Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I'm a little late posting this, but I'll be doing an appearance at Dragon*Con this year.  It's my first time to Dragon*Con, so I'm excited.  I'll also be doing some stops at the Decatur Children's/Teen Book Festival, which is happening at the same time.  Here is my schedule:

Friday 02:30 pm - 3:30pm Dragon*Con YA track: Who you calling a kid?

Saturday, 11:30 - 1:00 -   Dragon*Con Robert Jordan Track: Meet Brandon Sanderson
Saturday,  2:45-3:15 -     Decatur (Children’s Stage)
Saturday, 4:00 - 5:30       Dragon*Con Robert Jordan Track: Costume contest Judge 

Sunday, 10:30 - 11:30 -  Dragon*Con Other (Signing in the Dealer’s Room with Badali Jewelry)
Sunday, 11:30 -1:00 -     Dragon*Con Robert Jordan Track: Robert Jordan memorial panel
Sunday: 2:30-4:00 -        Decatur (Teen Stage.)

Monday 11:30: Dragon*Con Other (Reading)
Monday 1:00: Dragon*Con Other (Signing)

If you're planning to attend, make sure to say hello!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Answers to Questions....

I got a lot of feedback to my previous post about hitting the halfway point.  Thank you all for your good wishes and support.  Some of you had questions, and rather respond directly, I thought I'd post answers here for everyone to see.

How do I get my wordcounts?  Well, early on, I was trained to do the old "250 words per page" method which has been the historic method of doing it.  To get this, you write in Courier New 12pt font with 1" margins (I think) and you generally end up getting about 250 words per page.  I actually still type in Courier because of this training.  Then, you can just estimate word count by how many pages you've written.  (And in this method, a "word" is being defined as around six characters, not an actual full word.)

The problem with this is that it's not really that accurate.  People's computers, for some reason, often paginate the same document in different ways.  Plus, I soon learned that not everyone does it this way.  (And not everyone likes to write/read in Courier.)  The longer I've been working in publishing, the more I've had editors and publishers just say "Use the Wordcount function on word processor."  So that's actually how I go about it.  Easy and simple, though it has its own problems (it counts actual words, not number of characters, so a person who uses a lot of big words can have a smaller wordcount than the size of the printed book would indicated.)  Still, I think it's consistent enough for my purposes.  (Note that I got the wordcounts for the Wheel of Time books on the list from Wikipedia.)

The other question that popped up several times is this one:  Am I including the pages that Mr. Jordan wrote in that wordcount.  The answer is yes and no.  What I'm doing is writing through the book by viewpoint grouping.  That means I start at the beginning, then write through to near the end with a certain set of characters.  Then I begin again with a new set of characters.  This helps me focus in on those characters so that I don't have to keep track of QUITE so many things at once.

When I reach a section that Mr. Jordan finished, I insert it, then keep going.  So the 200k that I've "written" so far includes chunks that I didn't write.  However, the unfinished portions also include large chunks of Mr. Jordan's writing that AREN'T yet included in the 200k.  I'll include them when I write those characters and get to the parts he has finished.  Does that make sense?

And now, since I finished another chapter on Saturday, we have an update to our list below!

AMOL Relative Length Chart: 8/22/08
Alcatraz/Evil Librarians 60,400
New Spring 121,815
Elantris 202,765
---A MEMORY OF LIGHT 204k So Far!---
The Final Empire 214,752
The Path of Daggers 226,687
Warbreaker 236,301
Winter's Heart 238,789
Hero of Ages 244,201
The Dragon Reborn 251,392
The Well of Ascension 252,739
The Great Hunt 267,078
Crossroads of Twilight 271,632
A Crown of Swords 295,028
The Eye of the World 305,902
Knife of Dreams 315,163
The Fires of Heaven 354,109
Lord of Chaos 389,264
The Shadow Rising 393,823

Friday, August 22, 2008

Half Way!

I crossed the 50% mark on A MEMORY OF LIGHT last night.  I still worry that this book will go longer than 400k, which means this wouldn't actually be halfway.  However, it's 200k words, which is a nice milestone.

I know that a lot of people don't know how to judge wordcounts.  When I use wordcounts to say how long a book is, readers will often say "So...how many pages is that?"  I'm never sure how to respond to this, because page counts can be rather variable.  Typesetters can work some real magic with font and layout to make a page count come out the way they want, which is why a lot of industry professionals end up using wordcount instead.  (Of course there are also a variety of ways of arriving at Wordcount, depending on how you count...)

Anyway, I figured that I would come up with a list of books by myself and Mr. Jordan, give their wordcounts, then periodically place where this book fits into the list by comparison.  Maybe that will help place where this book fits in so far.

