I’ve just emailed the final corrections to my publishers, so that means AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION is at last finally ready for publication.
It’s been a long haul. The book was originally announced in early 2006, and I intended to write it as soon as I’d finished the project I was working on at the time (that was HATER, by the way). A combination of work (I was working full time and trying to run Infected Books – a full-time job in itself back then), family issues, and various other distractions (such as the AUTUMN movie entering production, Guillermo del Toro becoming associated with the movie adaptation of HATER, and Thomas Dunne Books acquiring worldwide rights to the HATER series) prevented me from actually finishing the book until June 2008. I was poised, ready to release DISINTEGRATION through Infected Books, when I found myself in London meeting the team from Gollancz who’d just obtained the UK rights to HATER. They asked what else I was working on, and I duly handed them copies of the AUTUMN books (which I just happened to have with me!). They asked me not to do anything with DISINTEGRATION just yet, and who was I to argue? Within two months, the AUTUMN books had also been bought by Thomas Dunne.
Traditional publishing is usually much, much slower than self- or independent- publishing (I used to have books on sale within weeks of having finished writing them – now it’s years…). Even with the accelerated release schedule the AUTUMN books have enjoyed both in the UK and US, it’s taken another three and a half years to finally get close to the release of DISINTEGRATION.
I’m sorry for the delay. Thanks for sticking with me!
Last week I gave you a little background information about the book and hinted at the plot. This week I wanted to explain a little more about how DISINTEGRATION fits in with the rest of the AUTUMN series.
Happy New Year to everyone here, on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else this blog gets syndicated. I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and here’s to a fantastic 2011 for all of us.
2011 started well for Kate Prince of Lapenty, France – she’s the winner of my recent AUTUMN ‘name the domain’ competition. Her winning suggestion was ‘last of the living’ which I really liked because, like the books, it puts the emphasis on the living rather than the dead. Congratulations again Kate, and thanks to everyone else who entered. The new website, with a name inspired by Kate’s suggestion, is my first priority for the new year and will be launched soon.
It’s that time of year again… I’ve just updated the INFECTED BOOKS website with details of this year’s signed book sale. Please head on over for a chance to pick up some signed editions. There are copies of the new UK hardcover edition of AUTUMN, and some great discounts on US and UK editions of HATER.
Those of you who caught the AUTUMN books first time around will probably remember my ‘Spread the Infection’ tagline. I used it for years, and I’m sure it was responsible to some degree for the book’s journey from free pdf to half a million downloads, a movie, an audio adaptation, and now mainstream publication.
They’ve been unavailable for far too long, but the re-release of the AUTUMN series is close at hand. The first book is out in late October (US and UK – click the covers for information, Spain and Germany – you already have it!), and books two, three and four will be following in quick succession throughout 2011.
I’ll be able to give you more details about the release very soon. In the meantime, I wanted to ask a couple of favours…
First off, I want your memories of AUTUMN first time around for some articles I’m putting together. I’ve had emails from people who were freaked out reading the free download while working alone on the night shift, others who printed the pdf off and read it in class… please let me know how you found out about the series. Also, if you were involved in the book in any way and we haven’t spoken for a while (I’ve particularly been trying to get hold of Dave Joseph who created the face on the original cover if anyone can help), then please get in touch.
Secondly, I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me ‘Spread the Infection’ again. Follow me on Facebook, Friend Feed or Twitter, sign up for the newsletter (see sidebar), and invite your friends to do the same…
There’s going to be a lot going on with the accelerated re-release of the novels – including plenty of free fiction and much more – and there will be many opportunities to get involved so I’d like as many people as possible to know!
You may remember that I had a clear-out before Christmas and offered a stack of books for sale through www.infectedbooks.co.uk. The sale’s pretty much over now with just a handful of foreign language editions and a few copies of Straight to You left.
Everyone who bought books from the sale automatically got entered into a draw for a few special prizes. I’m pleased to announce that the winner was Alan Hickey from Lancashire, UK. Congratulations, Alan! The following goodies will be on their way to you shortly:
That’s a copy of the HATER audiobook on CD (worth around £60!), a framed AUTUMN movie print signed by Dickon Tolson (who plays Carl) and myself, and a copy of 666: The Number Of The Beast – a YA anthology containing a story of mine, Grandma Kelly.
Congratulations again, Alan! For those of you who missed out on the sale, don’t worry. I’m planning something similar for later in the year to coincide with the release of DOG BLOOD.
Spanish readers will be interested to know that Septiembre Zombie, the Spanish edition of Autumn, will be released by Minotauro on 23rd February.
Before you hit me with another thousand emails about the re-release of the Autumn books in English, here’s a little teaser for you. Book one, as you may know, will be released in September this year. The rest of the books, including the long-awaited debut of Autumn: Disintegration will follow VERY soon after. I’ll let you know exact dates as soon as they’re confirmed.
