So there it is officially. Monster Hunter Alpha is #23 on the New York Times bestseller list, and it is because you guys are just that cool. Thank you. Seriously, I love my fan base. I know a lot of other writers that are in about the same point of their careers as I am, and they stand in awe of the sheer awesomeness of the Monster Hunter Nation. I asked for people to either preorder or buy opening week, and you certainly did. You bought the heck out of it.

MHA debuted 4 spots higher than MHV, and that was with some bumps in the road. A couple thousand copies were shipped early, so they didn’t count towards release week, and my single biggest individual dealer, Uncle Hugos, received several hundred of theirs late. (so if you are just getting your UH autographed bookplate MHAs now, that is why). Between those things we probably could have been several spots higher on the list. Luckily, B&N was awesome and didn’t report any sales until release day, and nationwide they put me on the New Paperback Tower.

Getting on the list is always a challenge. Just because you got on it last time is no promise of being on there again. It is kind of like the NFL playoffs. You might have made it last year, but that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels next season, because the other teams might be having a really good year. (and there was a new John Grisham novel going against the reigning champ George Martin novel that has an HBO show with Sean Bean in it, so you know who’s going to the Super Bowl).

Even if you are relatively successful, it all depends on who you are going up against. There were 30 new novels out this month in just my one genre alone, and urban fantasy is tiny compared to thrillers or romances. Then you’ve got your power players, like for example there are 4 George R.R. Martin books ahead of me. (which I do think are awesome by the way, and combined with the Beer Drinking-Stab Ignoring Power of Sean Bean, make for an unstoppable marketing combo). Only 2 James Patterson novels on there, which means he was having a slow week. And I got beat by Stieg Larsson last time, and I got beat by Stieg Larsson this time. I fully expect twenty years from now to still be posthumously beaten by Stieg Larsson. You’ve got John Grisham, Dave Baldacci, Debbie Macomber, and a whole bunch of other badass, very established, very successful authors on that list.

Anytime you make the list, it is a win. But we did, because you guys rock. As my mom says, as a writer, I just get paid to lie and make crap up. The Monster Hunter Nation are who give me my success, and I believe me, I know it.

To celebrate, start thinking about the designs for your new MHI patches. (don’t send them yet though, because I’m not ready!) I’ll be kicking off a new Patch Contest soon, and the winning team will show up in Monster Hunter Legion (the next Owen book, which will probably be out in September 2012) and become an official part of the universe.

So going forward, my new goals are: 1. Get one of my non-Monster Hunter novels on the list. (Dead Six would be a good one since it is a thriller). 2. Get the next MH novel into the top 20. 3. Absolute world domination. 4. Learn to bake cookies.

Thanks, Monster Hunter Nation.