Brian McClellan turned a lot of heads earlier this year with the release of Promise of Blood, the first book in The Powder Mage Trilogy, a flintlock fantasy that SciFi Now called, “a historically influenced fantastical romp filled with machismo, intrigue and magic.” Machismo aside, (that’s a virtue in a novel?) McClellan’s debut has been getting a lot of attention during year end discussions about 2013’s most exciting new authors, and anticipation for the second volume in the series, The Crimson Campaign is high. Unfortunately, McClellan has announced that it will not be hitting its previously announced release date. The novel “has been pushed back from February 18th, 2014 to May 6th, 2014; a delay of about two and a half months,” says McClellan.
On his blog, McClellan further explains the delay (which, in a nice twist of fate, is not due to any difficulties in finishing the novel, it’s simple publishing strategy):
[Orbit] has decided that a May release would be so much better in order to put The Crimson Campaign into has many hands as possible. I completely trust their decision in this matter. They’ve done such an awesome job with my books so far, I don’t think they’re going to let me down now. You may be grumbling that it sounds like a marketing decision and wondering why this matters to you. It is, and it does: the better The Crimson Campaign (and subsequent books) does in the bookstores, the better I will do as an author, which will allow me to focus on writing and not, say, go find a full time job doing something else. This means that you’ll continue getting a Powder Mage book every year for the next four years after this one, rather than me having to spread out the release dates because I don’t have as much time to write.
This also effects the release of the Promise of Blood trade paperback. Orbit will push that release back to April 8th in the US. The UK release will stay the same (January 18th).
The delay is unfortunate, but given its prior release date placed it just two weeks before the release of Words of Radiance, the second volume of Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archives (and likely to big the biggest fantasy release of 2014), and McClellan’s own growing popularity, it’s understandable that Orbit wanted to reposition the release to move it out from under the shadow of a behemoth.
If you have not read The Powder Mage Trilogy, the first volume, Promise of Blood is available for $1.92 on Kindle (in many countries, current to the publication of this post.) The Crimson Campaign is available for preorder: Book/eBook