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I'm Number One...

tiger
... and also number four, number six, and number eight.

http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2011-07-10/mass-market-paperback/list.html



When GAME OF THRONES was first published in 1996, it failed to make any bestseller lists (well, maybe it made the LOCUS list, don't recall), and certainly never got within shouting distance of the Top Ten in the TIMES. While I still recall the highlights (Joe Beth in Lexington, Kentucky and Kepler's in Menlo Park, California) of that first signing tour, I recall the lowlights even better -- the St. Louis signing where the only four people in the cafe/ bookstore actually LEFT when I got up to speak, and the Dallas signing where I drew a dozen people while Clifford the Big Red Dog drew hundreds. And here we are, fifteen years later, with GAME at number one on the list. Where's that dog now, I want a rematch!

Thanks to David and Dan and HBO, they had a lot to do with this.

And thanks to you, my readers, as well. No promotion, no advertising, no marketing campaign can ever hope to match word of mouth. Without the loyalty and enthusiasm of my fans, none of this would ever have happened.

I hope you all have a great Fourth. It's certainly going to be a good one for me.

Comments

( 144 comments )
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aniloratka
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
No promotion, no advertising, no marketing campaign can ever hope to match word of mouth.
oh I agree so much. Thanks to my awesome friends I was able to read your books.

Congratulations!
brynne
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
I have to agree with this. It was a friend who first loaned me a copy of A Game of Thrones and goaded me into reading it.

A week later I bought my own copy, as well as the rest of the set, eager to find out what would happen next.

Thanks a million, Mr. Martin, for hours of entertainment, and huge congrats on your success. It's very well-deserved.
(no subject) - chaeri - Jul. 5th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
sanoiscari
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Congrats G =D
jkandlc
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
You weren't talking about football were you? That would make me get up and leave too.
akknodd
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank You!
sylphic61
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
Well deserved! I really can't thank HBO enough for turning me on to the amazing world you've created (and you, of course, for putting so many years of work into it!). Congratulations and huzzah, good ser!
gislebertus
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
Congratulations. You're absolutely correct about the best sort of advertising. It was word of mouth that brought me to you; someone I trusted convinced me to set aside my aversion to fantasy and give you a chance. One of the best decisions I've ever made.

You deserve every bit of the broader success that is just now finding you. This winter you should find some remote beach somewhere and bask in the glow of it all.
bruisedgarden
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
Have a wonderful holiday, George. Thanks to you, too - I just regret people telling me to read the series 10 years ago and I brushed it off then (was big on Wheel of Time, have since given up on it), until I picked it up about three years ago now. Am kind of glad I waited, though, as I had 4 books at the ready, and was older and mature enough to understand everything.

I'd attend signings if you did any in central Canada, Robert Jordan got a packed house (and out the door and further...) here about 13 years ago, you'd have had the same, I expect! (13 years? Wow... maybe it was 15. I dunno. I feel old.)
Goran Gluščić
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
Mr. Martin, you are the one that is laughing in the end!

Congratulations! I hope to see your next victory ASAP!
sevgiinsani
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
You are being humble! Thank you for your amazing imagination and hard work.
morwen_peredhil
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
I remember finding AGoT at my local B&N back in '96, buying and reading it, then plopping it down in front of my husband with a wild-eyed "You must read this!" Good times.

So congratulations!
urnesha
Jul. 4th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
Love your icon. :D
brickhousewench
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
I left my hometown of Lexington, KY back in 1988 and I'm pretty sure Joseph Beth's opened after I left. But I still know it's a great bookstore because my folks would almost always made a stop there when I went home to visit. I'm not at all surprised that your visit there was memorable, they're one of the best bookstores I've ever visited.

Edited at 2011-07-04 05:33 pm (UTC)
anne3624
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
I knew GAME OF THRONES would be big! I can't wait for July 12 for the new release and watch it become #1, congrats!
acharmedlife
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! This is certainly a great day for celebration!
laeryken
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)

Well earned, sir :)

mjferro
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
You deserve nothing less! Have a great Independence Day, and thanks for everything!
hippoiathanatoi
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, George! Also #1 on the Publishers Weekly list.

I do wonder if that's a record for the longest span of time between publication and hitting #1 on the NYT Best Seller list. My understanding is that LotR fails by a technicality -- the New York Times opted not to include the books when the movies were airing, despite their selling like hotcakes.

I'm expecting some popular film (or show) adapted from a novel is the likeliest place to look for a book ending up at #1 years after the back, but Googling around has not found anything. I do know that the Hobbit ended up on the list for the first time 40 years after its publication, but that was only at #12, not #1.
aidosaur
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Fantastic, congratulations!! Admittedly, I've only very recently read the series but have been singing its praises all over the internet ever since. :D
abydosww
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
I manage a book shop in Dublin and can't keep the books on the shelves, I'm loving having to up orders all the time.

Congratulations!
(Deleted comment)
attilathepbnun
Jul. 4th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
I just have to say, I love your icon; puppyGhost is so cute!!! Tough he'd probably be mortified to hear me say it
CeeeVeeeDeee
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
Nice to know that-
I helped!! Thanks to a friend that told me to watch the HBO series and told me to hang in there after the 1st two I went out and bought the first book. I think that was about 5 weeks ago. I am enraptured and now half way through book 4! So yes- word of mouth definitely sold me! Late to the party- but oh so glad I did not have to endure the agony of waiting for a new release. :)

Magnificent world building, captivating characters and page turning action.

I haven't read a GRRM since Fevre Dream (when it first came out) and I loved that book so I can't believe I didn't keep up with what was new by GRRM.
salah
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
One of my friends is a struggling fantasy writer like yourself, starting his creative writing MFA at Virginia Tech this year. :) He went to one of your book signings and you wrote an encouraging message for him. Thanks for supporting other writers like yourself!
triniroslin15
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
Congrats!

Game of thrones is almost sold-out in Spain, BTW. People will have to wait until new re-editions to get it.
lydzi
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
Well deserved :).
joeromel
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you, George! You have earned that loyalty by giving us an amazing new world, and brilliant characters to explore it through. Before you came along, I never quite understood why everyone made such a fuss about Lord of the Rings. I read it, but it just never reached me like it had so many.

But then I read Game of Thrones, and now I get it. Westeros is my Middle Earth, and I finally understand. And for that, you'll always have my loyalty. If it takes you 5 more to write your next one, or ten more, or if you drop it and do something new, I'll always have your back.

Unless the Giants are playing the Bills. Then, you can go find a lake and promptly jump in it. ;D
Ryder K Hawkins
Jul. 4th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
Congrats, George! Unbelievable this series didn't go off with a bang right away. I've been doing some diligently loyal legwork on your behalf these past few years, buttonholing as many friends as possible, telling them, YOU GOTTA READ THIS. So far, I've managed to create quite the circle of converts. Rereading the books right now (close to finishing Clash) and eagerly anticipating the release of the fifth. Keep up the good work!
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