Spy School made the New York Times bestseller list!

When you set out to be an author, you have a few dreams.  And I’m betting that most of us dream of making the New York Times bestseller list.  It is the list in publishing.  And next Sunday, for the first time, I will be on it.  Thanks to the strong sales of Evil Spy School’s opening week — which also boosted sales of Spy School and Spy Camp, I hit #7 on the series list.  Check it out!

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A couple super-cool things about this:

#1) I am above Harry Potter!  (OK, yes, Harry Potter has been on there for several years, but still, I beat it.)

#2) I hit the series list with only three books.  This list is exceptionally hard to crack, because it takes the sales of every book in the series into account.  So a series like, say Harry Potter, with seven books — has a distinct advantage at getting on the list.  In fact, my fearless publisher had claimed that it was almost impossible to break into the series list — so he was extra-thrilled when I did it.

#3) An amusing anecdote about all this.  By a strange twist of fate, I happened to be at my publisher’s offices when the news came in.  I was changing into a tuxedo at the time.  This was the same day of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Awards ceremony, for which Space Case was a nominee.  Normally, I would have been changing at my hotel, but I had already checked out of my hotel, as I had to get to Connecticut that night for school visits the next day — and I had shipped my tuxedo to my editor so that I didn’t have to carry it around for two weeks of book tour before the Edgars.  So, there I am, changing into my tux (which is a very james Bond thing to do) in a spare office when there is a knock at the door and my editor and publisher inform me that I have just hit the NY Times List.  So, I came out, not quite dressed, to celebrate.  Here’s me with Kristin Ostby, my awesome editor.  (She was also dressed for the Edgars, but she had managed to get her shoes on by this time.)

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Point being, it was very nice to learn about the Times while I was at Simon & Schuster and could celebrate with everyone, rather than say merely getting a phone call.  (I did eventually get my shoes on, and get to the Edgars.  I didn’t win.  But landing on the List was an awfully nice consolation prize.)

38 thoughts on “Spy School made the New York Times bestseller list!

  1. Oh MY GOSH!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is swawesome and thrunderful(thrilling/wonderful) I am so glad this will make even more people read the wonderful wise and hilarious words of Stuart Gibbs and the skills he has to be author of characters plots and series no one but him could think of!

  2. I am serious- anyone can use it and I don’t need anything from them, not even words. I hope you know, Stu, I am not trying to maneuver into one of your books.

    P.S.- How are Spy School Series Sales now that you are on “The List”?? (can we start calling it that?)

  3. Faith –

    I know you’re not trying to maneuver into the books. But sometimes, things just happen. I learned the word ‘swawesome’ from a reader and asked her if I could use it and that was that.

    Sales are very good. Last week was a big week, though, so we’re not quite at the same level. I don’t quite know how “The List” works, really. Sales for last week won’t be posted until next week in the paper, which is what seems to spur sales. So maybe they’ll pick up again next week? I don’t know. We’ll see.

  4. Faith –

    You mean as a book title? Or for a character? To be honest, I think it’s a little confusing. I think “Endurance” is used so often for sporting events it makes this sound like, well, another sporting event.

  5. Dear Mr. Gibbs,
    I am writing a upper middle-grade novel, and I was wondering how many words should be in a chapter. Considering that you are officially a NY Times bestselling author, I would be greatly appreciative if you could give me your input.
    THANKS!
    Totally Swawesome

  6. Swawesome –

    There is no official guideline to how many words should be in a chapter. Just write what feels natural. Some people write long chapters, some write short ones. There’s no right or wrong.

  7. Stu,congrats u toars deserve the prize!! By the way, i just got 17 people out of 23 kids in my class to buy one of the spy schools. Also, I wanted to tell u that we are doing a reading unit on reading like a fan snd reading all of an authors books. My teacher wouldn’t let me do you, since I already read all of your books. I managed to get 6 other kids to do you as an author though.
    -Ariana
    PS Is Nefarious Jones going to be in the next spy school book?

  8. Ariana –

    Thanks for getting others to read my books!

    Nefarious will not be a big part of the next book.

  9. I meant nefarious. I am sorry im just really curious. I read belly up to my dad and then gave him poached for when he was on a trip to finish. Je said he was reading it at 2 am and everybody was asleep on the plane. He woild just randomly start laughing and like wveryone would tell him to be quiet. You are a really swaesome author! Please keep writing!

  10. AHHHHHHH! THATS SO COOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!!!!! That is like one of my, (very far away) dreams! 😀 :O! So happy for you! This is so cool! I hope Belly up makes the list next!!!!!! 😀

  11. I’m making a book. It was actually supposed to be a short story for my narrative at school, but it somehow turned into a long story. I was hoping to get some help from you, if you aren’t too busy. I know you authors take breaks from writing, so when you have time, tell me. I think you would be able to see my email.

  12. Joseph –

    I’m sorry, but I really can’t help everyone who asks me for help with a story.

  13. Oh, that’s okay. I would rather you work on your new books anyway. I can’t wait for SS4!!!

  14. WOW!!! I could never dream of making that list! But than again, I write poetry, not novels or dialog. Stu, do you think that I, some randy 12 year old with nothing better to do with his life but vegetate in my room commenting on blogs, have a chance at the writing life?!?!?! Also ,I forgot to mention: WOW!!!

  15. Hector –

    If you spend time in your room writing, then write some more and then write some more, then you will have a chance at the writing life. But I mean working on poetry and stories and not blog commenting (though I appreciate the comments). No one makes it as a writer without practicing their craft — a lot.

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