Wednesday, March 26, 2008
A new addition to the family....

So apparently, when a book gets published, it either has a hard publication date, or a soft one. I don't know if these are technical terms or not, but that's how I've come to think of it....

When my book came out a year ago, it had a hard sell date. They even stamped the boxes with it. I wonder if I can still find the picture I took of it, back in the day.

Yeah. Here it is....

When I first saw this, I remember thinking, "Wow. They must take this release date thing pretty seriously."

Then I remember thinking about what someone would say if they had to call this number. "I need to report a violation?" Sounds dirty. Personally, I would probably go with something more dramatic. Something along the lines of screaming "Help! My book has been violated!"

So anyway, I was at a signing in Seattle this weekend, and I got two lovely surprises.

The first was that a lovely young woman showed up and described my book as, "a literary orgasm." Personally, I think that's something we should put on the cover.

The second cool thing was this....

(I'm talking about the one on the right. The hardcover is just there to provide perspective.)

Yay! The paperback! Isn't it just the cutest thing?

Now, the official release date is April 1st. But, apparently, this is a different sort of release date. I know this because when I was on my way home from Seattle, I stopped by the airport bookstores and saw copies on the shelves there too.

I just thought I'd let y'all know that it's out there.

Hmmm.... Now I feel like I should say something sales-pitchy in order to encourage people to buy it. But I can't think of anything halfway serious.

"The Name of the Wind: even in paperback it will still stop a bullet."

"Now with 100% less naked man chest!"

"Ladies, all the literary orgasmicness of the hardcover, conveniently travel-sized!"

That's all I've got. If any of you have any flashes of marketing brilliance, you can leave them in the comments section below.

Hugs and Kisses,



posted by Pat at


Anonymous TF[I] said...

Seems like you didn't take the opportunity to continue small-talk with the lovely lady... Shame.

Otherwise, keep up the marketing quotes. Wit is the best thing for it. ;]

March 26, 2008 4:04 PM  
Blogger matt said...

Why not a scratch and sniff version

March 26, 2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous jeff hotchkiss said...

When I worked at B&N in the shipping department, we called them strict-on-sales. Which meant we could not sell the book until the date printed on the box. We also had a sheet that indicated the discount the book would be sold at. So we had to have the books stickered and on a cart by the time the store opened.

If a sale was recorded for a book before its strict-on-sale date the store could be fined.

With the Harry Potter books, we couldn't even open the damn boxes. You'd think they revealed all the secrets of the universe.

March 26, 2008 4:57 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Hah, you should have seen me when I saw the book on display at the front of my store when I came in for work last Saturday. There was some jumping involved. I even put three copies on hold for myself, before I realized how silly that was.. Maybe I'll just buy one. :-D

Anyway, I sold five copies that day. I was seriously pimping you out. Or something. I didn't even have to try on one of them, because I was showing a fellow employee (and rabid fan ..or maybe just a fan, since I'm the semi-rabid one) that it was finally out in mass market (the cute size). The conversation involved me going, "OMG! I'm going to buy 10 of these and give them out in the mall like the monks who give away copies of the Bahagava... da... gada Gita!" That caught a customer's attention. He took my word on its goodness.

Also, I don't know how to spell that word (*points*) nor do I know how to pronounce it, so that's the closest I got.

March 26, 2008 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Bibi said...

Yay for paperbacks!

I can finally re-read the book without feeling like I'm cheating Pat and without destroying my 16-year-old salary!

... as in the salary of a 16-year-old, not a salary that has been around for 16 years.


March 26, 2008 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Its interesting to hear that about the sell date on NOTW.....
I'd like to report a violation!

Apparently someone was fine with selling it to a library before the release date, where it then went on the shelf 3 days early, where I then read the book before some of you were allowed to buy it. HAH!

(sorry for the ranting there... got carried away)

March 26, 2008 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hurrah for Mass Market paper backs which i can force my brother (who works at books-a-million) to buy a copy of NOTW for 30% off for my b-day because im too poor to be able to buy it with my current salery ($0 per year)

March 26, 2008 8:08 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I just read like half of this blog post out loud to my roommate and boyfriend because I kept laughing and they thought I was crazy.

Thought you should know.

And yes. It has been agreed that "A Literary Orgasm" should be on the cover, perhaps replacing "A Novel."

March 26, 2008 8:33 PM  
Blogger logankstewart said...

