The Nov. 14 release of “Oathbringer” enticed Brandon Sanderson fans to camp out for days, wait in line for hours for access to the release event, and wait even longer to have Sanderson sign their books.
Sanderson is a BYU alumni, professor, and bestselling author; and “Oathbringer” is the third book in Sanderson’s “Stormlight Archive” series.
Currently, Oathbringer is one of Audible’s most preordered books, and the book release also bumped Sanderson to first on Amazon’s list of most popular authors.
The BYU Store hosted the book release party at the Utah Valley Convention Center, or UVCC, to provide more space. Erika Marler, a volunteer helping run the event from Bard’s Tower, said that the bookstore sold over 1,500 copies of the book through preorders.
Thousands of people showed up for the event. The ballroom used for the Q&A session and Sanderson’s reading was filled as far as the fire code would allow with people lining the edges of the room.
Keziah Adams, a BYU freshman who attended the release, said she was most excited to just get “Oathbringer,” but there were plenty of other things to look forward to at the release event.
Here are seven things Sanderson fans were waiting for.
1. A chance to get one of the first signed copies of “Oathbringer”
The first 99 fans who camped out on the BYU campus received the first 99 numbered and signed copies of “Oathbringer,” and wristbands to access the event. The ‘war camp,’ as it was called, started on Nov. 8. On Nov. 11 there were over thirty people camping out.
2. Being one of only 2,000 people attending Sanderson’s forum events
Fans started lining up at 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 13 to ensure they would get one of the 2,000 wristbands available for the Nov. 14 book release. The wristbands were passed out starting at 10 a.m., and the 2,000 wristband limit was set based on the fire codes at the UVCC, according to Marler. All 2,000 wristbands were given out.
3. Showing off some epic cosplay
Some fans spent hours on cosplays for the event. There were people dressed as spren, or creatures of nature, people in army uniforms and dresses representing specific Sanderson characters, and some who made shardblades, which are large swords with magical capabilities in the series.
4. Getting a personalized copy from Sanderson himself
The line to have Sanderson add a name or quote to pre-signed books, take a picture with fans, and answer questions was hours long. Sanderson started personalizing the books right as they were released 10 p.m. on Nov. 13. He posted on Facebook that he was at the UVCC until 5 a.m. personalizing books.
5. Attending the VIP event
In addition to the main event, there was a VIP event for $150. Fans were given snacks and merchandise, and, more importantly, a chance to interact with Sanderson.
6. Listening to Sanderson’s Q&A session, book reading
One of the most anticipated moments of the event was the Q&A session with Sanderson and a reading from one of his future books. He said the theme of the series was transformation. Sanderson read from a book he has just started writing called Skyward, which is about a girl who finds a spaceship. Sanderson said it is going to be a mash-up between “Top Gun,” “Ender’s Game” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”
Sanderson told the group the audio of the story he read called Skyward could be distributed as long as it was accompanied with a note that anyone attending his tour may want to wait and hear it in person. The audio for Skyward is included below.
7. Finding out what happens next
What fans were waiting to find out what happens next in the “Stormlight Archive” series. The first book in the series, “Way of Kings,” was published in 2010, and the second, “Words of Radiance,” in 2014. In the meantime, fans have been waiting to figure out how Jasnah survived, what are Lopen’s powers, and to learn more about the Heralds.