A New Addition to the Family

So just a couple days ago, The Wise Man’s Fear came out in trade paperback.

(Cue the music from 2001.)

The new format looks even more monolith like than the hardcover. And in fact, there’s only a few differences between the two:

1. It’s cheaper.

2. It’s smaller.

3. We fixed a couple typos.

4. The front cover is slightly different. Now instead of saying, “New York Times Bestseller Patrick Rothfuss,” it says:

Which, I have to admit, makes me feel a little cool….

The last big difference is that this version has blurbs for The Wise Man’s Fear on the back.

(Click to embiggen.)

A lot of these quotes I hadn’t actually seen before. So that was pretty cool…

I got to actually hold my first copy a couple of days ago. They used the same nice paper as the hardcover, so the book still has a solid weight to it. A satisfying feel. But the way I feel holding this book is far from objective….

The cherry on top of the book release sundae was a four-color ad in the New York Times Review of Books.

The ad quotes from the extraordinarily flattering blog George Martin wrote a while back when he was talking about who he was going to nominate for the Hugos this year.

You’ll notice that this picture is not guest starring my thumb, which is usually the case. This is actually guest starring the thumb of Amanda, one of the assistants I mentioned in my last blog.

It’s odd to me that out of all of this, that one small thing is what strikes me as most odd about all of this: Her thumb.

You see, four years ago, my publisher took out an add in the New York Times to help promote the paperback release of The Name of the Wind. At that point in my life, I’d barely been published for a year. I was a complete fluffy puppy of a newbie author, and the fact that my book was being advertised threw me for such a loop that I wrote a blog about it called Following Diogenes.

Then I walked to the grocery store to buy a copy of the paper so I could see the add for myself.

Now, four years later, I’ve got another ad. This one is in color and features glowing praise from an author who is, if not the biggest name in fantasy today, is at least in the top three.

And today, instead of walking to the store myself, my assistant grabbed me a copy.

It’s not just my assistant, either. One of my *several* assistants. I am now a corporate entity. I can’t do my own taxes anymore. Today I was talking to a friend and when I stopped to count, I realized that I employ nine people. Ten if I count myself.

I mean, what the hell is up with that? What has happened to my life that I now employ myself? I actually write myself a paycheck.

In what world does that make fucking sense? Am I supposed to give myself performance reviews and shit? Should I give myself a stern talking to if I’m late to a meeting with myself? At some point in the future, if I get increasingly insubordinate, will I be forced to fire myself and bring in someone else to do my job?

I know I’m into The Meta and everything, but all of this seems recursive to the point of absurdity.

(Recursive Absurdity would be a good name for a band, by the way….)

What’s my point? Fuck. I don’t know. I don’t mean to imply that I’m not happy with the way my life is going. I know I’m very lucky. I’ve met with more success than I have any right to.

But on the other hand, for someone whose personal philosophy has always been to strive toward simplicity, I seem to be doing kind of a shit job of things.

Gech. I’m rambling. And this blog has gone from fun and informative to something bordering on existential angst. What can I do to bring it up out of a nosedive before the end?

Ah. Of course. I’ll focus on my favorite complication. Little Oot.

Quick story: A couple weeks ago, Oot was nursing after a nap.

Then he stopped nursing, hugged Sarah’s breast, and said, “This is my birthday Christmas boob!”

I swear I didn’t make that up.

Lastly, here’s a picture of Oot wearing a Jayne hat that a fan made for him. The picture is pretty old at this point, but it’s got cuteness in spades….

Rather cunning, don’t ya think?


This entry was posted in book covers, book two, Diogenes, emo bullshit, Oot. By Pat52 Responses


  1. Mattie
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 3:48 AM | Permalink

    You know, for an author that has writes such amazing books with tremendous character depth… It truly amuses me that you are boggled by your own life changing. Then again, maybe because it is your own life that isn’t controlled by the flick of your pen, that it does surprise you more than any book’s twist could.

    Either way, emo crap or otherwise — least your complaining that your life is -good-…
    All the best,

  2. Faqtiskt
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:02 AM | Permalink

    Oot for president!

  3. Mossy Toes
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    Honestly, blurbs were something I missed with the hardcover edition. I wanted to feel the warm glow of figures with big famous names expressing my feelings better and more clearly than I am able and being in total agreement with them.

    Hmm. I remember the Following Diogenes blog. It was something of an inspiration to me. How time flies.

    • Mossy Toes
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:43 AM | Permalink

      Also: Recursive Absurdity would also make for a good tumblr name, as sayeth xckd. ( http://xkcd.com/1025/ )

      • Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

        Heh. I thought about that comic then I was writing this….

        • Mossy Toes
          Posted March 14, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

          Hmm. I searched the name immediately after I made that post–nothing. I searched that name again now, on a whim–and there’s a Tumblr under that name.

  4. erindawn524
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

    We (husband and I) have followed your blog starting with the first book. I have to say, looking from where I sit (always subjective), your life is not over complicated. Success! I feel I need to point out one-maybe two if I can remember-item/s that draw my eye to this page day after day. You are a slow growing corporation. This keeps you standing on a solid bridge able to pass through eons. There is honor and respect in keeping your employees employed. ;0) So I hope that if you ever get increasingly insubordinate, you will be taken to hand by that Beautiful Momma up there (see above). She will keep you grounded, or ground you, where appropriate. As for your assistants! Yes! Now if something equally awesome happens, the others should get their thumb in the next picture. What a neat way to remember those who have helped you. ;0) This was their success too!
    You are a very real mentor and teacher to a great many people, here in this house we read books. :0) We don’t know you in a real way, but we are proud. We toasted to your success. It was a very nice red Delta Luna 2009 Lodi Barbera.
    Thank you for your day to day, the realness of it, I love it!
    ~Erin Smith, Boise, ID age:28

  5. Celtland
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    I didn’t win the Golden Ticket – at least I’m fairly certain I didn’t. However, I wonder if it grants enough power for the holder to write a blurb that would appear on the back cover or inside one of your books? I’m not talking about the hardcover (preposterous), but more the paperback, epub, or azw. Something like:

    You may experience two or three other reads that are as good as this book… in your lifetime. -Derek (aka Celtland), Regular Dude

    Please let your posts go where they will. I always enjoy reading them.

  6. lvdpal
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Did someone mention both your books are already evergreens at my favorite book store? http://www.abc.nl/subjects/subject.php?subject=ABC%20Evergreen&recom=all&recom2=YES

  7. Morten
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    Recursive Absurdity would fit in nicely with some of the subjects taught at the University! Perhaps something taught by Elodin, along with Unlikely Maths.

  8. Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    Wow, that must feel pretty amazing right there :) #1 New York Times Bestselling Author.

    It’s okay, just because you’re a professional author doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have a rage-rant during a blog post. I’d do it.

    Oot is COote! (like you’ve never heard that one before :P )

  9. themantheycalled mikeal stanne
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

    BAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH you tagged your blog with emo shit xD.

  10. Ronjo I
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:14 AM | Permalink

    I went back and read the Diogenes post. That led me to an Australian site with a series of Diogenes vignettes. I am in love. The patron saint of Dada, Beats and punks. No wonder you work so hard for World builders. Kudos to you, Mi Amigo, in spirit if not in fact. It is not a nightmare, you are not in a castle. The work is still there to do.

  11. rialtoelvis
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    “This is my birthday Christmas Boob” would also be a good name for a band (or, at least, their first album title).

    • Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

      I’d buy an album called “Birthday Christmas Boob.”

  12. Odelay321
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Some author I know of might even say he has a “knack” for cuteness…

    I signed up just to say this.

    I love your books so much, its hard to put into words. Sometimes I daydream about the future. I imagine myself looking back at a lifetime of reading your books with a contempt smile on my face , and it makes me feel warm inside. You are the most excellent of excellent writers.

    Thank you.

    And your beard is cool.

    • Little My
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

      I assume you mean a content smile on your face. Otherwise, it’s kind of mean. And ineffectual.

      • Odelay321
        Posted March 14, 2012 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

        Lol. I literally facepalmed myself . I never knew they were different words always thought they were the same and the difference came in through the context. Well at least I have added a word to my pun dictionary. Thank you for the grammar lesson.

  13. Luke
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    #1 Sign Baby is Past Breast Feeding Age?

    After sating himself on his mother’s milk, he writes a glowing 4 star review.

    (But really, pay no attention to me. I have no good information about such things.)

    • Posted March 13, 2012 at 3:01 AM | Permalink

      nah, he’ll stop drinking when he’s ready :-) or when a sibling arrives…

  14. Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    What does it feel like to hold a book that you’ve written?
    This may be poor form to admit but I’ve actually held books and pretended I wrote them just to imagine what that would feel like… hmmmm – probably shouldn’t have openly shared that.
    Some day I will no longer need to pretend damn it.

  15. damon
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    How’s book 3 coming along?

    • Celt42
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

      I’ve been wanting to ask the same thing, but didn’t know if it was too early yet. I miss Kvothe!

  16. capblye
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    Mr. Rothfuss,
    I completely understand and empathize with your struggle regarding having assistants and the like.
    I have owned two successful businesses in my career, so i think i understand from where you speak.
    The only advice i can give you to get past it is this:
    You cannot do it alone.
    You’d like to think you can, and you may even justify why you should, but the plain truth is, you should not.
    For a good two years after my company became successful, i tried very hard to do things myself.
    I insisted (to myself (you’ll notice these inner diatribes get to be longer and longer)) that no one else should or could handle such things and make such decisions. It was hard work, but that was the price of being successful, right?
    What i slowly learned is that, the world continues to move at light speed around you, while you try to juggle all of the things you “must” take care of yourself.
    The world does not wait for you to complete whatever it may be your embroiled in at the time. It moves on, and leaves you in the dust.
    I cringe thinking about how many missed opportunities slipped through my over encumbered hands during that time.
    Or, more importantly, how much of my life slipped through the cracks while i was focused on the “Big Picture”.
    So, the best advice i can give is, Embrace your Assistants and Employees. Trust them (to some extent). Listen to them. Talk to them. Task them.
    See those people as extensions of yourself, like little Pat clones.
    They will love you for it even more, and their dedication and commitment will treble with the trust you place in them.
    Use the time they afford you to enjoy life and try to appreciate that you have that time.
    It’s a gift to be relished, not questioned.

    Thank you for the wonderful storytelling … you are, and shall remain, #1 on my personal best sellers list.
    Keep up the awesomeness.

  17. Blarghedy
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    You write a check to yourself? If you don’t just take all the money your books earn, where’s the rest go? Bank ‘n’ whatnot? I’m intrigued… do go on.

  18. Posted March 12, 2012 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations on the new PB and those lovely blurbs! Also Oot is gorgeous (but you know that already)

  19. Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Dear Patrick,

    I read your “Following Diogenes” post and enjoyed it quite a bit. I lived similarly while in college, and for years afterword, until I collided irrevocably with my lovely wife! From that wreckage I never was able to retrieve my treasured life of simplicity and spaciousness of time. My wife showed me how to build anew, however, and now, after fighting it for a long time, I enjoy a real house on my own land in the Sierra Foothills. It’s nice. But, in my imagination, I still sleep on the floor and wake at 5AM when the birds start singing, imbibing deeply of each morning’s cool vintage. And that’s where my own writing comes from, rather than from the noisy outer world.

    I’ve always preferred imagination. It peoples the world with more truth than any other human activity. It’s the pearl of great price: to be able to imagine with courage, fun, truth, and love of life. This is how you dig a well into the eternal now from which you may ever drink deep and stay drunk.

