Lots to update you all on.
Unseen Realm and Supernatural
I had a meeting on Tuesday about the progress of the books. Here are the details so that you all know what I know.
1. The Unseen Realm is (literally) being printed as we speak for imminent release.
2. For those who pre-ordered The Unseen Realm on Amazon (or will as a result of this update) – I have been told (and I quote): “There is a very strong likelihood that they will receive their orders the first full week of June.” The Kindle version should be available for download at the same time.
3. The reason for the delay (and you Logos users, please read what follows carefully) is because Lexham (imprint of Logos/Faithlife) has decided NOT to pre-pub these books. That’s new. For those who understand pre-pub, it says “we’re waiting to see who’s interested in this item and will not push the button on it until our pre-orders match our costs.” That isn’t what’s happening here. Our CEO wants these books launched like the print world launches books. The message is “These books are significant and ought to be read by everyone — so get on the bandwagon.” In preparation for a publicized launch, the video department here has been tasked with creating a professional launch video for The Unseen Realm. I’ll be in it, and three scholars (fields: OT, NT, Systematic Theology) with big names in the evangelical orbit have agreed to be in it, endorsing and talking about The Unseen Realm. The hope is that the video captured will go into post production by June 1, which will mean producing a video sometime during the first full week of June. So, as launch plans have changed, the timeline for the books has changed (a bit). For samples of the video team’s work, go here (there are several videos at the location; I recommend “What’s New in Logos 6”). The point: our video team knows what it’s doing.
4. The team that converts text into Logos books (the Logos software format) is already working on The Unseen Realm, so for those who want the book in that form, that’s on the same schedule. Same for the book in our own reader app (Vyrso).
5. Supernatural is about two weeks behind the above calendar for The Unseen Realm. However, this past week samplers of the book have gone out to about 70 evangelical leaders (think megachurch pastors and popular Christian writers). The company has relationships with the majority of them. We’re hoping that some will endorse Supernatural (and also become aware of The Unseen Realm.
6. As a result of the above, the two books will (obviously) not be “bundled” at the outset (another Logos term). We will likely bundle the books in various formats when two additional items are ready. (Yes, there’s more!) The Unseen Realm will have a primer companion. Doug Van Dorn, a pastor in Colorado, has written a Q & A primer based on the content of The Unseen Realm. His primer reads like a catechism due to that style. Doug is very versed in divine council worldview/theology. The title of the primer will be: Sons of God, Seed of Abraham: A Primer to Michael S. Heiser’s The Unseen Realm. The primer will probably be 140 or so pages in 6 x 9 book form. The manuscript is already done (I read through it closely and collaborated with Doug on making sure the content coverage aligns with the book). It’s just waiting for copy edit. The logic of the primer is that readers of The Unseen Realm will find it very useful to have the major content ideas in 1-2 sentence form. Each Q &A comes with Scripture references. There are also footnotes. Pastors will especially find this useful for communicating the ideas in The Unseen Realm over the pulpit or for small group use. This was Doug Van Dorn’s idea, and I’m thrilled he told me about it. It’s sweet. Supernatural will also have a small group leader’s guide. The manuscript for that is also complete and waiting for copy edit. The small group leader’s guide was written by Ronn Johnson, a long-time friend of mine and fellow divine council enthusiast. Ronn was a biblical studies professor for many years and, more importantly for this project, he pastored for a good fifteen years (as memory serves). We hope churches will adopt Supernatural as a book to read in small groups, hence the leader’s guide. It’ll be the normal size for those things. We also plan to create video snippets that track through Supernatural and the leader’s guide for small group use.
7. Once The Unseen Realm is shipping, we’ll be getting organized internally to devote someone’s time (at Logos/Faithlife) to setting up speaking events (described here). I’ve tentatively scheduled a couple already, but I won’t be the person working with those of you who want me to come for an event. Someone will be tasked with doing that for me (i.e., telling me where I’m going).
8. The companion website that will go with The Unseen Realm is almost done. It’s about 50,000 words. I’d guess a third of that is additional bibliography. I’m hoping to wrap that up by month’s end. There will be additional bibliography and notes on all 42 chapters, plus a “what’s next” page and a few other things I’ll bring up later. The site is not yet live.
Divine Council Bibliography Project
Dino Schulmeier has already complete the first two stages (of a half dozen or so) of the project. He’s been able to devote serious time to it and has proven to be meticulous. It would have taken me months to cover the ground he’s already covered. The bibliography now stands at 3,187 entries and the next two stages will seem about 750 additions. The work being done by Melissa Nienhuis will produce a few hundred more before that’s all said and done. I’ve also been trolling through journals (I scour about 30 titles for articles on material related to anything I discuss in The Unseen Realm) so that the bibliography is current (minus book reviews) through at least what’s available through 2013. I’ll hand those off to Dino when he completes the stages already assigned.
In other words, this is moving ahead better than I could have imagined.