Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all. I thought I’d kick off 2015 with a quick look back at my 2014 releases (just in case you missed any), and a peek at my plans for 2015. Despite being a pig of a year for me on many levels, I was surprisingly productive, releasing two full-length novels (STRAIGHT TO YOU and STRANGERS), a zombie novella collection (LAST OF THE LIVING, which included ISOLATION and THE COST OF LIVING along with a number of other shorts), and the long-overdue limited edition hardcover of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH.

I also managed a couple of short stories too, most notably THE LUCKY ONES (which appeared in DEAD WATER), THE DEVIL (from THE BLACK FANG BETRAYAL) and THE DEAL – a story which is exclusively available to newsletter subscribers. And, of course, there’s the free audio download of JOE & ME.

So what does 2015 hold? There’s a lot being planned behind the scenes, and I thought I’d pile the pressure on myself by announcing the major projects I’m working on this year. Notice there are no timescales quoted here (I never seem to keep to them anyway!) but this is the order I’m tackling these novels.

KAI
My first middle-grade novel. Think ET meets GODZILLA and you’re halfway there.

THE SPACES BETWEEN: ELYSIAN FIELDS
The first book in my long-teased horror/ science-fiction/ noir crime series. If you’ve not heard me talking about this one before, here’s a quick tease: Several years ago London was destroyed in a white-hot nuclear haze. Millions of people were displaced, and huge numbers ended up in rapidly constructed newcities like Elysian Fields. Designed to house around one hundred thousand, the population of Elysian Fields is several times that. It’s a dangerous, sprawling hell-hole of a place ruled by gangs, violence and fear. When a prominent business leader’s son disappears, social worker Greg Dawson becomes embroiled in the mission to snatch him back. But the more Dawson discovers about Elysian Fields, the more he comes to realise there’s a huge gulf between what we’re being told and reality. In the spaces between the two, absolutely everything changes.

17 DAYS
Yes, I know… I’ve finished this book twice already, but I’ve still not got it quite right. I had a rollercoaster year last year, and in the midst of all the ups and downs, I’ve realised where I was going wrong. Mark Thane is a downtrodden and overlooked nobody. When he discovers he only has 17 days left to live, he’s forced to question everything. The country is on the verge of revolution, and Mark unwittingly finds himself at the eye of the storm. This time last week no one knew who Mark Thane was. By the time his number’s up, the entire world will be watching his every move.

FOCUS
A sick and twisted love story. Adam’s wife died last summer. He’s not going to let her die again.

So there you go. Plenty of work ahead. Add to this more signing events and the continued expansion of the Infected empire (Infected Films and Infected Audio, anyone?) and that’s more than enough to keep me busy. I hope you’ll stick around, because 2015 is going to be a cracker!

Complementary ebooks

I’ve been saying for a long time how I believe ebooks should be free with the print edition of books. After all, if you’re anything like me, when you buy a CD the first thing you do is rip it to iTunes or similar. Since the relaunch of Infected Books in 2012, you’ve been able to download complementary ebook versions via Smashwords after completing a short form online. After a successful trial run with STRANGERS, I’m pleased to be taking this experiment one step further. From today, when you purchase a signed copy of one of the books shown below direct from www.infectedbooks.co.uk, you’ll automatically receive a download link and you’ll be able to immediately download the Kindle and ePub versions of the book.

I hope you like this. Please let me have your thoughts or feedback if you have chance. By the way, we won’t be getting any more stock in before the end of the year, so there are just 6 paperback copies of STRANGERS, 10 copies of LAST OF THE LIVING, and 6 copies of TRUST left!

Feed the Zombies 2

The FEED THE ZOMBIES 2 promotion is now in full swing and runs until midnight. You can download zombie books from a whole host of great authors, all at 99c/99p a shot. There are loads of great authors involved, see the image below for full details.

For my part, until midnight tonight you can download ISOLATION at a bargain price. And if that wasn’t enough, for the same limited period, THE COST OF LIVING is available FREE!

Feed2

Last of the Living – out today

I know I’ve been banging on about it for weeks, but LAST OF THE LIVING is officially released today. Containing two novellas and a host of zombie short stories, it’s my last word (for a while, anyway) on the living dead.

Pick up a signed copy direct from Infected Books, ebay, or Amazon.co.uk (free shipping for all UK orders from Infected Books and ebay).

You can also get the book from: AMAZON.COM / AMAZON.CO.UK / B&N / Waterstones / Book Depository

LAST-OF-THE-LIVING

A fall in THE COST OF LIVING

CostofLivingJust a few weeks now until the release of LAST OF THE LIVING – the new paperback collection which includes my zombie survival novellas THE COST OF LIVING and ISOLATION and much more. In readiness for the new release, the price of the ebook edition of THE COST OF LIVING has been reduced to around 99c/70p – an absolute steal. More information at this link.

