The pre-order pages are up and running, so it’s high time I updated folks on the next iterations of the MAJESTIC-12 books. And I’m really pleased with the direction we’re going.
First off, the mass-market paperback of MJ-12: Inception is scheduled to drop on June 6! And it’ll include a nice little excerpt from the second book in the series, MJ-12: Shadows. And of course, it’ll be far cheaper than the hardcover — like two-thirds or more cheaper — and I expect the e-book price to likewise fall. So that’s cool.
And then MJ-12: Shadows is out September 5! And that, too, is coming out in mass-market paperback, which I think is pretty awesome since it’ll be much more affordable.
Yeah, we’re not doing a hardcover release for MJ-12: Shadows and I am not only perfectly fine with that, I’m stoked. Let’s flashback a bit to late 2015/early 2016, when Night Shade Books and I were plotting and planning the release. There were two cases to be made: a hardcover release and paperback. My feeling then was that a lot of fantastic spy thrillers — and yes, MJ-12: Inception most certainly falls into that category — were in mass-market, and there was a lot of potential for pick-it-up-and-try-it at that price point. NSB, on the other hand, felt that comparable books in the spy-fi sub-sub-genre had gotten a hardcover release first, and that Inception would do best with a similar release.
I’m pleased with how MJ-12: Inception did in hardcover, but in fairness, it really didn’t outpace sales of the Daedalus books. It was a departure from the books I’m known for, and I’m not yet enough of a name to bring a whole heap of people over to a new genre with me, despite all the fantastic reviews and blurbs (Harry Turtledove!). So over wings and beers earlier this year, super-agent Sara Megibow and I huddled with Cory Allyn and Jason Katzman over at NSB and pitched mass-market for the rest of the series, and they agreed.
Here’s the thing: I really don’t care about format. The MJ-12: Inception hardcover is beautiful and amazing and will be passed down from generation to generation in my family. I’m immensely proud of it; it’s my first hardcover, after all. But it’s also expensive, which we believed was keeping folks from taking a chance on it. (I’ve been particularly disgruntled about the high e-book prices.) It’s not like I’m making leave-your-day-job money on this, so I’d much rather make the books more discoverable and accessible, and just get more people reading ’em. If more people read and like ’em, then I get to make it up in volume, as the sales folks say.
So there you go. We’ll have MJ-12: Inception in mass-market paperback on June 6, followed by MJ-12: Shadows in that same wallet-friendly format on September 5. And if I can get my caboose in gear, I think we can maybe sneak in an excerpt from MJ-12: Endgame in the Shadows release — no promises, but I’m gonna try.
Mark your calendars: June 6 for Inception, September 5 for Shadows! You can pre-order both of them today, in fact, and if you’re so inclined, I’d be mighty grateful.