A Huge Update on Vodnik–Reviews, Illustrations, and More!

So it’s been a good three or four weeks since Vodnik came out, and I’m getting a lot of people asking me how the book is doing. After giving the same response five or six times, I thought it might make sense to write up a blog post and address all the questions at once.

The basic answer is, “I don’t know.” Authors don’t get sales information for their book. I can follow Amazon’s Sales Rank for the novel (it went up as high as 23,000 or so), but I have literally no idea how to interpret that. As I’ve watched it off and on the past few weeks, I’m increasingly convinced that a purchase or two can make that sales rank really hop. So is having a book that’s selling the 23,000th best on Amazon good? Darned if I know. It’s better than if it were 230,000th.

When will I know solid numbers? Not for another five months or so, probably. Sometime around then is when royalty statements theoretically start getting issued. (With an emphasis on theoretically. I’m in uncharted territory  here–never had a book released before. I’m mainly just parroting back what other people have told me.) At that point, then I’ll have a better handle on things.

I will say that the response to the book has been very positive so far. My reading at the Farmington Public Library was a great success, and I just got back from Reading Round-Up yesterday, which also went very well. (There were somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 librarians at my panel, and I signed quite a few books while I was there. I also made a good connection with the people at Barnes & Noble, who were selling my books there. They want to have me come for a signing at some point in the not too distant future. Yay!) The first reviews on Amazon and Goodreads were great (and many friends posted reviews, which was fantastic–thank you!). Better yet, people who don’t know me are now posting reviews, and they’re almost all super, as well. It feels great to be getting such good feedback and encouragement. Thank you thank you thank you!

Book bloggers have been reviewing Vodnik, as well–and there have been some really super reviews. I’m listing the ones that have come in so far (that I know of right now) down at the bottom of this post, if you’d like to peruse them. They’ve been overwhelmingly glowing, and I really appreciate them all!

However, I’m still very much a small fish in a huge ocean, and any and all help to spread the word is much appreciated. If you have a moment (and haven’t done so yet), head on over to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads and review the book. People really do look at these reviews to make decisions about buying books. Honest reviews are always welcome!

If you write a blog (or know someone who does) and would like to consider reviewing the book on your blog, that would be fantastic. I’m also happy to do author interviews, Q and A’s, interpretive tap dancing–you name it! It’s really hard for a book like mine to get noticed. We’ve been doing a great job so far, but it’s important to keep the push up to keep from getting drowned out by all the other fantastic books out there. 🙂

I do have a couple of new tidbits you can use to share (or just look at them to appreciate how awesome they are). First up are some super illustrations of three of the characters Shawn Boyles drew for Tu. They’re over here, and they include the Vodnik, the Fire Vila, and Morena. Awesome job on these, Shawn! I wrote some original descriptions of the characters, just for the web site. I especially like the picture of the vodnik–creepy and friendly at the same time. Great! (Some have wondered if this is the start of a graphic novel version of Vodnik. I wish! That would be wicked fun. Maybe if 1,000,000 people email my publisher, it’ll become a reality.)  🙂

Next, I’ve made my decision on the T-shirt front. I’m going to go with #1 on a black or dark grey shirt, just like the one featured on the cover. The only addition is going to be the fact that this shirt will GLOW IN THE DARK, baby! Because what’s the sense in living in the year 2012 if we don’t live it up a little. My five year old inner-self is totally demanding the glow in the dark feature. Because that’s just awesome, by default. I’m still working on polishing the graphic and getting it ordered, but I hope to have it all done in the not too distant future. (With all the spare time I have, you know.)

I also have an Author Facebook page up. (In addition to the Facebook page for Vodnik, which has been up for some time.) Why not take a sec to go over and like it? 🙂 I’m working on transitioning some things. At some point, I need to have a personal FB place for personal stuff, and a public space for public stuff. This is my effort to start that ball rolling. Feel free to share the pages as much as you’d like.

