My publicist emailed today to let me know that Percy Jackson & the Olympians will be #5 on the New York Times children's series bestseller list for next week (before Battle of the Labyrinth is published). Why is this significant? Because it marks fifty-two consecutive weeks that Percy Jackson has been on the bestseller list -- one full year. That just boggles my mind. Everybody at Disney/Hyperion is very excited about book four's release next week (especially me) but this series never would've gotten off the ground if it wasn't for all the kids who were passing the books around, recommending them to their friends, teachers and parents. So thanks, young demigods. What you think absolutely does matter!
Special kudos go out this week to Ms. Ward at Trinity Lutheran School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A parent of one of her fifth graders wrote to tell me that Ms. Ward issued a reading challenge to her class, and if they get a certain number of AR points by next Tuesday, she will overcome her fear of heights and read them the Battle of the Labyrinth from the roof of the school! I understand the students are very close to reaching their goal! Stay safe up there, Ms. Ward. I've heard of a lot of cool Percy parties planned around the country, but reading from the roof is a first. I've mailed Ms. Ward her own Camp Half-Blood T-shirt and signed bookplates for all her students.
If you're looking for an audio version of Battle of the Labyrinth, they will be available unabridged on CD starting May 13, or if you don't want to wait, it will be available on May 6 as a download from Random House Audio. Here's the link.
In other news, Puffin Books just sent me some amazing promotional materials they will be using to show off the new British covers. UK fans can expect to see a Percy television ad on Nickelodeon, a redesigned UK Percy website, cool bookmarks in the bookstores, their own chance to win a trip to Camp Half-Blood in Austin, Texas, and more, all coming soon. I hadn't realized this, but the artist Chris McGrath who did the new Percy Jackson covers for the UK also does the covers for another series I like -- Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. This is a more adult fantasy series, but the main character Harry Dresden is just awesome, a modern-day wizard in Chicago.
Six days and counting! I'll keep you posted as I get more news.