    Anyway, don’t let all these practical affairs burden your imagination. Keep it whole. Keep it holy. At the same time, don’t lose track of those pragmatic necessities: manage them briskly and with incisive alertness and purpose. It’s like Tai Chi, in that while you’re constantly assailed by the dark-eyed requirements of a messy world, you just keep on dancing and they just keep on falling in line, turning wide-eyed with wonder. Make them serve you as you serve them by bringing in a whole fresh new perspective on an old world. But don’t dwell on that. That’ll just automatically happen. Just like Tai Chi automatically directs the chi where it needs to go. All you have to do is keep “smiling eyes.”

    But, you already know all this. It’s just fun to share it out loud.

    Starting your books for the third time through,


  20. ryssgarden
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    The fact that all this new-found success bothers you is a sign that you are grounded just fine. I can imagine, with perfect mental clarity, you and some friends sitting in your yard with a cool case of Leinies or Point Bock, grilling something from a pig and talking about something completely non-famous-writer-related. Can’t say the same for John Grisham.

  21. Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    A man toddles down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything.

  22. rappy7
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    One good turn deserves another. Think it’s time to read GRRM’s books and give him a blurb. Trust me, you won’t feel yourself imitating his style. That’s impossible.

    • Posted March 13, 2012 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

      yes. Please. There is no chance that you will start immitating him, you are way too nice :-)

  23. nitebirdeh
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    I don’t know if you’ve gotten in touch with your artistic fans, but I’m sure you’d be happy to hear about the extensive collections of fanart of your books.

    Like here and here:

    This one, though, is a personal favorite I think you’ll enjoy:

    Ah, the perks of being a figure of unrequited love and adoration…

  24. QWOPtain Crunch
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    Jayne has nothing on Oot.

    Also, getting a blurb from GRRM is something I could only dream of getting. You, sir, are an INCREDIBLY lucky man. Among other things.

  25. rudejude00
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I am constantly astounded and appreciative of what a Real Person you are. This is what I tell all of my friends who have either read your book or not read your book, when I recommend your blog. I say, “guys, Pat Rothfuss writes a hilarious and poignant blog, aside from being a really badass author. He writes about being a fan, going on adventures, and going into the Meta of things that he overthinks but hey we all do it anyway, that’s what creative (insane) people are like.”
    Never stop your blog!

  26. AnnaH
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    I just wanted to respond to the comment about ending Oot’s breastfeeding. Educate yourself before judging, little comments like that make life uncomfortable for breastfeeding mother’s that are just doing the best they can for their childs nutritional and emotional well being. I wanted to be witty here but apparently I’m just too bothered.

  27. StoneDogAiel
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    Wow. Those were some really nice things that both Brandon and GRRMartin said about your book! Of course, I absolutely agree with them, and tell everyone I know to read you.

    As an aside, you mentioned that GRRM is one of the top three names in fantasy right now. I agree, and put both you and Brandon in there with him.

  28. Lemmons998
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 12:30 AM | Permalink

    Earlier this week I received a package from Amazon and had no clue what it was. I was so excited when I opened it and saw your book! I had ordered it so long ago that I had forgotten completely about it. Made my day. (I had to wait to buy it until the paperback came out because I am OCD and could not have the first book of the series in paperback and the next two in hardcover. Does anyone else have this problem?)

    • StoneDogAiel
      Posted March 13, 2012 at 3:49 AM | Permalink

      I would buy the second two in hardback and start looking for the first one hardback to go with them!

    • Gonzolubitsch
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

      I buy the hardback cos I can’t wait and then the paperback later on to go with the 1st book. Then either box the hardback or pass along for someone else to read. Although, with Terry Pratchett I’ve given up that system and just get the hardbacks these days, or my house would be overrun with books.

  29. Artheos
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Drive by Dan Pink

    All of the dilemma’s presented in this blog post are addressed in Drive. The ideas contained within just might save the world.


