First, as it seems many of you missed the pinned post on Facebook or the post (in the menu) about upcoming releases, please refer to this post. It explains the order I am working on books that are not up for preorder. The post regarding the release schedule for the Magical Romantic Comedy series can be found here.
Hopefully everyone reads this, but I will not be answering any more questions about novel releases. Seriously. Stop messaging me about it in private. I’m getting multiple messages a day on my personal profile about when things are coming out.
That is my space to talk with my family and friends, and the messages aren’t there for you to ask about releases. It’s really not. You can come and say hello, express thanks, or just ask what I’m up to if you’d like–I will answer as I’m available. Go ahead and be friendly. But it’s not a space to circumvent the blog or the actual page asking about when you will get some project or another. It’s also NOT the space to report any typos.
Let me put it in a way that might be easier to understand: the page is like you going to Starbucks. When I’m on the page, I’m the barista who deals with orders, questions, and general work stuff. (But I’m not your servant, either. Unlike the Starbucks barista, I have flex hours and can come and go as I please, but I try to visit the page and check posts daily.)
You don’t follow your barista home and demand they make you coffee when they aren’t working.
That is what you’re doing when you go onto my personal profile to bring up work stuff. My literal name is RJ Blain, so that’s what is used for my personal profile.
Just because my main writing name and my real name are the same does not mean you’re invited to come to my house and ask me to work off hours.
Please stop. Seriously. There are tens upon tens upon tens of you who mean well, but I’m really not here to ask how high when you say jump. It’s exhausting when I can’t slide over to my personal profile and escape work for a while to talk to my friends and fellow authors.
Thank you for your understanding.
Now, onto the Patreon issue, as there have been those who don’t understand how it works.
1: This patreon is for those who ONLY want a book a few days before the book releases. It says “Per Novel” on the signup page, and the user profile is orange. The banner has the cover of Fowl Play. There is one and only one tier.
You will receive ALL books I write, regardless of pen name and genre. You will receive the book for $5.99 plus applicable taxes. Collections (single OR multi author) are NOT included with ANY patreon. I will not be doing short stories or novellas either, as those are not valued at typical novel releases.
I will be notifying users of this patreon when there is something that is more or less expensive, and I will be providing an easy payhip link for purchasing off of Amazon/directly from me in those circumstances.
2: This patreon is for those who want EVERYTHING. It is monthly, and you must be in a $10 or higher tier (Otters, Cindercorns, Spicy Ponies with Bite) to receive all novel, novella, and short story content. Lower tiers get access to backlist novels delivered in weekly posts/as a read along. Each tier roughly explains what you get.
Books are delivered through a bookfunnel link, and the link is only active for one month. It is up to all patreons to follow the website/check emails for the links to the books.
Books are delivered 3-7 days prior to the official release, and they include some behind the scenes commentary only available on the Patreon version.
Both Patreons receive the novels at the same time, with a delay of maybe 20 minutes while I set up the links. Pick one or the other, unless you need two copies. (Seriously, you only need to be a member of ONE Patreon to receive future novels.)
As a reminder/notice for those on the PER NOVEL patreon: There will only be one charged post in May of 2023 for the dual release. The other book will be made available to you on a private Payhip link. That edition will be only available for a month, just like the bookfunnel patreon. (And Payhip also delivers through bookfunnel.)
My initial plan was to offer books to Patrons earlier, but thanks to someone pirating the book literally right in front of me on my own discord server, that will not be happening. (Like, there is bold, and then there is stupid enough to pirate the book in front of the author on the server they own.)
So yes, the actions of one punished many, but that’s my livelihood, and it’s obvious people cannot be trusted with keeping the books to themselves. 3-7 days ahead of the main release significantly minimizes how much damage the unethical can do.
Regarding Upcoming Releases:
I’m exhausted. like, I’m flat-out exhausted. Imagine going to work with no battery charged, you’re expected to work, you’re working under deadline, and you’re so damned tired you can barely think. That’s me.
