonne respectively.

David Gemmell Legend Award Finals

A while ago, I told you that I had been nominated to the longlist for the David Gemmell Legend Award for fantasy. That list of 78 authors was nominated by publishers and put to a popular vote to decide on a shortlist of five authors.

Along with incredible, established talents like Juliet Marillier, Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Polish best seller Andrzej Sapkowski, one debut author made the list. (Go on, guess.) Orbit publishing director Tim Holman issued THIS very nice press release. So, thank you very much, because it was people like you–who visited this web page and voted for me–who got me in. It’s an honor just to be listed with these great authors.

BUT! Although I fully expect to get creamed in the finals, I feel pretty optimistic, like THIS.

The winner of the David Gemmell Legend Award is chosen by the public. That means you don’t have to go to a convention, you don’t have to be part of a secret cabal, you don’t have to dress up as a Wookiee, it just takes 3 clicks. Start HERE. Seriously, it’s simple enough that I figured it out. (Though my wife explained the big words.) Voting is open now and ends May 31.

A note: because you aren’t required to login, in order to make sure you only vote once, they monitor votes per ip address. So even if both you and your brother or wife or whatever liked the book, be aware that double votes per household will get both tossed out. (And yes, I imagine some of you are techno-savvy enough to circumvent the system, but please don’t. Cheating to help me would devalue the award, and I don’t want that.)

Thank you again for voting for me, for telling your friends about my books, and just being awesome fans.

Up 2!

This week, I scrambled up two more spots on the New York Times Extended Best Seller List. I am now perched at #29. Whoo hoo! I also figured out that “best seller” is two words. I’m told it behooves a writer to know how to spell. Compound adjectives confound.

And I got this very cool picture (thanks, Heather H.!) this week, taken at a Borders. Nice folks to rub shoulders with, huh?

In Borders at #9
(Click to enlarge.)

How to Verb Twitter

Confession: I tweet. (Twit? Twitter?) At first, it started as a whim, an experiment with the social experiment known as Twitter. At first thought, the whole thing reeks of narcissism. Why should anyone care about my latest trip to the dentist? Or what wine Joe Bob had with dinner? Then, a great college friend (whose own TWEETS are highly entertaining), sent me THIS thoughtful article.  So I tried Twitter, quietly. I’m not an addict. I can stop any time I want to. And no, it isn’t taking away from my writing: tweeting is a good medium for brief wry observations on life or circumstances. There are no dentists in Midcyru. (A flaw in my worldbuilding? Perhaps. Or perhaps in fiction it’s nice to escape the mudanity of the Muggle world.)

So if you’re into this sort of web 2.0 wonkery, you can follow me HERE. Or if you want to weigh in on proper verb form, you can leave a comment below.

Not an April Fool’s Joke…

it just feels like one.

I have just made the New York Times extended Bestseller List at #31. (Apparently the Gray Lady didn’t resent that “pencil-necked rube” jibe a few posts back.) There are lists and then there are lists. It’s a little byzantine, so I’ll explain what I’ve learned:  The New York Times has bestseller lists for each book format: hardcover, mass market paperback (like mine), and trade paperback (the bigger, more expensive format). They also cover non-fiction and children’s books. Why so many lists? Because there are 172,000 books published every year in the US. And the main list of 15 spots is owned by nice folks named Patterson, Grisham, King, Steele, Picoult, Cussler, Coben, Meyer, and whomever Oprah likes. So in order to add some spice, the NY Times has the extra lists.

This is A Big Deal. Orbit says that according to their official guidelines, I am now “New York Times Bestselling Author Brent Weeks.”

When I graduated from college, I made a bucket list. On it, I believe the first three items were, “Write a novel. Get published. Make the NY Times Bestseller List.” As I got a little older and more mature, I finished the first item and realized how ridiculously improbable the second was, much less the third. My dream became slightly more modest: to just make enough to support my family while doing what I love. So this is surreal. I thought this was the kind of thing you work for a whole career to earn, and I certainly didn’t think I’d hit it with my first book.

