120 Day Report + What’s in Store, Next!
Updated: Jan 27, 2022
Photo Caption: CW2 Ryan Robicheaux loudly and proudly sings the theme song from the movie Titanic, with cringe-worthy gusto and no shame. Kandahar Airfield, 2013.
It’s been roughly 120 days since the October 1st, 2021 launch day for Scouts Out!.
The seven years that it took to write—sleepless nights, fretting over details, learning from failure, chapters and grammar, obsession with sharing the truth—all the hard work has proven worth it. The greatest feelings in the world for me have come from the overwhelmingly positive reception by the readers who’ve supported this book. Scouts Out! has sold over 1,000 copies already, to readers not only in the USA, but also Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Brazil. To those of you helping spread the word— thank you!
Readers have overwhelmingly opted for the Amazon Kindle version, but I still continue to field requests for personalized and signed hard-cover copies. It makes me more happy than I can express when I fulfill one of these special orders—boxing the book up along with bookmarks, stickers, and a sincere “thank you” note never fails to make me smile.
As of this writing, Scouts Out! remains among the Top 20 Afghan War History books on Amazon, as well as ranking high up in several additional categories. So far, 83 people have rated it an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. Of the 23 people that have also left an actual written review, I am very humbled and moved by what has been said. The GoodReads platform can prove to possess a tougher crowd of voracious readers, but I’m holding my own and there’s some great feedback on there, too!
As more readers take the time to leave a review or click a rating, Scouts Out! will continue to gain discoverability by showing up more prominently in recommendations and searches. I have no idea if 100+ ratings and reviews will trip a new level for the algorithms, but I certainly cannot wait to see what happens!
Righteous and kick ass, all good news.
So, why does the title of this blog also mention “what’s in store, next?”
First, I have not ignored the *loud*and*clear* request for an audiobook.
Initially, an audiobook was not created due to the very high investment in both time and money required. My plan was to wait about 3-4 months (ie, until now) after the release of Scouts Out! to then decide if the development of an audiobook would have enough interest to support it. I can unequivocally report that yes, there is enough demand. I’ve heard from people with young families like myself, who barely have time to clean the house or cook meals, much less sit down to read a book. I’ve also heard from those who travel and/or commute a lot, etc.
At this juncture, it makes sense to create an audiobook and I’m now more than happy to do so.
Bottom line up front—I, the author, will not be reading it to you. Instead, I am auditioning a few professional narrators who actually do this for a living. If you’re willing to spend your time and money on my audiobook, then I’m willing to do my best to find a narrator who will not let you down. There is a very high demand for these professionals, so the book will likely begin production in late March to early April. Please note that it takes a lot of time to complete and edit an audiobook. As I gain more solid information and time estimates, I will continue to update here.
The second thing to announce is the kick-off event for in-person book signings!
For the first book signing, an uncharacteristic location (20 minutes south of the Memphis airport) has been chosen: The Mississippi Ale House!
Yes, a brew pub. The Mississippi Ale House graciously invited me, and I accepted. There’s an awesome outdoor beer garden, a stage, live band, excellent adjoining pizza and burger restaurants, and an overall awesome vibe. Since I am now an airline pilot with a non-traditional schedule, I will not be able to announce the date until about 5-6 weeks out. The tentative plan however is to do this on a Saturday in April, with the 23rd being most ideal (big festival that day). I will give as much advance notice as possible.
While the event will no doubt be a blast, there will also be a very special deal for those in attendance. Skytrain Brewing Co. will be creating a special Scouts Out! themed beer for the occasion: KiowAPA. Buy a book, get a free pint. Like the beer? Be super cool and buy a book to gift to a friend, and also score another pint!
How’s that for a non-traditional book signing to kick things off? Additional book signings will be announced as they’re scheduled, so stay tuned to see if one will be held near you. Please drop me a line if you have any specific venues or locations in mind—I’d genuinely love to hear your thoughts!
And yes, although we likely have never met, rest assured that I look forward to meeting you!
There’s a lot to be excited about, and I appreciate you taking the time to read these updates. Hopefully they’re at least half as exhilarating to you as they are to me. For more pictures and videos, don’t forget to watch me bumble my way across social media: @ScoutsOutBook on Instagram and/or on Facebook search the full book title, Scouts Out!: A Kiowa Warrior Pilot’s Perspective of War in Afghanistan to find my page.
Thanks for reading, reviewing, and spreading the word- stay tuned for more to come!