Let’s be clear: book release week is weird. You spend a year-ish writing a book. You spend time selling it. Then there’s time piled on top of time in order for the publisher to wind up the pitch and let the ball fly — and the ball flies slow, as marketing ramps up and people get galley copies and, and, and, and then the day actually happens —
And it can feel a little anticlimactic. That’s nobody’s fault — it’s just how books are. When a movie comes out, everybody gives a shit. Lots of press and box office reports and interviews and lights and sound and candy and also probably mountains of cocaine? I don’t know about that last part. I just assume if anybody is out there still just railing on cocaine, it’s Big Hollywood.
(I kid, of course. They’re not doing cocaine. They’re gently sipping kombucha-charcoal smoothies micro-dosed with artisanal psilocybin.)
But books aren’t that. Your new book isn’t launched from a trebuchet into the sky for all to see. They are (hopefully) unpacked gently from boxes, and placed on shelves during release day, and then… people maybe buy them, maybe they don’t right away, maybe they never do. Obviously, this is different if you’re releasing a new Harry Potter novel, but since most people are not releasing a new Harry Potter novel, it can feel a little bit less like the dramatic pop of a Champagne cork and more like the ginger, hesitant unscrewing of a screw-top wine bottle.
So, that’s what I expected here, with Wanderers.
I expected poorly.
I mean, okay, no, we weren’t sucking down hallucinogenic smoothies or whatever, but you all made this release week feel like something special, and that’s been great. It’s honestly been nice to see the enthusiasm for people both going out and getting the book — and then following along on the journey as people are reading it. Further, the book seems to be doing okay, too, which is really nice to see. It’s been bopping around the Top 20 on B&N (where you can still get a signed copy, by the way) and I’ve heard of libraries ordering more copies and bookstores running out. Not that I want anyone to run out of the book, obviously, but as an indicating it’s maybe selling okay? I’ll take it.
Thanks, all, for checking out the book, if you have. And if you’re able to go and crow about it and put up reviews at Amazon or Goodreads or wherever, I’d be in your eternal gratitude. ETERNAL GRATITUDE, I SAID. YOU WILL HAVE ENSURED THE SERVICE OF MY SPECTER ACROSS ALL OF SPACE AND TIME oh am I yelling again, sorry.
Also don’t forget, I’ll be bopping around the country in my Writer Shed, which has spontaneously grown a giant pair of chicken legs, and —
Oh! Oh. Haha, I’m just going to using planes for this trip. Cool.
But I’ll be at —
Atlanta/Decatur (Eagle Eye!), then Austin (BookPeople!), Houston (Murder by the Book!), Seattle (Elliot Bay!), Portland (Powells in Beaverton!), San Diego (SDCC, then Mysterious Galaxy!), and finally, Denver (Tattered Cover!). Starting next week. Details here.
And just to clarify, you don’t need to wait to purchase your book until my visit — I’ve reminded some folks you can go buy the book from the store in question now, then visit me at that store on the date of the appearance. As for what to expect at each appearance? I’ll mostly do a short introduction about the book, then do a Q&A, then sign some books. Plus some general mayhem and unmitigated pantslessness. There may even be a pants-off dance-off.
(There will be no pants-off dance-off, it’s fine.)
And that’s it.
Thanks again to all the writers and readers and followers who have shouted about this book. It means a lot — to me personally, and for the book’s chances to make its way in the world. And thanks to the two launch stores who helped me flail and shake the book around — Let’s Play Books and Doylestown Bookshop.
Gonna do a brief Wanderers-related news/review round-up, and then I’m off.
BLACK SWAN SAYS BYE
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“Wanderers doesn’t just settle for a plot twist or two. He plot twists the plot twist then plot twists the plot twist’s plot twist. Reading his books is like standing super close to a painting and seeing only the smudges of paint then taking a step back to see those brushstrokes form a flower. Step back again and now you see the flower is in a vase. Another step back and the vase is in a room. One more step and the room is in a house and the house is on fucking fire and there’s blood everywhere and people are running and screaming… the book is 800 pages and I read it in two sittings. I forgot to eat. Twice. I sat on the couch enraptured by the story. It’s that good. No, it’s that incredible.” — Alex Brown, Tor.com
“It’s a rare find: an 800-page novel about the end of the world that manages to be riveting and prescient while delivering thrills like a big summer blockbuster.” — Ardi Alspach, B&N SFF Blog
“Wanderers is a few things: a tense mystery; an Outbreak-style medical thriller; a sprawling, Stephen King-esque epic. But mostly it’s a book about America right now—and much like America right now, it’s a potent blend of fear, confusion, and guarded, fragile hope.” — Erik Henriksen, Portland Mercury / The Stranger
“The true success of Wanderers, though, is not just in its ability to show us the grim scenarios that could play out across a divided nation; it’s in its heart. Whether he’s writing about rage or faith or the faintest glimmer of light, Wendig brings a sincerity and emotional weight to his prose. That’s why the scariest parts of Wanderers work, but it’s also why the most hopeful ones do, too.” — BookPage (starred review)
“Maybe my favorite read of the season. “Wanderers” reminds me of the books I loved to read years ago for all the right reasons: Mainly pure, unadulterated, page-turning fun. Mash up ideas from “The Stand,” “The Hot Zone,” and every classic Crichton thriller and you get “Wanderers.” It’s every bit as good as those classics, but Wendig has created a (terrifying) world solely his own.” — Tom Beans, The Source Weekly
Wanderers makes EW’s list of 20 new books to read in July, as well as Amazon’s best SFF of July, and B&N’s best SFF of July. And The Verge’s SFF of July list, too! Though it’s tricky to list, it made Apple Books’ list, too. Finally, SyFy Fangrrls shouted it out!
I think that’s it for now.
See you next week, frandos.
And you can add it on Goodreads.