If you’ve been reading the comments to previous update posts, you realize that some people have actually received copies of both books. (Yes, they are real). One commenter asked if Amazon had jumped the gun because, if you go to Amazon now, it says that the book will only be released September 1. Well, yes, someone jumped the gun, but it wasn’t Amazon. I’ll try and explain what’s going on (now that it’s been explained to me).
In a nutshell, a few months ago Amazon opened both books for -re-order. That was their decision based on their procedures and metadata they received. They had the dates wrong since the Publisher (Lexham Press) wanted to delay the release of the book). Pre-orders for both books were shut down after about a week, and the release dates on Amazon kept shifting (and I posted some updates to that effect). What happened was that some folks were able to order the books before the window closed. That’s why some people got books. But they actually got them by mistake of our distributor. Lexham Press didn’t want any orders fulfilled until Sept 1 — which takes me to the next point.
About two weeks ago (I did not blog this) the internal date for releasing Unseen Realm was changed to September 1. Supernatural was moved to (sigh) December. Why? With respect to Unseen Realm, the answer is “marketing plans.” Management at Lexham has invested a large sum of money into the project and feels that more time is needed to revise the marketing plan and put it into motion. While I don’t like the delay, those whose money has gone into the project need to be confident about plans for selling it to recover the costs. It’s understandable (but of course frustrating for me and many of you). But I can tell you (I have now held both books in my own hands, as of last week) that it will be worth it. Supernatural has been moved to December because of uncertainties about being able to market the two books simultaneously. Earlier thinking on that presumed it would be no problem. Now people aren’t sure. As an illustration of the problem, someone who apparently knows that there are two books (one academic, the other not) and received a copy of Supernatural (due to pre-order) posted a review on Amazon for Supernatural criticizing the book because it didn’t have footnotes and documentation, all the while looking forward to the one that did. That just doesn’t help. It seems no matter how often I’ve tried to tell people the difference, it doesn’t matter. People will still evaluate something on the basis of what it wasn’t intended to be. If I can’t make the difference known to avoid confusion, the publisher has no reason to believe that it can. Consequently, it’s hard for me to argue with delaying Supernatural. Management wants Unseen Realm to be out for a few months so that customers/readers don’t get confused. Both books have actually been printed and are sitting on pallets in a warehouse, and that’s where they’ll stay until Sept 1 (Unseen Realm) and some time in December (Supernatural). There is talk of the companion volumes (the primer and the leader’s guide) shipping with Supernatural. That’s all I know.
So, to bring us up to date, Unseen Realm can be ordered, but it won’t be released until Sept 1. Those copies that went out to fulfill pre-orders of months ago went out from the distributor by mistake. The publisher has directed the distributor not to fulfill any more orders until Sept. 1. If you have one in your hands now, (or get one in the near future), you’ve gotten an unplanned sneak peak. Feel free to post a review on Amazon. But if you spread the word (presently) on other social media, people must know that they won’t be getting books until after Sept. 1. If you are planning on scheduling a speaking event for me, you might be able to get one directly from Lexham. You’d have to email me for contact information in that regard. That’s why I asked a couple weeks ago that those who’ve emailed me in the past about an event to email me again.
What a mess! I’m very disappointed about these delays and excuses.
I ordered both unseen realm and supernatural on pre order via amazon. The unseen realm order was cancelled and refunded (no problem) but supernatural stayed valid. This morning I got an email from Amazon saying it has shipped! So I’m pretty excited about that. But yeah its all been very confusinuug. It’s weird that ill be getting one but not the other even though I ordered them at the same time.
Tell me about it. 🙂
I got both books last week and have almost finished them. Not to gloat but about getting mine already but let me assure you they are worth the wait.
Thanks for letting others know! Post a review on Amazon!
I received both books. About finished with Supernatural. It is a great primer for those who don’t follow Mike as much as some of us do. I have followed Mike since I heard him on Coast to Coast with Ian Punett years ago and heard him in person in Penn. Have been on the edge of my seat for years waiting for the books – planning on handing them out as gifts. Thanks Mike for sticking with it for all these years. You are “text driven”.
Thanks; it’s taken a while, for sure. Hope a second book will be possible.
Looking forward to seeing them no matter when, and ordering some bulk! I wonder how much of this might feel like “peer review”, to help strengthen each book in the long run. Painful now, but worth it in the end.
Thanks for your hard work and patience, Mike!
I received my copy of Unseen Realm today. I didn’t pre-order it….Amazon had it available last week. Sorry to hear about the issues. I will post a review after my first read through. Thanks for all the work you put into the research and books Dr. Heiser!!
You’re welcome, and thanks.
Ah, the ‘future’.