While I’m out of deadline hell, it takes a lot of time to recover from it. I’m focused on self-care right now. Here is the reality: if I’m not healthy, I can’t write books.
So, view me as a battery at critically low charge, one you need to just leave alone to charge on its cable without bothering it for a while.
My battery becomes heavily drained every single time someone asks me when something is coming, in any format. I am no longer going to be answering these questions. Sorry, but I’m not going to be doing it. I post to my blog, I post to FB, I post to Patreon about when stuff is happening.
If there isn’t a preorder date, assume it isn’t happening yet. Wait. Honestly, I don’t care if you wait patiently or not as long as you take your impatience elsewhere.
Every time someone asks about when something releases, all it does is make the release take even MORE time.
You’ve exhausted me when I could have been working on books.
You probably don’t think that your questions have much influence, but they really do. Every time someone asks, think about my emotional / physical capabilities like a phone battery.
You ask, and I lose 5% of my charge. When I’m getting 5-10 people asking every day, 25-50% of my battery’s charge has been sucked away through dealing with the impatience of others.
If you want books to come out faster… sit down, be quiet, be happy for the books I busted ass to write, and be pleasantly surprised when a preorder goes live.
I will not be announcing preorders of new pen names moving forward. That is space I’ve reclaimed for myself. If you don’t know the pen name exists, you can’t ask me when it’s coming out.
That’s how bad the battery drain issue is.
You don’t follow your Starbucks barista home and ask them to make you coffee… so please don’t do that to me.
I am instructing Jenny to leave links to the Upcoming releases page for those who write in and ask on a template, because it’s addressed on this blog. Asking isn’t going to make it come faster. (It really DOES slow down the process.)
I understand why some writers become hermits and don’t engage on social media, though. It’s exhausting.
Lately, I’ve been getting messages before I have even managed to get out of bed. As in, I wake up at 7:30 my time most days, and I have messages on my personal profile asking about when books are coming out. This has been happening most days of the week. I am starting my day with my battery being drained.
And if you don’t stop, well, I’m just going to start blocking people on social media because it is really that exhausting.
It won’t be personal, except… it is. I’ll be forced to do it to preserve my mental health. No matter how nice and kind you are, if you keep knocking at someone’s door while they’re sleeping, they aren’t going to be happy about it. Especially if it isn’t an emergency and they aren’t feeling well.
I know there are a lot of authors who are releasing books every few weeks and killing themselves to make a living. I want to write because I want to write… and I want to make enough to pay the bills.
I don’t want to make enough to pay the bills to kill myself over impatient readers who can’t learn patience and how to keep unwelcome advances to themselves.
I will, now and then, give you a space to ask these questions. They will be clearly labeled. But, frankly spoken, the “Upcoming Releases” section of the blog, which is in the menu, is pretty clear on what you can expect moving forward, with the Mag Rom Com schedule as an exception to the new formula.
Regarding new pen names and my refusal to announce their preorders/etc: after they are released, I will eventually drop links so you can purchase them. If you really NEED to know immediately, one of the patreons is where you need to be. I will not be telling my patreons what is releasing, but they will be notified when a book is coming.
Everyone else will get a surprise link when I’m ready to post / make the pen name official.
If something is linked to my imprint, and you ask me about it, I am not going to reply. I’m just not even going to answer your question.
When I am ready to make the pen name official, I will do so. How many books will that take? Frankly, I don’t know. But I CAN tell you this: I am working on these pen names because there is NO PRESSURE from anybody about them. You can’t pressure me about things you don’t know.
As a result, I am enjoying writing those stories.
I don’t want the enjoyment to be dampened because of enthusiastic readers. I truly understand you mean well, but it is a case of your good intentions doing more harm than actual good. Good intentions don’t make up for the damage those intentions create.
So, that’s that. I have numerous new pen names in the works across a variety of genres, and I am enjoying exploring new-to-me things. Some of you will like the new pen names, some of you won’t.
But, to stop people from draining my battery, this is the new policy.
