Lots to catch up on. Firstly, a bittersweet day this past Wednesday. This site turned one year old and I tried to think of a fitting way to celebrate. Unfortunately, the day job intervened and I didn’t have time, which is more or less the story of my life for the past eight months. Ho hum.
So happy birthday, website and I’m sorry the best I could come up with was a balloon image. You’ve done pretty well over the last year, and I hope you last for many more.
So World’s Collider was published on July 10th and sold pretty well out of the gate, but then something happened on Thursday morning (July 19th) that changed everything.
This e-mail was sent to everyone in the UK who had previously bought one of Aaron Rosenberg’s books from Amazon.
So basically, Amazon UK saw that World’s Collider featured Aaron, assumed this was his latest book (which it only sort of is) and publicized it to all his previous customers. Now Aaron has sold quite a lot of books over the years, so the effect of this mailbomb was to launch our little anthology into the stratosphere…
Here is the highest point the rankings reached on Thursday…
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,179 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#13 in Kindle Store > Books > Fiction > Horror
#18 in Books > Fiction > Horror
#28 in Kindle Store > Books > Fiction > Science Fiction
#13 in the Kindle Horror fiction list is no mean feat, given the rest of the top 20 is filled with James Herbert books on sale, and the likes of Dean Koontz and Amanda Hocking. Yeah, this is the PAID top 20.
Friday saw the book skirting with the bottom of the top 20, so we never broke the top ten. Still, it’s an astonishing ranking for a small press anthology.
Here’s a screen grab I took when we were #16 in Kindle horror fiction, just to prove we were up there…
To be up above a ranking of #2,000 for every book Amazon sells is also pretty impressive, I think…
Sure this is luck, for Amazon to pluck World’s Collider out of obscurity and publicize it in this way is likely an entirely automated stroke of chance. However, the fantastic cover and the enticing concept clearly helped too, translating this exposure into actual sales as people were intrigued enough to click that big yellow button that says “Learn more”.
On the US Amazon page, we didn’t climb higher than around #20,000, which shows you the difference a well-timed mailing from Amazon can make to your book sales!
Even so, the US page did manage to pick up four 5-star reviews since the launch.
I’ll be setting up a page to track reviews in the near future, but I’ll leave you with these thoughts from the wonderfully named Nessapants in her(?) 5-star Amazon review:
I finally finished this book last night.
It was truly incredible.
Using the different authors to create a novel worked much better than I honestly had expected. I was drawn into this story of chaos and the effect on mankind and the planet. I continued to read to know what would happen next and was left thinking about the novel as I was away from it.
This book will have a lasting impact on me and I will recommend this to all I meet.
Thanks! People really seem to be digging this anthology. In the end, that’s much more important than rankings. Rankings are fun to watch though
First up, we have a brand new World’s Collider interview on the site today! Steven Savile, one of the biggest names in the anthology, talks to Elise Hattersley. Well worth checking out.
So World’s Collider was published a few days ago and it’s been a mixed week overall. Sales have been pretty good out of the gate and we’re getting lots of positive buzz. The launch was marred somewhat by the attack on the book’s Amazon page by some lowlife who we know has not even read the book, but this was counteracted on Thursday by the most wonderful first genuine review from Anastasia. She gave the book 5-stars and said:
We’re getting very close to World’s Collider’s release date now and in the meantime we have some cool stuff for you.
Firstly is the anthology’s very first author blurb. It comes from the talented and lovely Ian Whates, author of novels City of Dreams and Nightmare and The Noise Within, and editor of Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction. He loved the book and provided the following blurb to include on the back cover.
“Editor Richard Salter has overseen the creation of a chilling hi-octane future in which reality has been warped into nightmare by scientific disaster. Each component cranks up the tension and the disparate tales combine in mosaic-fashion to deliver a truly gripping narrative.”
The time is nearly here. On July 10th 2012, World’s Collider will be released and you’ll be able to download a copy to your Kindle or order a trade paperback. You can even pre-order a copy now, direct from publisher Nightscape Press! The final Table of Contents has been released. You can see it on the World’s Collider page.
If you can’t wait until July 10th, here’s an extract from Simon Kurt Unsworth’s story, The Coming Scream.
I am proud and somewhat relieved to have delivered the complete manuscript for World’s Collider to Nightscape Press. In the end it took an extraordinary amount of effort, and not just on my part. Pity Steven Savile who had agreed to write the final story. Steven was given a detailed brief explaining how to wrap up all the various plot threads, but given the time crunch towards the end I was still tinkering with the storyline while the final story was being written. Steven was ready to kill me, but luckily he broke his arm just in time and was unable to carry out the execution.
So he quickly hired his good friend, Steve Lockley, to kill me on his behalf. Steve misunderstood the request and helped him finish his story instead.
So it’s all over the internet, there isn’t much need to be diplomatic any more. I don’t go out of my way to badmouth anyone, but in this case I think it’s important that everyone who has had negative dealings with a certain publisher needs to speak out. The more of us come out of the closet on this, the less new writers will fall into the same trap.
I’m talking of course about Open Casket Press, one-time publishers-to-be of World’s Collider. This small press is a one-man show, run by Anthony Giangregorio. He also runs Living Dead Press and Undead Press, the latter of which published a lady called Mandy DeGeit in the anthology Cavalcade of Horror. Tony has a history of messing about with stories right before they are published, usually without warning the author and allowing them time to approve the changes, and usually to the detriment of the story.
I’m proud of (most of) my story sales, but last year when I heard I’d made it into Machine of Death 2 I couldn’t believe it. The sheer volume of submissions (nearly 2,000!) was mind-boggling, and for my tale to be picked out of such a huge slush pile was astonishing and deeply humbling.
So here is the table of contents for the second volume of this best selling anthology series. Courtesy of the Machine of Death site, lots of details have been revealed. There’s no release date yet, but interesting discussions are going on and the titles are intriguing.
The cover image was produced by Lukas Thelin of Foxrain, a digital media company based in Sweden and associated with World’s Collider contributor, Steven Savile. He approached me around the time we were looking for a new publisher and offered Foxrain’s services for a cover. Now, I already had a cover artist lined up, the fantastically talented Carolyn Edwards who produced the wonderful Eiffel Tower image that adorns our eye-catching postcards. She also produced an image of the rift that I loved, but the nothing-to-lose offer of a cover from Foxrain, which usually costs a pretty penny, was something I couldn’t turn down. I explained the situation to Carolyn and she was cool with it, and we will still be using that fantastic tower image in the book and for promotion.
So here it is! It went through a few iterations, and at some point I asked for monsters and boy did I get them! I am very grateful to Lukas and Steve, and to Foxrain for the use of their services. And also thanks to Carolyn, the writers, to Nightscape and everyone interested enough to be reading this, for all your support. I may cry a little now. Look away. It’s not seemly.
As for the anthology itself, it’s coming together really nicely and we’re into the final stretch. I’m very excited about how this is turning out and I hope you will love reading it as much as I’m loving putting it together. It’ll be released before you know it…