Thursday, October 23, 2014

Free for 3 Weeks: John F.D. Taff - Kill/Off

For the next three weeks John F.D. Taff's amazing novel Kill/Off will be offered as free download from Story Cartel.

What is Story Cartel, you may be wondering?

Well, while I don't want to turn this page into a full-on advertisement for the company, I have a feeling that most people reading this will be unfamiliar with them, so here's an edited quote from their website:

Story Cartel is a home to any kind of book you could imagine, from nail-biting thrillers to tender romance novels, serious literary fiction to self-help non-fiction. Since October 2012, 21,100 people have downloaded 52,100 books, helping over 700 authors get reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and blogs. The books you see on Story Cartel are all offered free by generous authors in exchange for your honest review. Your reviews help authors market their books and gives them valuable feedback. 

This will be our first time promoting a title on their site, so I'm not too sure how successful the campaign will be. That being said, reviews are very important to Books of the Dead Press, so I figure it's worth a try.

You can download John F.D. Taff's Kill/Off for free HERE

The offer expires on Nov 13th, 2014. 

Also, truthfully, great reviews helps us survive, so if you'd like to help us out, leaving a few reviews on Amazon would be amazing. Here's a link to a pile of our books.

And here's a little bit about the title:

When David Benning is blackmailed by a shadowy organization known only as The Group he's thrust into a world of guns, payoffs and killing unknown, seemingly ordinary people. As he becomes more enmeshed, he begins to grasp The Group’s true motives, and its secrets––secrets that must never be revealed. David can trust no one… not even the one person he has grown to love.

“Kill/Off is a tightly written, dark descent into the world of the contract killer. John F.D. Taff hits this one out of the park.” ~ Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Dead City

Buy Kill/Off here: Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Kobo / iBooks / Barnes & Noble

Like what you see? Please support Books of the Dead by purchasing one of our books. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Release: Apathetic Flesh - Darren O. Godfrey

Books of the Dead Press are proud to present the release of our newest title:

Apathetic Flesh by Darren O. Godfrey

This book of short stories is awesome, and it includes an introduction by Kealan Patrick Burke, which makes it even better. Eight of the twenty-five stories make their first appearance ever inside this collection. Some stories have previously been published in prestigious anthologies, such as Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 5 (edited by one of the nicest guys in horror, Thomas Monteleone), HWA Presents The Museum of Horrors (edited by Dennis Etchison), and Quietly Now: An Anthology in Tribute to Charles L. Grant (edited by Kealan Patrick Burke). Other stories appeared in genre magazines like Black October and Gorezone.  One piece, "Recess", was selected by two time Bram Stoker Award Winner Mort Castle (who appeared in Best New Zombie Tales (Volume Two) for All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade.

The ebook is currently available from places such as Amazon, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Scribd. The paperback will be released soon.

Here's the synopsis:

Apathetic Flesh is brimful of realistic characters immersed in nightmares hauntingly familiar for many of us, but it is to Godfrey’s credit that even the outlandish events you’ll uncover here are made believable by a distinct absence of melodrama and fanfare. These are real people, complete with anxieties and instabilities and in these stories, as in the real world, such things can be fatal.
~ From the Introduction, by Kealan Patrick Burke

How are we expected to react to flesh that is warm and youthful, and yet infused with a corrupt spirit, a soulless black spark, a lack of any real feeling? Such flesh, too many have learned, will not heed the demands of concern. It will, through time, harden and become insolent. And when faced with close human interaction, it will not caress, but molest…
…not comfort, but condemn…
…not rise in excited gooseflesh, but grow ashen in cold depravity.
It will not be awed by the greatness of being, but remain odd to the touch.
There are men, women, and children walking these pages whose flesh rides their bones in various stages of apathy, empathy, sympathy, and gaping insanity. Many find themselves lost and alone, inhabiting a flesh-laden yet dispassionate world.
For some, this is justice. A kind of payback, perhaps.
For a few, it is a tragedy.

“Darren O. Godfrey is one of a rare breed: a writer who seems to have flown under most readers' radar but of whom other writers speak in awed tones. His stories are both quiet and thunderous, terrifying yet obliquely disturbing. This artful contradiction runs deep in his work. Buy this book. It's the real deal.”
~ Gary McMahon, award-winning author of The Concrete Grove

“Apathetic Flesh is one of the most disturbing tales I’ve read this year.”
~ Robert Crawford, Cemetery Dance

“Darren Godfrey is indeed the real thing: a horror writer’s horror writer and a horror reader’s top choice.”
~ Mort Castle, Two Times Bram Stoker Award Winner and Nominee for the Audie, Shirley Jackson, and International Horror Guild Awards

“Darren O. Godfrey’s Dysfunction is a story about family ties gone horribly knotted. It brings to life some of those images that occur when you look at your parents and wonder what your children will do to you, how they will do it, and why. It is a story about repression and release. And it is inhabited by one of the strangest child characters I’ve run across. This story might make parents want to hug their children, and children call their parents, wishing they were closer; or it might just hurt.”
~ Bram Stoker Award Winning Author, David Niall Wilson

Buy Apathetic Flesh here:  Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble / Scribd

Like what you see? Please support Books of the Dead by purchasing one of our books. Thank you!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Author Contract

Fighting about contracts are all the rage, these days. When Books of the Dead Press first started, I hate to admit the fact that I had based my Books of the Dead contract on one of the boilerplate contracts I had been given years earlier. Foolishly, I thought it was the smart way to go, perhaps the only way to go. And of course, I didn’t want to make a mistake… I was no lawyer.

After I short while one of the agents I was working with referred to my contract as a boilerplate. Boilerplate? I thought. Then I opened my eyes, really opened them… and I saw my contact clearly.

It was a boilerplate. A monstrosity, in fact.

But why?  Why was my legal document so wordy, clunky, and unclear?

I had no idea.

So I started going through it, cleaning it up and getting rid the stuff I didn’t care about. Since then, I have continued to clean up my contract, making it easier to understand, without deleting the things I feel are important.

If you are running a small press company and contracts are an unspoken thorn in your side, let me walk you though what I use.

Feel free to rip my contract off. I don’t mind. But remember, I'm not saying this is a perfect contract, nor am I saying this is what you should be using. I'm simply saying, this is what I've been using for some time now. Of course, the details might shift around a little bit from author to author.

First thing, before we even get started, every page needs to be initialed. If the author doesn’t initial each page, technically, the author didn’t agree to each page in writing.

Okay, then. Let’s start. At the top of the page you'll need this:


After that, slam in your headline:


Now, onto your opening statement, which is basically saying, “Hey, buddy! This is the shit we’re hammering out, and this is when we’re doing it.” It looks like this:


AGREEMENT made this INSERT DATE (“Effective Date”), between AUTHOR NAME (hereinafter referred to as Author) and YOUR NAME, owner of MY AMAZING PRESS, (hereinafter referred to as Publisher) with respect to the novel presently titled, “BOOK TITLE” hereafter referred to as the Work, described as one novel, approximately XXXXX words long.

Not too hard yet, as you can see.

After that we get into the specifics. We start it like this:


1. Grant of Rights. Author licenses to the Publisher the rights to produce printed and electronic editions of the Work throughout the world, including the following primary rights:

All that last bit really says is this: “Is it cool for me to publish your shit? It is? Right on, dude. You rock.” Don't let the word "world" mess you up. In the internet age things are like that, at least as far as ebooks go. Keep in mind, contracts can be changed. Don't want it to say world? Just want it to say Boston? Fine. Whatever. Do what you think is right.

Okay. So what's next? You'll need to know how you can publish it. You know… ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio book. Doesn’t matter; just make a list.

It should look something like this:

1.1 Primary Rights

1.1.1 “Print Rights,” including the exclusive right to print, publish, distribute, exploit, and sell the Work in paperback editions, and the non-exclusive right to print, publish, distribute, exploit, and sell the Work in hardback editions through book trade channels such as bookstores and libraries.

1.1.2 “Electronic Rights,” including the exclusive right to reproduce, use, exploit, and transmit the Work in electronic format editions, distributed through book channels such as Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and all other electronic bookstores and libraries.

After that, where do you want to publish?

2. Territory. The rights granted to the Publisher by the Author in this Agreement may be utilized throughout the world.

And how long do you want to publish for?

3. Term. The rights granted to the Publisher by the Author in this Agreement may be utilized for XXXXX years from the Publication Date in any format. After the term has concluded, the contract may be renewed by mutual consent. 

Alright. So far so good. They’re giving you everything and you’re giving them nothing. Grin maliciously and put your fingers together like Mr. Burns. Now say, “Excellent.”


But you’re not going to get away with that bullshit. You have to pay the author.

In this next part you’ll see that I do things a little differently. I’ve removed the word "Advance", which is common, and replaced it with the word “Guarantee.” This is not a mistake, and I’m not being sneaky. The thing is, what was happening didn’t make sense.

I would give the author an advance, no problem. But once the book was printed, often times, the author would want to buy a whole bunch of extra copies, and send money back to me.

I sent the author money, then the author sent me money. Stupid.

Now, I print the book first. If the author wants extra copies I subtract the cost from the guarantee. If they don’t want books, no big deal. I send the full amount.

Anyhow, here it is:


4. Guarantee on Royalties. Publisher shall pay Author a guarantee of XXXXX U.S. Dollars. 

Next we have royalties. Pretty straight forward, but it looks a little complicated:

5. Royalties. For each copy of the Work published under this agreement the Publisher shall credit Author’s account with a royalty equal to XXXXX% of the Retail Price, based on Net Sales, from all Print Copies sold, and a royalty equal to XXXXX% of the Retail Price, based on Net Sales, from all Electronic Copies sold. “Print Copies” are those sold pursuant to the “Print Rights” in 1.1.1, and “Electronic Copies” are those sold pursuant to the “Electronic Rights” in 1.1.2.

5.1 “Retail Price,” as used in this Agreement, refers to the retail price set by Publisher for the sale of copies of the Work. 

5.2 “Net Copies Sold,” as used in this Agreement, means the sales, less returns, of any and all copies sold by Publisher. This does not include promotional copies, review copies, Author’s copies, returned copies, or copies sold with a Retail Price discount of 50% or greater.

Next up, reduced royalties. I wish I didn’t have to do reduced royalties, but I do.

Sometimes I spend a lot on advertising, all so I can give the ebooks away for next to nothing. When this happens the author gets shafted, but not nearly as hard as I do. Sometimes I lose money. In fact, sometimes I lose a lot of money. If I didn’t have the reduced royalty clause, my hands would be tied when it comes to pricing, and I wouldn’t be able to sell my titles the way I want to.

6. Reduced Royalties. For all sales of the Work discounted at 50% or greater than the Publisher’s standard wholesale discount, Author’s royalty shall be XXXXX% the full royalty rate. For sales of the Work directly to the Author the Author’s royalty shall be zero.

The next part is simple.

Author says, “Pay me, bitch.”
You say, “No problem, slut. How do you want it?”

7. Payment Method. Publisher will remit payment for any sums due in this agreement to Author via Paypal. Publisher may remit payment to Author via other means with agreement of both parties.

Now you need a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card.

Get out of jail free? Why would anyone need that?

Imagine this: you sign some freakshow and before you’ve had a chance to publish the book you find out that he’s a Nazi, and a rapist, and a child molester, and he’s having an affair with your wife, and he killed your dog, and he tattooed Hitler's face on top of his face, and grew a Hitler moustache, so now he looks like Hitler, plus he doesn’t like Star Wars. Well, fuck him. Hit the road, Jack.


8. Publisher’s Right to Terminate. Publisher shall have the right to terminate the contract if the Publisher determines that events or circumstances since the agreement have changed the economic expectations of the Work. 

Also, the book might suck a bunch. You need to edit that shit. You'll also need to put that shit together:

9. Editing and Publication Format. Publisher shall have the right to edit the Work provided the meaning of the Work is not materially altered. Publisher shall have the right to manufacture, distribute, advertise, promote, and publish the Work in a style and manner which Publisher deems appropriate, including typesetting, paper, printing, binding, cover design, jacket design, imprint, and price. 

And you'll need to publish within a certain amount of time. Don’t make it four years. If you make it four years you’re an asshole.

10. Time of Publication. Publisher agrees that the Work, if published, shall be published within XXXXX months of receiving the contract, signed by the Author.

And don’t be cheap. Give the author a few copies.

11. Author’s Copies. Publisher shall provide Author with XXXXX copies of the Work published by Publisher, free of charge. Author shall be permitted to purchase additional copies of the Work at the normal dealer rate of XXXXX per book.  

Now get out there and promote:

12. Advertising and Promotion. Publisher shall have the right to determine the time, pace, method, and manner of advertising, promotion, and other exploitation of the Work.

Promote, bitch. Get creative:

13. Use of Author’s Name and Likeness. Publisher shall have the right to use and license the Author’s name, image, approved likeness, and biographical material for advertising, promotion, and other exploitation of the Work.

If the shit hits the fan, you gotta do what you gotta do:

14. Copyright Infringement. If at any time during the term of this Agreement a claim shall arise the parties may proceed jointly or separately to prosecute an action based on such claims. 

Again, you need to pay your authors. So, when are you doing it? You might want to do it every week, but trust me… accounting is a big deal. It can take over your life.

15. Accounting. Publisher shall render to the Author a statement of Net Copies Sold and pay the Author any amount owing for each quarterly accounting period (quarters end: March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31) not later than one-hundred-and-twenty (120) days following the end of each period.

15.1 Royalties will be paid in the quarter Publisher receives payment for Net Copies Sold. If consumers, distributors, wholesalers, or vendors delay payment to Publisher, Publisher is not obligated to pay the Author royalty until the Publisher has been paid.

15.2 Royalty amounts that do not exceed $25.00 for a single quarter may not be paid that quarter, but will be carried to the following quarter.

If you start getting dodgy, then screw you. "But crack is awesome!" you say. Doesn't matter. The author needs to kick your cracked-out ass to the curb.

15.3 Author has the right to terminate the contract in the event that royalties are unpaid for more than ninety days past their due date. 

So what happens if the author’s ego is bigger than his fan base, and he thinks you’re fudging the numbers? You say, “No problem. You can swing by my place and see what’s what."

15.4 Upon reasonable notice, Author shall have the right, not more than once for each quarterly accounting period statement, and no later than one year after such statement was delivered to Author, to audit the Publisher’s books and records relating to sales of the WORK and the royalties paid or payable to Author with respect thereto. Such audit will be conducted during normal office hours at Publisher’s regular place of business. 

Congratulations. You’re almost done. But you might want to ask the most obvious question: “Hey, man. Did you really write Raiders of the Lost Ark?”

16. Author’s Representations and Warranties. Author represents and warrants to Publisher that: (i) the Work is not in the public domain; (ii) Author is the sole proprietor of the Work and has full power and authority, free of any rights of any nature whatsoever by any other person, to enter into this Agreement; (iii) the Work does not, and if published will not, infringe upon any copyright, trademark, or any other intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights of any third party; (iv) the Work contains no matter whatsoever that is libelous of any third party’s right of privacy or publicity, or otherwise in contravention of law or the right of any third party.

And this next part basically says that you, the publisher, are allowed to sign the contract. It doesn’t violate a previous contract.

17. Publisher’s Representations and Warranties. Publisher represents and warrants to the Author that the Publisher has the power and authority to enter into this Agreement and that it does not violate any agreements the Publisher may have with a third party. 

And if the shit really hits the fan, where will the legal battle take place?


18. Applicable Law. Regardless of the place of its physical execution, this Agreement shall be interpreted, construed, and governed in all respects by Canadian laws. Canadian laws shall govern this agreement.

Cool. Sign it, bitch:

19. Signature Block. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, Author and Publisher have executed this Agreement as of the Effective Date.

Print Name: 
AUTHOR’s Pseudonym (if applicable):  
AUTHOR’s Address: 
AUTHOR’s Telephone Number:  

Print Name: 

And that's it. Enjoy.

Like what you see? Please support Books of the Dead by purchasing one of our books. Thank you!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Company Worth Supporting

Want to support a company worth supporting?
Support BOOKS of the DEAD PRESS.
Our villains stay on the pages. They don’t run the company.

“Books of the Dead are at the top of the heap in the small press world. James Roy Daley works hard to select top-notch authors and produce slick, professional, entertaining books. Over and above that, though, Books of the Dead treats authors and readers alike with honesty and respect. If you want to support high-quality horror fiction, you need to support Books of the Dead.” 
~ John F.D. Taff, Author of Little Deaths, The Bell Witch, Kill/Off, Infestation, and The Orpheus Box

“Books of the Dead Press is dedicated to horror writers, and I mean that in every way. They know their stuff and are committed to their authors. They are straight with them, and do everything they can to help them. I feel very fortunate to be one of their authors.” 
~ Duncan McGeary, Author of Led to the Slaughter, The Dead Spend No Gold, and The Vampire Evolution Trilogy

“Books of the Dead have been a fantastic publisher to work with while editing my debut anthology. With James Roy Daley, I always knew where I stood. The contracts were straight forward with no hidden gotchas, and conditions were beneficial to myself as editor, and to the contributing authors who kept the rights to their stories.” 
~ Simon Dewar, Editor for Suspended In Dusk

“Books of the Dead Press puts their heart and soul into every book in their stable, and treats their authors with respect and dignity. I couldn’t dream up a better publisher in my stories.” 
~ Bill Howard, Author of 10 Minutes From Home

“Roy, you’ve got integrity and you’re honest as hell. I appreciate that you probably take on too much at once and still manage to get your shit done in the end. I appreciate that you’ve been a friend to me when I’ve needed it, and that you took a chance on me a year ago. And I really appreciate that you’ve connected all of us authors when frankly, you could have just put our fucking books out and never looked at us sideways or introduced us at all. The shit I hear about other small presses makes me realize how very lucky we are to have you. I’ve been in touch with a lot of publishers––from startups to the well established––and of all of them I can always count on you to consistently give me the same treatment. To respect me, my work, and to do the things you do well REALLY well. And you’re excited about our work. That means a lot.” 
~ Julie Hutchings, Author of Running Home, and Running Away 

“Books of the Dead Press are a great publisher to work with. They take chances on authors they believe in and promote the hell out of them.” 
~ John L. French, Author of Paradise Denied

“Books of the Dead press not only has killer authors, it is a publisher with integrity. James Roy Daley is one of the best horror publishers in the industry. All you need to do is pick up a book he has published and the point is proven.” 
~ Carolina Smart, Editor for Best New Werewolf Tales (Vol. 1) 

“Roy’s a real pro, and it’s a pleasure doing business with him.” 
~ Tim Lebbon, Author of Berserk

“Hey Roy! From Day 1 you’ve proven to be the guy who not only gets things done where other small presses flounder or fail, but you’ve also shown me you actually care about your authors. That’s a hell of a great combo. You’ll always have my friendship and respect for that. Thank you! If ever there comes a small press apocalypse, Books of the Dead Press will be the hero survivor of the pack. James Roy Daley is a leader you can feel safe with!” 
~ Matt Hults, Author of Husk, and Anything Can Be Dangerous

“Being published by Books of the Dead Press has been the best thing that could have happened to my writing career. I have met so many great writers, learned about the craft of publishing, and been introduced to more readers than I ever could have imagined.” 
~ Mark Matthews, Author of On the Lips of Children

“When I was picked up by Books of the Dead Press, it was a huge step in the right direction. Working with Roy and his growing list of authors has furthered my writing career and introduced me to a family-like network of professionals that’s irreplaceable. The amount of attention Roy pays to each individual book is unparalleled, and the marketing and energy he and his staff put behind each publication is something most authors only dream of. You won’t go wrong with Books of the Dead.” 
~ Weston Kincade, Author of A Life of Death, and A Life of Death: The Gold Bulls

“Books of the Dead Press took a chance on an unknown writer and put out my debut novel. But they went above and beyond for me, from making story edit suggestions to having a cover designed using my vision of what it should look like. I concur with my fellow Books of the Dead Press authors that founder James Roy Daley gives more than 100% and is always there to support you. Thank you, James.” 
~ TS Alan, Author of The Romero Strain

“It’s a buyer’s market for writers picking publishers right now. I keep going back to Books of the Dead because it produces a great product, deals with me honestly, and continues to support me long after my book is out the door. I’m proud to be part of the Books of the Dead family.” 
~ Justin Robinson, Author of Undead On Arrival, and Everyman

“Books of the Dead have been an absolute delight to work with!” 
~ Paul Kane, Author of Pain Cages

“I knew from the very first conversation I had with James Roy Daley that I wanted to be on the Books of Dead Press roster. The integrity and commitment of this company towards their talent is unmatched and I’m looking forward to sharing many more successes with Roy at the helm.” 
~ Steve Kuhn, Author of the Dext of the Dead series

“Books of The Dead Press isn’t just a publisher, it’s a family of authors led by a man who’s every bit as much a writer himself, and all the fairer for it.” 
~ JC Michael, Author of Discoredia

“Books of the Dead are all about integrity and quality. Working with them has always been a pleasure.” 
~ Tonia Brown, Author of Badass Zombie Road Trip, Lucky Stiff: Zombie Gigolo, and The Cold Beneath: Steampunk Zombies

“When I first saw the cover art for my book, I was over the moon with excitement at how seriously Books of the Dead Press was taking a debut novel from an unknown writer, and that feeling has carried through to today. Working with BOTD is a richly rewarding experience with a publisher who cares not only about the books in its catalog, but also the authors who wrote them and the readers who buy them.” 
~ Bracken MacLeod, Author of Mountain Home

Like what you see? Please support Books of the Dead by purchasing one of our books. Thank you!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Author Apocalypse

A shit storm has been brewing within the horror community, and it seems to be powerful enough to rip the populace in half. Permuted Press, which was founded by Jacob Kier, but was recently sold, has damaged their reputation in a way that will most likely never be undone.

On Monday, July 8th, 2013––as a Permuted Press author (The Dead Parade)––I received an email from Jacob, stating:

“Something big has been in the works the last few months and I've been given the go-ahead to make an informal announcement to the Permuted Press authors and editors: Permuted Press is being acquired by a private investment group with the deal closing this week. While you most likely won't be familiar with the company making the purchase, included among the new owners is the former Deputy Publisher of Simon & Schuster.

I know you will have questions about the transition and the future, but I ask that you hold off on them for the moment––the new owners will be in touch with everyone very soon.  For now it's business as usual, but long term they have big things planned.  I am excited for you all and I think you'll be in good hands.”

This completely unexpected email would be the last email that I received from Jacob––the man I signed my book deal with. I, like so many other authors, had no idea that Permuted Press was being sold. I also had no idea who the “private investment group” might be, because he didn’t say, and I was never told.

How did I feel about the sale?

As I stated in my infamous blog post The Publisher/Author Relationship, submitting a manuscript is like asking a girl to dance. Once the dance is in motion (no pun intended), publishers and authors have entered into a relationship.

How would you like to be legally married to someone, only to have that person change the names on the marriage certificates when you weren’t looking? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? If you think it’s a bad thing, then making matters worse, imagine finding yourself legally bound to someone you’ve never met.

Might be exciting!

But it might be a total disaster, too.

Personally, I didn’t love it. But whatever. No big deal, right? Besides, “the new owners will be in touch with everyone very soon.”

On February 13th, 2014––that’s seven months and five days later––I received my first email from Michael L. Wilson. Was this my new publisher? Maybe, but who knows? I was never told who my new publisher might be. In fact, I still haven’t been told.

But I know what word on the street is telling me––

Word on the street is telling me that Michael L. Wilson is running Permuted Press now, and he’s running it like a soulless bastard acting like a cult leader, and that he’s alienating, segregating, and screwing over his authors faster than he’s signing them, which is at lightning speed, ’cause Permuted Press has been releasing 5 - 7 books per week. Word has it that he’s ignoring the questions that are plaguing him, and most of his authors are not happy… but a few of his authors think the unhappy authors are all full of shit, and are standing up for the company that has treated them so well, despite the fact that their brethren are hurt, and afraid, and unhappy with the lies, and the deceit, and the lack of respect that has been handed out in spades. These outspoken few want the angry mob to stop what they are doing, because their careers have blossomed under the Permuted Press banner, and they––perhaps a minority, perhaps not––have been treated fairly; this faction also seems to believe that a witch offering a poison apple should not be condemned but applauded, for the fault rests on the shoulders of the hungry, desperate, and optimistic, not the powerful gatekeeper that purchased his status and poisoned the apple. Some authors are acting like nothing has happened, and are audaciously promoting their Permuted Press titles, asking people to send the company more money. “Buy my book!” they say, ignoring the reality of their own hidden script… I don’t care what’s happening to my fellow writer, the hidden script says. I only care about myself. Word has it that people are boycotting Permuted Press, withdrawing their submissions, unliking, unfriending, and dropping all support for the company. Some have gone on the warpath. Some are contacting lawyers. Some are grinding their teeth. The new contracts are crazy lopsided in favor of the publishers, they are saying. And if that’s not enough, authors are turning against authors, leaving the private chat rooms in disgust, or getting kicked out by one of their own. Word on the street is saying that the authors who signed book deals agreed to a four year window, where not a single word needs to be published, and they lost their movie rights, paperback rights, hardcover rights, digital rights, along with every other right a creative mind can think of, including the right to publish another book in the horror genre, or under their own name, unless they run it through Permuted first, and they won’t get their rights back until… wait for it… 50 years after they are dead. Word has it that the Horror Writers Association is involved, and they are referring Permuted’s decisions to their Grievance Committee, and the conflict to Writers Beware, because Permuted seems to be acting unethically. Word has it that some authors are being set free of their contracts immediately, embarrassed and cynical, while others are being told that they’ll need to pay to escape the hangman’s noose. Care to escape? $2000 is the going rate, they say. It’s kind of like signing a contract with a travel agent––you paid to see China, but they dropped you off in Chinatown, yet you’re expected to pay the original bill.

But this… all of this… it can’t be right? Can it?!

Lord have mercy… let’s hope it’s a big pile of bullshit, for everybody’s sake.

The email––the one I received seven months and five days after I was told “the new owners will be in touch with everyone very soon”––said:

“Wednesday, February 12th, we will be hosting a conference call. We're inviting all interested Permuted authors to dial in to. We're calling it a "State of the Press" call where Anthony Ziccardi and I will spend some time talking about the company, where we are, and where we are going. Please phone in at the following times:

If your last name begins with the letters A thru M, please call in at 8PM Central / 9PM Eastern.
If your last name begins with the letters N thru Z, please call in at 9PM Central, 10PM Eastern.

To reach the conference line, call: (number omitted). When the automated attendant answers, punch in the number 7-5-2-8. 

When joining the conference, please make certain that you mute your phone. There will be a brief Q&A session at the end of the call where we can answer your questions about anything that we discussed, but outside of that time, please make sure that your phone is muted. Thanks!”

Okay then. We are finally getting somewhere.

Well… maybe we’re getting somewhere. Maybe not. Who is this Anthony Ziccardi guy? I don’t know. Never heard of him.

So… I phoned, and I phoned, and I phoned, and I phoned, and I phoned, and I phoned, and I phoned, and I phoned. After that I phoned twice more. For two hours I phoned. Couldn’t get through.

Could. Not. Get. Through.

Line was busy.

For the next three days I let the reality of what was happening set in. Then I responded to Michael’s email. I said:

“Hi Michael, James Roy Daley here. My contract with Permuted has expired, and it's time for you guys to stop publishing my novel The Dead Parade. Good luck with the company.”

You know what my response was? Care to take a guess?

No response. None.

I am still waiting for a response.

I do know, however, that new copies of my book are available for purchase from Amazon. They only have two in stock, but––according to Amazon––there are “more on the way.” I also couldn’t help notice that the book, which had been priced at $14.99 throughout my contract, and almost never promoted, was suddenly priced at $7.23. Good deal, huh? It's a couple bucks less than my new Books of the Dead Press version, which is priced at $9.99.

