Sunday, February 21, 2010

Steady growth: the name of the game

I've had seven different new mass-market paperback releases in the last decade. Here they are, in Canadian besteller order (from most copies sold to least):
  1. FlashForward (published in mass-market 2000)

  2. Rollback (2008)

  3. Mindscan (2006)

  4. Hominids (2003)

  5. Calculating God (2001)

  6. Hybrids (2005)

  7. Humans (published 2004)
Of course, FlashForward -- the oldest book on the list -- is an outlier, because it's had a huge boost in sales in the last six months thanks to the TV series based on it.

Setting it aside, this is pretty much exactly what one would hope for: my sales have risen steadily with each new standalone book over the past decade: Rollback (my most-recent mass-market paperback) did better than Mindscan, which did better than Hominids, which did better than Calculating God.

Humans and Hybrids suffered a bit from being the second and third volumes of a trilogy -- not everyone who read the first book (a Hugo winner) came back for the other two. I suspect Humans, the second volume, showing lower sales than the third is an artifact of Tor foolishly letting it go out of stock for an extended period (but it's back in print in mass-market now).

And now on to the mass-market paperback for Wake, which comes out at the end of next month.

Robert J. Sawyer online:


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wake is Bakka-Phoenix's top selling hardcover for 2009

Bakka-Phoenix Books, Toronto's science-fiction specialty bookstore (and the oldest extant SF bookstore in the world), has just released their list of the bestselling books for the entire year of 2009:

Hardcover Bestsellers
  1. Wake, Robert J. Sawyer
  2. Makers, Cory Doctorow
  3. Enchantment Emporium, Tanya Huff
  4. Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett
  5. Give Up the Ghost, Megan Crewe

Trade Paperback Bestsellers
  1. Wondrous Strange, Lesley Livingston
  2. Black Man, Richard Morgan
  3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith
  4. Cast in Silence, Michelle Sagara
  5. Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, Adrienne Kress

Mass Market Bestsellers
  1. Ages of Wonder, Julie E. Czerneda & Robert St. Martin, eds.
  2. Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
  3. Anathem, Neal Stephenson
  4. On the Edge, Ilona Andrews
  5. Tyrant, Christian Cameron
Not quite as good as 2003 when I had the #1 hardcover (Humans) and the #1 mass-market paperback (Hominids), but it still makes me happy. (I also had the #1 bestselling hardcover for the entire year in 2007, for Rollback.)

Bakka-Phoenix is located at 697 Queen Street West in downtown Toronto.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

#2 Bestseller storewide at!

Holy crap! My novel FlashForward -- basis for the hit TV series -- is currently the #2 bestselling book store-wide at, the UK's second-largest online retailer. Here's the list:

Congratulations to Simon Spanton and the team at Gollancz, my British publisher, for getting the book out there with such success.
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Friday, October 9, 2009

RJS Winnipeg bestsellers

Fall-out, no doubt, from the wonderful launch party for the FlashForward TV series at McNally Robinson Polo Park in Winnipeg, and from my appearance promoting Wake at Thin Air: Winnipeg International Writers Festival:

This week, Wake is the #5 bestselling hardcover fiction title at McNally Robinson's Winnipeg stores, and FlashForward is the #3 bestselling mass-market title.

And last week -- the week the TV series based on my novel debuted -- FlashForward was the #2 bestselling mass-market title there.

Here are the full lists (PDFs):

Week of September 27, 2009

Week of October 4, 2009
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009 bestseller: #66 overall, #6 in genre, #1 in SF

The British edition of FlashForward (pictured above), the novel by Robert J. Sawyer upon which the new TV series is based, is a bestseller at, the British version of

It's reached at least as high as sales rank #66 of all titles in the store (and, at this moment is #81).

More: it is currently the #6 best-selling genre-fiction title in the entire store:
  1. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  2. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  4. The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell
  5. The Shack by William P. Young
  6. FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer
  7. Hard Girls by Martina Cole
  8. Scarlet Women by Jessie Keane
  9. A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel
  10. Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
And it's currently #1 on the science-fiction bestsellers list:
  1. FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer
  2. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
  3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  4. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  5. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli,
  6. High-Rise by J.G. Ballard
  7. Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition) by Moore & Bolland
  8. Batman: Dark Knight Returns by Miller & Janson
  9. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  10. Batman: Year One by Miller and Mazzuchelli

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Holy cow! Wake on Locus bestsellers list for third month!

My new novel Wake is on the Locus bestsellers' list for a third consecutive month. It debuted at #2 (and was the highest-ranked SF, as opposed to fantasy, title) in the April 2009 data period, and was #5 in May (and the second-highest-ranked SF title), and now is tied for #10 in June (as reported in the September 2009 issue).

The only book with a longer run on the hardcover list currently is Stephenie Meyer's The Host.

The full list is here.

My previous three-consecutive-month runs were for Rollback in paperback (data periods February, March, and April 2008) and for Hominids in hardcover (before it had won the Hugo; data periods May, June, and July 2002).
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Wake on the Locus bestsellers list for a second month!

W00t! Woohoo! My Wake, first of my WWW trilogy, is on the Locus hardcover bestsellers list for a second consecutive month. It was #2 last month (and the highest-ranked SF, rather than fantasy book); this month it holds on at #5 (and is the second-highest-ranked SF book).

This is my 28th appearance on the Locus bestsellers list.

Also of note is that the beautiful new trade paperback of Calculating God is the new "runner-up" (that is, 6th place) title on the trade-paperback bestsellers list (it hit #1 on the Locus list when it first came out in mass-market paperback in 2000). Go me! :) [Yes, I've been writing too much Caitlin of late ... ;) ]

The full list is here (data period May 2009, reported in the August 2009 issue).
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wake back on the Saskatoon bestsellers' list

This week's hardcover bestsellers' list for McNally Robinson in Saskatoon:

1. Outliers: The Story of Success
By Malcolm Gladwell

2. Master Your Metabolism
By Jillian Michaels

3. Twenties Girl
By Sophie Kinsella

4. Unmasked the Final Years of Michael Jackson
By Ian Halperin

5. Best Friends Forever
By Jennifer Weiner

6. The Devil's Punchbowl
By Greg Iles

7. Wake
By Robert J. Sawyer

8. The Big Thaw: Travels in the Melting North
By Ed Struzik

9. The Host
By Stephenie Meyer

10. Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Deception
By Eric Van Lustbader

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Wake #2 Locus Bestseller

W00t! My novel Wake is #2 on the Locus Hardcover Bestsellers' List. And #1 is a fantasy novel, which makes mine the top-selling SF novel in the stores Locus surveys.

Locus is the trade journal of the science-fiction field. Here's the list, published in the July 2009 issue (for the data period April 2009); the numbers at the end of each line are "months on list" and "position last month."

1) Turn Coat, Jim Butcher (Roc) [1,-]
2) WWW: Wake, Robert J. Sawyer (Ace) [1,-]
3) Rides a Dread Legion, Raymond E. Feist (Eos) [1,-]
4) The Host, Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown) [12,3]
5) The Mystery of Grace, Charles de Lint (Tor) [2,7]
*) The Revolution Business, Charles Stross (Tor) [1,-]
7) The Temporal Void, Peter F. Hamilton (Ballantine Del Rey) [1,-]
8) Bone Crossed, Patricia Briggs (Ace) [3,5]
9) Imager, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Tor) [2,8]
*) Storm from the Shadows, David Weber (Baen) [2,1]

The full list is at Locus Online.

Wake hit #1 on the Technothrillers Bestsellers List, #1 on the Winnipeg Free Press Bestsellers List, #2 on the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix Bestsellers List, and now #2 on the Locus Bestsellers List. Not too shabby!
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Friday, June 12, 2009

#2 Bestseller in Saskatoon

McNally Robinson's Saskatoon superstore provides the data to the major Saskatoon newspaper, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, for its bestsellers' list. My Wake is #2 this week on the hardcover list, having been beaten by ... Dr. Seuss!

The list, which will be in tomorrow's (Saturday, June 13, 2009's) StarPhoenix, is below:

  1. Oh, The Places You'll Go!
    By Dr. Seuss - $22.00

  2. Wake
    By Robert J. Sawyer - $30.00

  3. Skin Trade
    By Laurel K. Hamilton - $23.45

  4. Excuses Begone
    By Wayne W. Dyer - $30.95

  5. Medusa
    By Clive Cussler - $24.50

  6. The Scarecrow
    By Michael Connelly - $21.69

  7. Gone Tomorrow
    By Lee Child - $22.40

  8. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
    By Alexander Mccall Smith - $20.97

  9. The Hormone Diet: Lose Fat Gain Strenth Live Younger Longer
    By Natasha Turner - $32.95

  10. Seasick: The Global Ocean in Crisis
    By Alanna Mitchell - $32.99

(And, by the way, my Flashforward is #7 on the StarPhoenix mass-market paperback list this week, and Previously, Wake hit #1 on the Winnipeg Free Press bestsellers' list.)


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Friday, May 22, 2009

Wake #1 Winnipeg Bestseller!

McNally Robinson, the bookstore chain based in Winnipeg (the capital city of the province of Manitoba), has just released its bestsllers list for the week of May 17, 2009, and Wake by Robert J. Sawyer is #1 in hardcover fiction. Woohoo!

The Winnipeg Free Press, the major daily newspaper in Winnipeg, uses the McNally Robinson list as their own bestsellers' list, so I'll be #1 on that list this weekend, too. W00t!

Of course, I owe all this to (a) being McNally Robinson's "Author of the Month" chainwide for May; (b) the wonderful event I had at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg six days ago; (c) all the good folks who bought my book from the McNally Robinson dealers' table at Keycon, Winnipeg's SF convention, last weekend; (d) the wonderful profile of me on the front page of the Free Press's Entertainment section last Thursday; and (e) my appearance on CBC Radio in Winnipeg. In other words, to answer the question about whether book tours and promotion are actually worth doing, see above. :)

(Oh, and speaking of #1, Wake previously hit #1 on the Technothrillers bestseller list. Yay!)

Since the list as shown above is a graphic, here it is in text, so search engines can find it:

For the Week of May 17th (2009)
Titles in Green Manitoba Author


1. Wake
Robert J. Sawyer. Science Fiction.

2. Assegai
Wilbur Smith. Fiction.

3. Stripmalling.
Jon Paul Fiorentino. Fiction.

4. The Gargoyle.
Andrew Davidson. Fiction.

5. Wicked Prey.
John Sandford. Fiction.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rob the technothriller writer?

To my astonishment and delight, my Wake is the #1 "Technothriller" bestseller on

(Edited at 12:05 a.m. on Friday 10 April 2009)

1. Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
2. State of the Union by Brad Thor
3. Daemon by Daniel Suarez
4. Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
5. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
6. Vixen 03 by Clive Cussler
7. State of Fear by Michael Crichton
8. Death Match by Lincoln Child
9. Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy
10. Utopia by Lincoln Child

So -- w00t!

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