That uncharted land of anxiety and gain.
My understanding of publishing is commiserate with my grasp of the mating habits of polar bears.
Best I figger is it will take Lexham another month to build a float for the parade on Sep 1. (ProTip: no tiara/long white gloves…not “you”.)
The wait is getting to be fun (on this end…).
Like Mom said, “We’ll be there when we get there.”
Just bought both books at a bookstore. Only ones they had on shelf, but at least those two made it into brick and mortar retail channel ahead of time.
Bet on the polar bears.
Mike, I’m sorry for the up and down journey this book has taken! My wife and I have started reading a review copy of the book (PDF) and it’s exceeding our already high expectations, so I agree that it’s all going to be worth it in the end!
I see that Unseen Realm is only available on Amazon in hardcover while Supernatural is paperback? Is this correct?
I am not planning on purchasing Supernatural so I am not really concerned about whether it is paperback or not but I am planning on getting Unseen Realm. Just wondering.
Correct. Not sure if Unseen Realm will be paperback at some point or not.
Glad to hear it. Just one more month!
I must be double blessed. Got copies of both books from Amazon on Sunday and a second (unordered) copy of Supernatural Monday! Read Supernatural in one sitting to get flavor of layman’s side and want to say congrats. Having followed and read manuscript of The Myth with online group, I was curious how you would put all this into chewable bites.
I am excited that I can use this with my Bible study group knowing it is well articulated, coherent and mind opening. Now on to The Unseen Realm for meat and potatoes! Well done, Mike! There were times I wondered if you would be able to do this.
Glad you have both and the “lite” version was acceptable. I wondered, too.
Amazon told me my book shipped yesterday. I can’t wait. I’ve been telling everyone at church about it for a while now. For those of us who plan to use the book in small group classes, Sept 1 isn’t that bad. It’s the start of the educational year.
Wow. To think I haven’t been bothering you to buy me pizza and talk about strange things because I thought you were releasing a book! We love you bro.
hold the jalapenos – not!
I got my copy of ‘Supernatural’ about two days ago. If I didn’t have to do things like go to work, eat, sleep, take care of my kids, etc. I’d never be able to put it down. It’s awesome! I plan on ordering ‘Unseen Realm’ after I finish this one. For those of you still waiting … it’s worth it!
So glad to hear that!
Obviously there were issues that I was unaware of in the publishing of your two books. I knew that there was intended to be an relationship (of sorts) between the two but that relationship wasn’t apparent in “Supernatural”. I did try to acknowledge that it was probably there. Personally, I think that releasing “Supernatural” first was the better choice. Whet the appetite before plunging into something that many might find too intimidating.
Nevertheless, my criticism of both lack of references and lack of any explanation of how the two books were intended to work together stand. I don’t mean to offend but I’ve seen way too many books without even a few references and I have always found that lack severely diminished the value of the book.
As for the twisted minds of publishers and their marketing plans, I don’t really understand them either. I do hope that their marketing plans aren’t too screwed up by this incident. It would be a shame to see revenue drop significantly due to a mix-up like this.
I received both copies Monday 7/27. Mike I was there from the beginning of this process and it has a feel of great relief like the past due birth of a baby finally arriving. I hope the impact of these books and the rest of your work will be realized in our lifetime. God bless you and all that have and continue to be a part of this journey.
I don’t want to trivialize the pain of childbirth, but that isn’t a bad analogy! Thanks for being patient. Please post reviews on Amazon when you’re through the books!
Understood – writing the trade book (Supernatural) was a bit uncomfortable, truth be told. As an academic, I’m used to anticipating objections, providing sources and breadcrumb trails, etc. You know the drill. My instructions (from my editor) for Supernatural were (really): “No footnotes, no arguments, no debate — whatever you write they’ll believe because you’re the authority.” That may be true for readers who don’t read academic non-fiction (I suppose it is). But that just wasn’t in the wheel-house. I don’t lend credence to arguments from authority. But I can say that because of who I am and my background. The reality is that’s what trade books are about and they have a role to play in teaching people (it’s just that so many are written by hacks). I’d rather have people in the trade book audience find the other book later if they want documentation and detail than provide nothing for them at all.
Christian Book Distributors sent me a shipment email last week and the tracking info says it is at the local post office for delivery tomorrow. Should have both books. So it wasn’t just Amazon. I’ll be sure to keep the books straight when I review them on Amazon. 🙂
I am sorry the book releases have not worked out as originally planned. I agree with Maryann, I am double blessed too. I have copies of both books and purchased an additional copy of The Unseen Realm for a friend and elder of my church. I just started reading The Unseen Realm this morning. I really appreciate your writing style and the way you answer questions that I’ve struggled with over the years. Thank you for all of the hard work you’ve done. You are a blessing to the church. I look forward to purchasing mores copies of both books for friends and family in the near future. As for Supernatural, I am glad you created this book also to make the information accessible for my family members and friends who enjoy reading things about God but do not traffic in the arena of theology regularly. I hope you will not allow this experience to stop you from writing other books in the future.
You’re welcome! Post a review when you’re through. Thanks for encouraging others to read it as well!
No … there will be other things. Stay tuned.
great news – thanks for being patient!
Got both of my copies from preorders – I devoured supernatural quickly and even though I have read much of your material I was extremely impressed. It was interesting listening to parts of my brain pop as the grand picture of bible exploded into full view. I have had a renewed sense of purpose and a zeal for God that I have not had in years because of this. I cannot thank you enough.
great – glad to hear that! Post a review on Amazon!
Lucked out with both books in-hand. Unseen Realm feels like holding a brick. Top notch thus far.
Off topic, and perhaps “old news” depending on whom is asked
Glad you got them – post a review! Thanks for the article. VERY cool.
I’m reading a book on the Wright Brothers now (David McCullough). It’s awesome. I love stories where tenacious people succeed against all the odds.
Recieved a copy of supernatural from anazon today and a copy of unseen realm and supernatural from CBD today. Forgot i preordered from CBD a while ago.
I’m very excited to see these finally coming out and anxious to get copies to read. However, I was wondering if you happen to know if or when these would be available in Logos. Cheers!
I got my copy this morning. Read through 5 chapters so far. I listen to your podcasts and interviews, so I have a good understanding of the Divine Council worldview. When I read this book, I feel as though I am connecting to a bigger sense of who I am. My father passed away a while back and I got to share with a Sunday class my opinions on this event. I said that when he passed, there was victory in Heaven, and on earth because of how people helped me and my family during that time.
The point I am making is that your book is tying together the seen and unseen realm into more than just knowledge, but into emotional areas that God wants us to feel…both in the seen realm and unseen realm. Thank you. I will post a review once I am finished.
Wait until you get to Chapter 36 for your dad.
Finished the book. Loved chapter 36. Too many thoughts to type here…
My favorite line in the whole book “Christians, do you know who you really are?” I don’t think we do, but your book does a wonderful job of telling us. I will post a review on Amazon today.
I’ll have a look. Glad you liked it.
Internally they are available now (an email was circulated last Friday). You likely need to ask Bill N. or Brannon E.
Amazon has both available now. I ordered them to see if they are actually shipping them. I will let you know if they ship.
I have gone through myriads of internet programs related to your work. I have been through The Myth that is True drafts and most of your website (including ACTS podcast…great!) Read all your books except for Unseen & Supernatural.
Still awaiting Unseen but I did receive Supernatural last Friday.
My thought was how can Mike take this “heady stuff” and break it down enough for the regular guy? It made me think of Donald Grey Barnhouse’s quote that preachers/teachers needed to get the hay out of the barn loft and down onto the barn floor where the cows could get at it or eat it.
Well Mike, as you stated in the Supernatural intro., your editor certainly helped you keep that person in the pew in mind! Congratulations, I feel that you accomplished that extremely well! I now know that I can give Supernatural to family, friends, etc. as an intro. to this topic and they won’t be overwhelmed or lost. My wife and our three daughters (teens) already have gone through it and they were not only able to follow it but enjoyed it as well.
As for me, I am especially looking forward to receiving The Unseen Realm.
Will soon be posting a review on Amazon about Supernatural!
This is appreciated – it summarizes why the publishers wanted Supernatural. Glad to hear your confidence that it hits the level at which it was pitched.
I just received both books(I live in an Amazon same-day shipping zone).
Really unfortunate on that low rating for Supernatural.
Especially frustrating looking at that buyer’s reviews.
I’m skeptical of the honesty of anyone who unironically reads Pagels and Price and says little to nothing negative of them, but finds plenty to criticize the scholarship of someone like Craig Evans. Yikes.
That’s Amazon. Craig would chuckle at that, too, let me tell you.
I don’t know if you’re referring to me but it sounds very close to me. We can discuss my honesty and criticisms elsewhere.
As I think I pointed out in my review, I felt that Dr. Heiser’s book was average. It was simply not as good as other things that he has written. That’s what a 3 out of 5 should be. My rating lowered to a 2 for reasons that, as it turns out, were out of Dr. Heiser’s control. Do what I do and blame the publisher for the low rating. Honesty, however, doesn’t mean rating a book higher than it should be because you want to support the author.
