Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Attack of the 50FT Book" cover released

My short story "Clean Up On Seventh Avenue" will be appearing in this anthology in just a few weeks. It tells the story about what happens AFTER the giant monster attacks the city and is eventually defeated. That's when the men and women of MIS Disposal go into action.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why I chose to Self Publish

Here's a quick quiz. It's only one question long. Can you guess the answer? It's easier than you think. Ready?
What is the single best selling product in the history of
It's their Kindle ereader. Why else would I write about in this post?

The sale of ebooks right now is outpacing the sale of paper books. This is good and bad in my opinion.

First the bad news. Traditional bookstores, independents and chains, are not doing well. Some are disappearing. I'm still mad at Borders for closing their store only a few blocks from my house. Hanging out at a bookstore was fun. You could wonder aimlessly through the shelves and something would hit your eye. I could not enter a bookstore and leave empty handed. With a computer, on the other hand, I can look at Amazon or some other page and not buy anything. I do it nearly every day.

The good news is that judging by combined sales of ebooks and paper books, more people are reading. Wonderful. That gives a newbie author hope.

The best news is that now the doors to publishing that first or tenth or fortieth book have been flung wide open. The normal path, publisher to bookstore to my pocketbook no longer is the only way.

Here's another question for you. What do you think a publisher does in this new landscape filled with ebooks?  This question is still looking for an answer. With an ebook there is no printing, no warehouse, no shipping. It's all electronic. That means there is really very little overhead to an ebook. Yet big mega mainstream publishers still offer authors the same royalties for their ebooks as for a print book, 15% if you're lucky. Yes, they can provide an editor, a copy editor, a cover designer, but a promising author can freelance all that out or barter with friends and family (if they are experienced in this type of work) and get it done for little or no actual cash.

Doesn't the big name publisher promote the author's book? I was surprised by the answer to this one. No, they don't unless you have that one in a million book to hit the best seller lists. This is even rarer for the first time author. Promotion is left up to the author. You have to build your brand, some have even built their own book tours.

So what is the advantage? Right now I don't know. With "Dr Zombie Lives Next Door" I have had numerous near misses, or saying that more positively, near hits. One publisher had a coast to coast conference call about my book. In the end it was "We really enjoyed it. The story is good, the writing is strong, but the vote had to be unanimous. We're going to have to pass. But I voted for you."

After a while I gave up on it concentrating on my short fiction to build my literary cred. It worked. The successes are flowing in and outpacing the thanks but no thanks.

Then the Kindle and other ereaders became the biggest Xmas gifts of the year. And ebooks exploded.

Someone once said that people can't buy books that sit home on the shelf. It's true. And if they don't buy my book, I won't get paid. Let's be truthful, while I love to write, I would love it even more if I could make a living with it.

Self publishing my own novel as an ebook doesn't require the overhead that self publishing a paper book does. Self publishing an ebook I can get royalties of 70%. Remember the 15% from the mainstream publisher? That allows me to sell my novel at a much lower price and maybe attract more readers.

It took 4 months of hard work with lots of help from my family and many friends but finally it came to light. "Dr Zombie Lives Next Door" came to be alive and kicking on Sunday night. I am proud of this book. It's a fun story that I believe kids and adults will enjoy. Okay I may be slightly prejudiced but I do think the last scene at the science fair is really very funny.

So buy a copy already, read it for yourself, or to your kids, or let your kids read for themselves. Then leave me a comment here or at the book's webpage. Tell me honestly what you thought. Good or bad. I want ot take what I learn and make the next one even better. Help me make this dream come true.

Now it's off to work on my second novel, the first in The Madness Series, "Hamburger Madness".  It's star-broiled adventure with extra pickles. There are no zombies in it anywhere. Still I think you'll like it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Zombie warning in Kentucky

Hackers got into a highway sign in northern Kentucky and warned people "Lane Closures Nightly - Zombies Ahead". And it turns out this was big news that day.

Don't forget, if you need that zombie fix just click on the book covers to the right.

One last thing.
I now have a copy of the audiobook version of "Zombies Ain't Funny". It is the first time I have heard any of my stories read aloud by another person especially professionally. Okay, I can get past the fact he mispronounced my name (he said "bee-bo" and not "bye-bo") I'm used to that. I can still enjoy the fact that my work has branched out into another medium, sound.  He does a fine job too.

It's $3.99 for the audiobook. "Charlie Decker and the Last Zombie" by Bill "Bye-bo" Jr is number 4.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More funny zombies

"Zombies Ain't Funny" is now available for the Kindle! Only $2.99 for all the ereader goodness you can handle.

For once I am happy with things listed alphabetically. Guess who is listed first with the authors?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Zombies are getting even funnier!

The world of publishing these days moves at a frightening speed. In the time since my last post I have learned that Zombies Ain't Funny which features my story "Charlie Decker and the Last Zombie" is now up on Smashwords as an ebook. Click on the cover to the right and you will be taken right to it. Such comedy, such fun, such undead humor waits for you and all at the low low price of $2.99.

Please be careful, or you'll die laughing.

Who says "Zombies Ain't Funny"?

The good folks at Veinarmor Press think they're hilarious and they have a whole anthology just to prove how really funny zombies can be. It's entitled "Zombies Ain't Funny". (Who thinks of these titles?) My story "Charlie Decker and the Last Zombie" made the cut and is included in the undead merriment.

They are also producing an audiobook version of the anthology. The first two stories are online as free sample downloads. Unfortunately my story is number four. You may have to purchase the audiobook to hear "Charlie Decker..." read aloud. You can find the samples at I can't wait to hear how they mispronounce my name.

The paperback version and the complete audio version will be out soon. Stay tuned.

And always remember our motto: Read, it makes your brain juicy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's a Mummie Outbreak!

Here's a great article about three different mummy exhibits that have opened since the weekend.

The first is at the San Diego Museum of Man. This exhibit "features the mummy of a man in his 70s, who, in 1994, was mummified by scientists using the ancient Egyptian methods." It doesn't say why anyone would let a couple of scientist mummify them in 1994.

Next is "Mummies of the World" which is taking over Philadelphia. This exhibit boast over 150 mummy artifacts. "The specimens include a Peruvian child mummy that is 6,240 years old -- 3,000 years older than King Tut -- and the mummy of a middle-aged Egyptian man that despite being unwrapped long ago, still has gold flecks that were applied to his face right after his death."

Finally yesterday saw the beginning of the week long World Congress of Mummy Studies also in San Diego. This is for your hardcore mummiphile. This conference has such mouth watering topics as "The Mummy Tissue Database at Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology (Parts 1 and 2)", "Archaeogenetic and Histological Analysis of Natural Mummification under High Salt Conditions: Investigation of the Chehr Abad Salt Men", and finally one for my brother-in-law "Teeth Used as a Tool: Evidence of Task-related Dental Modifications from an Ancient Cemetery at Saqqara, Egypt". Why am I not there?

But all this is just leading up to the biggest mummy news of the summer. The release of Groanology: Humorous Monster Mash-ups and my story "The Wrong Side of the Rainbow" featuring Ramses II! It's only weeks away. Keep watching this space for more news!!!

Now I have to go email my mummy.
Take care.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Out Of This World Exhibit at British Library in London

The British Library is currently having an exhibit on the history of science fiction literature and how it has enhanced scientific discovery. It is free and open until Sept 25. Oh how I wish I lived in London.

The blog for the exhibit is fascinating in itself. Every other day or so they post an interesting fact or topic. Did you know that the word "robot" is actually Czechoslovakian? Or that a political activist in Russia wrote a novel about a society on Mars after the failed Russian Revolution in 1905? On June 18 Funk Master George Clinton is giving a talk about his music and his vision. Awesome. I wish they'd do a catalog of the event.

Find more info here

And if you're looking for some good old USA science fiction, horror, and general fun writing, you can always check out my work to the left.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Story Online at Necon Ebooks!

Good news today. My story "Quitting His Day Job" was given an Honorable Mention in Necon Ebooks May Flash Fiction Contest. The theme was Back To Nature and we only had 100 words in which we could tell our tale of the fantastic.

To be totally honest I had forgotten I wrote it having done over a lunchtime a few weeks ago. It was a very pleasant surprise to read the email from the editor today encouraging me quite strongly to enter again this month. I think I will. It's a fun exercise and great practice.

Some of you have asked me what process I go through when I write a story. Being a visual person I've decided to show you.

How did it turn out? You can read the final version here:

Or if you can wait until the end of the year it will be published in book form in their anthology wrap-up. By then I hope to have more than one story in it.

Keep reading, and most importantly, keep reading me. Thanks

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Dr Zombie Lives Next Door" teaser cover

As many of you know the real reason for posting "One Night In Green Bay..." on was to learn how to create an ebook. It was in preparation of the release this summer of "Dr Zombie Lives Next Door", a novel of humorous horror for middle grade readers.

While volunteer editors pour over my draft I've begun work on the cover. Here is just a taste to keep you interested.

Spooky, right? Just wait for the story!

As always you can always click on the book covers to the right for links to my current publications. Enjoy yourself!