The book will not be done in time for Christmas. I will refund your money if you like, or if you want to receive something extra, read below.
First, sorry for the mass email. I owe each of you a thank you for ordering the book, and that's been on my list to do for a little while. It was one of several things that was supposed to be done this weekend. It didn't happen. Instead, you're getting this one.
The other things on that list: Finish the book, order the proof, get it overnighted, approve the proof, make the order of 110 hardcovers and several hundred paperbacks. Then, write an email about how the books are shipping a day or two late, but they're on their way, then ship all the books out to everyone.
It was a VERY tight timeframe, but doable. I've been beating myself against the rocks of productivity and got to a point where, after getting home from San Francisco, I could concentrate solely on this book and getting it out. It would take every hour I had Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but it was on the way to happening. That's how the last 2 books were done, and I figured, why break tradition?
What happened instead: If you read my Facebook or Twitter, you saw that one of my best friends attempted to hurt himself Friday night. I had to make him the priority this weekend. I am not sorry for that, nor am I sorry for the fact that this week and some of next will be spent handling things related to the situation.
What I am sorry for is the fact that this situation has made finishing the book in time to ship for Christmas impossible. The very best prognosis -- the books could ship to me by the 23rd, which will put them into the mail by the 26th -- meaning they'll arrive just in time disappoint everyone and ruin Christmas and make me the Grinch. And that would be rushing it BIG TIME, skipping steps and cutting corners. And honestly, I'd much rather just take the time I need to make it right and produce something worth being proud of and push the date back to January and fall on my sword here.
The absolute truth is one you know quite well if you know me. I could probably have pushed a little harder and finished it earlier, and I didn't, which lead to this weekend being the "final push" and "get it done" and "light a fire under my ass" moment. And then, one of the worst things I can possibly think of ever happening, happened.
I want to make this as right as I can. To anyone who wishes a refund, one will be made immediately, and your reserve spot will be held for a hardcover if you wish to order it again after Christmas. I want to free up your funds so you can replace this gift with something else if you wish.
And now, the good news: For those who wish to keep their orders, I will be including a few bonuses: a free fold-out poster print of the cover Casey Edwards did for the book, as well as a one-time only, print to order standalone book of a brand new story I was going to include in the new book, but cut for space (if you've ever attended any of my readings, you've heard it, and you laughed your ass off because it's hands-down the best story I tell).
The tentative new date for the release is January 31, 2012. I will lock that date down as soon as possible, and hopefully even move it up, but that's a worst-case date.
I will be posting this to my blog as well, but I wanted to send this email to you first. I owe you that. And you WILL be getting the thank you email soon. For now, here a HUGE thank you for ordering the book and supporting my writing and keeping me doing what I do, and another HUGE thank you for your patience and understanding on this situation.
The only things I'll add: 1) If you were planning on pre-ordering, you still can. And I'll still include the gift thing, and 2) I am well aware that I suck. I'm sorry. But I do keep myself clean and well-groomed, so there's that.