AMOL Relative Length Chart: 8/22/08

Alcatraz/Evil Librarians 60,400
New Spring 121,815
---A MEMORY OF LIGHT 200k So Far!---
Elantris 202,765
The Final Empire 214,752
The Path of Daggers 226,687
Warbreaker 236,301
Winter's Heart 238,789
Hero of Ages 244,201
The Dragon Reborn 251,392
The Well of Ascension 252,739
The Great Hunt 267,078
Crossroads of Twilight 271,632
A Crown of Swords 295,028
The Eye of the World 305,902
Knife of Dreams 315,163
The Fires of Heaven 354,109
Lord of Chaos 389,264
The Shadow Rising 393,823

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Aon Ene Description

If you live in the Provo Area, please consider stopping by my signing today.

Well, I've had a LOT of requests to continue the detailed Aon descriptions for use with the pendants for sale in the store.  I haven't forgotten these, I promise!  I just have to squeeze working on them in when I have spare moments, which have been rare lately.  I did find time to work on one this week, however, and so here it is.  (And it's one a lot of you have asked for.)  Don't forget the other Aon Pendants for sale in the store. 

Aon Ene Detailed Explanation


Aon Ene represents wit, intelligence, and cleverness. In recent years, the Aon has also begun to be associated with prosperity and wealth as well. It was once a popular Aon for names, though in recent years it has fallen out of favor in this regard, and names using it are now considered a little old-fashioned.

The Aon has become a favored symbol of merchants in recent years, as cultural bias looked unfavorably on a shop using the symbol for gold or jewels. (Such symbols on a shop were seen as lavish or presumptuous by some.) Instead, many bankers instead use this Aon on their door to indicate their profession. The appropriation of the symbol is a reference to a quote from the appropriately named Enelan, a scholar who lived about a hundred years before the fall of Elantris: “No wealth of gold and silver can purchase a keen mind, but the man of wit will often find treasures beyond what mere lucre can provide.”

More traditionally, the symbol was used--and still is used--as a representation of books and scholarly research. Indeed, many scholars, scribes, and illuminators have grown upset by the banking industry’s tendency to use this Aon, as they see it as an appropriation of what they believe to be their own symbol. Part of the tension between the groups has made the Aon fall out of favor for names, though others--generally those who are more traditional--still favor it.

The shape of the Aon is said to represent two sides of an argument, interacting together in different ways. If one looks closely, one can see that there are, indeed, that the two halves are simply the same set of symbols reversed.

History And Use

Some scholars have expressed amusement that this symbol should come to mean intelligence in a broad sense, as the classical meaning of Aon Ene was far more narrow. Ene was the Aon which represented cleverness, the ability to out-wit and out-think opponents. It was often applied in stories and tales to those who had a slyness about them, and often was the symbol which represented the trickster figure. Indeed, those who plaid tricks on others were said to be Enefels--literally, Wit Killers, or those who kill with wit.

During the Middle Era, when Elantris’s influence expanded and the kingdom of Arelon began to take shape, Aon Ene was attributed to the guild of storytellers who brought tales of the marvels in Elantris. It was often rumored that these people, who took upon themselves the Enefel name, were agents of the Elantrians. Their purpose was to spread good will about the city and its inhabitants, calming the rural populace, who regarded Elantris and its magics with suspicion.

Over the centuries, this guild of storytellers transformed into a more scholarly group who gathered stories and histories from the people. By the dawn of the Late Era--about two centuries before the fall of Elantris--the group had burgeoned beyond its origins into several distinct sects of scholars and philosophers. By the time of the fall of Elantris, the constant association of this group with Aon Ene expanded its meaning into the more familiar use, representing scholarly intelligence and study.

Some still remember the original meaning, however. Though most of those are themselves scholars, and find the entire transformation to be something of a humorous joke played by history itself.

Naming and Usage in ELANTRIS (Warning, spoilers!)

As use of the name is out of favor recently, the only character in Elantris who appears with Aon Ene in their name is Sarene herself. Eventeo, Sarene’s father, is not only a traditionalist, but a scholar himself. He is well aware of the ancient meaning of the Aon, and has remarked on occasion that he finds the choice particularly accurate when applied to his daughter.

Ene is one of the primary constellations in the Arelene sky, and the star pattern is the most easy to pick out. It contains the pole star of the world, a concept which as fascinated philosophers throughout history.

Eventeo’s use of the simple word “Ene” as a nick-name for Sarene is another traditional association with names attached to the Aon. Much as some cultures shorten words or names into common nicknames, Ene--pronounced Eeenee--is a commonly applied term of endearment for someone who has this Aon in their name.


This Aon has a powerful and unusual AonDor counterpart. A properly drawn Aon Ene puts forth a light, known by many as the Light of the Mind. When sitting in this Aon’s light, one’s mental abilities are enhanced. The Elantrian--or anyone else who happens to be close to the Aon--can memorize more quickly, think more clearly, and stave off mind-clouding effects of tiredness and sickness.

Used in conjunction with other Aons, Aon Ene is what is known as a “Linking Aon.” Using it properly in the Aon equation will link subsections of Aon lists together, coordinating which effects take place at which times during the Aon List’s progression. It is an important Aon to learn to use well for complex Aon Linkings, and no true AonDor master is without substantial practice in its use.

Suggested Colors (Click here to go to this Aon's store section.)

Our suggestions on this one would be the colors Sarene would pick herself.  Either Topaz and silver or Emerald and silver/gold (Gold pictured above, both silvers are below.)  Of course, you're more than welcome to play around with different colors yourself!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Signing on Thursday

Just a heads up.  I'll be doing a signing at the BYU Bookstore this Thursday from 1:30-3:30 if anyone happens to be on campus or decides they want to stop by.  It can be a little crazy there during Education Week, and so you'll probably have to park at the Marriott Center.  As always I'm happy to sit and chat and answer questions during signings.

We have a color corrected version of the poster image for the contest.  Far less green.  Very nice.  


Thanks Mike!  Responses to the contest so far have been very enthusiastic.  Thank you!  And, remember, if you want a shot at winning one, all you have to do is get a friend to read MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE. 

Finally, this seems like a good time to being priming you all for the MISTBORN: THE HERO OF AGES release party.  We're going to do it at the BYU Bookstore this year.  I love the local Waldenbooks, and I will certainly be signing there during the next few months, but I feel the BYU Bookstore is more equipped to handle an event this size.  Plans right now are to do the release party from about 5:30-7:30 on October 14th.  As always, I'll be numbering each copy I sign during this event.  I'll also have the traditional cache of prizes for a drawing.  (Separate from the poster drawing above, of course.)

I'm working with the Bookstore on how people can preorder, and am hoping that we'll be able to ship books off to people that night who are out of town.  So, if you live distantly but want to a signed/numbered copy, you should be able to get one.  More news on this next week!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Win a Free Mistborn 2 Poster!

Over the weekend, I offered some exchange to some people attending Gencon. (Thanks to those who replied, by the way! Dragon cards are impending in my direction. Huzzah!) As I thought about it, I realized that I really should do something more broad based to reward my readers who didn’t happen to be at Gencon.

And so, I’ve decided to run a little contest to promote the upcoming release of Mistborn: The Hero of Ages. Here’s how this will work. If you get someone who hasn’t read one of my books before to read Mistborn: The Final Empire before the release date of Mistborn: the Hero of Ages (which comes out on October Fourteenth) I’ll put you into a drawing for one of six rare Mistborn promotional Posters.

These are posters that Tor printed for bookstores for my tour last year. They are very nice--instead of simple poster board or paper, these are printed on a thin glossy plastic and them mounted on a Styrofoam board. They are 10.5” by 16.5” and depict the cover of Mistborn: The Well of Ascension, with enlarged cover art. I’ve always thought these promotional posters were very striking, which is why I gathered them during my tour last year.  Here is an action shot of one of the posters, held by Pemberly who refused to let her face be seen in the image.


(Note, I think that picture makes it look just a tad larger than it is because of foreshortening.)

Each person who win's a poster will get it shipped to them free of charge, and will have the opportunity to decide if they want their poster signed by me in black sharpie or left unsigned.  You enter the contest by getting someone to read Mistborn, and then when they're done, emailing me and saying "Hey, they read it!  Enter me!"  (Please don't email me until they've actually finished the book.)

Details of the contest follow:

Q: Does the person I get to read the book actually have to buy Mistborn or The Hero of Ages for me to be eligible for the contest?

A: No.  You can loan them your copy of Mistborn, or they can check it out, or they can buy it.  All that has to happen is that they have to actually read the book by the end of the deadline.  (Midnight on October 14th.)

Q: Do we have to provide any proof?  What's to keep us from just claiming that we got someone to read it when we didn't?

A:  You don't have to provide proof; I can't think of any good way to require it anyway.  This is honor system.  Please don't lie.  There will be other ways to get swag like this on the blog in the future. 

Q: What if I haven't read Mistborn yet myself?  Can I read it and enter?