I want to thank all of you who forced your friends to read my book. Hitting the bestseller list six months after publication tells me that this isn’t the result of a huge publicity push–not that marketing didn’t have a integral part in this!–but a late peak tells you that people are telling their friends. So you’re responsible for me being able to survive to write more books and live my dream. Thank you. And I want to thank agent Don Maass for taking a chance on me and Devi and everyone at Orbit for working so hard on these books. I also want to thank Borders. They’ve been awesome, and just last week they put up one of those little cardboard stands for me and fellow Orbit author Karen Miller/K.E. Mills. I wouldn’ t have hit the list if they hadn’t. There are supposed to be those stands at every Borders in the country, so I’ll post pictures as soon as I can drive out to my nearest Borders.

French Video Goodness

So a buddy stumbled across this. Pretty sure the sophisticated French commentary is identical to the plain English back cover blurb, unless my high school French has completely abandoned me. (I had to make the video tiny to make it fit in this column, so you should definitely expand it to the full screen. It loses a lot when it’s only the size of a postage stamp.)

Omnibus Pics

File under Can’t Believe I Haven’t Posted This Yet. Below are pictures of Night Angel: A Trilogy. It’s a 1392 page omnibus (3 books in 1) of, obviously, the Night Angel Trilogy. I’ve posted the following info before, but then I didn’t have my own copy, so I couldn’t post pictures. This is only available through the Science Fiction Book Club (US) or SFBC Canada which are analogous to those old CD clubs. I know a few people who are members, and they’re all happy with SFBC. It’s $15 for current members, or 20 cents if you choose it as one of your introductory books when you join. Sorry, not trying to hawk my wares, I’ve just had a lot of questions about if it’s possible to get the trilogy in hard cover.

It's a monster
It's a monster. (Click to enlarge.)

 

Big, and fat. Always a winning combination.
Big...and fat. Always a winning combination. (Click to enlarge.)

Second Place is First Loser?

The term “best-seller” used to mean something.

It meant some pencil-necked rube working for the New York Times liked your book. But these days everybody and his dog has a best-seller list. Some of these people try to actually base their lists on actual books sold. The nerve.

Locus Magazine, the venerable SFF  industry mag, compiles an SFF best-seller list from numbers reported to them by Borders/Walden, B&N/B.Dalton, Bakka-Phoenix, Borderlands, McNally Robinson, Mysterious Galaxy, Pages for All Ages, St. Mark’s, Toadstool, Uncle Hugo’s, and White Dwarf. The latest issue of Locus reports that The Way of Shadows is the #2 best-selling fantasy paperback. Woo hoo! Shadow’s Edge rolled in at a respectable #6. Beyond the Shadows was a conspicuous no-show (the data was from November, before BtS was published, so one hopes that had something to do with it). The online edition isn’t updated yet, but this link is to the previous month’s list.

Not sure how to reconcile the three–could the indies be moving a lot more copies of my books than the big bad Joe Foxes of the world?–but I don’t show up at all on the latest Barnes and Noble/B. Dalton SFF list. And Borders has Charlaine Harris absolutely dominating their list, still. She has SFF paperback spots 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8. I did sneak into the middle of all that southern vampire lovin’ to take spot #5. I thought they said if I wanted my books to sell like mad, “you should show with BO,” so I swore off deodorant immediately.

Have a show with HBO. H B O.

Live Interview with Geekerati this Wednesday

On Wednesday, February 11th at 7pm PST (3AM GMT), I’ll be doing my first live interview for the Blog Talk Radio program Geekerati. Details and call in number HERE, along with a nice reminder feature if you want to tune in. They do field a couple of phone calls depending on time, and it looks like each program lasts about an hour. I’m just glad I’m not famous enough to get my own “You Know” counter. Ouch. But if you are interested in listening to the “you knows,” “ums,” and “likes” (or even the gibberish in between) but you miss the live version, you can also catch the podcast after the fact through the links above or in the iTunes stores (search Geekerati). They also have some other, more impressive folks you can listen to. More info about Geekerati on their blog HERE.