Back in September 2009 I rushed out a few paragraphs on this blog to explain why Jimmy Coates: Blackout (the 7th book in the series) hadn't been published yet.
Since then, it still hasn't been published and there's been no let up in the number of messages I receive every day (every day!) asking me about Jimmy Coates: Blackout. Another one just popped up on my facebook page from Dean Raina - hi, Dean. Here's your answer!
I'll try to explain the latest situation. The trouble is, I can't really go into the whole story, so you might have to do some reading between the lines. Basically:
Jimmy Coates: Blackout (book 7) was meant to be published in April 2009, but didn't appear. I'd written it completely, been through the entire editing process with my editor, and seen the finished design for the front cover. It was ready to go.
But when publication day came, bookshops opened their latest delivery and Jimmy Coates: Blackout wasn't in any of the boxes. It didn't come out. Several booksellers rang me to find out where it was because they hadn't been told it wasn't going to be published that day after all.
So why didn't it appear? Because at the last minute the new boss took the decision to postpone almost all the books on their schedule for 2009. Instead of publishing the 7th Jimmy Coates book and supporting the first 6 Jimmy Coates books that were already out there, the publisher wanted to push back JC:7 and had to pull the rug out from underneath the first 6. Now, fortunately this was not a very large rug.
The Jimmy Coates series became popular through word of mouth among readers, teachers, librarians and parents, as well as some hard work from me. I'll always be very proud of that. So after several months of discussion with a panicking publisher throughout 2009, we'd all had enough. So I took back the rights to books 7 and 8 in the series - Jimmy Coates: Blackout and Jimmy Coates: Genesis.
I'm hoping that situation will change. In fact, I'm optimistic that at some point fairly soon Jimmy Coates will be able to make the greatest escape of his life and find his way somewhere new. In the meantime I'm going to keep hold of books 7 and 8 until there's enough support from a publisher for books 1 to 6.
I say that even though I know Jimmy Coates: Blackout is the best thing I've written. (Oh, and one of the main characters dies, by the way.) So it's frustrating seeing it here printed out, sitting on my desk, unread by any of you.
I've been really touched by all the messages from fans, parents, teachers and librarians asking me about Jimmy Coates: Blackout. All I can say is I'm sorry it's not out yet and a huge thank you for your support and your patience. The Jimmy Coates series wouldn't have reached so many people without your enthusiasm for it. Keep spreading the word and that'll help Jimmy in his great escape from publishing confusion.
Meanwhile, if you haven't seen it already, there's a sneak preview of Jimmy Coates: Blackout up on my website. If you think it'll be frustrating to read the first couple of chapters and nothing more then don't read it! But it's there if you're curious. I hope you like it.
Here's the link:
Spread the word.
UPDATE, JUNE 2012: You can now download the first SIX CHAPTERS for free from my website. Go to www.joecraig.co.uk and click on the FREE CHAPTERS page from the menu along the bottom.
UPDATE, OCTOBER 2012: Jimmy Coates: Blackout will be released at some point within the next 6 months. There's no confirmed date yet, but plans are being made. Keep an eye on this blog for more updates and start getting excited...
UPDATE, FEBRUARY 2013: Jimmy Coates: Blackout now has a release date that the publisher is 'aiming for'. Start getting excited. If all goes well from here, the book will be out on... June 6th, 2013.
Here's the OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT