Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mistborn Mini's contest

Last week, BSC review was giving away Goblin Quest minis?  Well, this week they're giving away a full set of Mistborn Minis in a contest.  I believe the entry method is pretty simple--all you have to do is send them an email.  So head on over and give it a try!

In other news, Orson Scott Card unexpectedly reviewed the Mistborn Trilogy in one of his review columns.  It's near the middle of the page.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day of ScalziLovehate!

So, today on Twitter, I noticed my friend (and evil nemesis) John Scalzi complaining that the people saying mean things about him on Twitter just  weren't interesting enough in their hate.  Exact quote: 

@scalziI don't mind mean, nasty things being said about me, @jer_ . Just make them, you know, INTERESTING. Boring meanness is boring

Well, as Scalzi is my evil nemesis, I feel I need to do something about this.  (Note that I don't think I'm his evil nemesis.  It's mostly just a one-sided thing, perpetuated by some goofy friends of mine, that baffles dear Scalzi.  For fun, google the Scalzi award and Scalzibane, if you're curious.)

Anyway, I'd declaring today a day of ScalziLovehate!  Next time he searches for himself on Twitter, I want his search results to turn up the most awesome list of interesting meanness that has ever existed.  So, go forth and tweet with the tag #scalzilovehate and see what you can come up with.  (But keep it tasteful, folks.  And interesting.  Very, very interesting.  And if you have trouble with interesting, I'll settle for just plain odd. See example below.)

I'll start: As a midwife for llamas, Scalzi's abilities are decidedly lacking. I mean honestly, does he think that stapler is effective? #scalzilovehate

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garden Ninja Contest

The folks over at Garden Ninja studio wrote to let me know that a BSCreview.com is doing a contest where they're giving away some minis.  This week, it's a contest for a set of Goblin Quest minis (from the book series.)  They'll have mistborn minis for give away next week, but I thought you might want to head over this week to get in on the Goblin Quest ones as well. 

Also, a kindly reader sent me some fanart of Vin.  Thought you guys might like to see it. 

If you're following along at home, The Gathering Storm is now in the proofread stage.  I got an email letting me know that the manuscript will be coming back after the proofreads in July, and we'll need to have it back by the end of July.  Then it's on to production officially.  Things are getting close now.

I just need to remember to get new photos taken for the jacket.  The ones on my books are now six or seven years old... 

Friday, June 19, 2009

#24 (+ Idaho Falls Details)

First off, the Idaho Falls book signing tomorrow is from 1:30-3:30 at the Barnes and Noble at the Grand Teton Mall.

Now, for those who didn't see my Twitter/Facebook post, WARBREAKER hit #24 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List.  You all have my deepest thanks for continuing to support me in this writing addiction of mine.  It's because of you, truly, that I can do this thing that I love for a living. 

#24 is a good place to be.  You'll note that it isn't quite as good as Mistborn Three's number (#21.)  But at the same time, this is a much different book.  With Mistborn Three, we had a large, multi-city tour planned and we had the benefit of being the concluding volume in a series.  I don't think hitting #24 is a sign of failure on Warbreaker's part, but instead a sign of just  how above-the-baseline Mistborn Three was. 

So, a lot of people have been asking what I think--now that it is all done--of the process of releasing drafts on-line as I wrote them.  Will I be doing it again?  Do I think it helped or hurt sales?  Both are hard to answer.  I think that, seeing how the book has done, that it's unlikely I lost sales because of this.  Actually, I still like to think that I picked up some readers--or, at the very least, reassured some Wheel of Time fans.  But the numbers are right dead-even where I guessed they would be, and beyond that, there are a large number of variables at work here.  I don't have a good estimate of how my books should be selling right now.  I haven't been an author long enough to establish an average.  However, because I like to be open and forthcoming about these things, I thought I'd try to figure out a system by which I could talk about my sales with you all. 

I don't want to talk actual numbers for a couple of reasons.  First off, the numbers I have are the Bookscan numbers, which are flawed.  Bookscan says they only reach about 70% of the market, and that percentage can vary widely depending on the genre and even the specific book.  For the Alcatraz books, Bookscan missed more than 50% of the sales because of all the non-bookstore markets that Scholastic uses. 

However, generally, we can use Bookscan as a comparison between books in the same genre by the same author.  And so, I've devised some units of measurement for us.  the EL(h) a the EL(p).  One EL(h) is equal to the number of copies in hardcover that Elantris sold in its first year of release.  (Which, in most cases, makes up almost all of the hardcover sales.)  One EL(p) is then the number of copies Elantris sold in its first year of paperback release.  Sound good?  I use Elantris as a baseline because it was my first book, and it did modest--without being overwhelming--in both hardcover and paperback format. 

Now, how do my other books stack up?  Well, lets look at them book-by-book.

Mistborn Hardback:  95% EL(h)
Mistborn Paperback:  136% EL(p)
Mistborn Promotional 76% EL(p)

Mistborn comes first.  If you were reading the blog back when it came out, I believe I mentioned our worry about there being a dip in sales here.  Elantris was a breakout book by a new author, and that tends to draw attention, getting us a number of extra sales for novelty.  It was also priced a few bucks cheaper than it should have been, something Tor commonly does in order to help give a first-time author a push.  By raising the price three bucks and by not doing a sequel next, we saw a small number of the hardcover people jump over to the paperback.  However, the paperback numbers were very good (this is all pre-WoT) so it means that the novel got good word of mouth and sold well, even better than Elantris.

The third number is the promotional edition we did with the new cover (which is now the only cover) after the WoT announcement.  So you can see us picking up steam there.

Mistborn 2 Hardback: 175% EL(h)
Mistborn 2 Paperback: 210% EL(p)

Mistborn two showed an impressive gain on both fronts, taking us up to about double Elantris's numbers.  This was a big relief, since this was kind of the 'do or die' book.  Would people stick around and keep reading after they read the first book?  Would I be an idle curiosity, or would I become a consistent seller.  About halfway into the release of the Mistborn 2 hardcover, the WoT announcement was made, and it had an impact to say the least.

Mistborn 3 Hardcover: 360% EL.(h)
Mistborn 3 Paperback:  Too Early to Tell.  It's only been out for a few months, but it's gotten to about 75% EL(p) so far, and looks like it will hit about 300% El(p) over one year. 

Mistborn three marked a HUGE jump in sales.  I talked about this above; I think it has to do with the push we gave it mixed with the salability of being the final book of a series. 

Warbreaker:  60% EL(h) in the first week. 

This release for Warbreaker puts it between Mistborn 2 (which did about 25% EL(h) in its first week and MB3 (which did about 90%EL(h) in its first week.)   So we've got a solid release for it, I think.  Other notes for those who are curious:  Elantris did the following in its three years of paperback release:

Year One:  100%  EL(p)(Duh, this is the baseline.)
Year Two: 81% EL(p)  (Holding up well, selling almost as many.
Year Three 142% EL(p) (Yes, it sold better its third year than it did its first year.  Hello, Wheel of Time.)

And if you're wondering, here are the numbers for Knife of Dreams:

First day: 1600%EL(h)
First Year: 7100% EL(h) 

Yes, that's seventy one times as well as Elantris in its first year, or just shy  of 20 times Mistborn Three's numbers.  And Mistborn Three was one of Tor's biggest books of the year last year.  Robert Jordan was in his own league entirely.  One thing you should probably know about modest bestsellers like mine is that we aren't selling nearly the number of copies you probably think we're selling.  That was one of the eye opening things about this business to me.  Most bestselling books are not selling in the millions of copies, or even the hundreds of thousands of copies, but closer to the tens of thousands.  It's possible to hit the NYT list and sell a total of under 10,000 copies during the hardcover release. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Signing In IF + Other Updates

I will be doing an appearance at the Barnes and Noble in Idaho Falls, Idaho this Saturday.  I don't have times yet--it will be in the afternoon, but I need to double-check with the store before I post anything.  I'll have it up here soon.  But if you live in the Idaho Falls/Rexburg/Pocatello area, I just wanted you to get a heads up.

Sam Weller's still has some numbered copies of Warbreaker left.  To get one:

Customers will need to contact us via email, fax or phone.
To confirm, they are: books@samwellers.com
(801) 595-0051. fax
(801) 328-2586, phone

I won't be able to get those personalized for you, I'm afraid.  But they ARE signed and numbered.  Last I checked, they had about thirty left or so from the original sixty I left behind after my signing.  I think they might still be discounting them 20%, so make sure to ask.

I've had a report or two of people who asked Sam Weller's to get me to personalize their book, but then got a book with no personalization.  I'm trying to figure out how widespread this is.  I know I personalized a lot of books, but I worry that someone on staff there didn't know how to write things down properly.  So if you're in this group, drop me an email so I can get a count and decide if action needs to be taken.

In other bookstore news, Chadwick--from McNally Robinson Booksellers in Manitoba, Canada--was kind enough to send me the following picture, with Warbreaker on display.  If you live in the area, this looks like a fine, fine bookstore to be visiting!


If you can't read it, that sign says "Fantasy you should be reading."  I'm flattered, Chadwick!  Thank you for the wonderful display.  Are any of the rest of you booksellers who have a Warbreaker display in store?  (And if not, do you feel like giving me one?)  If so, drop me a picture so I can post it!

