Somehow, it’s been almost a full month since the release of Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff. May has been a crazy month in an already crazy year.
In June, I’ll dive into the release hype for Ghost of a Chance, the next book in The Many Travails of John Smith. Today, I wanted to take a moment to look back at its predecessor’s release. How did it go? Where are the gold-plated toilets I was promised? Why am I continuing to write and release John Smith books when readers want the next Damian book instead? And… what exactly have I been doing lately?
All this and more, complete with the most obvious chart you’ll ever see. Welcome to the May update!
Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff releases…
The second book in my comedic urban fantasy series was released on April 27th1. So far, I’ve been thrilled with the reception. On Goodreads, it’s currently my highest rated book. On Amazon, its release has actually caused the first book in that series, Investigation, Mediation, Vindication, to take the ratings lead2.
There’s been an undeniable uptick in interest in the series, which is great to see. I also saw a significant spike in sales for IMV, mostly coinciding with the price promotion for that book. Looking at the chart below, can you guess when the price promotion occurred?
Yeah… some charts speak for themselves. It turns out promotions are a good thing. Who would have thought? While See These Bones and Red Right Hand are back to outselling the John series by a substantial margin, the ratio is a lot closer than it used to be3. That said, I’m learning that the extreme growth I saw with Red Right Hand’s release, where my overall sales went up by 10x4, was more an exception than the general rule.
The Many Travails of John Smith is looking like it will be more of a steady builder. And I’m okay with that! A lot of readers and reviewers found the series for the first time with Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff’s release, and I hope that will be the case again when I release book three.
A huge thanks to all of you who have read and reviewed the new book! John is a bit of a moron sometimes, but I enjoy writing his escapades very much.
Ghost of a Chance moseys its way to the finish line…
With Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff’s5 release in April, May has been all about the next book in the series, Ghost of a Chance. Pre-alpha, alpha, pre-beta, beta, and post-beta reactions6 have all been coming in. While I’ve had some things to address and tighten up, the general sentiment is that this is people’s favorite John Smith book to date7. It’s music to my ears. Originally written in 2015, Ghost of a Chance was the first time I tried to flex my plot muscles… and as much editing and polish work as I’ve had to do, I’ve enjoyed revisiting it quite a bit.
However, the process has not been without its struggles. The original plan was to send the book to NetGalley8 next week. Now, it’s looking more like the first week of June. With the book’s Amazon release scheduled for June 29th9, that doesn’t leave as much advance review time as I prefer. Consequently, the release day blog post might have fewer review quotes than usual. Still, I don’t want to push the release date back. As some of you may have noticed, the book is already available for preorder, and unless something catastrophic occurs, I’ll stand by the promised date.
Given that there’s already an Amazon listing for the book, there’s no need to do a cover reveal here. Instead, as you may have noticed, I’ve included the unlettered art for Ghost of a Chance above! Click on it for a high-resolution look. This particular piece of art required a lot more back and forth than Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff, and I definitely miss Jee Sun’s pugnacious presence. Still, I think it carries the style of the first two books forward nicely. Let me know what you think!
One Tin Soldier gets a prologue…
The Many Travails of John Smith won’t be my only series getting a new book in 2021. This November, we’ll take another trip to the post-Break world to wrap up The Murder of Crows. I’m happy to say I’ve officially started writing One Tin Soldier! Beta readers should get a pre-release copy10 in August or early September. There’s a lot of pressure in finishing Damian’s story well, and a ton of foreshadowing for me to pay off. Luckily, I’ve known what was coming for years now. We’ll see what readers think of the ending, but I’m excited to finally write it!
After six straight months of John, it’s also really nice to slide back into Damian’s shoes. I love both my MCs, but the thing I love most may be how very different they are! Bring on the madness, mayhem, and gratuitous f-bombs!
So, that’s my May update. It’s been a busy month, but I think it’s been a productive one too. June will be about two things: writing One Tin Soldier and counting down to Ghost of a Chance’s release. I’m looking forward to sharing more of the latter with you over the coming weeks!
Until then, stay safe and keep reading!
If you’ve read this far, you’ve got gumption, kid. In fact, you’re just the kind of person that would make an awesome subscriber to my newsletter. Come join the fun!
And by fun, I mean “be alerted when new books are available.” If this site’s blog posts are my monthly, in-depth, fact-heavy shareholders’ reports, the newsletters are my far-less-frequent, carefully crafted pseudo-tweets, skipping all the nitty gritty to tell you what you actually want to know: what’s new and how you can get it.
I promise that I will never spam you… because spamming takes effort, and I am way, way too busy for that.
- And juuuuuust a bit later on paperback.
- Humorously, the vast majority of my books seems to end up with a 4.6 rating on Amazon. The lone exceptions are currently IMV (at 4.7) and The Stars That Sing (at 4.3). In further head-scratching news, The Stars That Sing is one of my higher rated books on Goodreads. Go figure!
- Closer to 5:1 instead of 10:1.
- I can’t tell you how tired I am of typing that title out!
- I may be overdoing it on the granularity!
- My angel-wife and best friend both think the fourth book, which won’t reach Amazon until 2022, is even better, but we’ll see if the betas agree!
- After a solid response for Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff on NetGalley, we’re going to keep using it for now.
- Yes, this is the official release date announcement!
- Rife with typos and errant commas.
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