Tuesday, October 6, 2009
A New Addition to the Family: Portugal

The Name of the Wind just came out in Portugal. They tell me that at the beginning of the month it was actually #7 on the bestseller lists over there. Which, I will admit, gives me a little bit of a tingle....

I haven't actually held one in my hands yet, but the cover looks pretty cool:

I always like seeing new covers for the book. Especially when the art has obviously been commissioned especially for the book.

Though I've only recently become a father, I've compared writing a book to having a baby for years. My mom used to refer to it as "her grandbook." And one of my friends used to ask about it in those terms. We wouldn't see each other for months, and when we got together and caught up on the news, she'd eventually ask, "And how's the baby doing...?"

Now that I've been a dad for a couple of weeks, I realize that the baby analogy is better than I thought. Before I was mostly referring to the emotional connection you feel to your own book. But now, having dealt with a newborn, I realize that writing a book is not entirely dissimilar to actually raising a child.

You feed it. Change it. Cuddle it. Dress it. Undress it. Change it. Feed it. Change it. Change it. Get it to take a nap. Change it.

And then, at the end of the day, you look at it and realize that it's pretty useless.

Don't get me wrong, you love it. You love it like nobody's business. But unless you're an idiot, you realize this thing really isn't good for anything yet. You're going to have months and months of thankless, repetitive work before it's capable of going out into the world on its own.

Later, when your book is published, it's very cool and very scary. That's when your baby has grown up enough to leave the nest. It's out there, meeting people all on its own. If you've raised it properly, it hopefully makes a good impression. Hopefully it makes friends.

But the foreign editions of the book are... different. It's still my baby, but it's not *really* my baby. It's like someone has cloned my baby and dressed it up in lederhosen and made it smoke a pipe for marketing reasons.

Yeah. The analogy really starts to fall apart after a while, I guess.

What was my point? No point. I don't always have to have a point, you know....

Wait! I guess I do have a point. It's that sometimes they make your baby smoke a pipe and you have to shrug it off. You don't know what sells books in Bangladesh, or Berlin, or Brigadoon. For the most part, you have to trust that the publisher knows what they're doing. For all you know, those Doonies are loonies for pipes...

But it's nice when you see the marketing and it appeals to your aesthetic. Like the trailer I posted before. Or this picture that I stumbled onto when I was googling up an image of the cover for this blog.

(Click to Embiggen)

I'm guessing this is a promotional poster. If it is, I wish I had a copy. I like the tagline across the top. "Kvothe: Magician, Musician, Thief, Assassin and... Hero."

Hell, if I'd have been able to come up with promo copy like that on my own, it wouldn't have taken me five years to sell the thing.

Later, you hoopy froods....


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posted by Pat at


Blogger Tristan said...

Why isn't your name in Portugese?

Do you not have a Portugese name?

October 6, 2009 11:10 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Oh shit. I need to get my marketing people on that.

October 6, 2009 11:25 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Did we see a cover for the Spanish version? I'm being too lazy to check the archives... Also, nice job on the parenting, Pat!
@Tristan- I think everyone should have a Portuguese name.

October 6, 2009 11:25 PM  
Blogger GregM said...

There's a book image that really knows where its towel is.

By the way, I finished "The Name of the Wind" for the first time last night. I LOVED IT.

(Also, Patrick, I have to ask, while I'm on the subject… given that you've obviously read HHGTTG, is the whole thing about the usefulness of cloaks a nod to Douglas Adams' masterpiece?)

October 6, 2009 11:35 PM  
Anonymous James Thelman said...

I never really had a way to describe myself, but hoopy frood hits the nail on the head. I feel... complete. ;)

Will there be any HoopyFroodCons?

October 7, 2009 12:02 AM  
Blogger Bruno Bonito said...

Tristan: portugese name?? whattafuck is that?
do you have one? lol.

October 7, 2009 1:03 AM  
Anonymous Catarina said...

I really don´t Know where people get this ideas. But at least in Europe, nobody´s name is changed.
Only the name of the book, off course.

October 7, 2009 1:10 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I love the cover! Awesome!

October 7, 2009 1:28 AM  
Blogger Chiara said...

Hey Pat, I really think you deserve to have a copy of the promo thing. It's awesome and you're the author, after all, aren't you?? Yeah, definitely: they should ship one to you as a gift. I'd do that :)

October 7, 2009 1:55 AM  
Blogger ReticentPurple said...

That promo poster is pretty damn cool. Also, my geek senses are tingling for multiple reasons right now.
1. NotW coolness
2. The fact that I could actually pretty much figure out what that cover says without being told even though I've only studied Spanish, not Portuguese. (Linguistics major geekiness right there.)
3. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference? Always a good choice.

October 7, 2009 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Aldara said...

Hehe, the Lederhosen comment made me laugh. I can assure you that the German edition doesn't wear Lederhosen (although it's pink). I like the cover of the US one I bought better, though. As to what sells books in Berlin? I can't tell you, because I usually buy the ones not by German authors in English. Why? Because the translations usually suck - in my opinion.

Anyway, may I tell you that "The Name of the Wind" is probably the best and most fascinating book I've read in years, even surpassing LotR (oh oh, I'm in trouble now for having said that...)?

I loved it so much, I wrote a blog about what makes a fantasy novel great: http://tinyurl.com/bookthoughts

Actually I don't really have an answer. I'll think about it while I'm waiting for Day 2's paperback edition to show up on amazon.de though. :)

October 7, 2009 4:43 AM  
Blogger jdcb said...

yeah, that promo poster rocks, and I do really like the cover. Looks like the actually dressed a guy up, stood him in the woods, dropped a camera in the grass and took the shot. Looks perfect...

October 7, 2009 4:46 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Hey you, sass that hoopy Pat Rothfuss? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is!

Are folk aware of this:

And Another Thing...

Yes, Eoin Colfer is penning the next Arthur Dent adventure, in lieu of the late, great Douglas Adams. It's out soon, too.

October 7, 2009 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, at least Holly Lisle seems to disagree on the book-baby analogy: http://hollylisle.com/fm/Articles/feature5.html

October 7, 2009 7:10 AM  
Blogger logankstewart said...

I really like this cover, Pat. I can't decide if I like it better than the Italian cover, but I like this one a lot.

October 7, 2009 7:54 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Greg: I do like Hitchhiker's, but no, not really.

October 7, 2009 8:47 AM  
Blogger Maria Stahl said...

I think as time goes on you will find more and more ways that analogy is apt. Such as, when your book gets to be a teenager and insists on smoking a pipe even though you tell it over and over again not to. And when it gets stubborn and crabby and just wants to play XBox all day long. And you despair of it EVER being useful and though you never thought you'd see this day come, you actually wish it would go live on its own for awhile and see what the Real World is like so it will appreciate being back at home.


WV: Jecin. That can be your Portuguese name.

October 7, 2009 9:17 AM  
Blogger The Ecocentric Librarian said...

Hey Pat,
Did your book ever remove its shit laden diaper, and then proceed to paint its room with said shit? Oh wait, you did say the analogy broke down after a while. Never mind.

Just be forewarned: the flesh and blood babies do such evil things from time to time.

October 7, 2009 12:40 PM  
Blogger Fae said...

I think the major difference is that, given time, your Oot will love you back.

October 7, 2009 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Bruno said...

Hi. I´m from portugal and i can assure you we let you keep your original neme here... We don´t change the author name for our books. I liked your book a lot, although i read it on english, can´t really say how´s the translation... Keep up the good work.

October 7, 2009 5:26 PM  
Anonymous wbpraw said...

Umm, is it against the rules to ask really really nicely about Wise Man's Fear? Maybe just a quick blog with a teeny tiny update? Maybe we could track it, like UPS: Author 2:17, Editor Oct. 7, 5:19, Scheduled for pickup: ?. I'm sure you could come up with a much more clever analogy, but I just wanted to very quietly and respectfully with my tail between my legs ask if maybe please you wouldn't mind just an itty bitty update. If I'm out of line, just hit delete and you'll never hear from me again...

October 7, 2009 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hehehehe....just don't treat wise man's fear like a middle child: babied then forgotten.

October 7, 2009 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

If that promo poster was a book cover, I would have to buy said book even if it was in French. If it were in Japanese, I'd probably have to buy two copies.

October 7, 2009 10:27 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

very, very cool tagline. And also, just as i am a massive (well actually i'm quite small but you see my point) fan of 'the name of the wind' i am massively curious as to what the name of the child is... Do we get to find out? (I am a girl. I therefore have a genetic predisposition to crave such facts... and more cute photos)

October 8, 2009 12:15 AM  
Blogger B. L. Garver said...

Excellent analogy, Pat. Also, and I've commented about this before, why aren't there more hard-core promotional efforts in the US? Like the awesome posters and the full-blown studio-produced trailers? I would wallpaper my house in promo posters of books, especially if I could find some Name of the Wind posters. But they'd have to be honest and genuine. Not that Hollywood sellout crap pandering to teenage girls - Pirates of the Caribbean, I'm looking in your direction.

You should have your people look into that. ;)


October 8, 2009 7:23 AM  
Blogger grizin said...

Nice discussion on the all-important topic of names :):) BTW, what do you think about João? Seems to fit Pat :D

October 8, 2009 10:09 AM  
Blogger Rita said...

Hi Mr Patrick Rothfuss!

My name is Rita and I'm from Portugal! I'm now with you're book in my hands, and I'm still in the begining of the first chapter, but I'm really courious about you're book, seems like the kind of book that I will read withouth stop. Hope you have lot of sucsess and I will send you a coment when I finish it. In you're biography says that you really love show you're charaters to people, and I understand that, because I really love to write too, I already have 6 book not published some of fanfiction and also some of them with my own charaters so I really understand what you feel. Well its all for now! have a great day! love from Portugal!

Rita from Lisbon

October 8, 2009 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Desert Rat said...

Wbpraw, no you aren't supposed to pry about Book #2. Just like you aren't supposed to butt into someone's pregnancy mid-incubation. Unless you are the midwife or grandma or something. When it goes into labor, we'll all be notified so we can contact Amazon.

I recommend doing something useful, like re-reading Name of The Wind, so that you can be refreshed on all the various plot lines and characters and such. The baby will make its appearance when it's darn good and ready.

October 8, 2009 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Fae: True. But even though the books may not love Pat back, the fans do ;)

October 8, 2009 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been reading Hitchhikers?

October 8, 2009 7:02 PM  
Anonymous wbpraw said...

Desert Rat:
Ok, sorry...

October 8, 2009 7:46 PM  
Blogger Vinny K said...

The Portugese cover is magnificant! As is the promotional poster.
Your analogy about a writing a book being like having a baby seems pretty spot on. I am currently trying to write a trilogy, so I understand the painstaking effort that must be put into it. Well, good luck with parenthood. May fortune smile upon you.


October 8, 2009 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Vasko said...

Seems strang you only reply to certain people whom post on your blog. Oh well.

You describe fatherhood perfectly... my wife gets mad at me for reading and stuff and not "playing with the baby". The kid is 2 months old what does she expect me to do with it? Have races to see who can fill a diaper the fastest? Play who falls asleep first?

October 9, 2009 2:56 AM  
Blogger Anna Sethe said...

I doubt that lederhosen would sell very well in Berlin ;)

Especially since your book is one of those few books you simply can't read in German because it looses a lot of its magic in the translation.

(okay, you should be able to read English, but show me one German fantasy nerd over thirteen who isn't)

October 9, 2009 11:20 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

This is kind of amazing. I love it.

October 9, 2009 11:54 AM  
Blogger Pedro said...

Hi, Patrick!! I'm the portuguese guy that managed to do the cover and all the inside pages of the promo booklet. Though it's not a poster. Just want to say I appreciate all the compliments to my work. If it wasn't for the great imaginary in the book I wouldn't got it that way. I do covers too so, I worked on the promo in the way I would do a normal cover. Concept is Important...

October 9, 2009 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Desert Rat said...

Wbpraw, you are admirably tractable.

October 10, 2009 12:51 AM  
Anonymous wbpraw said...

Desert Rat:
Lol- only here where I don't want to offend my new favorite author. I almost pointed out to you that we did in fact get regualar updates throughout the pregnancy (the size of Oot, etc.), but alas, I will remain tractable and go read Name of the Wind for the fourth time. And I will do it willingly and without malice.

October 10, 2009 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a frood who knows where his towel is!

October 10, 2009 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Desert Rat said...

Wbpraw: Four times! You are a True Fan. I am only a One-and-a-halfer. Or would that be Two? I defer to your authenticity and will get back to reading now.

October 11, 2009 12:53 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Awesome Pat. haha, love this post. and yeah, the poster is really cool. It'd be nice if they did that in the US. I mean, they can do it for Harry Potter... why not you??

October 11, 2009 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The poster is great. I only had to grin about the lute they used for the picture. It's a theorbo, which means that the neck is almost 2 meters long. Lovely walk to Imre that would have been... I'm a lutenist myself and one of the things I really adore about your book is the practical new "trouper's lute" you gave Kvothe. easy to carry, six strings instead of the dreadful fourteen we have to cope with on the baroque instruments. I think about Kvothe now whenever my instruments give me trouble.
(But I still won't by a guitar...)

October 12, 2009 12:34 PM  
Anonymous ambre said...

can someone tell me if there is even a book two in exsistence?? please, im almost not to litterally dying over here

October 13, 2009 1:12 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

I'm feeling really proud right now!(I'm portuguese) The book is great, I devoured it. And to the anonymous: musicians will allways be musicians, especially the early music ones:)

October 14, 2009 5:38 AM  
Blogger mrxrsd said...

This post has been removed by the author.

October 23, 2009 2:06 PM  
Blogger mrxrsd said...

hi pat,

did u see brazilian cover? it was the best! tks for this awesome fucking book!!!


October 23, 2009 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

- brilliant-

November 1, 2009 9:57 AM  

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