Have. Some.

February 8th, 2011

So, I’m extremely pleased – if not to say insufferably smug – to announce that The Heroes made the Sunday Times bestseller list last week for hardcover fiction, in 3rd place with some 4,100 copies sold, well above Clive Cussler and just behind Scandinavian wunderkind Jo Nesbo and the ubiquitous James Patterson.  This is indeed serious commercial company.  My editor tells me I am the first UK genre fantasy author to make the list since the passing of the much-loved David Gemmell (although that obviously means ignoring certain heavily fantastical authors such as JK Rowling, Philip Pullman and Terry Pratchett for various complex and largely spurious reasons).

Now, I must admit, there are some mitigating factors here.  Late January is far from boom time in the publishing business, so you need less sales to get high up the list than you might at other times of year.  In the weeks before Christmas I wouldn’t have got a sniff of tenth place with those sales.  Also, the first week includes presales, so this is partly the result of careful strategy, advertising, and advance discounting, as well of course of a loyal readership keen to get their hands on my latest.  But provisional figures for this week have come through now, and they put The Heroes in fifth.  That’s not presales, that’s honest to goodness folks in bookshops buying it.  And in any case, third is third.  I’m a Sunday Times bestseller, and even if my next book is remaindered by the cartload and I end up on skid row, you can never take that away from me!

In any case, it’s a testament to the skills of the folks at my publisher, who have all come together across editorial, publicity, marketing and sales to give the book the best possible chance.  And of course a testament to the impeccable taste of you lot, the book buying public.  Congratulations also to fellow Gollancz author Ben Aaronovitch, who’s got in on the list at number 8.  Quite the performance for a fantasy imprint, huh?

The main body of the tour is now over, and it was a great experience.  Not one truly duff event out of the thirteen or so, and believe me, I’ve done some duff events before.  The highlight of the daytime signings was probably Waterstones Guildford, with some 50 or 60 people.  The best of the evening events the Manchester Deansgate one, where they had upwards of 70.  My thanks to all the bookshop staff who promoted and helped out at all the events, though.  You can see some photos over on the Gollancz facebook page.  Still the Scottish leg to come, with Edinburgh and Glasgow on Thursday.  I hope perhaps to see some of you there.

Posted in announcements, appearances, news by Joe Abercrombie on February 8th, 2011.

28 comments so far

  • Inger Marie says:

    All that sounds great. It makes me think it sucks to live in norway. Norway is far away from everything and no one ever comes here. Not to mention the cold. Sorry, I’m just complaining (makes me feel a little better). Congrats anyway 🙂

  • Matt says:

    Congrats. Now write me another book, monkey!!!

  • Troy says:

    Congratulations Joe from one of your American fans. I woke up early Monday morning and eagerly purchased my digital copy. This is the first time in years, yes literally years, that I have paid hardcover price for a novel.

    It’s interesting that you mention David Gemmell as he is the author I always tell people you are most similar to. In fact, I think of you as a cross between Gemmell and George Martin.

    Anyway, I’ll try to savor this one as long as I can as I know it will be a long wait until the next one!

  • JonathanL says:

    I hope you come to the States to do some signing at some point someday, though I suppose you’d have to sign my Kindle since those paper things won’t be crossing the threshold to my home anymore.

    Congratulations on getting third. I’m about halfway through BSC and will probably just jump on the standard Kindle edition of The Heroes to finish a whirlwind 6 or so weeks in your magical world.

  • Sonny says:

    Congratulations, Joe.

    I’m absolutely bogged down with reading 1000s of pages a week for uni, so another novel on the go is not a good idea. I’ve already bought my copy but it’s sitting sadly on my shelf, staring at me and inducing suicidal feeling of guilt within me. Is the short story unrelated to the main plot? Could I just read that as a little treat and taster of what Joe’s got in store for me? I don’t want the real deal ruined for me, obviously. Thanks. And again, great stuff, Joe!

  • NicK says:

    I liked it so much I bought two! How’s that for a cover blurb? (albeit that one of the copies was a preorder I’d forgotten about, it still counts)

    No, but seriously, this book was enormously good bloody fun. You keep getting better. Can’t wait for the next one.

  • Giacomo says:

    Congratulations, Joe! I’ve got my copy of the book only yesterday but I preordered it a month ago so I suppose I contributed to your placement!

  • Davieboy says:

    Well deserved Joe. Absolutely loving the book, reading slow-like to savour the experience.

