Wanderers is one of those books that’s been with me for a very long time. Some books are *snaps fingers* lickety-quick — they appear fast, get on the page even faster, and next thing you know, that book is on shelves and you’re moving onto the next thing. But the sheer size of Wanderers parallels its presence in my life: it’s been a book I thought about for four years before I ever put a single word down about it, and once I started writing it, it still took a long time to write, to edit, and now, to launch. The long launch time is good, of course — the first excerpt from the book appeared last Halloween, at Entertainment Weekly, thus officially beginning the slow-and-steady march to publication. That’s in part because, if a publisher has some faith in the book and the author, giving it a lot of time to breathe and come to life gives it more chances to get on people’s radars, to become a thing in their mind, to pique interest and, in a perfect world, outright desire. (Or, a cult formed in the author’s honor. Which hasn’t happened for me yet, but one day. One day.)
So, that long, long wait is nearly here.
A book years in conception, making, marketing, and publication.
And it’s in one week.
So, in doing my due diligence here, a CHECKLIST OF VITAL REMINDERS, which will in turn be followed up by a PROMISE OF INK AND BLOOD —
1.) Hey, People Seem To Like This Book
This book, at present, has four starred reviews. (No book of mine thus far has ever had more than one.) Those starred reviews come from:
Kirkus: “Wendig is clearly wrestling with some of the demons of our time, resulting in a story that is ambitious, bold, and worthy of attention.”
Publisher’s Weekly: “This career-defining epic deserves its inevitable comparisons to Stephen King’s The Stand, easily rising above the many recent novels of pandemic and societal collapse.”
Library Journal: “A powerful story about humanity, technology, and the survival of the world. Comparisons to Stephen King’s The Stand are warranted, as Wendig shatters the boundaries of speculative and literary fiction…”
Bookpage: “It’s not easy to write the end of the world. With Wanderers, Chuck Wendig has mastered it.”
Other reviewers have said:
“Unexpected and enthralling . . . Approach Wanderers like it’s a primetime television series, along the lines of The Passage [or] Lost. Break it up into 70-page segments that you can devour like candy for an hour each evening. Let it unfold across your summer. . . . Make Wanderers a summer reading priority; you won’t regret it.” — BookRiot
“Wanderers is OUTSTANDING. Wanderers excites me. You want well-developed characters and complex relationships? Read Wanderers. You want grounded sci-fi that ranks up there with bookstagram faves like #Recursion and #StationEleven? Read Wanderers. You want twists and turns and edge-of-your-seat action? Read Wanderers.” — Jordy’s Book Club
“An imaginative and absorbing work of speculative fiction.” — Booklist
“Wanderers is THE epic of the summer and you need to make sure you have it on your wishlist. This book is an electrifying marvel and deserves your attention, so make it a priority.” — Fan Fi Addict
“At the end of the day, few things are as American as hope, and Wanderers gives us plenty to hold on to, even as it chills us with all its what if? horrors.” — Michael Patrick Hicks at High Fever Books
And, in both honor and sorrow, reviewer Frank Errington before he passed wrote a wonderful review of the book at Cemetery Dance: “Wanderers is so damn cool, right from the get-go. Instantly fascinating. Wanderers is a big read. Actually, it’s a huge read, but it’s a comfortable one. If you’re looking for a book to get lost in for a while, this is an epic journey.”
It’s also earned unholy good blurbs from the likes of: Erin Morgernstern, Rin Chupeco, Harlen Coben, James Rollins, Meg Gardiner, John Scalzi, Peng Shepherd, Paul Tremblay, Christopher Golden, Charles Soule, Delilah S. Dawson, Richard Kadrey, Adam Christopher, Peter Clines, Fran Wilde, Kat Howard, and Scott Sigler. (Blurb thread here.)
