Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tie Ins top UK Bestseller List

From the Telegraph:

Philip Pullman is the bestselling children's author so far this year. According to the latest figures from Nielsen BookScan, sales of his works generated £2.3 million. He is closely followed by Jacqueline Wilson (£2.2 million) and Francesca Simon (£2 million).

However, the bestselling children's hardback fiction was the BBC TV tie-in In The Night Garden: Little Library, which sold 154,198 copies.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tie-in Up the NY Times Bestseller Liss

In his Los Angeles Times essay on Sunday, IAMTW member Tod Goldberg touched on the enormous popularity of tie-in novels. IAMTW member Sean Williams reports that his STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED has hit #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. We suspect his tie-in won't be the only one on that list on 9/7. This week, Eric Van Lustbader's tie-in ROBERT LUDLUM'S THE BOURNE SANCTION is #2 and IAMTW member Karen Traviss' STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS is #19.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It Burns When I Pee...Metaphorically Speaking

(Cross posted from Tod Goldberg's blog)

In my ever expanding desire to promote literacy through narcissism, I've written an essay in this Sunday's LA Times about the writing of The Fix. Here's a snippet:

You could spend your entire life sitting in Starbucks next to people hunched over laptops, and you'd never hear a single one of them divulge that their dream is to write a television or movie tie-in; you know, those novelizations that magically appear in the airport bookstore rack with the screen stars on their covers.

Me? I've published two novels and a collection of stories that have afforded the kind of notoriety one rarely reads about: I've lost all the awards I've ever been nominated for, my most ardent fans number in the tens of hundreds, and I'd need the Jaws of Life to pull me onto the bestseller list. In short, a career in the literary fiction trenches, where acclaim is something you hang your hat on, since you haven't made enough money to buy a hat rack.

You can read the rest here or in tomorrow's print edition.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Two Goldberg Brothers You Meet in Heaven

(Cross posted from Tod Goldberg's blog)

As I think everyone knows, I'm a huge, huge Mitch Albom fan, so imagine how happy I was to learn that his next book, after The Four Chinese Gymnasts You Meet In Pre-School, would be called The Two Goldberg Brothers You Meet In Heaven! And keep an eye out for the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie based on the book, starring Lou Diamond Phillips as me and Levar Burton as Lee, with special guest appearances by Rosie O'Donnell as our sister Linda and Illeana Douglas as our sister Karen...

In celebration of this exciting honor, my brother Lee and I have decided to go out on the road to meet the people who will be so inspired by us next year at this time. This weekend we'll be making two appearances and, just for kicks, thought it might be fun to sign some of our own books, too. I'll be signing The Fix and Lee will be signing his 145,032nd Monk novel.

Here are the details:

First, this Saturday at 1pm, we'll be at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks. If you happen to be one of the many people who've threatened to kill us over the years, this would be a good one to attend as our sisters will be there, too, and you can take out the whole family.

Then, three hours later, at 4pm, we'll be at the Mystery Bookstore in Westwood. My understanding is that for this event they are anticipating over 150,000 people, but my numbers could be slightly off.

If that still doesn't satisfy you, I anticpate stopping off at the Starbucks on the 210 in Rancho Cucamonga at about 7pm and would be happy to sign anything you might have then, too. Alternately, I might roll by the Baja Fresh across from Ontario Mills at about the same time, so watch this space for continuous updates.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More STAR TREK translations

(From Dayton Ward's blog)
Thanks to a heads-up from defcons_treklit, I can verify that CrossCult, the publisher responsible for German translations of the first three Star Trek: Vanguard, plans to publish a translation of Open Secrets, and release their edition (titled Offene Geheimnisse) in May 2009 simultaneously -- or, pretty close, anyway -- with the regular English-language version. You can see their page for the entire Vanguard series here.

According to the site, they also plan to translate the existing line of Star Trek: Titan, beginning in November 2008.

Woo to the mutha-effin' Hoo.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Latest News from Karen Traviss

(Cross-posted from Karen Traviss' website) Talking of endearing rogues in saucy armour, ORDER 66, book four in the Republic Commando series, is out on September 15. After that, the books continue as IMPERIAL COMMANDO. (Because that nice Emperor Palpatine said so.) Other upcoming Star Wars books from me include a Boba Fett novel and an essential guide to the military. (See theDel Rey interview.) I'm also working on a new series of my own that's a bit of a departure from the Wess'har Wars and my usual SF, as well as what I can only describe as "other projects" at this stage. So no rest for the wicked. It's a grand life if you don't weaken!

The Oh-So-Tiresome "Canon" Discussions

You know why every single discussion about canon on the Internet (and elsewhere) is stupid?

Because nobody has once asked Christopher Nolan or Jon Favreau if they're "worried" or "concerned" about the fact that neither Iron Man nor The Dark Knight are canon. I, meanwhile, get that question all the time...

I'm constantly hearing from assorted keyboard monkeys talking about how they won't read tie-in fiction because it isn't canon, which is why they read the Star Wars novels -- which, by the by, aren't canon, either, and anyone who tells you they are is lying, and as evidence I point you to a) the history of the Fett family and b) the upcoming Clone Wars animated film, which I bet won't be consistent with the various CW novels and comics (not to mention the Genndy Tartovsky animated shorts) that are allegedly canonical -- and yet I bet not a single one of them has refused to see the most popular movie on the planet because it isn't canon.

And it isn't. The Dark Knight is based on the Batman comics that have been published over the years, but they make no effort to be consistent with them, and ignore them as they see fit. They're not canon. The "canon" of Batman consists of the various comic books published by DC Comics.

No, what we have here is the fact that, in this country, we view things on screen as more real than things in print. Part of it is simple numbers: more people watch TV and movies than read books and comic books. That's why when you adapt a novel into a movie, you've got an entire Academy Award category to yourself (and other adapters like you), but when you adapt a movie into a novel, you're a talentless hack who's just in it for the money (never mind that screenwriters are far better compensated for their work than prose writers).

The people who say they won't buy a Buffy novel or a Star Trek comic book because it's not canon are most likely lying, unless they have also refused to see The Hulk, Iron Man, The Dark Knight, any of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings films, etc. for the same reason. It's just a feeble justification for a prejudice against prose in general and against tie-in fiction in particular.

Keith R.A. DeCandido has written flipping great wodges of tie-in fiction, including thirty novels, seven novelizations, twelve novellas, twenty-one short stories, a bunch of comic books, and a partridge in a pear tree in the universes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Classic BattleTech, Command and Conquer, CSI, Doctor Who, Farscape, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, Marvel Comics, Resident Evil, Serenity, Star Trek (in all its incarnations, plus some new ones), StarCraft, Supernatural, World of Warcraft, Xena, and Young Hercules, and not a single frapping one of them is canon. So there. Find out more about Keith at his web site at or his blog at