Lots going on at the moment. Partially by planning and partially by happenstance, there is currently a flood of new PVB material these days. I am going to try and call some of it out quickly before things pile up overmuch, so I can get back to The Daylight War later this afternoon without a sense panic that my inbox is starting to overflow.
The Warded Man MMPB released yesterday, and my while I think my carefully plotted wards all activated properly, the drain on the grid might have affected the weather. The sky was overcast yesterday morning as my agent and I embarked on our quest to sign every book we could find in Manhattan and Brooklyn in a single day, sunup to sundown. I had 200 signed bookplates in my pocket, along with the signing pens my mother gave me a couple of years ago. Joshua had a backpack full of xeroxed press reviews about the book, and paperback samples to give as gifts to any bookstore staff who expressed an interest in reading fantasy to keep or just leave in their break rooms.
We started out in Park Slope Brooklyn at the 7th Avenue Barnes and Noble, where they had eight copies in stock, but they had just arrived, and were not yet shelved. This is one of the main reasons authors should do this sort of thing on release day. There were probably ten stores we visited over the course of the day that had not yet shelved the books.
I want to be clear that this is not the fault of the stores or their employees, at least not at the ground level. In most cases, the books (which the store had ordered months in advance) had been delivered that very day, or just the night before. Stores receive a lot of books in these shipments, and it takes time to inventory and shelve them all. Most stores shelve the bestsellers first (as any smart business should), and in places without a lot of staff, it can take days to get around to a new author like me.
But by coming in and introducing ourselves to the staff, we were not only able to have the books shelved immediately with good facing, but made even more enticing by the “Author signed” stickers now adorning the front. I slipped a signed bookplate into every copy, so that any readers who enjoy the book enough to want to buy The Desert Spear (Free excerpt with that link!) in April will be able to peel off the sticker backing, and, PRESTO! make their new hardcover into a signed book.
From Park Slope we went to another couple of stores in Brooklyn, and then took the subway into Manhattan, starting out on Wall Street at the Borders down there, and then making a zig-zaggy loop up the east side of the island and then going crosstown at the top and zig-zagging back down the west. We visited 20 bookstores in all, and I signed 108 books, plus another half dozen that we gave to store staff, bringing the total up to 114. We met a lot of great, hard working, and friendly store staff & customers, and had fun geeking out about books with them. It was also an opportunity to thank the floor workers for what they do. I used to manage a comic shop, and know how difficult a job retail sellers have. And they usually do it with a cheery smile.
It was a great day, but even after a night’s rest, my feet are still killing me.
Did I mention that the MMPB has an exclusive Desert Spear excerpt not available online at the back?
Also in the news is The Great Bazaar. Subterranean Press reports that there are only about 75 copies of the trade version left, and the limited edition is already sold out. It is unlikely these books will last much longer, and there are no plans to go back on press. If you are at all interested, I strongly suggest you order soon. I love that little book dearly, and consider it’s events Canon that give real depth to some of my favorite characters in the series.
Last but not least, there is some more news on The Desert Spear:
Aidan Moher has posted a New Exclusive Desert Spear Excerpt on his blog A Dribble of Ink. I know that people wanted some Arlen/Leesha/Rojer action, so I came through this time around with a delicious appetizer for that. Check it out.
Other glowing reviews appearing, like this one from Library Journal, or:
“…Those willing to give Jardir his due will see him develop depth and perspective that give his inevitable confrontation with Arlen magnitude. This more brutal sequel emphasizes political and romantic intrigue without losing the urgency of the demon war.”
“…Well-drawn characters, fascinating worldbuilding, action and conflict make for an exciting page-turner.”
* * * * 1/2
Finally, Recorded Books has announced the upcoming audio book of The Desert Spear, which will again feature the talented narrator Pete Bradbury, whose silken rumble of a voice could charm the panties off a marble statue of Athena. His reading of The Warded Man is available now, and it’s fantastic.