Finally, it’s already been optioned for TV by QC Entertainment! (Producers of: Get Out, Us, BlacKKKlansman)
2.) Hey Why Not Pre-Order The Book
So, pre-ordering a book is good for like, the entire book ecosystem, and here’s why: it sends a signal to the publisher that Author Is Good, it tells the bookstore to order an appropriate number of copies (and also sends the Author Is Good signal), it ensures you get a copy, and it contributes to first week sales, which are good. Plus, it makes me feel all ticklish inside.
You can pre-order from a wide, wild variety of locations:
You can get print from your local independent via Indiebound.org.
And there’s audio, read by Xe Sands and Dominic Hoffman!
(If you’re UK, the book comes out July 9th, and you can get signed copies here.)
You can also add it on Goodreads, if that is your sort of thing.
Libraries will also carry this book, and libraries are rad. You can always check with your local library to see if they’ll have copies, and if you can reserve one early.
3.) And You Should Get That Pre-Order Swag
Swiggity-Swooty, you want that booty.
And in this case, the booty is a rad Shepherd highway sign pin.
Go to this page, enter pre-order info, and ta-da! IS YOURS.
4.) Put My Beardy McWeirdface On Your Schedule
I’m coming around to a whole lot of cool places in support of the book, so you should check out my Appearances page and see where I’m popping up like a bewildered gopher. You will find me on tour at — Bethlehem, PA; Doylestown, PA; Atlanta (Decatur), GA; Austin, TX; Houston, TX; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA (Comic-Con and a MG signing); Denver, CO. Plus some other dates later in the summer.
5.) The Promise Of Ink And Blood
A long time ago my father, somewhat mysteriously, told me not to get a tattoo, because “that’s how they’d find me.” Presumably meaning, if I ever had to do something bad, the… authorities? would find me that way. (He also once stopped me on the stairs going up to the second floor of our house and he told me, “If you ever have to do something, you know, that you regret? Call me first. I’ll help you fix it.” I don’t know what this means, though I vaguely assume he was suggesting he will help me make and/or hide a body? That’s parental love, folks. I mean, it’s also a crime, but whatevs.) So I have long committed to not ever getting a tattoo because I assume it would upset his ghost (he passed away a decade ago), and I don’t have time for restless spirits.
But! I think enough time has passed where I’ll make this deal:
If this book hits the NYT Bestseller List, I’ll get some ink.
The ink I’ll get is a drawing done by my son — I feel like the best way past the SPECTRAL HEX of my father’s demand that I never get a tattoo is by deferring instead to my son, who has a piece of cool art that obliquely has some resonance with Wanderers. (I’ll show that drawing if all this comes to pass.) I might split the drawing in two and get it on the inside of each forearm? Not sure, yet.
Now, a couple caveats:
This book is unlikely to make list, I suspect. Genre doesn’t often ping the list easily, and it’s sort of a weird, fiddly, curated experience — the NYT list isn’t just “hey who sold the best?” So, the likelihood of this is, to me, not high. Though this book definitely has some spec-fic lit-fic crossover, I just don’t ever want to expect it’ll hit a list. It’d be nice! But who knows?
Further, the only real way that it hits list is by folks buying the book through independent booksellers. (Print list, at least. The combined e-book/print list is… I mean, I have no idea how that’s curated. I assume gremlins do it.)
So, I figure, that’s a good promise of ink and blood.
It hits list, I get ink.
INK FOR THE INK GODS
6.) And After That…
If you get the book — or if you’ve already read the book via an ARC — then I hope you’ll be kind enough to spread the word. Booklove is a viral thing — what I do here, trying to market the book? It makes a dent, but it isn’t what really moves copies. If you like this book or love it, if you could tell some friends, your family, a beloved pet, a cherished nemesis, whatever. Leave a review, too, at the place of your choice: social media, Goodreads, Amazon, a blog, or screamed into the blowhole of a magic dolphin. The book ecosystem is strengthened when we’re willing to talk about our books, and share the experience, and even show photos of us reading the books.
And that’s it.
It’s almost here.
One week left.
Thanks for checking it out, if you do.
*hyperventilates into a paper bag*