Update on Unseen Realm and Supernatural

If you’ve been reading the comments to previous update posts, you realize that some people have actually received copies of both books. (Yes, they are real). One commenter asked if Amazon had jumped the gun because, if you go to Amazon now, it says that the book will only be released September 1. Well, yes, someone jumped the gun, but it wasn’t Amazon. I’ll try and explain what’s going on (now that it’s been explained to me).

In a nutshell, a few months ago Amazon opened both books for -re-order. That was their decision based on their procedures and metadata they received. They had the dates wrong since the Publisher (Lexham Press) wanted to delay the release of the book). Pre-orders for both books were shut down after about a week, and the release dates on Amazon kept shifting (and I posted some updates to that effect). What happened was that some folks were able to order the books before the window closed. That’s why some people got books. But they actually got them by mistake of our distributor. Lexham Press didn’t want any orders fulfilled until Sept 1 — which takes me to the next point.

About two weeks ago (I did not blog this) the internal date for releasing Unseen Realm was changed to September 1. Supernatural was moved to (sigh) December. Why? With respect to Unseen Realm, the answer is “marketing plans.” Management at Lexham has invested a large sum of money into the project and feels that more time is needed to revise the marketing plan and put it into motion. While I don’t like the delay, those whose money has gone into the project need to be confident about plans for selling it to recover the costs. It’s understandable (but of course frustrating for me and many of you). But I can tell you (I have now held both books in my own hands, as of last week) that it will be worth it. Supernatural has been moved to December because of uncertainties about being able to market the two books simultaneously. Earlier thinking on that presumed it would be no problem. Now people aren’t sure. As an illustration of the problem, someone who apparently knows that there are two books (one academic, the other not) and received a copy of Supernatural (due to pre-order) posted a review on Amazon for Supernatural criticizing the book because it didn’t have footnotes and documentation, all the while looking forward to the one that did. That just doesn’t help. It seems no matter how often I’ve tried to tell people the difference, it doesn’t matter. People will still evaluate something on the basis of what it wasn’t intended to be. If I can’t make the difference known to avoid confusion, the publisher has no reason to believe that it can. Consequently, it’s hard for me to argue with delaying Supernatural. Management wants Unseen Realm to be out for a few months so that customers/readers don’t get confused.  Both books have actually been printed and are sitting on pallets in a warehouse, and that’s where they’ll stay until Sept 1 (Unseen Realm) and some time in December (Supernatural). There is talk of the companion volumes (the primer and the leader’s guide) shipping with Supernatural. That’s all I know.

So, to bring us up to date, Unseen Realm can be ordered, but it won’t be released until Sept 1. Those copies that went out to fulfill pre-orders of months ago went out from the distributor by mistake. The publisher has directed the distributor not to fulfill any more orders until Sept. 1. If you have one in your hands now, (or get one in the near future), you’ve gotten an unplanned sneak peak. Feel free to post a review on Amazon. But if you spread the word (presently) on other social media, people must know that they won’t be getting books until after Sept. 1.  If you are planning on scheduling a speaking event for me, you might be able to get one directly from Lexham. You’d have to email me for contact information in that regard. That’s why I asked a couple weeks ago that those who’ve emailed me in the past about an event to email me again.

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