Blog Reviews

  • Beyond Dragons and Wizards–“Vodnik smacked me in my face and showed me that true wit, sarcasm, earnest story-telling, multi-layered plotting, grit, and fairy tales can all inhabit the same book.”
  • Dan Wells (Author of the I am Not a Serial Killer series and Partials)–“I loved VODNIK, honestly much more than I expected to. It’s well-written, unique, and clever. It’s a breath of fresh air in a very popular genre, andI can’t wait to see what Moore gives us next.”
  • Charlotte’s Library–“Immensely enjoyable journey to a place where old, strange, crazy magic fills the streets of a medieval city. It’s part mystery, part the story of a boy finding magical powers (while dealing with culture shock), part an exploration of ancient stories, and altogether engrossing.”
  • Elitist Book Reviews–“VODNIK is a terrific YA novel. There’s no doubt about it. It’s uniqueness and characters overcome the shortcomings. You should buy it and read it. It’s well worth your investment. Prospective authors should read it as an example of how to write a non-conformist Urban Fantasy. The best thing I can say about VODNIK is that it makes me want to read the sequel RIGHT NOW!”
  • Finding Wonderland–“Now, THIS is what I’m talking about. No werewolves. No vampires. No British isles fairytale constructs. No Arthurian legends, creaky with age, being unfolded and poorly cleansed of the dust of ages for the nth, nth, nth time. No. This is neither the U.S. nor the UK, but Trenčín, [Slovakia], baby. And it’s got big, sharp teeth. Or, you know, big, drown-y-and-then-throws-you-in-a-teacup hands. Whatev. Point: it’s vicious and dark and dangerous…and completely amicable, in a “just doing my job” kind of way. It’s also full of The Crazy, and funny. This is a Tu-worthy book, indeed – another hit out of the ballpark for Lee & Low’s amazing little imprint that could.”
  • Ranting Critic–“I’ve read books by authors that try to be funny and fail, but Bryce Moore does it almost without any effort. Tomas, the main character, watched movies constantly before moving to Slovakia, so some movie quotes are expected. The characterization was very well done, I found myself caring for almost all of the characters in the book without noticing. He makes you feel like you are a part of these character’s lives, which is something that only a few other authors I’ve read have been able to successfully do.”
  • So Many Books, So Little Time–“Vodnik is an excellent read for those who are looking for fantasy with a spark of something new.”
  • UMS Tigers Read–“Instead of Vodnik being a depressing read (I mean, Tomas does make friends with Death herself!), there is sarcasm, irony, and snarkyness that drew me in. The more I read the book the more I liked it and finally I decided that finishing the book was more important than doing laundry or going to bed at a decent time.”
Those are of course in addition to the official reviews from Kirkus (“A shy boy blossoms in this surprisingly witty debut.”) and the Sneak Peek Reviewers Club at School Library Journal (“The originality of the myths is a good change of pace from Greek or Roman myths. The story reminded me of how there are still new voices in writing. This was no “boy meets girl over summer break” or “humans dating vampires” story. The author has created a great new type of mystery and legend, and I’m one reader who can’t wait to see if this story continues to develop. I’d be proud to have this book in my personal library.”)

When you take a step back and see all those in one place, it seems like things are looking pretty rosy. Definitely feels good! Have I missed a review? Let me know, and I’ll make sure I shout it from the rooftops. 🙂

6 thoughts on “A Huge Update on Vodnik–Reviews, Illustrations, and More!”

  1. Well, if you want a comparison my 2003 book on German Foreign Policy is ranked 2,929,323. I’m going to pick up your book on read it on the plane when I take students to Germany for May term. Looking forward to it!

  2. Vodnik: acing out German Foreign Policy books since 2012. 🙂

    Hope you enjoy the book–I’m envious you get to go to Germany. Still trying to get back, 13 years after I left.

  3. Congratulations, Bryce. I just bought your book and I look forward to reading it! I’ll turn it facing out at every B&N I enter.:)

    Cheers and congratulations again! So exciting for you!!

    Holly in Texas (still)

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