Brandon Sanderson Newsletter for March 2014
This is Brandon, and welcome to my newsletter.
- Words of Radiance Is Out!
- My Essay on Epic Fantasy
- Stormlight Merchandise
- Words of Radiance Book Tour and Worldwide Conventions
- The Shardhunt
Words of Radiance Is Out!
At long last, Words of Radiance (book two in the Stormlight Archive) is out today in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook. (Note: the UK/Commonwealth edition comes out on Thursday.) I am exceptionally proud of this book, and hope that you’ll all check it out. I worked hard to give you as much value for your money as possible, and am thrilled with how this series is turning out. It’s my baby, the thing I’ve worked on since my youth, and to finally have it available for everyone to read is supremely satisfying.
I’m going to start work on book three later in the year, so the next volume shouldn’t have nearly the wait that this book did. Thank you all for sticking with me and waiting (with relative patience) until I was able to get back to Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan, and company.
My Essay on Epic Fantasy
In celebration of the book launch, I wrote a long essay about the epic fantasy genre and Words of Radiance in particular. It’s posted over on Tor.com, so I’ll just drop a link for you here. If you’ve wondered why the books are so long, this digs into that question a little bit. Here’s an excerpt:
If you can’t tell, I love epic fantasy. I have nothing against the shorter forms of fiction—indeed, I have a blast reading stories of all sizes. But epic fantasy holds that first and most important piece of my heart, as it was the genre that made me into a reader, and that in turn made me a writer. It is hard to define myself without epic fantasy.
So, I find myself in an odd place when the genre is mocked. Most of that mockery is good natured—the genre’s thick pagecounts and sometimes ponderous leanings do paint a large target. We comment about “doorstoppers,” warn people not to drop the novels around any small pets, and joke about authors being paid by the word. Some people call the books “fat fantasies with maps” as if to reduce everything the genre seeks to accomplish to the thing you often find on page one.
With the release of Words of Radiance, my store manager Kara (I talked a bit about her in my last newsletter) has put up some new Stormlight merchandise. There are new T-shirts with the Stormlight Archive symbol and the Bridge Four glyphs, and there are awesome beanies with Kaladin’s slave brands on them. Kara talks more about those here.
Words of Radiance Book Tour and Worldwide Conventions
My book tour started last night with the midnight release at the BYU bookstore. Over the next three weeks I’ll be visiting the following areas:
- Tue, Mar 4: San Diego
- Wed, Mar 5: Los Angeles
- Thu, Mar 6: Bay Area
- Fri, Mar 7: Portland OR
- Sat, Mar 8: Seattle
- Tue, Mar 11: Houston
- Thu, Mar 13: Omaha
- Fri, Mar 14: Phoenix
- Sat, Mar 15: Tucson
- Tue, Mar 18: Lexington KY
- Wed, Mar 19: Dayton
- Thu, Mar 20: Washington DC
- Fri, Mar 21: Philadelphia
- Sat, Mar 22: Chicago & Milwaukee
Some of the signings are ticketed events, meaning the store requires you to buy the book there in order to get it signed. If your nearest signing isn’t for a few days and you want to read the book ahead of time, you can buy it at the store today and save your receipt for the signing itself. Check each signing’s details to see if it’s a ticketed event.
We’ll be following my standard signing protocol: three books personalized your first time through the line, and then if you want more, please wait until the end. (Or, have three personalized your first time through, and get the rest just signed.)
I should do a reading/Q&A at the beginning of most signings. This lasts about 45 minutes, and then I sit down and sign. I have never left a store with people still in line, so sometimes these things go late—but not all bookstores leave their doors unlocked the entire time. So if you’re planning to come late, you might want to call ahead and find out when the store closes.
The length of time I stay depends entirely on how many people are in line. During the Steelheart tour, there were nights I got done as early as 9:00 p.m.—and other nights where I didn’t finish until almost 1:00 a.m.
For those of you in Europe, I will be visiting in the summer. My main destination will be Celsius 232 in Spain, where I’ll be a guest. I also will be signing in London for certain in the days following the convention in Spain. Other dates are a possibility, but I’m not sure on the schedule, so if you really want to see me, at least you know two places where I’ll be.
I also haven’t forgotten Canada. I’ll be in Calgary in August, for the When Words Collide convention.
As I did last year with the Steelheart tour, I’m doing a little something extra where people find codes and type them into my website to unlock bonus content. But unlike last year, this time all the unlockables are publicly viewable—you don’t need any code just to see the content.
I’m calling it the Shardhunt, and what you’re looking for are die-cut plastic cards of Szeth that you can punch out and stand up like a miniature figurine. Tor posted a picture of the Szeth card here.
The first new unlockable hasn’t been revealed yet, but five unlockables from the last year’s Steelhunt are up, including two chapters from Shadows of Self—the forthcoming sequel to The Alloy of Law—and a sample of Legion: Skin Deep. Check them out here.
I’ll be bringing Szeth cards with me to my signings, and I’ll also hide them in airport bookstores and ship many of them to bookstores that I’m not getting anywhere near on my tour. If you are a bookseller and want some of the Szeth cards to hide in your books, let me know!
As always, thank you all for your support. I get to do what I love because you all support me in it. People often ask me why I’m so productive; it’s in part because of the debt I feel to you all. Thank you.