Books of the Dead Press

Publisher info

Books of the Dead Press has become one of the most successful small press companies in the horror genre, a leader in the ebook revolution, and an innovator in digital marketing. It was founded by James Roy Daley and was established in December of 2009. Within its first 18 months Books of the Dead published 15 titles, including work by New York Times bestselling authors such as Tim Lebbon and Jonathan Maberry. The press also published award winning writers such as Tim Waggoner, Michael Laimo, Ray Garton, Jeff Strand, Nancy Kilpatrick, Paul Kane, Joe McKinney, Simon Wood, Kim Paffenroth, Gary McMahon, John Everson, and Mort Castle. The company recently re-released Gary Brandner’s famous The Howling Trilogy, and its first book, 'Best New Zombie Tales Volume One', is one of the best selling zombie anthologies on the market today.

Smashwords Interview

Why zombies?
Now there’s a question with some wiggle room. Why Zombies, huh? If you’re wondering why I happen to be drawn to the shuffling dead at this point in my life, I’m not sure I have an answer. But I might know why people are attracted to them. Now, I mean. Why people are attracted to them now. Answer is… because it’s time.

Zombie culture is like punk rock. Let me explain––

Back in the fifties big money, meaning Hollywood, was on a horror kick. It seemed like every third movie in production was designed to scare the pants off the viewer. Mainstream audiences lapped it up. Hollywood churned out sci-fi thrillers like The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), The Thing from Another World (1951), Forbidden Planet (1956), and War of the Worlds (1953). They gave us monster movies like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Them (1954), The Blob (1958), and The Fly (1958). They coughed up mysteries like Dial M for Murder (1954) and thrillers like To Catch a Thief (1955). They gave us the classics Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Vertigo (1958). The fifties even showcased the one and only Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959). And this list of mine doesn’t even scratch the surface of what was being made. There was The Creature from the Black Lagoon, House of Wax, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, Tarantula––the list goes on and on and on. But here’s something to chew on––guess what wasn’t happening in the 1950s: the zombie film.

Okay, so… if you want to point a finger at Voodoo Island, The Zombies of Mora Tau, and a few other rarities, you do that. But zombies weren’t happening. Not in a big way. And in the sixties they still weren’t happening. Sure, a handful of films trickled through the door, like Zombies (1964), Plague of the Zombies (1966), and Cemetery of the Living Dead (1965). It should also be noted that in 1968 George Romero dropped Night of the Living ‘You Know What,’ but still... we’re looking back in time through rose colored glasses. Night of the Living Dead was an indie-film. It had a budget of $114,000 and had a hard time finding distribution. Big money wasn’t thinking zombies. Nobody was. In the 1970s, nothing changed. In the 1980s, again, nothing changed. Vampire films outnumbered zombie films 100 to 1. If you want to drop names like Lucio Fulci, Brian Yuzna, Sam Raimi (and whoever else you got tucked away in your bag of zombie tricks) go ahead. Doesn’t change anything. Bottom line is this: zombie films didn’t take off like other films… and zombie literature? Forget about it. You’re reading stories from a near-empty book shelf.

I’m hearing cursing and yelling, I’m seeing fists rising and feet stomping, I’m feeling anger and resentment, and I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Wait a minute, you stupid idiot! Have you somehow forgotten Dawn of the frickin’ Dead?

First of all, Dawn of the Dead was released in 1978, near the end of the greatest decade that film had ever seen. Much like Night of the Living Dead, it was a low-budget film, being created for roughly $500,000 dollars. Not to suggest the film was lost in the shuffle of life. It wasn’t. The film earned some fans and did well at the box office, but in the bigger scheme of things it was quite simply one of many successes. The biggest horror movies of the decade were Jaws (1975), which was the biggest film of all time and brought in close to a half billion dollars, Jaws 2, (1978), at 209 million dollars, and The Exorcist (1973), at 357 million dollars. With Dawn eventually taking in a respectable 55 million, it was buried by films like Star Wars (1977), Rocky (1976), and The Godfather (1972). And the films people were spending their money on in 1978 were Grease, Superman, and Animal House––in that order. Point is, there was so much going on in the 1970s that zombies were not the hot topic, nor should they have been. If we fast-forward to 1985 we can contemplate Day of the Dead, but with its budget a mere 3.5 million, and it being considerably less successful at the box office than Dawn, once again, zombies didn’t take off. Not yet.
New question: if the biggest, most awesomely important zombie films of all time weren’t that big, how did we get here?
Let's go back to the punk rock thing.