I'm up for the scratch&sniff, too, Matt.

March 26, 2008 9:13 PM  
Blogger Incubus Jax said...

Like a midget... except, for novels.

March 26, 2008 10:09 PM  
Anonymous hoorah said...

Oh man! I would have totally driven two hours to meet you! I'm really bummed that I didn't find out about your Seattle trip sooner.

March 26, 2008 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come we got paperbacks months ago in the U.K?

March 27, 2008 5:45 AM  
Blogger Jim C. Hines said...

Hey Pat -- thought you'd want to know I've got a box of the paperbacks, and they're going to be part of the prizes I'm giving away at the Goblin War book launch this weekend. So I'll be doing my part to bring you some new fans and readers.

March 27, 2008 6:14 AM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

New ad copy:
"Name of the Wind--now available in a convenient travel-size paperback that will fit neatly in Neil Gaiman's carry-on luggage. You want to be like Gaiman, right?"

March 27, 2008 6:58 AM  
Blogger King Sheep said...

Labeling the air currents since 2007

March 27, 2008 10:12 AM  
Blogger Mary J. said...

Wow, I leave town for a couple of days and I miss "literary orgasm!"
That's great... I see another must have t-shirt in the works. :-)

March 27, 2008 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE NAME OF THE WIND: I don't mind the taste.

March 27, 2008 10:54 AM  
OpenID hawkinslad said...

Thinking it was not available until April 1, as well, I was pleasantly surprised to see a copy on the shelf last weekend. I promptly purchased it.

March 27, 2008 10:58 AM  
Blogger Mary J. said...

A literary orgasm...

March 27, 2008 11:21 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Hi Pat -

I hope you realize how much we thoroughly enjoy reading your posts..... your blog is the ONLY one I visit(let alone multiple times a day) looking for my next laughter fix.

I find myself constantly wishing I was witty enough to provide a worthy repartee, but no luck as of yet. Therefore, I will remain your steadfast, yet dumb witted, largest Virginia fan.

Thank you for helping make our lives a little better!!!!

March 27, 2008 12:43 PM  
Anonymous April said...

Finally, a copy you can afford to buy for everyone you know and force them to read it!

I've already purchased 6 HB copies of The Name of the Wind and have been gradually dribbling them out as birthdays come. I may snag some PB versions and start leaving them in hotel rooms or something. Or possibly the Ladies' locker room at the gym with a self-added cover tag line about the literary orgasm. I do agree with that comment! It is.

My latest whelping-day recipient had this to say about NotW : "I am pretty sure that Name of the Wind is the best fantasy novel I've ever read."

March 27, 2008 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Libraries always get early shipments of books, so they can get the plastic covers and stickers on them. That way the library can put the books on the shelf on the same day as the "strict-on-sales" date.

Just think...when "Wise Man's Fear" comes out, it'll just be sitting there in the back of the library for DAYS, with a piece of paper stuck to it that says "Don't shelve until April 1, 2009". : ) Ah, the temptations of being a librarian.

March 27, 2008 9:18 PM  
OpenID bluharlequin said...

I don't have a witty marketing slogan. I just wanted to say...
Mmmm... Sugar in the Raw
Mmmm... The Decemberists

March 28, 2008 10:58 AM  
Blogger Wysen said...

The Name of the Wind paperback: From that guy that once hung out with Neil Gaiman!

March 28, 2008 3:37 PM  
Blogger The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Congratulations on the paperback! I discovered your book after O.S.Card praised it (and you) on his website. I was not disappointed. LOVED it! Since I usually "listen" to my books while I work, I was hoping with NOTW's success and all that there would be an audio version, but I was disappointed to discover there wasn't one. Will there be one soon? I'm feeling a Kvothe fix coming on and I can't afford to use my eyes for reading right now. My ears are itching to hear his tale again.

March 29, 2008 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a little clarification about strict-on-sale (SOS) dates at B&N. It doesn't necessarily matter what date is printed on the box. What matters is the contract/agreement B&N has with the publisher for a specific book. If a book is not on B&N's internal SOS list, then the book can be put out as soon as it arrives, no matter what date is printed on the box. Thus, one will often find books on the sales floor several days earlier than the "publication/SOS" date, and no violation will have taken place if someone buys a copy or three before that date.

April 4, 2008 2:42 AM  
Anonymous jeff hotchkiss said...

Good point.

April 4, 2008 8:37 PM  

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