Starter Villain Still a New York Times Bestseller

For the second month in a row, Starter Villain is on the New York Times Audio Fiction Best Seller list. Last month it arrived at number eleven, which was pretty cool when you note that it had only eleven days to rack up sales to make it onto a monthly chart; this month it’s at number twelve, which is a solid hold from the month before.

I have been a New York Times bestseller before, of course, but this is the first time a book of mine has appeared on the list over more than a single appearance. I tend to benefit from pre-orders and reader enthusiasm at the outset, plus touring the book to get people excited to get the book early (it’s not just me, mind you; many if not most authors who pop onto the NYT list get a “one and done” appearance, for the same reason). But Starter Villain has some legs on it, and not just in audio; the hardcover version stayed on the USA Today bestseller list (which lists all currently selling print books, regardless of format and genre) for three weeks, which is also a record for me. Starter Villain feels like a “level up” for me, basically, which is a nice thing to have at this point in my career.

Additional credit where additional credit is due: To Wil Wheaton, who narrates the audiobook and has been vocal in his enthusiasm for the book; to Tristan Elwell, who did the art for cover, which is drawing people in even if they have no idea who I am as a writer; and to the Audible publicity folks, who did a really tremendous job putting out the word on the book (Tor’s PR folks, too, of course; those three USA Today chart placements did not happen out of thin air. They’ve been consistently great). Starter Villain has a lot of hands on it, and all those hands helped it succeed.

While we’re on the subject of marketing, look which book showed up on the Today Show yesterday morning, as Jeff Kinney, author of the massively-popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, was on the show to promote his own latest book and share thoughts on his favorite recent reads:

Yeah, this was a lovely shoutout, and I’m delighted and grateful. Here’s the list of all the books he recommended, and the full video. I’m in good company here.

So, in short, a really nice November so far. Let’s hope it continues.

— JS

14 Comments on “Starter Villain Still a New York Times Bestseller”

  1. I loved this book! Funny and smart, and especially the typing cats (and how you make a point to assure us that every last cat makes it through the book alive).

    At least three people have read the book (or listened, in the case of my spouse) on my recommendation, and I will keep on recommending it!

  2. I enjoyed the heck out of Starter Villain, bought two more copies (both of which you signed and personalized – thank you!) for holiday gifts, and have recommended it to many folks who enjoy cats, snarky humor, and billionaires getting their well-deserved comeuppance. It’s not “traditional” SF (whatever the heck that is), but it’s a damned good read, and it pulls in folks who never thought they’d like anything by a science fiction author.

    Thank you for writing Starter Villain – it has been a rare and much appreciated bright spot in a fairly difficult year for me, and I am grateful to you for it.

  3. Congratulations! Two months — awesome! It’s definitely a very amusing read and well worth the accolade from Jeff Kinney!

  4. Thanks for the info. I now know what I’m getting for my grandchildren for Christmas (except the one year old; he loves books, but these are still over his head)

  5. John, Have you considered that maybe its selling so well because there is a cat on the cover?! Just a thought

    (Just kidding, of course. I preordered the book, loved it and finished it in a couple days. Definitely worthy of these accolades.)

  6. I’ve been spending the last couple of hours listening to it while knitting. I love the book and Wheaton’s narration. Congratulations!

  7. I am enjoying Starter Villain a lot. It reads too fast! ;>)

    Very well written with humor that makes me glad I wasn’t drinking something at the time I read it.

    I need a furry villain in my life.

  8. Great premise, expertly executed.

    I’m glad to see that you are writing standalone novels and didn’t end up writing a 12 book series. I’m sure that was a concious choice and not an accident.

  9. I got Starter Villain from my library! Great read and the unionized dolphins gave me a great laugh. I have to say that I (an elder Millennial) felt like you had a good feel for Millennial thought/values and Charlie’s struggles struck a chord. Hip hooray for cats… they are more loyal than you’d think.

  10. When I was at World Fantasy last weekend, I spent some time in the dealer’s room. There was a nice stack of your books on one of the tables and I heard more than one person commenting on the cover. Tristan did a GREAT job, so I’m so glad you gave them a shout-out.

%d bloggers like this: