My relationship with Europe (NOT Brexit-related)

Last year two of the German language publishers I’d been working with for some years closed down unexpectedly. It was a real disappointment, not least because I’ve always enjoyed a lot of success in Germany. But every cloud has a silver lining, and the experience forced me to think differently about how I want foreign language editions of Infected Books titles to be published in future. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I always try to have a foot in both publishing camps – traditional and independent. The wide exposure of mass market publishing is vital, but I also love the level of control that independent publishing offers. As demonstrated by what happened in Germany, having other publishers involved can have risks.

So I’ve decided to take a new approach. Foreign language editions of Infected Books titles will now, wherever possible, by published directly through Infected Books. Rather than pay translators a fixed fee, I’m instead tipping the usual relationship on its head and paying them a royalty.

The first fruits of this new strategy are starting to appear. I’ve worked with the original translator and cover artist and a revised edition of Straight to You: Postapokalyptischer Thriller is now available from Amazon.de. The re-release of the Herbst (Autumn) series will follow shortly.

For me this is a logical progression in independent publishing and I’m excited by the prospects. Are there any of my novels you’d like to see available in your language? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Straight to You audiobook now available

My mission to get audiobook versions of all my novels published is a little closer to completion as STRAIGHT TO YOU has just been released. It’s superbly narrated by Matthew Jackson, and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. You can listen to a sample here, or grab a copy from Audible, Amazon or iTunes.

The sun is dying. The temperature around the world is rising by the hour with no sign of any respite. At this rate the planet will soon become uninhabitable; all life extinguished. It might be weeks away, it might be days…we may only have hours remaining. Society is crumbling. The burning world is descending into chaos.

Steven Johnson’s wife is hundreds of miles away and all that matters is reaching her before the end. He has to act now, no time to stop and think. Every second is precious. Tomorrow is too late.

Straight To You deserves to be ranked alongside such classics as The Stand and Swan Song.” –Ginger Nuts of Horror

“A truly breath-taking and awe-inspiring read from an undeniable master of this sub-genre.” –DLS Reviews

You goddam HATERS!

Well that was interesting! A few weeks ago I asked an obvious question on my website, Facebook and Twitter. I wanted to know which side you’d choose: HATER or UNCHANGED. The results are in.

I thought it would be interesting to just ask the one question with no follow-ups. I could have asked whereabouts in the world you live or any number of other questions to see if what factors affected your allegiance, but I didn’t. In the HATER books, the Hate ignores all our existing differences, so it made sense for this very unscientific poll to do the same.

369 people voted across this website, Facebook and Twitter, with 59% of people picking Haters over Unchanged. Interestingly, this varied between platform. On my website the split was 49% Hater, 51% Unchanged, on Facebook it was 62% Hater, 38% Unchanged, and on Twitter it was 58% Hater and 42% Unchanged. Does that mean people feel more Hate on social media sites than here on my warm and welcoming website? I don’t know, maybe they do. Interestingly, Haters were far more vocal, with around 60% of comments being from Haters and only 40% Unchanged.

So there you have it. Totally unscientific and little more than a ‘finger in the wind’ exercise. Still, if you’re in the UK like me, I hope this has taken your mind off the other votes we’re currently having to contend with for a couple of blissful minutes!

One last thing. I was interested to read a comment on this poll where the commenter said their allegiance had switched now they’re reading the second HATER trilogy because it tells the story from the Unchanged perspective. If I’m honest, the same thing happened to me while I was writing the books. As I worked my way through HATER, DOG BLOOD and THEM OR US I was Hater all the way. But having spent the last few years writing ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING, ALL ROADS END HERE and CHOKEHOLD, my loyalties seemed to switch. I wonder if, by the time you’ve read CHOKEHOLD, you’ll have come to the same conclusions about the state of the human race as I did…

100 Word Horrors Part 2

Really pleased to have a (very) short story in this collection. Editor Kevin Kennedy has assembled seventy micro-stories, each no longer than one hundred words, and has bound them up in this fine looking volume. It’s available now in paperback and ebook from Amazon and all the other usual online places. Great to see some familiar names in the table of contents, including Shaun Hutson, Richard Chizmar and Paul Kane. And if you’re wondering how long a one hundred word story is, here’s your answer: this blog post is exactly one hundred words. Not a lot of space, is it?

Read an ebook week 2019

This week is READ AN EBOOK WEEK – a long-standing initiative that I’ve been pleased to support for a number of years. The debate over the merits of print books versus ebooks versus audiobooks will never be settled – I believe each format has its plusses and minuses, and what suits one reader (or listener) might not suit the next. I just try and make my books available in as many formats as I can, and I also try not to exploit my readers by asking them to buy the same book many times over. Never forget – if you buy a signed copy of a title published by Infected Books from www.infectedbooks.co.uk, you’ll immediately be able to download a complementary ebook version. Similarly, buy a print Infected Books title from Amazon, and you can claim a Kindle copy through the Kindle Matchbook programme.

