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I'm Number One...

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


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.


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Jul. 4th, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings have both recently been in the top 20 books listed in the local newspaper (south of England) and I noticed that they were also on the Waterstones bookstore's top 50 on their website as well.
Jul. 4th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, and happy Fourth to you, as well!
Jul. 4th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)

Having recently read all four, well deserved! Cannot wait until Dance With Dragons!
Jul. 4th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
I can remember in 1999 shopping at the Jack London Square Barnes and Noble in Oakland. "Clash of Kings" had just come out in hardcover. What made me buy the book was a little one sheet about why there was a delay of three years or so between books. From what I recall of the one sheet, the second book almost didn't get written. I made my purchase right there. Always wanting to start a series from the beginning, I ordered the hardcover of "Game of Thrones" from the store. Who would've known that I would be getting a first edition of this book three years after its publishing at cover price. I say this to corroborate your musings about not being a bestseller above. Now those books, along with the other two in the series, are some of the most well read pieces in my library. Congratulations and thank you for creating a realm based on characters who seem to follow their own self-interests, helping readers like me understand that even their most hated characters have logical reasons for their actions.
Jul. 4th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
Congrats, George!

(P.S. your books/your godliness will always be Number One in my heart if SanSan gets some good, hard reality. Sansa needs some grounding in reality and Sandor needs love. THEY NEED EACH OTHER. That is all )

<3 Isobel
Jul. 4th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
A very deserving distinction! I've been a fan of yours since I picked up the mass-market "Fevre Dream" all those years ago. I hope you make piles of money, and piles more of new fans. Well done, Ser.
Jul. 4th, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)
Now, now ... Clifford's a very nice dog, I'm sure he and Emily Elizabeth will be glad to share the spotlight with you!*grins*
Jul. 4th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
Congrats on crowding the list!!

I expect that DWD will shoot to #1 like nobodies business :)
Jul. 5th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
Congratulations, you deserved it!
Jul. 5th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
Congratulations! I used to work at a bookstore and actually have an advanced reading copy of Game of Thrones but it took nudging from a friend to actually get me to read it. I'm so glad I did. Can't wait till you come to Indy in a few weeks.
Jul. 5th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
Not being a fantasy reader, the supernatural prologue put me off... I shelved it for a couple of years til I was at a loose end, book-wise. Then the viewpoints sucked me in and I was telling everyone about A Game of Thrones.

The sparing use of the supernatural gave me a gentle helping hand into the genre. I think the balance of power in stories is such a delicate thing. I would sooner read about Tyrion and his complexities than of dragons bathing armies in fire.

I appreciate it is ultimately a song of Ice and Fire and many would disagree with me... but I love the game of thrones. I would play it til and unsullied or the others came a-knocking... and then I would pretend I wasn't home.

To what extent do you attribute the success of the books to the sparing use of traditional magical elements? I feel - despite the slow start you mention - it allowed you a larger potential fan base. It kept the power of the story firmly in the hands of the biggest potential monsters out there - people!
Rufina Yagudina
Jul. 5th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
Thank you!
My daughter turned me onto the series on HBO and then of course I had to read books to see how close the series were to the original (remarkably close) and if there was something else that I could learn. It has been a non stop adventure. The style of writing is amazing, something that I could describe only as old English with a modern tri-state area twist. I have been searching for years for a good fantasy read, I have read a lot of fantasy fiction back in high school in the former USSR, but in the US, it was difficult to find something truly magnificent. I could not get into LOTR or the Harry Potter, most of the fantasy fiction followed one character who always came out on the top and that was the only way to keep any series going. You have done something so magnificent, not being afraid to kill off major characters to give depth to suffering of those who loved them, and still the story moves forward and reader becomes more entrapped and captivated to find out how would the life go on without those loved ones. Amazing! I can not wait for a book signing in NY on the 14th (am I right?), I want my own dedication and I already know what it will say.
Hope you had a great holiday!
Jul. 5th, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
This is my favorite book (series) ever you deserve it!
Jul. 5th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
Very well deserved George! I have really enjoyed all of your books. Just pre-ordered DANCE and I will be very happy to see that book make the TIMES bestseller list as well.
Jul. 5th, 2011 02:07 am (UTC)
After years and years of trying to get my friends to read the books (often succeeding, often not), I'm happy to see that the series is finally getting the attention it deserves! I hope everyone who watches the show picks up the books too, but even if they don't I'm still glad that so many more people have been able to enjoy the story.
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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