I truly, from the bottom of my heart, do not know whether the rumors swirling around Permuted Press are true. Truth be told, I don’t even know who the new publishers are. They’ve never told me. I know that I signed my deal with Jacob, and that Jacob said, “Permuted Press is being acquired by a private investment group.” That’s all I know about the new ownership. Remember that first email that Michael L. Wilson sent me? It was also my last.

So what do I know?

I know that on January 9th, 2009, I signed an ebook deal with Permuted Press, and in the contract there was a clause that said they had a two-year window to release the title. And they never released the title. They just let it sit there, and whither––this, at a time when my novel Terror Town was selling 500 ebooks a month, at $4.99 a unit.

Know that I was pissed off for two years straight about it. And I lost thousands of dollars.

I also know that on May 10th, 2011––27 months and 1 day after I signed that dreadful ebook contract––I released The Dead Parade ebook myself. And 2 months and 4 days later, on July 14th, 2011, Jacob sent me a note saying:

“I see you've put out a Dead Parade ebook, but you signed a contract with Permuted in 2009 giving us exclusive eBook rights for 5 years (see attached). I'll have to ask that you remove the eBook from sale and provide me with all sales records to determine what Permuted's share of the proceeds should be.”

I… myself… would have been far too embarrassed to send out an email like that, talking about a contract that was signed years earlier, without knowing the details within it. And asking for your share––? Wowzers. Are you kidding me?

Shameless. Unscrupulous. Disgraceful.

But that’s just my take.

In the past two years Permuted Press has only been able to sell a handful of books for me. Maybe a dozen… probably less. In this time they paid me once. This was before I asked them to stop publishing me. Since I sent out the email stating, “it's time for you to stop publishing my novel,” the royalty statements stopped cold. I never received another.

Of course, the book is still for sale… and more are on their way.

Moral of the story?

Perhaps it’s that authors need to publish well. Or perhaps there is no moral.

I cannot confirm or deny what is being said by the other authors in the Permuted stable. Each author is subject to their own reality. Maybe the trash-talk is bullshit. Maybe not. I can only speak of my own experience.

Am I unhappy?

No. Not now. If Permuted had been a better publisher I never would have started Books of the Dead Press. And I like Books of the Dead Press.

Books of the Dead Press, and the amazing authors I’m lucky enough to work with, are awesome. And I promise you…

Everything I’ve written is 100% true.

Enjoy the author apocalypse.

Like what you see? Please support Books of the Dead by purchasing one of our books. Thank you!

Friday, October 10, 2014


Publishing is a tricky thing. Every time Books of the Dead Press publishes a title that doesn't do well, the entire company is threatened. If we release too many titles that don't sell, the company will go under. Really, it's as simple as that. One too many mistakes and it's over.

Most small press publishing companies open their doors, and close their doors, within two years. Books of the Dead Press are about to hit the five year mark, which is pretty good. We are turning non-believers into believers, and fans into hardcore fans.

But the company is getting harder and harder to manage, and publishing the wrong books could easily be the death of this company.

Every week or so we receive an email from an author we're not working with. The email always says the same thing, which is something like this: I can see that you're not open for submissions, but I'm a big fan and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind looking at my manuscript.

Submissions, I've realized, are always closed at Books of the Dead Press. In the past three years submissions have been open for a total of three months. That's it. That's roughly 8% of the time. No wonder guys are sending us submissions when the doors are closed.

I like to help people, so sometimes Books of the Dead will say yes when we probably shouldn't. And on the flipside of that, sometimes we miss out on the titles we should be publishing, because our doors are always closed. For this reason, I've decided to create an application form, which will remain on the blog indefinitely.

Books of the Dead Press are STILL closed for submissions, and will be until 2015. But in the meantime, the application is open for those that are interested.

You can send your application to Books of the Dead here:


Thank you for your interest in Books of the Dead Press. The purpose of this application is to help us determine which manuscripts have the best chance of finding their market. There are no right answers, no wrong answers, only an open dialog between author and publisher. Please answer honestly.

1) What is your name and where do you live?

2) What’s the name of your book and how many words are in it?

3) What type of book is it (novel, novella, short story collection, etc…)?

4) What genre is it?

5) Has it been properly edited, and will it need another edit?

6) Has it been published before? If so, when, and by whom?

7) Do you have short stories published? If so, how many? Name up to three publication credits.

8) Have you ever published a novel before? If so, how many? Name up to three publication credits.

9) Do you attend conventions (writers’ conventions, comic book conventions)? If so, name up to three conventions you’ve recently attended.

10) Do you plan on attending conventions as part of your marketing strategy for the manuscript you wish to submit?

11) Books of the Dead Press offer five contributor copies to each author. Do you plan on purchasing additional copies? If so, how many?

12) Books of the Dead Press see value in online reviews from places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Are you willing to help us acquire these reviews? If so, how many reviews might you be able to acquire?

13) Getting endorsements from other authors help sell your manuscript. How many author quotes might you be able to obtain, and which authors might offer their endorsement?