A:  Hum....  Sure, why not.  But you can't have Mistborn before, and this post has to prompt you to do it.  Someone can't get you to read it, claim themselves for the contest, then have you also claim yourself.  (The spirit of the contest is getting people who've never heard of me to try one of my books, but I can't really complain if this contest makes you decide to finally try Mistborn.)

Q:  Can I have multiple names in the drawing for multiple friends?

A:  Yes, but I'm going to limit it to three entries per person, and you can only win one poster. 

Q:  My friend started reading Mistborn last week on my suggestion.  Can I count him/her?

A:  Yes!  As long as they haven't finished the book yet, and finish it between the deadline dates.  (August 17th to October 13th, with the end happening at the strike of midnight on the morning of October 14th.)  I considered saying no to this one, but I really, really, REALLY appreciate people sharing my books with others, and feel you deserve to be rewarded.

Q:  What if I suggested it to my dad and he just finished it yesterday!

A: I'll have to say no to this one.  Sorry!  But you could always give the book to your mom... ;)

Q:  I live overseas.  Can I enter?

A:  Yup.  Go ahead.

Q:  I'm one of the people that someone got to read Mistborn for this contest.  Why don't I get an entry?

A:  I have to say that there can only be ONE entry per new person brought to try one of my books.  If your friend entered for getting you to read it, then that's the one entry.  If he/she didn't enter, then you are welcome to.  Of course, there is another way to get an entry.  All you have to do is get someone else to read the book too. ;)

Q: How do I enter again? 

A:  Just send me an email!  Include only in the body of the email your name and the fact that you're entering the contest by having gotten someone to read and finish Mistborn.  You may want to make this fact clear before you say anything else, so that I don't forget to enter you.  (Also, if you've never emailed me before, remember that if you want me to enter you into my database of "Email this person if I visit their state/town/country on tour!")

I'll email the winners and post their first names and last initial on my blog on October 14th.  If any of the winners don't respond in one week with their address, or if their email address bounces and they don't contact me within a week, I will draw a new name.

I think that covers everything.  Email me if there are other questions, and I'll update the contest rules/FAQ if issues arise.  The official version of these rules will be the one on my website; I may not update the satellite blogs (LiveJournal, Blogger, Facebook.)  So remember to check in at brandonsanderson.com to make sure there aren't any new developments when you email me with your entry.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

GenCon Folks... (Plus Annotation)

I really should have posted this earlier, eh?  But if any of you are at Gencon right now (or know someone who is there) I've got an offer for you.  If you want to buy me one of these, I'd trade you something cool for it!   (Oh, like say a signed advance copy of Mistborn 3, a  signed foreign edition of Elantris in the language of your choice, or a group of rare signed Mistborn event plastic board Posters.)  There's only one day left of Gencon, though, and these are probably going fast, so you'd have to hurry.  Drop me an email if you're in a position to grab one.   

Ah, once again my Magic addiction gets the better of me.  But, come on, it's DRAGONS.  Who wouldn't want a whole box of ALL Dragon cards?  I mean, really.

I suppose I should post something useful for the rest of you.  Mistborn 2 Annotation: Chapter Forty-One.  This is one of my better annotations for this book, I think, with some talk of prequels to the series and a look at my views on situational ethics.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Official Movie Deal Words from Harriet

This Post is in Revision. I hope to have it up again later.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Warbreaker PDF and Mobile (And more thoughts on the movie.)

A lot of people emailed me with alternate formats of Warbreaker, which I really appreciate.  Here are just a few of them.  A lot of you have also sent me proofreading errors and the like, which I intend to input sometime soon.  For now, here is 6.1 in several formats.  (I'm posting two of each just in case one doesn't work for you for some reason.

PDF Versions:
Warbreaker 6.1 PDF  (Thanks Eric!)
Wabreaker 6.1 PDF (Thanks Fritz!)

MobiPocket (Prc) Versions:
Warbreaker6.1 prc (Thanks Kevin!)
Wabreaker 6.1 Prc (Thanks David!)

There were others who sent me versions as well, but these were the ones that happened to be at the top of my inbox when I did this.  Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to convert the document for me!

With the announcement of the movie deal for the Wheel of Time, I had a lot of emails asking me for more of my thoughts on the matter.  Specifically, do I think that the Wheel of Time books can be made into good movies. 

Well, the answer is no.  But I do think that a good movie can be made from the Wheel of Time books.   Let me explain the distinction.

I think that books can make excellent inspirations for movies--but the best movies, particularly in fantasy, that come from books are the ones that adapt the work, rather than just trying to film it scene-by-scene.  The Lord of the Rings movies are an excellent example.  It would have been a miss-fire if Jackson had tried to turn the books into movies; instead, he used the books for material to make great movies.

