Huzzah! Shadows of Self (Mistborn five, the second in the Wax and Wayne era of books) is out tomorrow!
I’ll have a blog post about that, and my tour, tomorrow. Though if you’re curious, the dates are on the events page of my website. Also, if you live in Utah, please consider coming to the midnight release tonight! You’ll get a numbered edition if you come here. (The store isn’t sold out yet, but they encourage you to come in during the day today to pre-pay to make sure you get a copy.) There will also be numbered books at the signing in Denver on release day.
Today, I want to take some time to talk to you not about a new book, but an old one. The oldest of mine that has been published, as a matter of fact. Elantris is getting a tenth anniversary edition. We’ve been working very hard on getting this ready for you, and it is launching in stores tomorrow alongside the new Mistborn novel. I’ll talk about this at the bottom of the post; and be warned, there’s a special announcement there as well.
Releasing this can’t help but make me reminisce. This past spring marked the tenth anniversary of Elantris’s release. That makes ten years of Sanderson novels.
It seems like such a short time, and such a vast time all at once. In ten years, Robert Jordan released nine books of the Wheel of Time. About ten years came between the release of Anne McCaffrey’s initial Pern novel and the sixth. When I first picked up fantasy novels in ’89, David Eddings—who then seemed like the dominant writer of the genre—had only been publishing fantasy novels for about seven years.
I feel nowhere near as well established as these authors were when I started reading. Looking back at ten years, and making this kind of comparison, causes my head to spin and the universe to settle in strange ways around me—like I just stepped out of some strange portal in spacetime.
Those first few years feel so distant. Signings where nobody showed up to see me. This wasn’t unexpected; nobody knew who I was. I would make the bookstore move my signing table to the front of the store, near the doors, and I’d stand there like a free sample salesman at Costco, trying to get people to taste a sip of Sanderson novels.
Those were the days of driving my ancient car to signings, managing tours on a shoestring budget, often traveling with other authors to share expenses. I’m oddly fond of those days, even as I contemplate a tour starting next week that will be filled with first-class flights, handlers and publicists at every step, and sleek black cars with men in suits to drive me about. I was far less busy back in those early days, and could write without distractions or worries about deadlines.
I’m incredibly grateful for where I am now, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m able able to do awesome things, like the Cosmere or the Elantris special edition. At the same time, there was something unique about those early years, when the eyes weren’t on me as they are now. It’s a lot harder for the magician to pull tricks when the audience is watching him so keenly.
Either way, it is with pride that I get to officially introduce you to the Elantris Tenth Anniversary Edition. This book will be released in three print formats, including trade paperback and hardcover, starting tomorrow. The changes are pervasive, but minor, and I’ll list them below. First off, some questions I’m anticipating.
- This is now the canon version of the book, which doesn’t matter much for continuity—it just means that we’ll be (slowly) updating all formats across all countries to match this text. The mass market paperback will transform to this edition in a year or so.
- For now, this is only a North American release, though I believe the text should make its way to the UK edition fairly soon, starting with the ebook. (Not sure on the bonus material.) Some non-English-speaking countries are also planning to do tenth anniversary editions, and we’ll try to keep you up to date on them.
- The ebook will update to this text, and if you’ve purchased Elantris in ebook you will get the tenth anniversary edition for free. On some ebook platforms like iBooks the update should happen automatically, and on other platforms like Kindle you have to email customer support and ask them to update your file. If—for some reason—you want to preserve the old text, you might want to make a backup of the file. (Tor books are DRM-free, so you should be able to do this.)
- The audiobook is a tougher nut to crack, since the publisher has to re-record the new edition. It’s going to be harder to give it away for free to people who have bought the old one, because of expenses incurred. We’ll see what we can do, but as of right now, I think they’re planning to release it as a separate edition.
As for the changes, we went through the book with a fine-tooth comb, and gave it a copyedit more along the lines of what we do these days, fixing many small grammatical and continuity errors. There are no substantive changes, however, unless you count things like moving a building from one side of the city to the other in order to make distances and scale work for the visuals.
Also included is a foreword by Dan Wells and a much expanded appendix, including the Mad Prince sequence of deleted scenes. The art has been reworked by Isaac Stewart, who updated the Aon symbols and the maps in the front, better matching my vision for how the landscape ties into the novel. And there is one brand-new scene somewhere you might not be expecting to find one.
That, however, isn’t the special announcement. I mentioned three print formats. Well, for a while people have been asking if I’m going to do leatherbound editions of my books, like has been done with the Wheel of Time. We decided to jump in with this book, and my team has created a beautiful leatherbound edition to publish with Tor’s support.
This edition will have all the text, a leatherbound exterior, and a multi-page full art section including my favorite covers and art for the series from across the world. Additionally, all the interiors are printed in two colors, blue and black, with the Aons and accent text in blue. And the pages are smyth sewn instead of glued like most books on the market today. We’re anticipating this book selling for around $100–$125, as I personally felt that some leatherbound editions of books have been too pricey. It will be released this November, if the printing goes according to plan, and while it won’t be a limited release (we will reprint if needed) I will do a hand-signed and numbered sub-edition like I do with all newly released books.
You’ll be able to get copies of this book at my online store or at select bookstores I frequent on tour. It won’t likely be available at your local Barnes & Noble or on Amazon, though the regular tenth anniversary edition should be at both—and I hope you check the edition when it comes out tomorrow at your local bookstore! (I just wanted to make you aware that a leatherbound is coming, in case you’re interested in that instead. There will be a full announcement for that in November.)
Either way, I leave you with my deepest thanks. My life is a whole lot more chaotic now than it was ten years ago, and that is because of your enthusiasm and support. I’m having a blast with this, loving every minute. Thank you for ten incredible, mind-blowing years. I can’t wait to show you what’s coming for both the Cosmere and other Sanderson realms in the next ten.