14) Do you have a website? If so, please attach a link.

15) Do you have a Facebook page? If so, how many fans/likes does it have? Please attach a link.

16) Do you have a blog? If so, how many hits/followers does it have? Please attach a link.

17) Do you have a Twitter account? If so, how many followers does it have? Please attach a link.

Thank you. You will likely receive a response within a week.

Like what you see? Please support Books of the Dead by purchasing one of our books. Thank you!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

In The Crosshairs: Author and Publisher James Roy Daley

Last month I did an interview with the Zombie Education Alliance. Today I though I'd share that interview with the people that read this blog. Enjoy.

An interview with Books of the Dead Press’ founder James Roy Daley

Today we spotlight horror author, musician and publisher James Roy Daley, and put him In The Crosshairs. He gives some advice to horror authors seeking to get published and tells us what he thinks about zombies.

Daley studied film at the Toronto Film School, music at Humber College, and English at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Terror Town, Into Hell, 13 Drops of Blood, Authors & Publishers Must Die! and Zombie Kong. In 2009, he founded Books of the Dead Press, now one of the most successful small press companies in the horror genre and a leader in the eBook revolution. His publishing company has published work by New York Times bestselling authors such as Tim Lebbon and Jonathan Maberry, and award winning writers such as Tim Waggoner, Michael Laimo and Ray Garton. In August of 2001, his company re-released Gary Brandner’s famous The Howling Trilogy. Daley is also known for publishing works by little known and up-and-coming authors.

ZEA: It’s difficult enough as a writer to get published, but you went the next step and became a publisher at a time when even major indie publishing houses were struggling. So what made you decide to take the risk and form your own company?

Daley: Actually, I didn’t want to start a publishing company. All I wanted to do was release an anthology. Before I started Books of the Dead Press I had an idea for an anthology. I pitched it to a couple of the publishing companies that I had been working with and they turned me down. A few months later I saw that a completely different company released the same book that I had pitched, which didn’t sit well with me. Six months later I had a new idea. Once again I pitched it, but before the companies had a chance to give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down I decided to release the book myself. The result was Best New Zombie Tales Volume One. The book started selling thousands of units. I decided to put out a few more titles, and they started selling, too. After a year or so I quit my job and focused on the company full time.

ZEA: What is it that you look for in a manuscript, when seeking out new authors to sign?

Daley: What I’m looking for keeps changing. I try different things and I don’t always get the best results. In the past I’ve turned down titles from New York Times Bestsellers and I’ve accepted titles from first time authors. I’ve turned down lots of well-written titles and I’ve said yes to a few clunkers. The artist in me likes to say yes to titles. The businessman in me likes to say no. When something comes down the pipeline I follow my instincts, not conventional thinking.

ZEA: As a publisher, what is the most import piece of advise you can give an aspiring horror author?

Daley: Lose the ego, edit more than you write, and don’t be an asshole.

ZEA: You’ve published three anthologies of zombie stories, Best New Zombie Tales: Volumes 1-3, which gave a lot of new and emerging writers a great deal of recognition. Do you plan on doing any more zombie or other fictional creature anthologies?

Daley: Yes, but not this year.

ZEA: As a published author is there any advise you can give writers who are still trying to get published?

Daley: A writer’s job isn’t to get published. A writer’s job is to write something worth reading. Focus on the craft, not the sale.

ZEA: Many writers don’t necessarily start out writing in the genre they become known for. Have you always written in the horror genre or was there another genre you tried your hand at?

Daley: I started off writing movie scripts. From there I continue to write comedy, horror, drama, science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction.

ZEA: What is your favorite kind of horror to write about? And why?
Daley: I want to say that I like writing about monsters, because there’s not much reality in monsters, but apparently I’m best at writing about serial killers. Perhaps it’s because I understand people, and how rotten they can be.

ZEA: Do you believe in the possibility of a zombie apocalypse?

Daley: No.

ZEA: Would you plan on bugging out or hunkering down and fortifying in there was one?

Daley: Those are my choices? In a crisis situation I’m the guy that tries to stay levelheaded, making decisions based on the current information.

ZEA: What would be your firearm of choice?

Daley: I’ve never shot a gun, so I have no answer to this question.

ZEA: What would be your edged or blunt weapon of choice?

Daley: A Louisville Slugger aluminum baseball bat.

ZEA: Who would be in your survivor group?

Daley: My family, friends, and anyone that needed help.

ZEA: My final question: Who was the person that most influenced you to become a writer?

Daley: Stephen King. Or my script teachers in film school. I guess the answer depends on how I look at the question.

James Roy Daley’s books can be found at and Barnes and Noble. If your a horror writer seeking a publisher, check out the submission guidelines at Books of The Dead Press.

Like what you see? Please support Books of the Dead by purchasing one of our books. Thank you!