Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why Zombie Girl is back #YA #zombie #dystopia

Original cover
After much inner deliberation, last week I took the decision to put my last missing ex-Lycaon Press title back up. It's been sitting on my hard drive gathering virtual dust since Breathless/Lycaon closed May 2015, and I'd had no real inclination to re-release it at the time.

Why the change of heart? Well, things happened. I originally wrote Zombie Girl specifically for Lycaon's call for YA short stories after the whole thing came to mind while I was at a music concert for one of my daughter's favourite bands. It released 22nd April 2015, just nine days before my publisher shut for good, and just as I reached the final stretch of writing book two for the April Camp NaNoWriMo. Bummer.

Despite the fact BP/LP let us use the edited versions of all our books for free, Zombie Girl was the only one of my five titles with them that I decided not to put back out with the rest. I'd already planned to re-release my debut novel Keir in May after the sale of that publisher resulted in my rights reversion, and suddenly I was another five titles down that would still need artwork paid for in order to re-release them. So I ended up re-releasing one novel, three novellas and a short story over May because they'd proved they were earning money, while Zombie Girl hadn't had the chance to. It was a killer month! Afterward, with the shock of BP/LP's closure finally setting in and the exhaustion of redoing and republishing five titles, I was done. My thoughts on Zombie Girl had changed, and I had other commitments.

But nine months on, I figured Zombie Girl should be out earning her keep. It was edited, and I thought that just for once I'd do my own cover and re-release it (FYI, in the end the marvellous Danielle Fine actually took my makeshift attempt and turned the rough draft into a polished gem). Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened was uploaded Thursday for a release date of 15th February. I wish I could put everything out that quick and clean!

I don't expect huge sales and I'm not pimping it (I already did the launch with Lycaon last year, so I'm not willing to do it over). The next book won't be coming out any time soon either, I'm afraid. I have other priorities and budget commitments until next year.

But I did learn some reassuring things during the upload. Despite managing to bodge up my pdf file five times (I kept checking through and finding things like I hadn't made the blurb the same size font as the rest, line spacings differed, I'd missed a link - stupid little things, really), I had ZG formatted as Amazon, general, and pdf galleys in half a day. It took me just three hours to upload it to Amazon, Draft2Digital, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords, and to check the resulting files. Aside from a slight hiccup at ARe (trust me, that's really minor compared to my usual battle with them), it all went perfectly (yup, even the Smashwords MeatGrinder, though I'm actually more familiar with that than conversion at any of the other distributors).

For the first time ever my D2D files were perfect on the first attempt. And to cap it all, Amazon had my pre-order live in a couple of hours, SW within an hour, and Kobo by the end of the day. Even iTunes was live in less than 24 hours, with B&N finally crawling in over the weekend. Kobo did make me hunt for my title after an email informing me that it was live (for a moment I envisaged the seven weeks of repeated emails trying to get a previous title to show up in their search engine *shudders*, but it popped up by itself). And the crowning glory came from Amazon in telling me I had 0 possible spelling errors during its conversion of Zombie Girl. Woot! (Normally it at least highlights my invented technological terms if nothing else, or takes aversion to a character name).

My excitement stems from this being an unheard of occurrence. Formatting, converting, uploading and checking the various ebook files is probably one of the most mind-numbingly tedious parts of being an indie author, and one I've come to loathe (for most of my self pubbed titles, Dani has actually formatted the digital galley for me, and she does all the print ones--check out her services HERE--but the ex-BP titles I did by myself (addition - Tethered was formatted for me by the lovely Gayl Taylor, formally of Breathless Press, and her official page is HERE)). But the smoothness of this particular title made it much more gratifying. Dare I hope I've actually got the hang of this author thing? At least this particular aspect of it anyway...

Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened--a YA dystopian zombie novella set a hundred years in our future--is now available for pre-order at the retailers listed under the book cover, with a release date of 15th February. You'd better start running!

YA Zombie Dystopia Novella
Goodreads | Website
Available from...
iTunes | Omnilit
Kobo | Smashwords | B&N

Imagine waking up to find the world has ended, but unfortunately you're not alone...

For Connor Innis, awakening from a year-long coma with no memories, no ability to move, and unable to speak was bad enough. Then he learns that a bioweapon set off a zombie apocalypse—for real—while he was sleeping, and the world he can't even remember no longer exists.

Rehabilitation might be torture, but far worse awaits him outside. All too soon, the hospital Mentor declares him fit to leave with nothing to go home to except a city full of mindless, flesh-eating monsters. That is, until he forms a strange relationship with the one he nicknames 'Zombie Girl'.

Previously published by Lycaon Press, 22nd April 2015.

WARNING: contains swearing, and some moderate gore and violence.


Want to read my books for free? Well, there's a couple of ways you can do that completely legitimately over the next couple of months. Keir is up at NetGalley again to read and review for free. Keir's Fall will go up next month (March). And there's a print edition of Keir's Fall up for giveaway at Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Keir's Fall by Pippa Jay

Keir's Fall

by Pippa Jay

Giveaway ends February 29, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
Yesterday Keir took part in the Hunky Hero-fest over at Audra Middleton's blog, where he was interviewed about the new-to-him concept of Valentine's Day. It put him into a bit of a panic, I must say! The event is continuing over the whole of February, with giveaways included, and there's a vote for the best hero. Needless to say I'd love you to go vote for Keir.
On the 11th I'm guesting at Dawn's Reading Nook and talking about five killer kisses.
On the 17th Keir is also taking part in the Great Pick-Up Line at The Delighted Reader blog. Again, it's a month long event with giveaways.

Status Update
Reunion at Kasha-Asor, my planned release for 21st May and a side story in Keir's Redemption series, is in second round edits but I'm currently brainstorming some ideas with Dani (my editor, designer and all round hero) and Laurel (editor, proof reader, and general sounding board). My planned June release is now back for first round edits. My proposed 31st March release, space opera short Quickshot, has been given a glorious cover by the talented Dani Fine (seriously, it is totally awesome and HAWT!) despite the highly demanding requests I made for my two MCs, so that should be releasing on schedule. If the February SFRB Presents goes ahead I'll be doing a double cover reveal for Reunion at Kasha-Asor and Quickshot.

These will bring my published works up to 15 titles, with Keir's Shadow (Book Three of Redemption) a definite release for 2017. Anything else will depend on having the funds to pay for editing/cover art. At the moment I'm focusing on a few more bits and pieces for BristolCon in October, including having to pay for accommodation and transport. I'm not risking my old car again, so I'm looking at hiring something that will hopefully ensure we'll get to the convention this time!

Ping Pong
Best of luck to Donna as she approaches launch day for Trouble in Mind on the 16th February.
Hugs to Laurie as she battles with her edits.
Seems both Greta and I were feeling featherbrained last week with us both posting on the topic of birds, though admittedly her ones would probably eat mine for breakfast... >.<

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