  30. IvoryDoom
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    I’m sure your assistants dont mind you writing their paychecks :P

    Being your own boss does seem weird though…I really dont know if I could handle that. I’d probably just sleep in til noon everday and eat cheetos til bedtime :(

    But maybe I’d need more assistants for that….hard to say.

  31. CSSCervantes
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

    Life’s such a beautiful mistake, Pat. Life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Our existence is so short that we can’t stop to mourn what we have …

  32. Liam
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    I also had to incorporate a company for myself this summer, and my mind was likewise blown. It only takes a few hundred dollars and half an hour online and *BAM*, you’re an incorporated entity.

    Did you know you can also just BUY those fancy reception desks you see in lawyers offices and the like? You can just order it from a catalogue and they ship it to you. Most people reading this will probably think I’m an idiot for never having realized this earlier, but I suppose I just always kind of assumed that such things came from some magical corporate fairyland that only big-timey business people know about.

    Kind of like Neverwhere…but…Wall Street edition?

  33. Posted March 14, 2012 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    Einstein said something to the tune of, “Explanations should be made as simple as possible… but not simpler.” Unlike most things Einstein is supposed to have said, I’m pretty sure he really did say this one, or something like it.

    Same goes for business, or relationships, or anything else: there is a “Simplicity Limit”, a lower bound in the number of moving parts a life of a particular kind can have. Just like the speed of light is the upper bound in velocity, the Simplicity Limit prevents us from living like monks AND being successful doing

    I ran my own business for years, sometimes with partners and employees, sometimes as a one man show, so I know how limiting the latter form is, although it is exhilarating as hell keeping all the parts in motion at once, knowing that if you drop one everything comes to bits and you fail. When I do it again I’m going to employ more people. The exhilaration is lower but the sleeping-at-night-ness is higher. Which sounds like the simpler alternative to me.

  34. Jam
    Posted March 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

    mm I don’t quite understand. I bought a paperback when it came out in March last year. That’s all I could find at my bookstore. We must do things differently in Australia

  35. Not Today
    Posted March 15, 2012 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    Just remember, Pat, you can take off your shoes anytime.

  36. Fawn
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    My baby has a favorite boob, too. She can’t talk yet, but she is very clear about the superiority of left vs right. Love your books! I about died when I finished the first one because I wanted MORE. Loved the second just as much and am dancing with anticipation for the third to come out. Thank you for sharing your beautiful gift.

  37. spoonyspork
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    Reading the last bit about Oot made me laugh out loud. I told myself when my son was born I would wean him when he started asking for my boobs in a clearly defined sentence (‘booby!’ wouldn’t count, but something like ‘mother, would you kindly lift your shirt so that I might partake of your fresh breast milk?’ would be too creepy for me). ‘Luckily’ when he was about a year old I was trying to eat while he was nursing (he had this thing where he had to eat as soon as I sat down for a meal, even if he’d just eaten, even if he was asleep previously), and he grabbed my spoon and started eating my food… and wouldn’t nurse any more after that. I say ‘luckily’ like that because… well, moms would understand what happens with a sudden stop. Ow. XD

    • Gonzolubitsch
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

      I love a kid who knows their own mind. And right there with ya on the Ow! :P

  38. Gonzolubitsch
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Oot is the cutest in that Jayne hat!

    I love how your success keeps taking you by surprise and how open and honest you are about your feelings and thoughts. I know that is generally what blogs are for, but from someone of your literary talent and success, it really makes a fan feel like I know you. If you EVER come to England to do a signing or a convention (or even just for a holiday), I want to know about it cos I would be there! Not in a stalkery way tho! :oO

  39. kaktusen
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    This one is bigger than the paperback for The name of the wind, right? Do you know if it will be released in the same format later on? I really want to buy it but I hate it when the books are different sizes, I think it looks weird in the bookshelf. :/

  40. camellia florescu
    Posted January 20, 2021 at 6:13 AM | Permalink

    Dear Patrick, I ask your permission please to use this great Quote in my new book on self-development.

    “It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” Patrick Rothfuss With Gratitude

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