Finally, since it looks like I'm doing all kinds of random updates, I got a big laugh when I read Pat Rothfuss's blog entry earlier in the week.  It appears that his girlfriend has been going to the same website Pemberly visited when Limebaby was still in the womb.  A quote from Pat:

Anyway, this current site talks about how big your baby is... compared to different foods.
Now at first, this seems okay. Babies and fruit share certain characteristics. Babies are natural. Fruit is natural. They both grow. They're both tied to reproduction.
Also, fruit is a good frame of reference. We all know how big a lime is, for example.

But as you scroll through the pictures, they don't use fruit exclusively. They use other foods, too, and some of these are... odd. Personally, I find it odd to compare a baby to things like a cooked shrimp, (which strikes me as creepy) or a pineapple (which makes my imaginary womb profoundly uncomfortable).

Ha. As many of you know, my son is affectionately called "Limebaby" on my website and sometimes in real life.  He actually got his nickname for the very reason Pat is talking about.  Pemberly and I were in the habit of calling him after whatever food they used on Babycenter. So, his name would be "Peababy," for the week they said he was the size of a pea.  "Blueberrybaby" when he was a blueberry, and so forth. 

Then we got to Jumbo Shrimp. And suddenly it just felt creepy. He froze at the name we'd been using before he became a jumbo shrimp, remaining Limebaby all through the womb.  He might be stuck with it for life...

Friday, June 12, 2009

To the Mailbag

Time for a couple of reader mail questions. 

Dave writes:

"Just a quick question...I purchased Mistborn 3 signed from Sam Weller's (and just ordered my Warbreaker signed copy as well).  Are you going to offer signed and numbered copies of The Gathering Storm?  I read your blog pretty regularly, but may have missed you already addressing this question.  If so, sorry!"

I think I've mentioned the possibility, Dave, but never given anything firm.  Well, I've been doing some asking, and it seems that Harriet and Tor are all right with this.  So, I'm about 95% sure that this is going to happen with the The Gathering Storm.  We'll probably do signed/personalized/numbered editions from Sam Weller's by mail AND will do a release party at BYU Bookstore again.  The release party will probably be a midnight release, followed by me flying to Charleston to do another event in the evening of the release day.

I can't say how many books we'll release to Sam Weller's to sell this way.  The numbered editions I do at these release parties aren't to replace the leatherbound collector's editions that Tor does.  (I think they're doing one for TGS, though I don't know.)  My numbered editions have no cap--I number as many, generally, as there are people.  (Note that Sam Weller's still has some Warbreaker copies that I'm going to go in and personalize for people tomorrow, so if you want one, give them a call.)  Mostly, the numbers are just to say "Hey, I got the book from one of the release events.  Isn't that cool?"  But I could see so many being requested from Sam Weller's that we have to cap it to save my hand (and my sanity.)

Anyway, that's a long way to say yes, Dave.  Keep an eye on the blog.  We'll try to get the announcements for these events up earlier than we did for Warbreaker.

Next, Don writes:

"I wanted to comment on the general impression that nothing BIG changes with each turning of the Wheel, i.e., history repeats itself.  It's mentioned in the books and has been confirmed by RJ in interviews.  I take issue with this, however.  The DO can influence the world AND he is outside the Pattern and the turning of the Wheel.  History doesn't repeat for the DO.  In his quest to break the Wheel, why would he repeat the same steps over and over again, knowing they don't work?  He remembers and learns with each turning of the Wheel.  Because of this, I feel that the possibility exists that something "different" could happen, and that perhaps this something "different" might happen at the end of this series.  No one really agrees with me, though.  : ("

I wanted to answer this one, since there has been a lot of talk about Warbreaker on the blog lately, and I wanted to do something for the Wheel of Time readers.  Don, you're actually quite right.  The Dark One CAN stop the Wheel from turning.  Indeed, this is his goal.  So far, history has repeated for the Dark One--but only because he has failed at his attempts to unravel the Pattern.

Now, the theory websites can go into all of this in much more depth (and specificity) than I can.  I'm no replacement for Robert Jordan when it comes to continuity and cannon within the Wheel of Time world.  Many questions and thoughts like this are better sent toward Bob at the Encyclopedia WoT or on the forums at Theoryland or Dragonmount (or on any of the other excellent websites.)  However, this particular topic was one I decided I needed to delve into during my research for the final books. If I didn't understand the Dark One's motivations and goals, I didn't think I could do the Last Battle justice.  And so, I can state with reasonable authority that the Dark One is indeed capable of doing what you say.  Though, it should be noted that in many cases, the Dark One's actions will repeat themselves--he will try the same ploys, though I can't speak for certain on how much he has varied those over the years..  But I can promise that just because he has failed in the past doesn't mean he will fail again. 

This series could end with the Dark One breaking the Wheel and destroying the Pattern.  That is what is at stake. 

