I am absolutely thrilled to announce that my little zombie series entitled The Becoming has been picked up for publication as a trilogy by Permuted Press. This is a process that began when I was approached on April 1, 2011, and after a round of negotiation and discussion, I can say that I have a book deal I’m happy with, with an exceptional publisher who makes available many zombie novels that I’m sure a lot of my readers are familiar with. This is, needless to say, a dream come true for me. As I said to my parents when the offer was presented to me, “I feel validated!”
Not too shabby for a little book I drafted out on BlackBerry smartphones.
So here is where we stand: The Becoming: Outbreak and The Becoming: Safe House will make up the first book in the trilogy. Year One and Ground Zero (originally parts 3 and 4 of the series) will become the second book. A vastly expanded version of the fifth part, Evolve, will round out the trilogy.
What does this mean specifically for you? Well, Outbreak and Safe House are, of course, going off sale from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. At this point, I no longer hold the rights to offer those for publication. But the bonus for you guys is that you’ll have a better edited version of the novel coming out, plus the option to purchase either in digital or physical editions. I, of course, will keep all my readers informed every step of the way.
This also means that Year One will not be made available at the end of May, as had been my initial intention. While I’m sure this is a disappointment for many who wanted to know what was going to happen next to Cade, Ethan, and Brandt and the rest of the crew, the delay in release will make the book that much better.
I’m looking forward to working with Permuted Press to offer these books to all you guys. I thank you now for all the support you’ve offered me in the past, and I hope that that support continues through this exciting new chapter in my life.
I’ve been meaning to hop over here and post this for the past three days, but I’ve been pretty busy with some other things, plus with editing and writing, that I haven’t had the chance to do so.
Sales for the month of March were far better than anything I expected. Author Jon Merz predicted to me on twitter that I’d top 1,000 copies of my book(s) sold. Oh how right he was.
For the month of March, I sold 1,638 copies of The Becoming: Outbreak alone. 1,501 of those were on Amazon US. The rest were on a combination of Smashwords and B&N. 90 of them were sold on Smashwords, but I think that’s because of the Read an eBook Week that I participated in this year. Regardless, that number is fantastic!
What really surprised me, though, was the sales on The Becoming: Safe House. I had initially announced the release date as March 1, 2011, but I did a “soft release” a few days before the end of February. During the soft release, I sold a total of 57 copies of Safe House, which wasn’t bad for, what, three days? But my March numbers? Whoa, March:
On Amazon US Kindle Store, I sold a whopping 1,121 copies of Safe House, along with assorted other sales on other platforms. The total sales for the month for Safe House were 1,162. I sold nearly a copy for every copy of Outbreak sold.
Even better? Outbreak AND Safe House both have stayed somewhere in Amazon’s Top 100 for Horror for the entire month. I believe Outbreak even climbed up to #13 at one point! As of the typing of this message, Outbreak is sitting at #27, with Safe House coming in at #45. I have no complaints. 🙂
I, of course, thank all of you guys who do such a great job of helping me pimp out my work. I really couldn’t ask for better readers.
Here’s some updates on what I’ve been at work on, in no particular order:
1. The Becoming: Year One: I’ve reached roughly the 1/3rd point on it, but I’ve been sidetracked by something else that’s come up on my plate recently. Good feedback from my beta readers on the part I’ve already done though!
2. The Becoming: Ground Zero and The Becoming: Evolve: These are, to say the least, still a work in progress. Still writing up scenes from Evolve as necessary while Year One rewriting is going on.
3. “A Matter of Darkness”: (Remy’s novella) This is shelved until further notice. Bigger things on my plate at the moment.
4. Currently untitled poltergeist story: Glorified outline/beat sheet done. Hoping to get to this one day soon, but at least I have the beats down so when I go back to it, I’ll be able to remember what I wanted to do.
5. Super Secret Project A: Working hard on it. Full steam ahead, is what I always say!
Post-Apocalyptic Book Recommendation of the Week
Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth
Summary: (from Amazon) A lone survivor in a zombie-infested world, Jonah Caine wandered for months, struggling to understand the apocalypse in which he lives. Unable to find a moral or sane reason for the horror that surrounds him, he is overwhelmed by violence and insignificance. Then Jonah comes across a group of survivors living in a museum-turned-compound. They are led by Jack, an ever-practical and efficient military man; and Milton, a mysterious prophet who holds a strange power over the dead. Both share Jonah’s anguish over the brutality of their world as well as his hope for its beauty. Together with others, they build a community that reestablishes an island of order and humanity surrounded by relentless ghouls. But this newfound peace is short-lived, as Jonah and his band of refugees clash with another group of survivors who remind them that the undead are not the only—nor the most grotesque—horrors they must face.
Where to buy Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth:
There’s been an excellent review of The Becoming: Safe House over on Between The Covers. Heather had some interesting thoughts on the book in general:
Gone is the slow-moving, shuffling, stumbling, seemingly idiotic, only-eats-flesh-it-can-out-muscle zombie. Meigs’ flesh eaters are fast, intelligent, sneaky and calculating. … I plowed through this second installment in three and a half hours because I just couldn’t put it down. I kept thinking, ‘One more chapter, one more chapter,’ and before I knew it, I had come to the end of the book.
And on the characters in particular:
Ethan, Cade and Brandt have lost none of their toughness, but now we witness how each of them handles prolonged stress and fear…and how they’re starting to get on each other’s nerves. … Meigs also introduces some new characters into the story…introducing new people into the mix definitely keeps the story fresh.
Heather says a lot more than that on Safe House, so if you’d like to read the review in its entirety, you can buzz on over to Between the Covers and read it here.
If anyone else is interested in reviewing The Becoming: Outbreak and The Becoming: Safe House, be sure to let me know! Just shoot me an email at email@example.com. 🙂
Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone left me a bad review. I won’t say anything about it here; I’ve already addressed the reviewer in particular and am going to simply leave it at that (though I did thank him for trying the book out, even if it didn’t quite appeal to him).
For those of you who find something you didn’t particularly like in my book, email me! I’m more than happy to discuss plot points and details with any and all of my readers (time willing)! I can, as always, be found at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I always, always make time for anyone who emails me. You guys are the ones who pump my sales up, buy my books, and put money in my pocket!
I’ve been hard at work on an assortment of things. Here’s a quick update on what I’ve been working on, in lovely list form:
1. The Becoming: Year One is trucking along wonderfully. I’m up to page 76 of the first revision, but I have plans to go back and add a few more things to it before sending more of it off to my beta reader. It’s looking like a mid- to late-May release date is where it’s at.
2. The Becoming: Ground Zero and The Becoming: Evolve: Both of these are also doing well. Ground Zero is just sort of sitting there, because Evolve is the one part out of all the books that, in my opinion, needs a ton of work. I think this is mainly because there’s a twist that comes about a third of the way into Evolve that will completely blow your minds (I hope!) and as I’m revising Year One, I’m re-drafting scenes for that book in particular. Needless to say, it’s going to be…interesting.
3. “A Matter of Darkness”: This is something to do with a little idea I had that I posted about on Twitter about a week or so ago. I’m sitting on a pile of random drafts and pages and notes for side characters (such as, for example, Theo and Gray, Remy, Nikola, etc. etc.) and had the idea to revise them, clean them up, and release them as, perhaps, a short story collection. “A Matter of Darkness” is the working title of Remy’s story, which is about forty pages long at this point, that details the outbreak of the Michaluk Virus where she lived (New Orleans), and what happened to her and her family as they tried to survive it. Since it is, at this point, the most fleshed-out of the stories, it would be the centerpiece of the collection. This is my lowest priority on the list right now, though, so I haven’t messed with it too much lately.
4. Currently untitled poltergeist story: It is what it is. It will basically be the next big thing I really hammer down on once everything to do with The Becoming is out of the way. Outside of that, I’m not going to reveal any other details about this particular story, because exactly 0% of it is set in stone and things will definitely change throughout the process of writing it.
Also! I need more beta readers! The more sets of eyes I get on a particular story, the better, because it means less chance of something sneaking through that needed to be caught beforehand. I’ve already got one, but I could always use more, obviously. So email me at email@example.com if you think you’re suitable enough to be a beta reader. Please make sure you have ample enough time to carefully read whatever I send you AND tell me why you think you’d make a good beta reader. I’ll be picking a few trustworthy people to help me out when the time comes, and I’d like to have you all ready to go. 🙂
As part of Smashwords’ participation in Read an eBook Week, The Becoming: Outbreak is now free for the next week! At Smashwords, you can pick up the book in almost any format available, DRM-free for your format-converting needs. The promotion began today and ends on March 12th, so if you haven’t purchased The Becoming: Outbreak yet, go ahead and grab it while you can! Use coupon code RE100 at checkout and you should see your total owed drop down to $0.00! The book is available right here!
And don’t forget, as a special promotion for the second part of the tale, The Becoming: Safe House, book two of The Becoming series, is temporarily available for only $0.99 at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords! This particular promotion ends on March 18th. After that, the price goes back up to $1.99. So after taking advantage of Smashwords’ free promotion of Outbreak, grab yourself a copy of Safe House and to find out what happens next in the story!
You can pick up The Becoming: Outbreak and The Becoming: Safe House is these locations:
Thank you for your support!
Many of you took advantage of The Becoming: Outbreak being available for only a mere $0.99, and now you have the chance to grab The Becoming: Safe House, the sequel to Outbreak, for the same price!
For a limited, two-week run, you can pick up The Becoming: Safe House at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords for only $0.99! This sale is for a limited time only; the offer expires on March 18th! So grab it now at the 50% discount while you can!
You can find The Becoming: Safe House here:
And if you’ve yet to pick up The Becoming: Outbreak, it’s still available for $0.99 too, so you can grab both for only $1.98! Can’t say that’s a bad deal for two books, can you? 😀 Outbreak is accessible through the same links above.
For a limited time only, purchase The Becoming: Safe House from Smashwords and use coupon code:
to receive 50% off the purchase price! The regular price for the book is $1.99, so you’ll be able to grab the book for $0.99!
Grab it quick, because the sale expires on March 1st, 2011!
You can grab the book here!
I’m happy to announce that several days early, The Becoming: Safe House, the sequel to the previously released The Becoming: Outbreak, is now officially available for purchase on all platforms! You can find the links below!
The Becoming: Safe House on the Amazon US Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/eas1YV | on the Amazon UK Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/ftHx74 | on the B&N NOOKbook store: http://bit.ly/ePjvSk | on Smashwords: http://bit.ly/g48Qrk.
It’s only $1.99, and it’s a decent bit longer than Outbreak, so go grab it while you can!
I’m reminded of that creepy little child from Poltergeist, I believe it was.
What’s here, you may be asking? Oh, this.
The Becoming: Safe House is currently now available in the NOOKbook format for the Nook and NOOKcolor! You can find it here: http://bit.ly/ePjvSk.
It’s currently pending on Amazon; the sales page for it is now up right here, but there’s no pricing information available and you can’t purchase it yet because they’re not done putting it up on the site. It also doesn’t seem to be showing up on their search engine yet. But there it is. Just keep checking that link for updates to that page, and I’ll post here when it’s ready to roll.
Edit: It’s now live on Amazon UK! http://amzn.to/ftHx74
It’s also processing on Smashwords.com right now too, so if you’re wanting a copy of it in PDF, plain text (why you’d want that, I dunno), DRM-free Amazon .mobi format, Palm Doc/.pdb format, DRM-free .epub, or Sony Reader/.lrf format, check back here hopefully sometime this evening and I’ll have the link for you! (It’s currently in the queue at number 321, so this may take a bit.)
Edit: And it’s now live on Smashwords! Here’s the link to buy it! http://bit.ly/g48Qrk
Adam Carpenter from Examiner.com has posted some very kind words about The Becoming: Outbreak. Here’s a sampling of his article:
As for the book itself, it is great work, especially for a young author. The pace is fast enough that you never feel like you’re at a stopping point, and the characters are likeable, familiar archetypes for a zombie story. It is also a response to zombie fans everywhere who have been wondering why every victim in a zombie story loses all common sense the second things go wrong, instead of getting a gun, some ammo, and some food, and thinking through their options. It is not PG-13 however; like most zombie books, it is not short on violence and does not stray away from punishing its characters. … All in all it is a fantastic read, and when you find out it was a young authors first book, written entirely on Blackberry smartphones, it just makes it all the more impressive.
You can read the entire article here.
A quick report on sales: I broke 300 sales for the month of February on Amazon alone a few days ago, and as of five minutes ago, those sales topped 350 and still climbing. Across all platforms the book is available on, I’ve topped 500 sales for February. And I’m currently sitting at 813 sales overall since December 20th. It’s definitely been a great week! 🙂
In sequel news, The Becoming: Safe House is in the process of getting a cover. The always awesome Heather (who designed the cover for The Becoming: Outbreak) and I had a chat on AIM the other night and stirred around some ideas for Safe House‘s cover. I think I’m going to like this one. It’s basic like Outbreak, but it’s going to be attention-grabbing to say for sure. I can’t wait for you guys to see it!
We’re still on track for a March 1st release. Editing continues; I’m roughly 40 pages away from being done with the edit job. Then there’s the day or two of wrestling with the formatting and the trial and error on my NOOKcolor, and then it’ll be ready to go. (Keep a look-out though! No promises, but if I wrap things up before March 1st, it may get released early!)
And to whet your appetite for The Becoming: Safe House, here’s the official synopsis (as it stands) for the novel. Do I have to warn for spoilers?
In January 2009, the Michaluk Virus swept across the southeastern United States, infecting nearly everyone in its path and turning them into homicidal cannibals. One month later, as Cade, Brandt, and Ethan hole up in a safe house near Tupelo, Mississippi, the arrival of two brothers threatens to upset the layers of security and trust they’ve built around themselves. After the infected attack and they’re forced to flee, one of the members departs for Memphis and the others sweep south to Biloxi, where they discover a trapped young woman begging for help. When the rescue is botched and two members of the group go missing, the remaining three race to a new safe house, all the while wondering if their companions are still alive and who is left to help them survive.
For the record, I hate writing summaries. This one was the one that I feel came out the best. Hopefully it doesn’t give TOO much away!
The link’s still available above to purchase The Becoming: Outbreak if you haven’t already! And if you’re viewing this on an RSS feed, the link is becomingzombies.com/purchase.
P.S. I’m thrilled! That last post I made with the Dead Island trailer? It was optioned for a movie, not even 72 hours after the game makers posted the trailer. Definitely a film I’d want to see! That trailer struck a chord with me that I can’t explain. If you haven’t seen it yet, scroll down to the next post and hit play, and then watch the chronological version (which is linked to in the video) and tell me that wouldn’t make a great movie.