Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A new bestseller, 20 years after publication

THE ORACLE GLASS by internationally beloved and critically acclaimed author Judith Merkle Riley was re-published in November by Sourcebooks. Now, almost twenty years since its original publication by Viking in 1994, the book has hit The New York Times bestseller list AND the USA Today bestseller list! The climb came just after THE ORACLE GLASS was featured as a Kindle Daily Deal and a Nook Daily Find on a Monday in early May.

As might be expected, the most significant impact appeared among e-book sales. In The New York Times rankings, THE ORACLE GLASS reached #7 on the E-Book Fiction list:

But e-book sales were most definitely not operating in an e-book bubble. THE ORACLE GLASS also hit #8 on The New York Times Combined Print and E-Book Fiction list:

On USA Today's overall bestseller list, THE ORACLE GLASS climbed to #16:

This bestseller success reflects the hard work and tactical strategy behind Sourcebooks's relaunch scheme. Sourcebooks bought rights to another Riley book at the same time as they bought rights to THE ORACLE GLASS.  This other book was THE MASTER OF ALL DESIRES, originally published by Viking in 1999.  It will be released in July, eight months after THE ORACLE GLASS's release.  Sourcebooks's two-part plan allows each book to capitalize on the promotions, sales, and successes of the other.

With THE ORACLE GLASS now a bestseller a month-and-a-half before Part II of Riley's Sourcebooks relaunch, THE MASTER OF ALL DESIRES is sure to reap much of the first book's success.

Sourcebooks also gave the books new, updated covers.  Below are the older covers so you can get a sense of the changes made:

And below are the two new covers!  Notice the commonalities: the font, layout, mystical tone, and the stars sprinkled throughout.  These commonalities brand the books as a pair. The print copy of THE ORACLE GLASS also has a lovely metallic sheen to it, with the title in raised lettering.  We're looking forward to seeing the print copy of THE MASTER OF ALL DESIRES when it arrives in July!

Furthermore, Sourcebooks paired new praise with the fabulous quotes the books had already garnered upon their original publication.  A sampling of the praise is below:

“Take a full cup of wit, two teaspoons of brimstone, and a dash of poison, and you have Judith Merkle Riley's mordant, compelling tale of an ambitious young woman who disguises herself as an ancient prophetess in order to gain entry into the dangerous, scheming glamour of the Sun King's court. Based on scandalous true events, THE ORACLE GLASS brims with our human foibles, passions, and eccentricities; it's a classic of the genre and unlike any historical novel you have ever read.” --C.W. Gortner, author of THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI, on THE ORACLE GLASS

“Open the pages and out comes a whiff of brimstone, as THE ORACLE GLASS transports you to the Paris of kings and witches, on a guided tour of corruption, love, and sorcery.” --Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of OUTLANDER, on THE ORACLE GLASS

Absorbing and arresting.” --The New York Times, on THE ORACLE GLASS

Fascinating and factual.” --Los Angeles Times, on THE ORACLE GLASS

“Chilly, witty, and completely engrossing...Great, good fun.” --Kirkus, on THE ORACLE GLASS

A delicious, romantic romp.” --The Seattle Times, on THE MASTER OF ALL DESIRES

“[A] dazzling mix of history, romance, and the occult...Riley [is] a writer who excels at getting the background right and creating strong, intelligent heroines.” --Kirkus, on THE MASTER OF ALL DESIRES

Delightfully rich in history, humor, and imagination.” --San Jose Mercury News, on THE MASTER OF ALL DESIRES

“A tightly woven, suspenseful and fiendishly funny novel.” --Publishers Weekly, on THE MASTER OF ALL DESIRES

“A delightful blend of history, romance, and the supernatural, served with generous helpings of wit and humor.” --Booklist, on THE MASTER OF ALL DESIRES


  1. A fascinating and instructive post. Thank you, Jessica. Also, seeing as I missed this novel the first go round, I'll have a new book to read this weekend.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post! We hope you enjoy reading THE ORACLE GLASS, too! The post was actually written by Laura. You can see the different posts each of us have written via the label box under “Posts by...”