    “If there’s two things we’ve got too much of in the North it’s hills and rocks. Didn’t reckon a hill with rocks on it would be a big draw”.

    Wrong – a big draw is exactly what it is! Congrats and thanks for the entertainment.

  • SGT. Austin Holland says:

    Congrats! I sure did order the book, had it sent all the way to the West Coast over here in the USA. Can’t wait to dig in! Thanks again for writing!

  • Chris Upton says:

    Congrats! well deserved as its easily your best book so far.

  • ColinJ says:


    And does James Patterson even write those books? I heard he just faxed a couple of pages of a treatment out to a fleet of hacks he has on the payroll and they write them for him.


  • Peter says:

    Man I’m so jealous…can’t even get an agent to read my work. Should’ve been #1 or 2 in my opinion. James Patterson is a hack.

  • Susanne says:

    Congrats, Joe! I saw this (Mr Lloyd mentioned it, I think) and it really made me happy that there’s so many of us loving your work. 🙂

    I finished it on Saturday. Bloody brilliant. Thank you.

  • Murph says:

    You forgot to thank yourself for writing such a good book.

    well done 🙂

  • Rosemary Punter says:

    Congratulations Joe, on making the ‘top seller list’! I think that gives you every right to be smug 🙂

    Even I have my copy! No one year wait after the book has been published, like with a lot of UK and US writers!

    Can’t stop any longer, I have a book to read 🙂

    Rosie, The Wicked Sword Maiden

  • Ady Hall says:

    Get in there!

    The Sunday Times can now review their blurb on the back cover of future books. No 11 indeed. Probably the best yada yada indeed.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the book, Joe. Ingenious, entertaining and so well crafted. Hoping for lot’s of ‘same same – but different’ with your future ideas. You have certainly set up some Titans of gruesome violence that are due a few run-ins and random showdowns!

    And did I read that you had a hankering for a Western? Going to give Deadwood a run for it’s money??

    Anyhoo. Congrats 🙂

  • JDP says:

    Well done, Joe. Great achievement!

  • Michael Gibbons says:

    Congratulations on #3 on the list!! I am currently a third of the way into the book and really enjoying it. Ordered a signed UK version as well, which is happily on its may to me as I write this.

    Question: The book I purchased was obtained at the Forbidden Planet signing. In order to get the bonus short story do I need to obtain a copy that was offered at one of the other signings?

  • James says:

    Congratulations Joe. It says it all that I picked up “The Heroes” yesterday in Asda. With a sticker on it that said, “if you like Bernard Cornwell, you’ll love The Heroes”

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a fantasy novel in Asda.

  • Brett From Southampton! says:

    Books fantastic Joe, but heck you told me it was! Not given my mum her ‘birthday copy’ you signed yet. The big day is saturday shes going to be well pleased. She was gutted she couldnt come to the signing. Hope the rest of the tour is as much fun as you’ve appeared to be having so far.

    Best wishes

  • Masrock says:

    I bought two copies, one hard back which was late arriving and the thought of being in Germany for a few days with no book was too awful, so I got the Ebook from Waterstones. I’m still reading the ebook, -hardback safely in my book case. My initial comment to compare ebook with hardback is that the map resolution is crap for the ebook. Even zooming the picture with my Sony PRS650 ereader leaves the place name all blurry. The Sony E-ink resolution is great so I blame the ebook.
    But the story is good :o)

  • Ollie 'The Not-So-Bloody Nine' Sargeant says:


    PS Check your e-mail!

  • The Manchester signing was good fun as always. Thanks again!

  • Bryce says:

    The Glasgow reading was well worth the effort, cheers Joe.


    I thought you would be taller..

  • Chris Eirkson says:

    Great to see! You certainly deserve this sort of recognition (and you’re leagues better than Cussler, trust me).

  • simon says:

    whens the next one out?!

  • Shane S. says:

    Man finished The Heroes today and lemme tell ya Joe, you’re the BEST fantasy writer out there. Something about the characters you write about just keep me thinking about them weeks after I’ve finished your books. I love this world and it’s characters so much that I cant even begin thinking of you writing about any other place. It’s high time I start a fan site dedicated to your work, I just cant get enough of it!

  • Brett says:

    Joe the book was brilliant, I enjoyed it immensely. Congratulations on making the SundayTimes Bestsellers =)
    My Copy is stowed away in a safe place with all your others, and my Mum realy appriciated the signed copy i got for her 50th. Thanks alot was realy great meeting you!

Add Your Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *