Posts Tagged ‘books’

ebook chart2Well friends and neighbours, Christmas Night of the Living Dead has finished it’s launch period. After five days I have been astonished to see how well it did considering it was mostly written as a fun thing to share with friends and seperate from my “proper” writing.

The story came out on Tuesday. I duly posted links on my facebook wall and in the Kindle forums letting everyone know that there was a free Christmas story going a begging. I sat back expecting a bit of a rush as my friends and family dutifully downloaded it and then a dribble of downloads from curious passer’s by…

As Tuesday turned into Wendesday it was clear something different was happening. Every time I checked the sales reports more copies had gone. I’d put my other e-books on promotion as well and a few of those were shifting as well but the new story was flying! I checked in and found that I’d made it up to number 30 in the top 100 free e-books on in the Humour and Horror categories and was ranked at number 474 overall out of all the free ebooks! B y today I was number 14 – one place above the kindle edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein! In total 1167 copies of the story were downloaded.

Of course, now the free promotion has ended the downloads have come to a complete halt, but out there in the digitial domain there are now over 1000 potential readers for the next thing I publish. From little acorns…

cover concept version 2

After a bit of faffing around converting it to a Kindle Friendly format I am pleased to announce that this year’s Christmas story is here for you all to enjoy.

The plan has been to write a Christmas themed short story every year to give away to friends and family. Last year I put out Reindeer Dust which was my first foray into the world of electronic publishing. As usual I’ve opted for a non-traditional Christmas story – this time we have Elves and Zombies running amuck at the North Pole with typically gruesome consequences. Don’t worry though, it’s all a bit tongue in cheek – think more Shaun of the Dead than Walking Dead.

As usua, in keeping in the spirit of the season, I am giving it away for free. The story went live in the Kindle Store today but from tomorrow you will be able to download it for zilch. The promotion will last until Saturday the 22nd as I can only give it awy for a maximum of five days. If you don’t have a Kindle (and who knows, maybe Santa is bringing you one) you can always download the free Kindle Viewer app from Amazon which will allow you to still read it on your computer, ipad etc.

To keep you going until then I have also made all of my other e-books free from today until Friday.

Get them here:

Christmas Night of the Living Dead (UK)

Christmas Night of the Living Dead (USA)

Reindeer Dust (UK)

Reindeer Dust (USA)

When the Revolution Comes (UK)

When the Revolution Comes (USA)

Himself by the Seaside (UK)

Himself by the Seaside (USA)

If you like what you read, please, please, please leave a review telling people what you thought.

Cover of "The Running Man"

Cover of The Running Man

James stumbles a little bit this week by spending alltogether too much time talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s film version and hardly any talking about King’s (or in this case Bachman’s) book. I was about the same age as James when the film came out and even then I could see it was shite. It succeeded in taking a pitch black dystopian vision of a not too distant future where extreme reality shows like “Swim the Crocodiles” and “Treadmill To Bucks” (in which patients with heart conditions have to answer questions on a treadmill that increases in pace every time they get one wrong) have become the vehicle to keep the masses docile and turning it into a cheesy action movie stuffed with lycra-clad characters and piss-poor Arnie quips. I saw it again recently on late night TV and it was even worse than I remembered.

King claims that he wrote the complete first draft in one long 72 hour writing session and that very little was changed by the time it was published. It rips along at a furious pace from the get go and refuses to let you stop until the bleak climax. King tended to keep the chapters short in his earlier books so that I would find myself checking ahead and counting how many pages there were in the next one in the hope that I could squeeze just one more in and The Running Man uses this technique superbly with its countdown structure as you follow anti-hero, Ben Richards from his selection to his inevitable destruction. The ending of the book has become infamous in the post 9-11 world due to it’s portrayal of Richards crashing a passenger jet into the TV Network HQ (Tom Clancy was probably nearer the mark when he had a jet crash into the Capitol building at the end of his book “Debt of Honor”) – hindsight, as they say, is 20-20. At least in this instance King hasn’t withdrawn the book the way he has “Rage” with it’s echoes of the Columbine shootings.

Anyway, you can check out what James has to say here: Rereading Stephen King, week 12.

James Smythe is on top form this week with his critical dissection of King’s  novel “Cujo” – the novel which King has famously admitted he can’t remember writing as he was mired deep in alcohol and drug addiction at the time. I’ve always had a soft spot for the book – it moves with the same relentless pace as other King books from around this time like “The Running Man” and you get the sense that the story must’ve poured out onto the page once he started it. James makes a good case for the book being a metaphor for King’s personal problems which bring a whole new meaning to the story which I have to admit that I hadn’t previously considered.

As usual you can read the full article over at the Guardian website – Rereading Stephen King week 11.


Cover of "Firestarter"

Cover of Firestarter

A bit late posting this one up as I’ve been busy lately and just haven’t had the time. James has reached Firestarter – his 9th King book and finds it a bit meh. I listened to the audiobook of Firestarter a couple of weeks back and really enjoyed it. I agree that it’s probably not the bsst thing King has ever written – solid rather than spectacular with a few great set pieces when Charley unleashes her powers. Like a lot of earlier King books it also rips along at a fair old pace – every time I’ve read the book I’ve found to be a real page turner and was suprised to find the audiobook had the same effect to the extent I was running around all weekend finding excuses to get my headphones out and listen to a bit more! Being a father of two girls I also found a lot more resonance in the plot and more sympathy with Andy McGee.

Head on over to The Guardian and James’ Blog to read his thoughts and add to the discussion or leave your comments below. Rereading Stephen King week 9