From a reader’s point of view, the benefit of pre-ordering is generally that you receive the book to read on day one, without having to remember to go get it. Even books pre-ordered on Amazon are shipped so that you receive them on release day. That’s all fantastic, but from an author’s point of view, things are a little more complicated…and the long-term effects can make it back to the reader. I’m going to explain how this works for both audiobooks ordered via Audible, and e-books/print books pre-ordered via Amazon. Despite both companies being owned by Amazon, the answers are polar opposites. Here’s why.
AUDIBLE – When you place a pre-order on Audible, it doesn’t affect the sales rank right away. All of those orders stack up and “go live” on day one of a book’s release. If you sell 1000 copies in the months before release, and another three hundred on day one, Audible’s algorithms sees your day one sales as 1300, which can propel you onto the bestseller lists, can help you get a lot more exposure, increases sales, and kick things off in a big way. This is ideal.
Should I pre-order audiobooks? YES!
Your pre-order helps our release day efforts in a big way, and even a brief stint in the top 100, or at #1 can alter the trajectory of a novel’s success in positive ways.
It’s no secret. Writing a sequel to Infinite, my best selling and most reviewed novel ever (by a lot), has intimidated me for years. But fans have been wonderfully persistent, asking for the story to continue, and, well, sales justify it. But sequels are tricky, especially for a twisty novel like Infinite. In the long history of sequels, writers attempted to recreate the magic of the first book or movie, repeating a similar story, following the same beats, and hoping to strike gold twice. But most of the time, they fail. And not because they’re bad stories on their own, but because the very act of trying to recreate something—a little bit different—robs it of the magic that made it wonderful in the first place.
So, I went a different route, deciding that Infinite2 should be its own creature. It didn’t need to feel like the first book or have the same kind of surprises. Instead, it follows its own path, has its own vibe, and has very different kinds of surprises. The result is that Infinite2 is one of my personal favorite novels (of mine) that many advance readers are saying is better than the original.
If that’s not enough to convince you, here’s the summary!
William Chanokh is immortal…and he’s trapped on the Galahad, an interstellar starship on a never-ending journey through open space.
His only companions are Capria—mortal and in cryo-sleep—and Gal, an artificial intelligence, and the love of his life, with whom he spends every waking moment in the ‘Great Escape,’ a virtual paradise. After untold years living countless lives, Gal begins acting strange. Possessive. Violent. Paranoid.
Positive that something in the real world is causing her to malfunction, Will attempts to leave the Great Escape, but he finds himself a prisoner. Guided by a voice from reality, he is thrust into a series of torturous narratives, each one designed to break his will and keep him trapped in virtual reality.
Betrayed by his digital love, his long-term memory overwritten, and enduring violent manipulation, Will painfully peels back layers of simulation, fighting to reach reality 1.0—where the nightmares are real.
2020 has been a slow year for Robinson releases. So far, just NPC. I’d like to say that’s all part of the grand scheme, but it’s really just part of me working through personal/health struggles that have slowed me down from a “Is Jeremy Robinson actually Lt. Commander Data in disguise?” level to a “Stephen King” pace (2 – 3 novels a year). It’s still a fast pace, but it’s indicative of my state of mind.
Also indicative of my state of mind is the content of my novels, which have shifted over the past few years from being primarily nutso, light-hearted action to more serious, character driven, introspective action. My novels are mental ping-pong matches between dark and painful themes (me working through personal demons) and crazy funny stories (me taking a vacation from my problems). NPC was dark, serious, and mind-bendy. So it’s time for some light-hearted action right?
Hell to the yes!
BUT, there is a catch. EXO-HUNTER turned out to be strangely timely and possibly controversial/political because of events that happened after I was mostly done writing it (George Floyd’s tragic death and the resulting protests). EXO-HUNTER‘s main character is a black man fighting against a white supremacist future government. That simple description, shared earlier in the year, immediately resulted in some negative comments. Which blows my mind. If a black hero fighting against future Nazis offends you, it’s time to take a looong look in the mirror. White Supremacy in the U.S. is as vile as it was in Nazi Germany. They are real life bad guys. They need to be defeated wherever, and whenever they are. Hopefully, that’s not a problem for you.
On to the book!
EXO-HUNTER is very light-hearted and funny, featuring Dark Horse, a sarcastic main character a la Jon Hudson and Jane Harper. The novel also pays homage to the 1980s (which is always fun), inspired by a slew of my favorite 80s movies (Aliens, Predator, Total Recall, etc…) and 80s New Wave music. In fact, EXO-HUNTER is the first novel of mine that comes with a playlist featuring the 17 songs that are mentioned in the novel. If you want a sneak peek, you can listen to the “soundtrack” on YouTube by clicking here.
Before we get to the story, a note for audiobook listeners. Due to unforeseen circumstances (a la 2020), the audiobook has been delayed. It IS in the works, and will hopefully be out sooner than later, but forces beyond my control conspired against it. I will send out a second newsletter the moment it becomes available.
Now, on to the story!
Callsign: Dark Horse and his Marine Rapid Reaction Force team have been sent to recover a strange artifact near Antarctica’s Soviet-controlled Vostok Station. Confronted by a team of Ruskie Spetsnaz, a battle for control of the strange device, frozen in the ice, breaks out. But before anyone can claim victory, or the prize, an explosion of white light knocks the combatants unconscious and whisks them away to…
One thousand years later. Dark Horse, along with his teammate, Chuy, and one of the Soviets, Drago, finds himself in a future that is both impressive and horrifying. Humanity has left Earth behind and is rapidly expanding throughout the galaxy under the banner of The Union, a white supremacist government who racially ‘purified’ the human race hundreds of years in the past.
Living on the fringe of this twisted Fourth Reich society, Dark Horse-the only Black man in the Union-commandeers a vessel and scours the galaxy for his missing teammates under the guise of an Exo-Hunter, seeking out exo-planets to satiate the Union’s need for colonization. His search takes him beyond the edge of the known universe and into an interplanetary war, guided by a vast intelligence that’s been waiting for Dark Horse’s arrival-for a thousand years.
New York Times and #1 Audible.com bestselling author Jeremy Robinson takes readers on a journey to a dark and twisted future…and makes them laugh. EXO-HUNTER is a light-hearted homage to 1980s science fiction movies that also looks at the dangers of white supremacy and the core values that makes it dangerous, and the butt of the joke. In the audiobook edition, he is joined by #1 Audible bestselling narrator, R.C. Bray, giving readers the most compelling-and most fun-thing to come out of 2020.
PRINT EDITIONS are available everywhere, but the e-book is Kindle only, and available for free via Kindle Unlimited. Go ahead and snag it!
And for those who, like me, enjoy moving pictures, music, and voiceovers, here is the trailer!
[“Kane Looks Back” is a series of posts where my editor, Kane Gilmour, will focus on some of my past novels that you might not have discovered yet. Now read on… –Jeremy]
And then there was Deep Blue. So, I was working with Jeremy occasionally, but I’d been in contact with him on e-mail probably daily for a year or two by then. I’d edited TORMENT and the first LAST HUNTER book. I’d also finished my first novel, RESURRECT, and Jeremy had read it and blurbed it for me. I suggested to Jeremy early on during the Chesspocalypse editing and releases that he do a sixth book—one that focused on the team’s mysterious handler, Tom Duncan, the former President of the United States. The man was a former Ranger, and had set up the Chess Team prior to PULSE, and at the end of THRESHOLD he pulled the team away from the military (and pulled a whole lot more resources along with them) and was setting up his own little fiefdom in a captured bad guy base in New Hampshire. I, for one, was fascinated by this character, and I wanted more back story about him. I nagged Jeremy that he should do a Deep Blue novella, and what was more, I wanted him to do it on his own, without a co-author. But Jeremy, who was already doing the co-writing work with a bunch of other authors, putting the final tweaks on edits for SECONDWORLD, was writing the LAST HUNTER books, and who was already starting to write the story that would become ISLAND 731…well, Jeremy was understandably swamped. He said: “Why don’t you write it?”
Jeremy Robinson is the #1 Audible.com and New York Times bestselling author of more than seventy novels and novellas spanning multiple genres, best known for Infinite, The Others, Project Nemesis, Alter and Space Force. He also writes comic books including: Project Nemesis, Island 731 and Godzilla - Rage Across Time, and several of his project have been optioned for film and TV.
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