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!

A quick plug for a good friend – David Shires, the COST OF LIVING cover artist

CostofLivingI just wanted to take a moment to publicly thank David Shires of The Image Designs for his stirling work in putting together the brilliant cover art for THE COST OF LIVING at short notice recently. Often when I’m working on an Infected Books release, I’ll have an idea what kind of design I want to use and I’ll give the artist a very general brief. In this case I had an idea and I’d made an incredibly amateurish attempt to produce the artwork myself. I emailed David all the details, and received the finished piece within a day. Phenomenal!

David’s done work for me previously and has been featured on this site before. You might remember his AUTUMN illustrations which are on display over at www.lastoftheliving.net. My personal favourites are the images he produced for OFFICE POLITICS and SKIN.

For more information about David’s work, email create@theimagedesigns.com or visit www.theimagedesigns.com or facebook.com/theimagedesigns. Once again, huge thanks to David for his work on THE COST OF LIVING which has been a massive factor in the book’s success. I’m incredibly grateful.

Office Politics - illustration by David Naughton-Shires www.knightwatchpress.infoTHE COST OF LIVING is available now from AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.DE | AMAZON.ES | AMAZON.IT | AMAZON.CA | AMAZON.COM.AU.

Watch for an announcement in the next few weeks about another zombie-themed novella and an undead print collection coming soon from Infected Books.

The genesis of THE COST OF LIVING

CostofLivingIf you’ve already got the book, you’ll already know this but, if not, I thought it would make an interesting post. Did you know that I wrote three entirely different versions of THE COST OF LIVING, and that all three are included in the ebook?

It just goes to show the effect a format can have on the story you’re trying to tell.

The first incarnation of THE COST OF LIVING came back in 2010 when I was invited to put together a story for John Joseph Adams’ excellent LIVING DEAD 2 anthology. A different tale altogether ended up in the book (WHO WE USED TO BE), but I also finished PRIORITIES – the 5,000 word short story of mom, dad and disgruntled older son, trapped in their home at Dad’s insistence with no way out, surrounded by hordes of zombies.

I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the story. A while later I was invited to write a piece of flash fiction by my friends at THIS IS HORROR, and I decided to strip back THE COST OF LIVING to bare bones. Just 750 words.

But I still wasn’t happy. It seemed to me that whenever I tried to write the story, I was being curtailed by its length. I never saw THE COST OF LIVING as being long enough to make a full novel, but I knew it needed more than the short formats I’d already tried. So, at the beginning of this year, I started writing again with the sole aim of telling the story I wanted, irrespective of word count and length.

And I’m absolutely blown away by the reception you’ve given the 38,000 word novella version of THE COST OF LIVING, so much so that I’m planning to return to the format sooner rather than later. One novella a month, perhaps?

Wayne Simmons says: “THE COST OF LIVING is character-driven zombie horror at its very best. No fan of the genre should be without it.” And Chris Hall at DLSReviews.com says the book is: “A truly superb post-apocalyptic story.”

If you haven’t yet read THE COST OF LIVING, it’s available for $1.99/£1.22 from AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.DE | AMAZON.ES | AMAZON.IT | AMAZON.CA | AMAZON.COM.AU

The Cost of Living – a couple of questions answered

CostofLivingFirst of all, thanks to everyone who already downloaded a copy of THE COST OF LIVING. I’ve been blown away by the book’s popularity. It’s been sitting at number #3 on the Amazon.co.uk Survival Horror charts pretty much since release, and that’s amazing.

I’m regularly being asked the same couple of questions about the availability of the book, so I thought I should post the answers here.

First, can I get an ePub version (Nook, iBook etc.)?
Technically, no – I’ve restricted this release to Amazon to take advantage of their promotional tools. But… if you desperately want an alternative version, please buy the Kindle book, then send me a copy of your receipt and I’ll email an ePub version back to you asap.

Second, can I get THE COST OF LIVING in print?
Not yet, but here’s my plan. TCOL is about half the length of one of my novels, and I don’t think a print edition would be economical. My plan, however, is to repeat this later in the year with the release of another similar-length novella, then to bundle the two stories together in a single paperback.

I hope this all makes sense. As always, get in touch if you need more information.

And finally…

Just one last bit of clarification. I’m only closing the Infected Bookstore, not the Infected Books publishing business. Apologies if I confused/alarmed anyone. If you were thinking of making a purchase from the rare book sale I’ve been holding this week, I’d get in fast. There’s not a lot left! Click here for more information.

The Cost of Living

I know I’ve been quiet again recently – much going on, not all writing-related. Anyway, I’m very pleased today to announce a surprise release. I’ve gone back to zombies and the end of the world for THE COST OF LIVING – an ebook-only novella (hopefully the first of many) which is now available from Amazon worldwide for $1.99 (links below).

I combined everything I’ve learnt about writing apocalyptic zombie stories with everything I’ve learnt about creating real, believable characters, and I’m thrilled with the result.

AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.DE | AMAZON.ES | AMAZON.IT | AMAZON.CA | AMAZON.COM.AU

CostofLiving

The world is dying. An abhorrent epidemic is sweeping the globe, destroying everything it touches. Contact with even a single drop of contaminated blood or saliva is enough to spread the disease. Within hours even the healthiest people are transformed into hideous, germ-spewing creatures. They hunt out the uninfected in their tens of thousands, their sole purpose to continue spreading the infection.

On a recently-built housing development on the outskirts of a large city, one man will stop at nothing to protect his family from the coming storm. Stuart has been one step ahead of the game from the beginning. His garage is stocked high with supplies, the doors and windows of his home fortified, weapons held ready in case of attack.

With each passing minute, there are more infected surrounding the house. With each passing minute, Stuart and his family have less food and water available. Some time very soon, the balance will shift.

But Stuart won’t stop give up on his family, no matter what the cost.

Enormous thanks to my good pal David Shires of www.theimagedesigns.com for the cover art. More about David coming soon!

The Cost of Living – free flash fiction at www.thisishorror.co.uk

The title of this post says it all really. Here’s a (very) short new year’s treat for you.

The Cost of Living – a beautifully illustrated (by Daniele Serra) little slice of post-apocalyptic flash fiction, hosted by my good friends over at www.thisishorror.co.uk as part of their Flash Fear series.

Click here to read the story.