And by the way, if you were planning on picking up one of the spare copies of the Infected Books edition of Autumn I’ve been selling, you’d better get in quick. There are just a handful left. You can get them over at www.infectedbooks.co.uk.
Thanks to everyone who has already ordered books from my impromptu book sale. Some titles have already sold out and I seem to have spent more time in the post office than I have at my desk this last week!
I just wanted to say a couple of things…
if you’re thinking of ordering, get in fast!
I’m going to hold a quick competition to thank everyone for their interest and their orders
At the end of 2009 (or when my stock of books is gone, whichever comes sooner) I’ll put the names of everyone who has made an order since the sale was announced into a hat. One name will be drawn at random and that person will receive:
a piece of AUTUMN artwork signed by Dickon Tolson (who plays Carl in the movie) and myself
a HATER t-shirt
a couple of additional signed books which are so limited they didn’t even make it into the sale!
Bit of an unusual post, this one… I’ve been clearing out my office and my attic and I’ve decided it’s time for a sale! In perfect time for Christmas (coincidence – honest!), I’ve found a few boxes of books which I’m selling off through www.infectedbooks.co.uk.
There are a few special items here which I’d like to draw your attention to…
I acquired a small batch of copies of the original Infected Books edition of AUTUMN for the recent Grimm Up North festival, and I’m selling off the surplus. Please get in quick – this is absolutely the last time the book will be available before its re-issue through Thomas Dunne Books in the US and Gollancz in the UK in September / October 2010.
Also, whilst clearing out I discovered a couple of copies of the original Infected Books release of HATER and a box of hardcover copies of Straight to You. Those of you who’ve followed me for a while will know that whilst I still love the concept of Straight to You, I think the book has dated badly and I’m more than happy to let these copies go. I haven’t wanted to set a specific price for these rare editions (only 500 copies of the Straight to You hardback were ever produced, so this is about as rare as it gets for me!). I’m happy to accept any sensible offers based on how much having the books would mean to you.
I hope this is interesting to some of you. If you have any questions or you want any more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Use this page here to contact me.
The cover of ‘Hater’ has always been a strong selling point. When I designed the original ‘Infected Books’ edition back in 2006, I knew that I wanted something that was visually striking, relevant to the novel and, perhaps most importantly, something that didn’t look like the cover of any other book already on the shelves.
The idea for deep red on a clear white background came quickly. I’m by no means an artist so taking this approach seemed to kill two birds with one stone – if it worked it would be fairly easy to produce and the simplicity would inevitably make it an eye-catching design. After briefly toying with a few concepts (such as the bloody handprint on the back cover of the original edition and the imprint of a blood-drenched face looking as if some poor soul had been smashed up against a window!), I settled on simply writing the word ‘Hater’ in blood.
To produce the original artwork, I went back to basics. It was early summer and my youngest daughter was painting. Struck by sudden inspiration, I selfishly grabbed some of her paints off her (she didn’t have any red, so I mixed brown and orange and yellow and whatever else I could find), made up a batch of ‘blood’, then stood out on the patio surrounded by sheets of paper making bloodspots and the like. She watched me with an uneasy mixture of fear and bemusement. I felt like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters, building a mountain out of mashed potato at the dinner table.
I dipped my finger in the paint and scrawled ‘HATER’ on a clean sheet. I liked it so I did it again. Then again. Then again. Half a ream of bloody Haters later and I decided that the very first one was the best. I dried it, scanned it, Photoshopped the colours to a more typically bloody red-brown, then created a composite using various other drips, dribbles and splashes of blood from my experiments on the patio.
The original paperback cover suffered from a poor choice of font for my name and too much white space. When the book was sold to Thomas Dunne Books, their art department worked for some time to come up with an alternative illustration, before settling on a touched-up version of my original design. They increased the proportions of the image to better fill the cover, and added my name and the words ‘a novel’ in a suitably bloody scrawl.
The book has since been sold to numerous other countries and it’s been interesting to see how each country has approached the design of the cover. Some, like Poland and the UK, have gone for variations on a theme.
The Spanish, German and French publishers have taken a completely different, but no less eye-catching, tack. The French edition in particular, with its use of an ‘interesting’ picture of yours truly, has become something of a talking point! With other countries including Brazil, Russia, Japan and Korea yet to unveil their editions of the book, I’m looking forward to seeing what their designers come up with!
The fact that the cover of ‘Hater’ has generated such a positive response is something I’m very proud of. Since the release of the book in February I’ve had many emails which have started along the lines of ‘I was in the bookstore today just browsing, when I saw the cover of your book on the shelf and had to pick it up…’. I’m also thrilled by the very positive comments posted in today’s article by the professional designers over at www.fwis.com. Perhaps my favourite feedback though, was from a post I found on a forum a while back. Someone admitted to having brought the book so they could carry it with them on the tube each day. They weren’t interested in reading it themselves, they just wanted to see the looks on other passengers’ faces when they saw the cover!