Thanks for the emails!  And remember, I'll be in West Jordan tonight and at the Sugarhouse B&N tomorrow afternoon.  I plan to do readings at both, and will have Pewter Allomantic Table Medallions to give away as prizes. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Various Warbreaker Notes

The Release Party was a blast.  Thank you to all who came.  And thank you to Badali Jewelry for giving us some Mistborn Allomantic Table Medallions to use as prizes in the drawing! 

If you haven't looked at those medallions yet in the store, they're really quite spectacular.  The pewter version is very affordable, and works as a keychain or as a necklace.  I'll have a few more to give away at each signing I'm doing this week.  So if you missed me--or if you just want to come to a more relaxed signing and hear me read and do a Q&A--make sure to catch me tonight at Borders or this weekend at one of the Barnes and Noble signings in Salt Lake

If you want a numbered copy, know that I left about sixty with Sam Weller's for mailing.  I know they've sold a number of them already, but there should be plenty left through the week.  I'm going to drop by again on Saturday and do personalizations, so it looks like you've got another few days if you would like to get one mailed to you.  I think they're still selling them at a discount as well.  Details on how to order are in this post here.  BYU also has some numbered copies left from the signing, and so if you drop by during the next few days and ask for one, they should be happy to dig one out for you. 

I also want to add one little reminder about the Warbreaker Info Page, in case you missed it yesterday.

Finally, if there are any blog readers of mine who live in India, I wanted to mention a bookstore who emailed me today.  They're in India and are importing my books; I thought it would be good to link the store for any of you over there trying to find my novels.  Thank you, Flipkart, for taking the time to import my books.  I believe they'll ship to anyone in India who wants to pick up a copy, so if you have been wanting to read my work and you live over there, look into this store.   

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It's Out!

Warbreaker new

Warbreaker released today in bookstores everywhere.  Note that it might be in the front of the stores--Borders and B&N are both doing promos with the book--so you might not find one in the SF section if you go there.  And, as always, the west coast tends to lag a little behind the east coast in getting books out.  There will be a Kindle version eventually, though that depends on how long it takes Amazon to get it up, and there will also be an audio version--also impending. 

First week sales are very important for authors.  And so, if you get a chance, I certainly wouldn't mind a link on your blog, website, forum, an email to those you know, or even a good old fashioned in-person suggestion.  In order to facilitate that, I'm going to make this blog post a nice, one-stop place where people can find links and information about Warbreaker.

First, here's a link to the latest creative-commons electronic version of the book, free for download. This is the same as the print edition, which makes it the final version of the book.  Thank you for joining me on the long, three-year ride to producing this book!  If you like this edition, consider grabbing a copy of the hardcover out in stores right now.

Here is a link to the page where you can find old versions of the book. (Scroll down past the rights info at the top.)  I posted this novel chapter-by-chapter on my website as I wrote it, then posted revised drafts as I finished them--all in an attempt to give readers an insight to the writing process.  The most useful things on this page are probably the comparison documents, where I use MS word to compare the old versions with the new versions.  There's a brand new 1.0 to 6.1 comparison document up there.  It's in Word 2007 form, and is well worth finding a copy of Word 2007 to look at it.  The document opens three windows within the same frame and ties them together in a very nifty way to let you scroll down and look at the old document, the new document, and a larger version of the book with lines crossed out and and added.  It gives you a very clear visual way of inspecting the changes I made to the book during the revision process. 

If you're curious, here's a video of Dan Dos Santos painting the cover

Here's a synopsis of the book by my editor: (See reviews at the very bottom of the page.)

The capital of Hallandren is T’telir, a beautiful city by the sea, a center of the dyeing trade where colorfully-dressed crowds mill through the bustling streets, and living gods rule in splendor, confined to the gilded cage known as the Court of Gods. Under the rule of the remote, all-powerful God King, they live in the lap of luxury, basking in the worship of the people, accepting in tribute the gifts of freely-given breath, the life-force that keeps them alive and eternally youthful.

But Hallendren did not reach this halcyon state without a struggle, a revolution that left those who rejected it living in austere exile in the mountain realm of Idris. To keep the peace, the exiled royal family agreed in this generation to the betrothal of a daughter of the royal line to the God King. Vivenna, the eldest daughter, was raised from birth to fulfill this commitment, but at the last minute, her wily father, King Dedelin, sends his youngest daughter, Siri, instead. Vivenna is furious about losing the role that terrified her and yet defined her life, and baffled that her father expects poor Siri to cope with the monstrous God King with no training and less warning. So Vivenna secretly flees their small mountain realm to follow her sister.

Siri, in whom the blood of the old kings runs strong, is no weakling herself, but she is shocked to find the city, the people, and even the royal marriage itself are not at all what she expected. Unaware of Vivenna’s arrival in T’telir, she is forced to take matters into her own hands.

And while this royal drama plays out, another newcomer to the city, Vasher, arrives with a sentient sword named Nightblood, and ambitious plans of his own, plans dependent on the unique BioChromatic magic of Hallandren, which uses color to focus the power of breath, plans which will change the world.

In the tradition of his own acclaimed debut novel, Elantris, in Warbreaker Brandon Sanderson has written a supremely entertaining and endlessly surprising epic fantasy in one volume. It is an adventure, a romance, a witty tale of political intrigue, and even an examination of the ethics of divinity and the power of religion. Like all his novels, Warbreaker breaks the mold of conventional fantasy to create a reading experience you will never forget.

Finally, here are some reviews of the book.  I hope that if you look into the electronic version, you enjoy what you see enough to go pick up a hardcover version of the novel.  The book is beautiful, with an excellent cover and design.  I'm biased, but I think it'd make a great addition to your collection!

REVIEWS (As collected by Tor Publicity)

See below for starred reviews, rave reviews—and reviews citing Warbreaker as further proof why Brandon was the best author to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

“Epic fantasy heavyweight Sanderson pens a powerful stand-alone tale of unpredictable loyalties, dark intrigue and dangerous magic … Sanderson melds complex, believable characters, a marvelous world and thoughtful, ironic humor into an extraordinary and highly entertaining story.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Sanderson again demonstrates his capacity for handling large and complex themes while creating believable characters … This series opener is essential reading for fantasy fans.” —Library Journal (starred review)

This very superior stand-alone fantasy proves, among other things, that Sanderson was a good choice to complete the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga. Sanderson is clearly a master of large-scale stories, splendidly depicting worlds as well as strong female characters … May the author write long and prosper.” Booklist

“A highly readable and compelling stand-alone volume from the acclaimed author of the Mistborn trilogy … Highly recommended to fans of epic fantasy.”  The Romantic Times BOOKreviews 4 ½ Stars TOP PICK!

”Not only has Sanderson drawn a freshly imagined world and its society, he has also given us a plot full of unexpected twists and turns ... Anyone looking for a different and refreshing fantasy novel will be delighted by this exceptional tale of magic, mystery and the politics of divinity.”  —Michael Moorcock

“Consistent, engaging and well crafted … a conspiracy novel with hints of slight hints 1984 wrapped in a wonderful fantasy package. Warbreaker is another top-notch novel from Brandon Sanderson – a novel that will likely be one of the top fantasy novels of the year. —SFF World (http://www.sffworld.com/brevoff/543.html) *Feature front page review*

“This is the first Brandon Sanderson novel that I have read and after completing Warbreaker, I realize that I have been missing out on something special … This is the type of book that is just a pleasure to read and should be soon considered a hallmark in the fantasy genre. —Robots and Vamps (http://robotsandvamps.com/?p=4720)

“I just finished Warbreaker, and the words that keep coming to mind are ‘That was so good!’ This is the first Brandon Sanderson novel I've read, and it certainly won't be the last. Warbreaker combines highly original world-building with an exciting plot that kept me on the edge of my seat.” —Fantasy Literature (http://fantasyliterature.net/news/new-release/fanlit-loves-brandon-sandersons-warbreaker/)

“With its deep complicated plot, fascinating back story, and new magic-system Warbreaker would already have been an exciting read. But Sanderson manages to up the ante by including some of the best dialogue infused with humor and life that it leaps and bounds above anything he has so-far written and stands high amongst the best dialogue I’ve read in any fantasy series.” —King of the Nerds (http://kingofthenerds.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/review-warbreaker-by-brandon-sanderson/)

“Complex, multi-dimensional characters, vivid settings, excellently written action sequences, a good ear for dialogue, and equal facility with both pathos and humor (and sometimes both simultaneously).” —Fyrefly Books Blog (http://fyreflybooks.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/brandon-sanderson-warbreaker/)

“This is all the stuff of great epic fantasy. Sanderson weaves a complex and fascinating plot, with many twists and turns, two of which took this reader completely by surprise.” —Grasping the Wind (http://otter.covblogs.com/archives/2009/06/book-review-warbreaker-by-brandon-sanderson.html)

“If there is one thing Sanderson does really well, it's write a story that continually unfolds. Just when you think you know what's going on, the story takes a new direction and the characters are given added depth.” —Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin’ News & Reviews (http://sqt-fantasy-sci-fi-girl.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-review-warbreaker-by-brandon.html)

“I think this is his best novel yet ... Warbreaker is highly recommended.” —Book Spot Central (http://www.bscreview.com/2009/05/book-review-warbreaker-by-brandon-sanderson/

Recent Awards & Honors: Brandon Sanderson’s The Hero of Ages was shortlisted for the first ever David Gemmell Legend Award and received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Epic Fantasy

Monday, June 08, 2009

Borders Blog

As many of you know, I feel bad that I don't have much time lately to hang around on forums (even my own) and chat with my fans.  People often send me emails saying "With all you do, how do you even find time to sleep?"  I...well, sometimes I do have trouble finding time for sleep.  ;)  It's been a busy few months for me that is probably going to turn into a busy few years.  Interaction with my readers is something very precious to me, but forums can be a HUGE time drain--and I've figured that generally, keeping my blog and Twitter updated is more important, with occasional appearances on my LJ or Facebook to answer questions.  (I do read each reply on my facebook, LJ, and each email sent through my website, just so you know.  I see them, even if I don't always reply.)