The point was that it was criticized for something it wasn’t intended to be, and which I telegraphed here a lot (and which you alluded to, so you knew it was the other book that had the documentation – the thing you said was missing). No problem, though. It was actually helpful in making a decision at the publisher. It provided direction for us. That’s always useful.
I received ‘The Unseen Realm’ a few day ago and am superficially reading it Mortimer Adler style right now. I plan to read it analytically, including a critical reading. The peer reviewed material mentioned is calling my name. Enjoying it so far brothers.
liked it (“calling my name”).
Got my copy of Supernatural yesterday, a day earlier than Amazon promised by email. This should keep me busy until things get sorted out with Unseen Realm.
Thank you so much for your hard work and perseverance.
Dr. Heiser — I was lucky enough to get an early copy from Amazon (it was assigned by Dr. Gary Yates, of Liberty University, for his Biblical Theology class this summer). Take heart: your book has absolutely changed the way I read my Bible and think about God’s relationship with man. I’m praying that God will give you strength through all these delays and use this book in a powerful way when it’s finally released on a broader scale.
Thanks. Glad to hear it’s helped you.
Just posted a review of Supernatural on Amazon’s UK site. Will do the same when I get Unseen Realm which, apparently, is in the post.
Thank you, Dr. Hesiser, for making your work so accessible, I have been devouring videos, podcasts, and articles of yours over the past year, and have been blessed. I intend to pass the blessing on, and am preaching Psalm 82 at the end of the month (gulp!).
Sorry for the typo…
Interesting book DrH. While I do not typically write criticisms and book reviews of any material in general, I will attempt to do that for your book on Amazon.com. Best Regards
Not completely relevant but this
Made me think of The Facade
That was pretty neat – I posted it on Twitter. Thanks!
I ordered The Unseen Realm on Amazon yesterday and got it today with Prime shipping. Looking forward to reading it.
great – post a review when you’re through it!
After reading all of the above, yesterday morning I ordered both books from Amazon and received an email today (Aug. 3) saying the have shipped and I will get them both this week!
Well, Mike, I’m a bit of an impatient cuss…I figured a great way to support this would be to order copies, even if I was in Korea. So I did. Amazon said they shipped. It did. Now, how long to get to APO AP? (Across the pacific and all…)
Today, while in the field at gunnery, at mail call, I got my package. So I’m now in possession of some Divine Council goodness!
So, now I get to read it…all over again!…and do some bragging to folks. And then post a review to Amazon, etc.
‘Twas worth it all. Thanks, again, Mike, for all the hard work and patience.
Thanks – you’ll find Unseen Realm is a much better read than the old draft.
I ordered 3 UR, about a week or so ago and today got email from amazon indicating they shipped, with tracking. FYI. Can’t wait!
…..and they arrived today.
I got it! (T U R)
Christmas in August
Hey Mike Amazon is shipping Unseen Realm. I ordered mine on Thursday and received it today!
Will there be a kindle version of the books soon? Amazon is only showing hardcover for one and paperback for the other right now.
after Sept 1, or so I am told.
after Sept 1.
I am about halfway through “The Unseen Realm” and it has been a huge blessing (and challenge) so far. I can see how minor points could be up for debate here and there but the overall picture of a divine council, 2 Yahweh figures in the OT (Angel of or Word of Yahweh), and the cosmic warfare between Yahweh and the lesser elohim seems pretty undeniable. All of the imagery tying back to Eden was definitely a new thing I had never seen. I wanted to say thank you for the many years of research and hard work and also ask you about the serpent in Genesis 3. I agree the serpent was not a literal snake, my friends and I had had a discussion before about the possibility of satan simply walking up to Eve and talking with her years ago…however this one phrase that I haven’t seen addressed yet in the book raises a question. Genesis 3:1 says the serpent was more crafty than “any of the other beasts of the field.” I am wondering why this was included in the text if the serpent isn’t meant to be literal? Why the comparison to beasts if the serpent isn’t a literal animal?
page 91 –
The nachash was cursed to crawl on its belly, imagery that conveyed being cast down (Ezek 28:8, 17; Isa 14:11–12, 15) to the ground. In Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, we saw the villain cast down to the ʾerets, a term that refers literally to the dirt and metaphorically to the underworld (Ezek 28:17; Isa 14:9, 11–12, 15). The curse also had him “eating dirt,” clearly a metaphorical reference, since snakes don’t really eat dirt as food for nutrition. It isn’t part of the “natural snake diet.” The point being made by the curse is that the nachash, who wanted to be “most high,” will be “most low” instead—cast away from God and the council to earth, and even under the earth. In the underworld, the nachash is even lower than the beasts of the field. He is hidden from view and from life in God’s world. His domain is death.
Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (First Edition.; Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 91.