My Next Novel is Up for Pre-Order, See the Cover!
The next chapter in the John Dies at the End series! Order it now! Thanks!
HOLY SHIT! The new book is up for pre-order! It's another grotesque and mind-boggling tale involving the John Dies at the End cast of characters. It's called If This Book Exists, You're in the Wrong Universe:
This is a momentous day for some of you! And for others, this post is meaningless, if not a mild annoyance! Please keep reading regardless!
Just to recap, the novel that made my writing career, the one that got turned into a movie, was called John Dies at the End. It's a simultaneously very smart and very stupid book, a complex, mind-bending cosmic horror adventure seen through the eyes of a cranky, incurious narrator with a shockingly crude sense of humor. The film gained a huge cult following and was free to stream for Amazon Prime members, last time I checked:
"Wait," some of you are saying, "I've never read your books as I only follow you for your columns and podcasts, but the tone of what you're describing sounds a lot like Rick and Morty."
Well, I did it first - I came up with mine 13 years before that show came about. But I love Rick and Morty and the team behind it (I mean, I don’t know them or anything), so if that's your basis of comparison, I'll take it. If you like that series, you'll like these novels (somebody turns into a pickle in pretty much every other chapter). If you hate that show, but enjoy my columns, you'll like these novels (no one ever turns into a pickle). If you hate that show and have never read my novels and hate my columns, I don't know why you're here but, hey, I'm happy to have you! Please consider buying some books.
And yes, I say "books" because John Dies at the End would be followed by a New York Times-bestselling follow-up (This Book is Full of Spiders) and a third (What the Hell Did I Just Read), each received with better critical and reader reviews than the original.
The novel that just went up for pre-order is thus the fourth in that series but you do not have to have read any of the previous three to understand it. You can start anywhere. If you find the events confusing, you’re not alone, but I can assure you that reading the previous novels won't help you. That said, the previous three are available now in any possible format (JDatE is actually free for Kindle Unlimited users, at the time of this writing) and this next one doesn't come out until this fall.
"Wait, did you say fall? So why in the fuck are you asking us to pre-order it now?!? A meteor could destroy the earth between now and then!" That's a great question, and the answer is that pre-orders are everything for an author, unless that author is some kind of huge superstar and I absolutely am not that.
It's no exaggeration to say that I have a successful novel-writing career for exactly two reasons: 1) My first one got made into a movie and 2) for every book since, I have been successful at drumming up pre-orders months prior to release. It’s those early orders that convince bookstores to carry lots of copies.
"But isn't 'writing books that people enjoy reading' one of those factors?" Sure, but the world is full of struggling writers who write way better novels than mine. Even if your story is great, when it comes out, it can get snowed under by some huge release that dominates shelves, or a once-in-a-century pandemic can show up - you just never know.
The reality is, the precious few brick-and-mortar bookstores left have limited space and it's totally understandable that they want to prioritize stuff they know is going to do well. That means huge books by superstar authors... and stuff they've gotten a lot of pre-orders for. I'm not that former thing and presumably never will be. But I am consistently the latter, thanks to a whole lot of wonderful, loyal fans and a shitload of pestering on my part.
This is why I'm so relentless, if not obnoxious, about pushing for orders months in advance. For the pre-release period of my last book, Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick, I wrote a trailer and paid a production company out of pocket to shoot it:
It was not cheap! I do this stuff for a reason! So,
* If you're a fan of the John Dies at the End series and know you're going to get this next one, please go ahead and put in an order either online or at your favorite physical bookstore if you can (Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Bookshop). The future of the series depends heavily on whether or not people do this!
* If you're a fan of my columns and podcast appearances and other content I give away for free, know that I appreciate and treasure you regardless of whether or not you ever throw money at me. But, if you enjoy novels in any capacity, I'd urge you to at least try one of mine, even if you have to steal a copy somehow. For you, I've assembled below a collection of real, out-of-context quotes from the previous John Dies at the End novels, just to give you an idea of what kind of stories these are:
From John Dies at the End:
The man-shaped arrangement of meat rose up, as if functioning as one body. It pushed itself up on two arms made of game hens and country bacon, planting two hands with sausage link fingers on the floor. The phrase "sodomized by a bratwurst poltergeist" suddenly flew through my mind.
“There was an incident,” he said. “A series of incidents, I guess. A dead guy, another dead guy. Some drugs. It’s kind of a long story. Now we can see things. Sometimes. I have a dead cat that follows me around, wondering why I never feed it. Oh, and I had one hamburger that started mooing when I ate it.”
My name is David, by the way. Um, hi. I once saw a man’s kidney grow tentacles, tear itself out of a ragged hole in his back and go slapping across my kitchen floor.
John flung himself into a pseudo-Karate stance, one hand poised behind him and one in front, posed like a cartoon cactus. I thought for an odd moment he had moved his limbs so fast they had made that “whoosh” sound through the air but then I realized John was making that sound with his mouth.
Telling the story now, I’m tempted to say something like, “Who would have thought that John would help bring about the end of the world?” I won’t say that, though, because most of us who grew up with John thought he would help end the world somehow.
A thin, bony naked woman entered the room, carrying two small, white kittens. She sat one of the fluffy cats in my lap and stuffed the other down my shirt. She turned and left.
“There,” said the large man. “The kittens will make your sad go away.”
John jumped off the deck and threw himself into his old Cadillac. He buckled his seat belt, which he always did because he never knew when he would need to ramp something. He made the engine growl and told the headlights to fuck the night.
"SHUT UP. Both of you. You're coming with me." To me he said, "Put some pants on."
"Fuck you. This is my house. I make the rules. You take your clothes off. John, get the Twister mat."
Everything stopped—John was yanked out of his body, out of the world, mind freed from the confines of his eyes and ears and nose and mouth and a trillion nerve endings. A wash of alien sensations crashed over him, like being naked at the bottom of a frantic orgy involving everyone in that Star Wars cantina scene.
Tennet stood, pulled the clips from John's fingers and as a goodbye, said, "You are now aware that your lower jaw has weight, and that it requires effort for you to hold it up. Good evening."
"I'm going to let you in on a little secret, and I apologize ahead of time because learning this will mark the end of your extended childhood: Nobody involved in a conflict thinks they're the villain."
"John," said Marconi, "I would ask you what you are doing but I fear you would actually tell me."
He screamed, "DID SOMEBODY ORDER SOME FUCKING PRISON BREAK WITH A SIDE OF SHOTGUN?"
“They didn’t have witch hunts because they believed in witches. They believed in witches so they could have witch hunts.”
I could feel puffs of frozen dread pouring from the wound. It was a unique sensation; the best comparison I can offer is if you opened your fridge to realize something was rotten in there, then when you opened the cheese drawer, you found a photo of your mother fucking a Dalmatian.
“Sometimes the best ‘help’ you can offer is to get your own self to safety and not add to the pile of victims somebody else has got to clean up. Problem isn’t that there’s not enough heroes in the world, problem is too many dumb people assume they are one.”
Roach yelled, “Get off her, you sick son of a bitch!” and sprinted toward the door. He pushed past Chastity and blew the doorknob off with his shotgun. He yanked open the door and plunged inside.
Five seconds later, a spray of guts and black leather flew out of the door.
What walked out the door next, was a torso.
Marconi said, “I have found that our greatest fears and our greatest desires are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. I have known many who have died before their time, clutching that coin in their fist. Figuratively, of course.”
This meant that, on top of making sure nobody interfered with the operation, we needed to get the innocents as far away as possible, all within the next few minutes—that would be John’s job. Someday, he will be remembered as the Michelangelo of loud, baffling distractions.
If you understand how this sort of thing could work, please write down your explanation with as much clarity and detail as you can, then throw it in the trash because who gives a shit.
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