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.