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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fantasy Authors Go Bieber

Written by Jon Williams

If you follow fantasy authors Brandon Sanderson and James Dashner on Facebook, you may have noticed something slightly off about their profile pictures recently when both men changed their avatars to pictures of pop music phenom Justin Bieber. No, their accounts weren’t hacked. So what gives?

As it turns out, the pic switch was the result of a friendly wager between the two…which both men ended up losing! It began when Sanderson, whose YA novel Steelheart released in hardcover late in September (and is coming soon to audiobook), realized that Dashner, who lives nearby in Salt Lake City, Utah, had a YA book coming out shortly thereafter: The Eye of Minds. He proposed to track the books’ sales numbers for a week in October, and whichever author sold fewer books would display Bieber’s face as his profile picture.

So how did both of them end up with the Biebs on their profile?

When Sanderson checked in on the sales numbers after the week in question, he saw that they had both done quite well. However, both of them had been outsold in the YA fantasy genre by yet another Salt Lake City author: Wild Born (part of the multi-author Spirit Animals series) by Brandon Mull. That being the case, both authors agreed to declare Mull the winner, and therefore both of them ended up changing their photos. (Dashner has since switched back to his standard author photo; Sanderson’s profile, as of right now, still displays a photo of Bieber).

Of course, the real winner in all of this is the world of young adult fiction, which has been enriched by the works of all three authors. Be sure to SmartBrowse each author’s name on our homepage for more YA fiction (and some adult fiction as well). And while you’re there, don’t forget to search for some tunes from Justin Bieber.

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