Want a free copy of my novella? [UPDATED]


UPDATE: All copies are now spoken for. Thanks for playing!

I recently updated the print edition of The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella. This is for a few reasons:

1. I wanted to use a different font.

2. I wanted to add in the cover and release information for New Yorked.

3. There was a typo I was burning to fix.

The new edition looks very nice—but now I’m left with a handful of copies of the old version. So I’m going to give them away! I’m sorry you won’t get the new font and will be subjected to a typo, but hey—free book!

There are 10 copies available. Want one? Hit me up on Twitter or on Facebook. Just ask. First ten folks, I’ll send them a copy. United States only. I’ll pick the winners and mail them out, probably later this week.

All I ask in return is that you consider leaving a review of The Last Safe Place on Amazon, or that you consider pre-ordering a copy of New Yorked. Or both, if you’re feeling saucy.

None of that is required. The important thing here is: I’d like to clear some space on my bookshelf, and I’d like to get these into the hands of readers.

May updates!

  • I’ve got a piece up at Salon on the cult of self-publishing. I measure my relative success or failure on how long it takes for someone to call me a douchebag. Since it happened in the first comment, I’d call this a success.
  • We’ve got a solid slate of classes coming up at LitReactor, covering query letters, eBook coding, thriller and horror writing, character archetypes, and grammar. Find ’em here.
  • New podcast! We talk about transgressive fiction. Good times all around.

Various things have happened

The fourth installment of my column, Adventures in Self-Publishing, is live. In it, I talk about the Amazon KDP program.

Also live: The third episode of Unprintable, the LitReactor podcast. This is our best one yet. Probably because I was a little drunk. Check it out. If you could pop over to iTunes to review/rate it, that would be greatly appreciated.

The LitReactor shop is open for business. We are selling a very handsome t-shirt and a snazzy mug. Just in time for the holidays! Nothing says love like a mug.

Hey, also, I’ve been promoted to Class Director at LitReactor, which means that I’m now in charge of developing all those online writing classes the site hosts. I’m thrilled to be doing it.

We’ve got two classes coming up that are pretty great: One with Suzy Vitello on dialogue, and one with Taylor Houston on grammar and style. Check them out here. And there’s going to be more to share in the coming weeks.

And, on a final note, this week I got my very first check for a piece of fiction—a short story that’ll appear in Kwik Krimes, an anthology of flash fiction edited by Otto Penzler, to be published by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint.

It is gratifying beyond words to get paid for making something up in my head. Also, there’s a ton of really amazing authors in it. I don’t know why they let me in.

Kwik Krimes will hit in the spring, I believe. Don’t worry, I will tell you when.

Want my novella for free? OK, fine!

As I mentioned last week, I enrolled my novella for Amazon’s KDP Select program. Today, it’s available for free, because I wanted to try on this promotion thing, to see what would happen. Go and get it. I’ll recount how it goes in my column on LitReactor later this month. But not before I write a piece comparing the book and film versions of Anna Karenina, which I am very excited for, even though no one will read it.


As I’ve noted, my venture into self-publishing is an experiment. In order to continue that experiment, I plan to enroll my novella in Amazon’s KDP Select program. That means I have to take it down from Barnes & Noble and Kobo for a period of three months. The Amazon version is DRM-free, if that helps. I don’t like the idea of alienating anyone, but for the sake of this, I want to try it. That, and both sites have posted very slim sales–a dozen at B&N, zero at Kobo.

I’ll expand on all of this in my next column at LitReactor, and as soon as the three months is up, I’ll re-list the novella at the other sites. In the mean time, please accept my apologies if you’re unable to get a copy.

Novella reviewed at ‘On Fiction Writing’

I am pretty darn excited to have had my novella reviewed over at On Fiction Writing, a site I dig very much.

Plot lines alternate between “Then” and “Now” giving the reader the full effect of what happened prior to the outbreak and the present day struggles of the protagonist known simply as Sarge. Both plot lines are solid, leaving no holes for confusion. The tension is steady – at no point did I feel compelled to pause to collect my thoughts on prior happenings.

Click here to read the rest of it. I’m bummed to hear there’s a typo, but I’m diligently searching for it (and if anyone sees one, please let me know, because you think you’ve gotten them all, and then one sneak up on you…)

And patronize On Fiction Writing. Good people, good coverage.

Horrifying Hallowe’en Reads

I’m pretty honored to have my novella picked by Joe Nassise for a feature he’s running over at the Kobo Writing Life blog: Horrifying Hallowe’en Reads. I’m in good company–he’s recommending some really good books. You can see today’s entry, and find the entire series, at this link.

Joe is a fantastic writer, and also the guy who taught me how to code eBooks. He should have another class on that subject coming up at LitReactor soon, so keep an eye out.

Good to go

You can now find The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella in the following online stores:

Here’s the synopsis:

It’s been two years since the outbreak of a plague that turned New Yorkers into flesh-eating corpses. The city’s population has dwindled to three hundred refugees on Governors Island, a park and former military outpost situated in Upper New York Bay, a few hundreds yards from Manhattan and Brooklyn. The survivors struggle with supply shortages and flaring tempers, but the monsters they call ‘rotters’ can’t swim. The island isn’t comfortable, but it’s safe. 

That sense of safety is shattered when Sarge, a former cop and the island’s head of security, comes face to decomposing face with a rotter while on an early-morning patrol. There’s no conceivable way for the creature to have gotten on the island. What’s worse is that its stone-like skin makes it much tougher to kill. 

Faced with the prospect of an evolving enemy, and desperate to find antibiotics for his dying wife, Sarge has to get into Manhattan, do some recon, forage for supplies, and get out—without drawing the attention of the millions of rotters that now roam the city.

Check it out. If you like it, I’d be much obliged if you could spread the word. Happy reading, folks.

C’mon, Barnes & Noble!

I’ll do a more official-type blog post about this soon, but… my eBook is available for sale through Amazon and Kobo! But not Barnes & Noble! I uploaded the novella on Monday night at 11 p.m., and by the time I woke up, it was live on Amazon. It went live on Kobo a short time later. Still waiting on Barnes & Noble.

I’m sure the execs at Barnes & Noble spend a lot of time complaining about how Amazon is a threat to them. There may be a reason for that…

Anyway. If you want to buy the book from Amazon or Kobo, go right ahead! Barnes & Noble will be up soon, I hope?

Also, it is exceedingly trippy to see something I wrote available for sale in an online retailer. Even trippier that people are buying it.

UPDATE: Barnes & Noble approved my account! Now I just have to wait another 72 hours for the book to be available for sale. Wait, WHAT?!