In keeping with the Infected Books approach to ebooks, if you’ve already bought THE COST OF LIVING and ISOLATION, you can get a £2 discount on LAST OF THE LIVING (use the name of Keith’s manager as a discount code during checkout). Likewise, when you receive LAST OF THE LIVING, you’ll be able to download complementary copies of the ebooks.

I’m hoping the LAST OF THE LIVING signed pre-orders will start shipping later this week, and I’ll update here again as soon as they do. In the meantime, don’t forget you can pre-order copies here, and that everyone who pre-orders by 20 October will be entered into a draw to win an original AUTUMN manuscript and other rare memorabilia. Good luck!

LAST OF THE LIVING – pre-orders now open

LAST-OF-THE-LIVINGI’m pleased to announce that pre-orders for LAST OF THE LIVING are now open. The book will be officially released on 27 October, but these signed, pre-ordered copies will ship in advance of that date.

All pre-orders received before 20 October will be entered into a competition to win a rare copy of the original Infected Books edition of AUTUMN, along with a genuine (and ever rarer) AUTUMN manuscript from my archives.

Click here to place your order!

One more thing… in keeping with the Infected Books philosophy of not wanting folks to pay for the same thing twice, if you’ve already purchased the COST OF LIVING and ISOLATION ebooks, you can get a £2 discount on your pre-order. Simply use the name of Keith’s (from Isolation) manager as a coupon code at checkout (not case sensitive), and your discount will automatically be applied.

I hope you enjoy LAST OF THE LIVING. As always, don’t hesitate to shout if you have any questions or if you experience any problems placing your order.

ISOLATION – additional short stories

I’ve talked a lot about ISOLATION recently, but I’m conscious I haven’t told you very much about the four additional zombie stories which come bundled with the new novella. I’m going to put that right today.

IsolationSlideTHE COST OF LIVING and ISOLATION ebook releases represent all of my non-AUTUMN zombie output. If you remember, THE COST OF LIVING includes two previous versions of the story. With ISOLATION, I’ve included two previously published shorts, and two which were written specifically to close out this collection.

WHO WE USED TO BE
Originally appeared in John Joseph Adams’ excellent THE LIVING DEAD 2 anthology, and I’ve grown to think of it as the antithesis to THE COST OF LIVING. One minute, everyone in the world dies unexpectedly. A minute later, they all reanimate. The story focuses on a small family unit as they try to prolong their increasingly precarious existence for as long as possible…

MURIEL
Was written for an SFX magazine zombie special. I make no apologies for it being a more mainstream zombie tale than anything else I’ve written, as I was writing for a specific audience. It’s a quick, gory and fun tale of a lone survivor living on his nerves in his parents’ house.

TIGHTROPES
A brand new story set in a world which has just about managed to pull itself back from the brink of the zombie apocalypse. So when we’re used to living alongside the threat of the undead, how long will it be before we slip back into our old ways again…?

WISH I WAS HERE
I’ll say little about this final story, other than it was inspired by a thought that’s regularly struck me… No matter what the reason we’re given for the dead beginning to rise, at the outset there’s a stark difference between us and them. But the longer the situation goes on, the less noticeable those differences become. When the dead walk the Earth, can there be any winners?

I hope you enjoy ISOLATION – early reviews have been great (the ever-reliable BookBloke said: I was once again blown away by the recognisable settings and relatable yet engrossing characters. A gripping read. Treated to four more short stories within this book, all with different takes on zombie fiction, it’s a must have for zombie lovers, people who love gore and violence and people who love stories with exceptional characterisation. It’s one that’s not to be missed”). And finally, for those who’ve been asking, in the coming weeks I’ll be formally announcing LAST OF THE LIVING – a new paperback release which will include ISOLATION, THE COST OF LIVING, and all the other stories I’ve talked about today.

Isolation

Cast your minds back a few years, and some of you might remember ISOLATION – a short film project I announced along with Will Wright but which, for various reasons, never made it to screen (though I hope it still might). I’m pleased to announce the release of an adaptation of my original screenplay. You can pre-order it now, and it’ll be available to download from tomorrow (20th).

ISOLATION (which also includes four additional zombie short stories – two of which were previously unpublished) is a companion novella to THE COST OF LIVING. There are no connections between the stories, but they’ll appear together in a combined print edition later this year. Here’s the ISOLATION blurb:

IsolationKeith’s in his early twenties. No girlfriend, no hobbies, no future. He spends his days working in an office and his evenings, weekends and just about all his free time looking after his alcoholic dad.

And then the zombie apocalypse changes everything.

Suddenly Keith’s free. For the first time in a long time, he’s got nothing to worry about (apart from several hundred thousand reanimated corpses heading his way).

But then he meets Anna, and everything changes again. Cocky, cool, confident… she’s everything Keith isn’t. Holed-up together in an isolated bungalow, besieged by the living dead, will they survive, or will they tear each other apart before the dead can get anywhere near?

Download ISOLATION for the paltry sum of $2.99/£1.99 from AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.DE | AMAZON.ES | AMAZON.IT | AMAZON.CA | AMAZON.COM.AU

Cover art is again by the brilliant David Shires and, as with THE COST OF LIVING, I’m experimenting with Amazon exclusivity for now. If you want the ePub version of the book, simply buy the Kindle edition, then send me a copy of your receipt and I’ll email an ePub version back to you asap.

I’m very proud of this one. I hope you enjoy it.

What Works For Me

It’s been several months since I last posted anything in my What Works For Me series of writing tips/ thoughts. There are several very good reasons for that. Most importantly, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to work out what exactly does work for me.

You’ll probably have seen endless debate online over the last few months about the merits of independent versus traditional publishing, and also about the position/ value of indie authors as highlighted by the ongoing Hachette vs. Amazon debacle.

I started out Indie. I was Indie before most. I’m so old school that I genuinely used to email pdf and Word versions of AUTUMN to interested folks back in the day. I did well from it, and if I hadn’t done what I’d done, I’d probably have never written HATER and it might not have found its way onto the desk of the folks who passed it on to Guillermo del Toro all those years ago… When Thomas Dunne Books of New York made an offer for the publishing rights back in 2007, I didn’t hesitate to accept.

CostofLivingSo now we’re another seven years or so down the line, and the marketplace has changed beyond all recognition. Indie authors are in a better place now: more accepted, and with better tools and technologies at their disposal.

THE COST OF LIVING proved to be a turning point for me. I’ve been stunned by the success of my little ebook – it’s sold remarkably well and has opened my eyes to the full potential of independent publishing again. With the recent relaunch/ rebranding of INFECTED BOOKS, I feel like I’ve regained the control you inevitably lose when you publish traditionally, and I’m ready to take full advantage of that.

So, to stop a long story getting any longer, I’ll just say this: for now, although I’m technically what you’d call a Hybrid author, I feel 100% Indie again. So what does this mean? Well, for a start you should watch for another surprise release later this week (you can pre-order it now – I’ll tell you more tomorrow), and then look out for STRANGERS – my brand new, full-length novel, coming from Infected Books in November this year.

The future of Infected Books

So, a while back I promised to explain what was happening with Infected Books.

You might recall that, sometime around the middle of IBlast month, after clearing a lot of my shelves and stocks of books, I shuttered the website (which had become known as the Infected Bookstore, because that was pretty much all it was). People asked if I was disappearing or giving up… if I’d had my fill of independent publishing… if I was through with writing altogether…

That couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how things used to be back in 2001 when I started giving away the original AUTUMN novel for free via my website. The eBook market was small back then, and self-publishing was a dirty word (I know it still is to some people). These were the days before Kindle, Nook and iBooks… when I was literally emailing pdfs, Word docs, and all manner of obscure early eBook formats directly to interested folks.

Infected Books was created in early 2005 as a clear and very definite brand – a way of publishing my books independently which a). didn’t make me look like a one man band operating out of the spare bedroom at home (which I was) and b). gave me a professional-looking brand with which I could compete with other publishers around the world. In that respect, IB worked brilliantly. It was, as one senior editor working for a UK publisher told me a few years back, a masterstroke.

But then everything that happened with Guillermo del Toro and HATER and Thomas Dunne Books happened, and I pulled down the virtual shutters.

Fast-forward a few years, and I re-launched the business back in 2012 to republish my remaining novels – books which had been released previously, but which I knew would benefit from an upgrade. It worked really well. TRUST, AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION and, most recently, STRAIGHT TO YOU have been very successful.

But things really changed again at the end of May, when THE COST OF LIVING was released. I’ve already said this, but I’ll say it again anyway – the success of my little zombie novella has far exceeded my expectations. In some ways, THE COST OF LIVING has been a catalyst for the changes I’m going to tell you about now.

Infected Books is a publisher first and foremost. In the future, it’ll be much more than that (starting with, I hope, Infected Films in a couple of years time – more about that later). The website, though, didn’t represent that. In fact, it had become a glorified bookstore which took more time and money to maintain than I had available.

I’d like to invite you to visit the new www.infectedbooks.co.uk which has just been launched. It looks much the same visually, but there’s been a definite shift in content and focus (although you can still buy signed books from the site – now with free UK shipping). You’ll find much more about the titles IB publishes, and there will be plenty more new releases to come in the next few months. A mix of eBooks, limited editions, and new paperback releases are coming… there are things planned every month from hereon in. Please also follow IB on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to hear about these releases.

THE COST OF LIVING has reinvigorated me, and I can’t wait to let you see what’s coming next.

Infected Books is very much alive and kicking. As I first said back in 2001 (a line which plenty of others have pinched since then…) stick with me and let’s SPREAD THE INFECTION!