What will my book production look like moving forward? Who knows. I certainly don’t. But this is what you can expect:
I plan on finishing everything I have started, so please stop asking me if I am planning on continuing $x story. When it comes out, it will come out. if I intend on abandoning a series, I will rework the next story in the series to conclude it, and you will be told that the story is over, that’s it, that’s all.
I will be bringing everything in audiobook edition and print edition, so please stop asking me when it is going to happen. If I knew, I would have already told you. I will no longer be answering questions about audio and print editions. They will happen when they happen, and not a moment sooner. (Asking is not going to make it happen any faster.)
I am establishing these boundaries so I can continue to write, because frankly… this issue of being constantly bombarded with well-intentioned people has driven me to wanting to just cut my losses and finding a new career path.
I love to write, but I’m really, really tired of the invasions. You don’t follow your baristas home… so stop invading my personal bubbles.
I’m grateful for those of you who love my books and have found enjoyment hours out of them. And honestly… I don’t care at smidge about those who are unhappy with the books; those books aren’t to your taste, and that’s fine. There are many other excellent writers you can go to read instead. (And no… I don’t read your reviews, so all you’re doing is blowing hot air and nobody when you go on a review smearing campaign.)
The only reviews I see are the ones my assistant cherry picks when she looks at the 5* ones. She doesn’t look at anything below 5* either, and we don’t even check the review ratings on series except at a glance to see how future titles are prioritized. (So, if you really want a series to be continued… leave the ratings even if you can’t be bothered to leave the reviews. Because if the * rating is low… the series will not be continued promptly and will be pushed down lower on the list.)
All of the books on the Upcoming Releases series are old series or series that got hammered with low star reviews when the lists were being made. They are not being pursued in a timely fashion as a result. (Hint: I pick at them daily, with the general expectation to finish one every 4-6 months. These books were all condemned to the list by either low sales or low star reviews at the time the book list was made.)
Everything NOT on that list either had good sales or better reviews, which is an indication of substantial reader interest. That’s why the Mag Rom Com books aren’t on that list and have their own set schedule. Those books pay the bills.
Everything else… doesn’t.
Royal States is also not on that list because those books pay the bills. I haven’t set a schedule for them, mainly because they’re fun and I work on them as the spark is there for it.
What you do/buy and the ratings/reviews you leave make a difference. So, if you haven’t left ratings or reviews, and you wonder why the books are on the backlist finishing schedule, you now know why.
It was a business decision. That’s it, that’s all.
I wish this post was a little happier in nature, but it is what it is.
For a final tidbit of news, after discussion on facebook, I will continue to release editions as they are ready. Audiobook listeners will just have to wait the 4-6 months for the production process to be completed, with the rare surprise when things are finished earlier than expected. Print readers will likewise have to wait.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great day.
Hi RJ! For your sanity, I follow a lot of YouTubers. None of them, 0, zero, nada, zip, allow subscribers on their personal page. They have a fan page. No fans on their family page. For just this reason. RJ, you give too much. It’s ok to set your boundaries and reset them as needed. Not everyone will like it. Too bad. Be happy. Kick everyone off your family page. Set up or redirect to the fan page. Work is not allowed to follow you everywhere. Be well. Sending you blessings and happy vibes.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
I don’t WANT people to go into my private messages, but I leave it open for friends to contact me and other writers to ask for help. Readers just take advantage uninvited.
And I know plenty of youtubers who DO have subs on their personal page. I’m on personal pages of several youtubers, so… yeah. That’s a misconception.
I am just leaving my RJ appreciation 💌 here. I heard you, and I hope all your fans are hearing you. Please do block all people, who bother you.
I will just silently haunt booksellers for older titles I may not have and quietly buy them to feed my addiction to your writings until patreon notifies me of a new title 🙃.
I found you during lockdown and your humor and engrossing stories were an integral part of managing my depression, and I hope setting boundaries will enable you to keep your creativity alive.
Ya gotta read “Blended”, it’s my “go too” when I need a lift up or a positive escape. You’ll love it! It was my first book that got me hooked!!