My career was built on a foundation of ebooks. If I hadn’t been able to give so many copies of AUTUMN away (somewhere in the region of half a million by the time the free download disappeared in 2008), then I doubt anyone would have ever heard of me. So please, download and read an ebook this week. And when you’re done, please review and share. Recommendations are invaluable for authors and are always appreciated.

To mark READ AN EBOOK WEEK, a number of my books have been heavily discounted. Click here for more info and pick up the recently released THE LAST BIG THING for half price.

The longer, the better (sometimes)

All my recent talk of book launches and anniversaries has left me thinking about what I’ve achieved as a writer and what I still want to achieve. If I think of my career in terms of how a farmer manages their fields, then I’d say I’m currently in a fallow period after a couple of pretty decent harvests. I caught the crest of two waves originally when I a) started publishing independently before most others, and b) wrote about zombies just as the living dead became massively popular. And then, a few years later, I enjoyed another prolonged purple patch when Guillermo del Toro somehow stumbled on a copy of HATER and, for a time, everyone wanted a bit of me.

But writing is a fickle, unpredictable business. Just ask my friend Joseph D’Lacey who recently posted this brutally honest piece about his career.

For those of us who just happen to love writing and who hate self-publicising with a passion, being an author is not the easiest of career choices. You keep doing it because you can’t stop, and with every page you write you convince yourself that this could be the next big thing, even though you know that competition to actually be the next big thing is impossibly fierce. And then when you’ve finished writing and you hand your work to someone else to read, all the confidence you’ve built up evaporates and turns to crippling self-doubt. Well it does for me, anyway.

A frustrating amount of this is completely out of the writer’s control. You don’t control the market, you have no influence on current trends, you can do little to make sure yours is the right book seen in the right place at the right time… and yet, we keep at it. Sometimes even the very thing you’re trying to write can conspire against you.

Continue reading

Which side are you on?

Genuine question. I really want to know. Can you spare 10 seconds? Because after writing ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING, ALL ROADS END HERE and CHOKEHOLD, I’m just not sure where I stand.

I’ve been running polls on Facebook and Twitter recently to ask this most basic of questions that I’ve never asked before, but because it’s increasingly difficult to keep something visible on social media without paying through the nose, I’ve decided to ask the same question again here. I’ll keep this poll open for at least a week, then I’ll report back with the final summarised results.

Which side are you on?

  • Unchanged (51%, 29 Votes)
  • Hater (49%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 57

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Dog Blood art by Tomislav Tikulin

All Roads End Here audio book

The magnificent Gerard Doyle has narrated the audiobook adaptation of ALL ROADS END HERE, and it’s out now from Macmillan Audio. You can get it from Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Here’s a sample:

I’m getting a lot of queries from folks at the moment about audio versions of the first three HATER books. They are available, but only in the US at present. I’m currently asking questions to see if anything can be done to make them available elsewhere. Please bare with me.

ALL ROADS END HERE is available now – PRINT  |  AUDIO  |  EBOOK  |  SIGNED

The Hate turns 10 today

Hard to believe that HATER IS TEN YEARS OLD TODAY! The book was actually published back in 2006 through Infected Books, but after Guillermo del Toro became involved and I signed with Thomas Dunne Books, the Infected Books edition disappeared from the shelves. HATER was a bigger success than I could have ever expected, and the Hate shows no sign of slowing down. The reaction to ALL ROADS END HERE (published last week) has been great, and we’re still working on the movie. I’ll have news about the release of CHOKEHOLD, the absolute final book in the series, in the next couple of weeks.

Happy birthday Straight to You!

I hope you’re enjoying ALL ROADS END HERE. It seems February’s often a busy month for me in terms of book releases. I noticed just now that it’s five years ago today since the publication of the re-written version of my debut novel STRAIGHT TO YOU. The release was always planned for Valentine’s Day, as the book is very much an apocalyptic romance (a combination of genres which works surprisingly well). I thought it was worth mentioning the book’s birthday for a couple of reasons – first, because an audio version and a re-launch of the German language edition are imminent. Second, because I started writing the 2014 version on 1 January that year – twenty years to the day since I began work on the original. That means, terrifyingly, that I have now been writing for twenty-five years, and no matter how long I look at the dates and do the maths, that just doesn’t seem possible.

I hope everyone has a far less eventful Valentine’s Day than Steven and Samantha Johnson…

PRINT  |  EBOOK  |  SIGNED

Straight To You deserves to be ranked alongside such classics as The Stand and Swan Song.” –Ginger Nuts of Horror

“A truly breath-taking and awe-inspiring read from an undeniable master of this sub-genre.” –DLS Reviews

The sun is dying. The temperature around the world is rising by the hour with no sign of any respite. At this rate the planet will soon become uninhabitable; all life extinguished. It might be weeks away, it might be days… we may only have hours remaining. Society is crumbling. The burning world is descending into chaos.

Steven Johnson’s wife is hundreds of miles away and all that matters is reaching her before the end. He has to act now, no time to stop and think. Every second is precious. Tomorrow is too late.