The formats are very different.  If this were a TV mini-series, then I could see EYE being adapted straight across.  In a feature length film, however, thee would have to be adaptation.  I look at the Harry Potter movies as another example.  The first film was only okay, but the third film was great.  Why?  Because the third film's director adapted the story, choosing the parts that were the most cinematic, and didn't just try to film the book--he tried to make a great movie, taking elements from the books.

Maybe this is blasphemy, but it's the only way I see a good movie coming from EYE OF THE WORLD.  There is just too much going on, too many characters, too much weight of history, to make it into a two hour movie.  However, there are stories in EYE OF THE WORLD which--if adapted--could make an excellent movie. 

In the end, however, if it gets more people to read the books, then the movie has at least accomplished something.  That's why I sold movie rights to Alcatraz, even though I knew that Hollywood has a good track record of making terrible movies from adapted sources.  (Fortunately, I've got a lot of confidence in the team working on Alcatraz over at Dreamworks.)  But if the movie ends up getting even one more person into my books, then I feel that I'm ahead. 

Who knows where the Wheel of Time movies will go in the future.  Maybe they'll get made.  Maybe the option will just sit there gathering dust.  Maybe they will turn out to be terrible, like some other recent fantasy book adaptations.  Or maybe we'll get lucky, and they'll get a director who understands the books and can bring out the same FEEL of the novels while still adapting them in a way that suits the film medium. 

The thing is, you never know which of those you're going to get until you try.  And so, I repeat my congratulations to Harriet.  Let's all keep our fingers crossed. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wheel of Time Movie Deal

People have already started emailing me about this.

My response is...huzzah!  Congratulations Harriet.  I know that things have been stalled for a long time on this front, and while she mentioned to me that something like this might be coming, I didn't think it would be so soon. 

I'm afraid I'm not the one to ask about specifics, however.  Even if I knew them, I wouldn't be comfortable sharing them.  But I'm sure more will be coming in the future.  All I will say is to remember that things like this tend to move very slowly.  I hope that won't be the case here, but chances are good that it will be many years before we actually get to see the movie.

Now, back to work on Book Twelve....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random Amazon Links

For fun, here are some links for you folks.  First off, I've had questions about how to get foreign editions of my books.  Well, I only get a few copies myself, and I'm not planning to sell them in the near future.  However, there are a couple you can get via Amazon imports.

The German Elantris can be found right here.  Looks like I've gotten a slew of good reviews, though I can't read any of them.  ;)

The beautiful Japanese edition of Elantris can be found on Amazon Japan.  It was printed in two volumes, and has three or four full page illustrations per volume.  It's one of my favorites of the foreign editions, not to mention the fact that part two actually does the daring and has an illustration of Raoden on the front.  Part One and Part Two.  I'm not sure how exactly one buys these things; I'm sure you can, but I assume you either have to know what you're clicking or find some way to translate.  (Though it looks like Amazon US has had copies of the German Elantris in stock before; I'd guess through the used merchants.)

In the more 'random' category, here is a link to a couple places that have copies of one of my books used for sale...only I have no idea what language they are in, or even if they're really one of my books.  Anyone have a guess what "Z Mgy Zrodzony Br" means?  It says that this is a 'Polish' book, but I thought that my Polish version of Elantris was just named...well, Elantris. 

Also, in more useful news, the Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians paperback has a new cover and is ready for pre-order, though you have to kind of look to find it on Amazon.

Finally, in the 'Beyond random and into crazy" category, we've got this link--which I've posted before--in which people have had way too much fun making up random reviews for a book I never actually ended up releasing....

(Also, for those who are watching, I did just bump AMoL up by five percent to match work I did while on the road and at Worldcon.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hero of Ages Chapter One

I'm back from Denver, and had a blast at Worldcon.  I'll try to post some more thoughts later, but specifically I enjoyed the Wheel of Time panel. 

I've put up the next sample chapter for Mistborn Three. (Actually, it's the first real sample chapter, since the last chunk I posted was the prologue.)  Enjoy!  Remember, October 14th is the magic day. when the book will be in stores! 

I've also begun to move over some of the other sample chapters from their old sections on the website and into the Library section, so they're all in one place and easy to browse.  The first to be getting this update is Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (the sequel to which will be hitting stores this November.)  Once I'm through the Hero of Ages sample chapters, I'll add a few Alcatraz Two chapters as well.  (I really need to give some shine to the Alcatraz Portal, which is looking rather drab with only two gems.  I'm working on some more bonus content there.)