Well, Borders has approached me and asked me to be part of a discussion on their new SF blog for two weeks.  I figured that two weeks was a short enough time commitment that, counting it as part publicity, I could commit to it.  So I'll be logging on there at least once a day to chime in on the current discussion.  If you've been wanting to talk to me and ask questions, you're free to do it there--though do try to keep on topic as best you can, and know that I won't have a TON of time to be posting there. 

I'm still planning to let someone (probably Peter) corner me and pull out of me details about the Mistborn ending, along with perhaps some hints on Realmatic Theory, Adonalsium, the Sixteen Metals, and Hoid.  That will be separate, and I'll probably have Peter start another Q&A thread on my own forum, followed by he and I going out to dinner and he asking me questions in person without a place for me to escape or a computer for me to distract myself.  ;)

One other cool bit of news--a little love (finally) for those of you in France.  I sold rights to my books there years ago, but we've been waiting and in a holding pattern as an Orbit imprint was created.  Well, it looks like things are moving forward, and we should see Elantris in France this fall.  Huzzah!  (And remember, Mistborn launches in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland this fall as well.) 

Friday, June 05, 2009

Warbreaker Signings + David Eddings

Warbreaker Signings

Obligatory Warbreaker News:

First, you have lest than 24 hours to get a signed, personalized book from Sam Weller's.  I will be going in tomorrow (Saturday) to sign these books so they can be sent off Monday and arrive close to the release date.  So if you want one, you have to call them by 3:00 Mountain time and get one. 

Secondly,  I'll be doing a flurry of appearances locally for the release, though I won't be touring nationally until this November.  In the future, we'll probably do two tours for me a  year--one for WoT and one for my solo books (though, of course, I'll still sign my own books at WoT events and WoT books at my solo tour events.)  This year, however, things are just so busy that I asked to do a longer tour in November and hold off on Warbreaker national signings until then. 

Anyway, if you live locally and can't (or don't want) to go to the release party, here are a list of places you can find me. 

Wednesday: Borders Provo  7:00-9:00
4801 N University Ave # 910
Provo, UT 84604
(801) 224-2720

Friday:  Barnes and Noble in Jordan Landing 7:00-9:00 
7157 Plaza Center Drive
West Jordan, UT 84084

Saturday:  Barnes and Noble Sugarhouse 2:00-5:00
McIntyre Center
1104 East 2100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
(801) 463-2610

You may want to give these signings a little extra consideration if you happen to live in the area.  The release party is going to be awesome, but it will also be BUSY.  There will be no time for a reading or discussion here.  Likely, the WoT events will all be the same way--to the extreme.  I'll try to do readings and Q&As at some, if we can manage, but with the number of people who will probably want their books signed...well, I can't promise anything.

So this short Warbreaker tour is likely your last chance in a long time to come talk to me in a more relaxed atmosphere, where I'll be able to answer questions and generally have conversations.  I'll be doing readings at several of these other signings, and will probably read sections from THE WAY OF KINGS that I haven't ever read before.  In short, if crowds bother you and getting a numbered copy doesn't matter to you, then you'll probably have a better time at these more intimate signings. 

Release Party

Now, if you ARE going to go to the release party, I've got some goodies for you.  We'll be bringing the cover painting.  Not a print, but the actual painting.  I bought it from the artist, and it's beautiful.  So we'll have it on display.   We will also have the mistborn poster on display.  It will be your first chance to see it live.  We might even give one of the proofs away as a prize.  ;)

And speaking of prizes, there will be plenty of those.  BYU bookstore will probably have gift certificates, and I'll be bringing along a dozen or so Mistborn medallions in pewter to give away.  Probably via drawing. 

If you're going to come early and try to get a low numbered copy (remember, the first one will be #2, as Scott has dibs on #1) then I officially declare that the line starts at the door nearest the science fiction section.  That means the door on the WEST SIDE that FACES NORTH.  BYU isn't very good at setting up which door is the "line" door, and last year there was confusion.  So if there's a dispute, I'm going to give #2 to the first person in line who waited at THIS DOOR.


David Eddings

I got word (thanks Bryce) earlier this week that David Eddings had passed away

I'm sure that a lot of you, like myself, read his books when you were younger.  In fact, there was an era in middle school when David Eddings was my favorite author.  He created some great books for us, and was for many people a gateway into fantasy.  I still love his characters.  I love what he did with humor; he had such a great team dynamic for his series and worlds.  To this day, the first Sparhawk series is one of my favorite nostalgic reads. 

