I don't usually announce book releases, unless it's a book that I've previously reviewed. However, I received the following announcement from Random House, and thought that I would share it here. Whatever you think of Christopher Paolini's Eragon and Eldest, the fact that Knopf is issuing 2.5 million copies on the first printing (the largest in Random House Children's Books' history) is truly remarkable. Especially when you consider that the first book was initially self-published. Here's the press release:
KNOPF TO RELEASE 2.5 MILLION COPIES OF BRISINGR, BOOK THREE IN CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI’S INHERITANCE CYCLE, AT 12:01 AM ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20TH
New York, NY (September 19, 2008)—In a national laydown at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, September 20th, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, will release BRISINGR, the third book in Christopher Paolini’s phenomenally bestselling Inheritance cycle. The first two novels in the series, Eragon (2003) and Eldest (2005), have sold 15.5 million copies worldwide. With a first printing of 2.5 million copies, BRISINGR is the largest first-print run of any book in Random House Children’s Books’ history and the largest for Random House, Inc., this fall. Inheritance fans young and old will celebrate across the U.S. and Canada this weekend as more than 2,000 book retailers have planned midnight-release events to mark its publication.
24-year-old Christopher Paolini will kick off his 10-city tour tonight in New York City and will spend the next several weeks meeting his North American fans.
“It is an honor to be part of this extraordinary publishing phenomenon, and a pleasure to watch Christopher develop as a writer and a prominent literary figure,” said Chip Gibson, Random House Children’s Books, President and Publisher. “We are thrilled that the day is here to share BRISINGR with readers around the world.”
There are over 50 foreign-language licenses for BRISINGR, which is being simultaneously published by Random House’s sister companies in Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH will publish the novel in Germany on October 25th. BRISINGR will also be released simultaneously in the U.S. and Canada as an audiobook by Random House’s Listening Library division.
To build early buzz for BRISINGR, Random House developed a team-based immersive online game, Vroengard Academy (www.vroengardacademy.com) (often referred to as an ARE, or Alternate Reality Experience), offering players the opportunity to interact with a brand-new Inheritance cycle storyline by competing in weekly challenges and searching for online and offline exclusive clues. Over 50,000 players in the U.S. have already participated since the game’s launch in June. This marks the first time Random House has created an ARE to market one of its books. The game concludes next week. The grand-prize winner will have the opportunity to meet Christopher Paolini.
Paolini grew up in Paradise Valley, Montana, where he and his younger sister were homeschooled. He began writing Eragon when he was just 15, after graduating from the accredited distance-learning high school the American School. Paolini’s family self-published the novel in 2002, and it was soon discovered by Knopf. The company acquired the series and published Eragon in hardcover in 2003, when Paolini was just nineteen years old. It quickly went from self-publishing obscurity to worldwide publishing phenomenon.
Paolini will write a fourth book to conclude the Inheritance cycle. A publication date has not yet been planned.
Personally, I enjoyed Eragon (though I didn't review it - I read it before I had started my blog), but thought that Eldest dragged a bit. I'm interested to see how this one turns out. And it does please me that Random House's biggest fall release is a children's book.