Love you and your books. Get healthy and enjoy your writing. Block people that bother you. Your sanity is important.
Absolutely love your books. Such a treat when life is getting to me. Can dive right in and enjoy your worlds. Keep up the great work at whatever pace you need. Don’t burn out! It would be a horrible loss.
We Love you R.J…….
Some one pirated a book from your discord channel?Oh my God. Thieving toe rags,!!! I’m.so angry for you. You have worked for month ‘s in your books you do not need thieves because that’s what they are.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Yeeeep. It was special. They took the book from Patreon and posted it to the discord server. It was… special. That’s all I can say. It was special. And completely morally and ethically bankrupt.
Hi, hope all is well with you! Loved your photos from your trip to San Diego, my husband LOVED them (brought back found memories) so thanks for sharing!
Just a quick note: my granddaughter & I are dealing with the murder of my son/ her father and your “Witch & Wolf” series really helped! Don’t ask why, just good Therapy! So, Thanks 😊
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
I am so sorry to hear that. 🙁 May you find peace and healing sooner than later, and may justice be served.
I’m so glad you’ve rediscovered your joy in the Royal States. They are one of my favorite series and I’m always delighted when a new one arrives. No hurry, no pressure, life is way too short for the stress you are living with.
Take time out to smell the roses, and kick the people who violate your personal page to the curb.
Valerie J Peterson
Happy, healthy author is the best.
Thanks but there won’t be any justice on this plane. It’ll happen later and she & I are working on that. Karma is a bitch, either in this life, or the next. We rejoice in his memory, art and his laugh! 😻
Thank you. I love your work and…just thank you and have a good weekend.
Wow, people suck. Sorry the over-enthusiastic ones are wearing you down. It takes a very… erm, *special* kind of person to demand stuff like that.
Block away! They don’t like it? Oh well! Your sanity is much more important. Take care, feel better, etc. Not gonna tell you to write more because you already write so much. Sending you a virtual hug.
Please rest up!
I hope you feel better soon 💕
I always thought your blogs were where we were supposed to make comments. What the h@#$ is wrong with some people? Hounding someone for something never works, and usually has the opposite result. Block away, everyone needs time off from work. People wouldn’t expect to do work after hours or on days off, so they shouldn’t demand that of someone else.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
The issue is people think it’s a-okay to just ask me rather than read the pinned / menu items when books are coming up, and… like… the front page of the post literally has EVERYTHING dealing with new releases up on it. So, there shouldn’t be any questions because I’m not sure how much clearer I can get.
Not up for preorder… I don’t know when, here’s the order I’m working on. Not on these lists? Don’t bother asking, I don’t know.
Yet. People. Ask.
Sending you a virtual hot bubble bath and tacos. If you need to block people to get the toxic, draining mental energy to stop than please do so. I adore your worlds and I would love to continue having more stories in them.
Please take care. Sending best wishes to your husband and cats too.
***** <~ 5 * review for this blog post!
I hope it helps you to know that, I return to your books in my collection every time I'm so stressed out I can't see straight! I love getting your new releases and I prioritize them when buying books. But I'm happy to reread what I have and wait. I live on a fixed income, your books are a treat to myself! I can't pre order them all but I budget for them. Yes, when you don't have a book coming out I buy other authors, but you knew that I'm sure.
I guess what I'm trying to say in my long winded way is – I prefer to make my own coffee. Sometimes I want it different every day and I always make it the way I like it. Especially when MY mental health is at issue. Comfort food, good coffee, great books…. It subjective. It's also not your concern. I sincerely thank you for every book you write. And every book you release. As a fan of your work your time is precious to me. Thanks again and have a great rest of July!
I love your books and have recommended them to my friends. I am really sad that others are hounding you. I may wait impatiently for your next book, but I would never want to rush you. Keep writing and entertaining the world but do it at the pace you need. I am eagerly waiting for the next book which ever series it is in. Thank you for your fresh voice and humor.