I didn't keep up with Eddings' work as I grew older.   More and more, I found myself gravitating toward the more complicated settings and stories of series like The Wheel of Time.  But Eddings gave the entire genre a big leg up toward the future, and I have many a fond memory of spending a summer evening immersed in one of his excellent novels.  So, if you get a chance this weekend, take a moment to raise a cup of your favorite beverage to David Eddings.  Without him, fantasy wouldn't be what it is, many of us might not be the dedicated readers of the genre we are, and I might not have ever become an author in the first place.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Couple Quick Notes

There are a couple of quick links I want to add to yesterday's update post.

The first HERO OF AGES annotation is live!  Much thanks to Peter, who is editing/formatting these and getting them ready.  The HERO OF AGES annotations will mark a departure for the site in that we're actually going to be consistent and predictable with them.  Peter has them all in hand, and is going to be putting them up on Tuesdays and Thursdays without fail (we actually have a kind of auto-updated set up to see this happens.)  I'll still link them here on my blog, but they'll be up at midnight, and so you should be able to check and read them long before I link them on the blog. 

Here's a nice video interview I did with Book Spot Central.  Like a lot of my recent interviews, there's not likely to be anything terribly new or earth-shattering for people who've been reading the blog consistently, but I think Damon did a good job of lobbing questions at me, and it might be fun for you to see video.  Bonus: the camera was a little portable one sitting down on the table, so you can kind of look up my nose!

Kevin J. Anderson
Kevin's been doing a nice little set of behind-the-scenes essays on the pre-production and publicity he did for the new fantasy novel he released today.  The interesting thing about all this is that he also did a rock CD in connection with the book release, featuring some impressive names from classic rock and alternative.  Anyway, read the posts here on his blog.  That's not a permalink, I'm afraid--just a link to the front page of the blog.  The essay is in four parts, and rather than link them all here, I thought I'd just send you to the front page.  Look for the "Anatomy of a Book Release" posts.

If you haven't noticed, I am indeed on Twitter @BrandonSandrson.  It's been nice to give little updates here and there about book progress, the music I'm listening to, or links to publishing-related info.  Note that there are three ways to read.  1)  On Twitter itself.  2) On my Facebook page (my tweets appear as my status updates there.)  3) On my blog page on my website, my tweets appear in a box on the left-hand corner.  These will all contain the same info, so if you're interested, know that you only need to check one of the three places. 

And, finally, I'll give another nod toward the WARBREAKER release next week.  I'd really like to knock this one out of the park, partially to prove the concept of releasing drafts on the internet before hand, partially to justify Tor (and the booksellers) faith in me.  It's a little daunting how well things have been going.

Anyway, WARBREAKER is my best reviewed book so far, with starred reviews in two of the four mainstream review publications (we're still waiting for the other two to review the book), a glowing endorsement from the Romantic Times, and extremely good pre-press buzz.  I do think it's the best book I've done so far.  So if you get the chance to mention the release to a family member or friend--maybe even pass the ebook version to them--it would be greatly appreciated.  The strength of this books launch will have a great deal to do with the support THE WAY OF KINGS gets.

But as always, if you're not the type who likes hardcovers, then by all means, wait for the paperback.  (Or download one of the free ebook editions I posted).  I'm honored you read my writing, whether you get it from paperbacks, from ebooks, from libraries, or by borrowing from friends. 

However, if you DO like hardcovers, then I think this a great buy.  A beautiful cover, a self-contained fantasy story with a new magic and characters, and a lot of bang for your buck in this economy.  Why spend $20 on a 100k word novel when you can get 250k for $28.  (Indeed, why spend $10 on a two hour movie when you can spend $28 and get twelve+ hours of story--and with better special effects.)  Epic fantasy: entertainment in bulk! 

On a more serious note, let me offer one more argument for giving the book a read.  Here's what a SFWA Grand Master had to say about it:

    Brandon Sanderson has written an heroic fantasy depending on originality of character and plot.
    His heroines and heroes are outstanding -- especially Vasher, the Warbreaker, whose special
    relationship with his sentient sword is both sardonic and sinister. The mysteries of life after death,
    of identity and destiny, the politics of magic, are unveiled through three-dimensional characters.

    Not only has Sanderson drawn a freshly imagined world and its society, he has also given us a plot
    full of unexpected twists and turns. In subtle prose, noteable for its quiet irony, Sanderson tells the
    story of two sisters and the god they are doomed to marry. Anyone looking for a different and
    refreshing fantasy novel will be delighted by this exceptional tale of magic, mystery and the
    politics of divinity.  It's fair to say Warbreaker might even take your breath away!
                                                    --Michael Moorcock

Monday, June 01, 2009

Roundup of Thoughts

Hey, all, there are several things I want to talk about, so I'm just going to attack them in order.  (And if you work at Adobe, or know someone who does, make sure you read the last thing on my list.)

I doubt you need a reminder, but the launch of Warbreaker is only about a week away!  Barnes and Noble has kindly decided to put it into one of their big summer promotions, and has ordered a LOT of copies.  This is fantastic, since--if you've been reading the blog for a few years--you know that we've consistently had troubles with distribution at Barnes and Noble.  Well, they've thrown themselves behind this book a great deal.  Finally.  So, of course, my natural panic rises that now we won't sell any copies, will prove them right for not supporting the Mistborn books to the extent we wanted, and go back to the old model of never having enough copies out.  (Sigh.  Sorry, it's hard to not worry about these things.) 

Anyway, if you want a numbered/personalized edition, I'm happy to comply--so long as supplies last.  But know that if you want to buy the book at your local B&N, Borders, or independent bookseller, I'm going to be touring a great deal over the next two years--so the chances are good I'll be able to get that copy of yours signed. 

There WILL be audio editions; I suspect they'll be out a few weeks after the hardcover.  There WILL be an official ebook edition to buy, if you want one--and in order to sweeten that deal, we're probably going to be selling the ebook directly through Tor.com with ALL of the annotations included months, even years, before I get them posted on my website.  There should be a special deal of some sort for those who bought the hardcover to get the ebook (with annotations) for a fraction of the regular price, but I'm not sure what it will be.  You might have to order both through Tor.com, or maybe there will be a rebate.  So if you're thinking of getting both editions to grab the annotations and bonus content, then save your receipt on the hardcover just in case.  No promises, but maybe there will be something Tor does to promote. 

The edition in stores does have new scenes that aren't in the edition posted to my website.  I will eventually post the pdf to my website of the final edition, though I'm not sure when I'll do that, as I don't want to undercut all of the special effort Tor.com has put into coming up with really nice ebook edition with bonus content.  We'll see.

First off, BEA was awesome.  It's generally about meeting booksellers, particularly those who work at independent bookstores.  While I do appreciate all of you who work at the chains and pass my books on to readers, there's something special about the little independent booksellers, particularly those who focus on science fiction and fantasy.  I got to meet several of those, which was a real treat, as well as some very enthusiastic folks from various sections of the publishing world.  I'm now laden down with advance copies of books to read.  We'll see if I can even get to many of them, with all of the writing I need to do...

And, speaking of that writing, things are going very well.  The WAY OF KINGS rewrite is proceeding quickly, and I should be done on-target.  I'm feeling very good about the rewrite, though I won't be certain about my plans for it until I get through a few trouble areas later on.  As for The Wheel of Time, I just got the Copyedit--which is the final part of THE GATHERING STORM that needs to be done.  This will distract me for another week or so from doing new material, but we'll see. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've hired a full-time assistant to help with all of these things I need to do, which will be essential to me getting both KINGS and AMOL2 ready for publication next year.  After one month of working with Peter, I can say without any equivocation that it's been WONDERFUL to have him.  My productivity has been boosted, and there are a lot of things that are getting done on the website that I'd let languish.  (For instance, he's doing a proofread/revision of the Misbtorn Three annotations right now, which was something that needed to be done before I could post them.  With Peter on the job, they'll actually start getting posted--and in a timely way!)

One problem, however, has to do with software.  For some of the projects I want Peter to do (like the annotations) we felt we needed to get him Photoshop and In Design from Adobe.  (I know there are other options, but those are the programs he was familiar with, and generally I've been impressed with them when I've worked with them.)  Now, these programs are expensive, particularly for a small business owner like myself who doesn't plan for the products to really make him much money.  But we did the right thing, and rather than sneaking a copy from pirate bay, we went ahead and shelled out the price to upgrade our educational version to a full professional version of Design Standard.

In tandem with this, though, we've needed to do a cross-platform swap, since I had a PC version.  We've been trying to get this to work since  May 1, but Adobe's customer support representatives keep telling Peter to call back in 48 hours. Their online help system promises a response in 24 hours, but the case hasn't been updated since May 21.

So, I thought I'd do a post here.  Do I have any readers at Adobe who could help grease the wheels a little bit?  I feel more than a little annoyed.  I'd always been told that Adobe was easy to work with, since they appreciate it when people do the right thing and pay them for their software, rather than joining the many pirates.  But we can barely get the time of day out of them.  We're a small client, probably not worth their attention, but we've paid out hundreds of dollars for programs we can't use.  I can't help thinking that THIS is why people just pirate in the first place.  We spend hours and hours of time spent with customer service TRYING to be a good, paying customer who appreciates their software, and all we've gotten are headaches. 

So, anyway, any of you WoT or BS fans at Adobe--we could use your aid.  Just drop me an email if you notice this and might be able to help.