Sure, The Sex Pistols blew up. But in general, punk rock doesn’t ‘blow up.’ The Misfits didn’t blow up. The Ramones didn’t blow up. The Stooges didn’t blow up. They––like a fine wine––became more appreciated with age. In time, some punk bands gain an ever-expanding, hardcore following. Zombie films are like punk. They might even be punk. They gain new followers generation to generation. But there’s a flipside to gaining popularity exponentially. When enough time passes, and punk-like things become too popular, they become mainstream, which is, almost by definition, the opposite of punk. Its hard to believe that on a day like today I can walk into my local mall and buy t-shirts, stickers, and posters, for the same bands that needed to be special ordered when they were trying to get noticed. But that’s the way it is with punk. And that’s the way it is with zombies. The odds of buying a Night of the Living Dead t-shirt back in 1968 weren’t good. In fact, you couldn’t find a t-shirt no matter how hard you looked. But today? Oh yeah. Every major chain carries a whole rack of them.

Zombies are creepers. Always have been. And they’ve crept right into the mainstream. You can find them in aisle three, wedged between American Idol and Harry Potter, on the same shelf as Iggy Pop and The Cramps.

Going back to the original question, why zombies?

The answer is easy: because in today’s world, zombies are mainstream. Sorry kids but its true. Enough time has passed, and that’s why they’re so popular.
Read more of this interview.

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Authors & Publishers Must Die!
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,210. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2013 by Books of the Dead Press. Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Nonfiction » Reference » Publishing and books
From the mouth of an author, and a publisher: Authors and Publishers Must Die! is filled to the rim with straightforward MUST READ advice for the author in your life… with no punches pulled!
Terror Town
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 105,830. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2010 by Books of the Dead Press. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Undead
Killer on the warpath. Monsters on the street. Vampires in the night. Zombies on the hunt. Welcome to Terror Town, the place where no one is safe. Nothing is sacred. All will die. All will suffer. --- From the mind of James Roy Daley, author of The Dead Parade, comes one of the most brutally violent horror stories ever written. A BESTSELLING HORROR TITLE.
13 Drops of Blood
You set the price! Words: 53,420. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2010 by Books of the Dead Press. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Undead
From the author of THE DEAD PARADE comes 13 tales of horror, suspense, and imagination. Enter the gore-soaked exhibit, the train of terror, the graveyard of the haunted. Meet the scientist of the monsters, the woman with the thing living inside her, the living dead... James Roy Daley unleashes quality horror stories with a flair for the hardcore. Not for the squeamish. A BESTSELLING HORROR TITLE.
Best New Werewolf Tales (Vol. 1)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 89,120. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2012 by Books of the Dead Press. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Want the Greatest Werewolf Stories Ever Written? Award winning authors and New York Times Bestsellers come together in this fantastic werewolf anthology. Includes great tales by Jonathan Maberry, John Everson, Michael Laimo, James Roy Daley, Douglas Smith, David Niall Wilson, Nina Kiriki Hoffman… and so much more. A BESTSELLING HORROR TITLE.
Paradise Denied
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 82,170. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2012 by Books of the Dead Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Horror » General
Books of the Dead Press is proud to present: Paradise Denied John L. French - a crime scene investigator for the Baltimore Police Crime Lab - has seen more than his share of murders, shootings and serious assaults. As a break from the realities of his job, he writes science fiction, pulp, horror, fantasy, and, of course, crime fiction. And he does it perfectly. Because he knows. He knows…
Best New Zombie Tales (Vol. 1)
Series: Best New Zombie Tales, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 103,250. Language: English. Published: April 23, 2010 by Books of the Dead Press. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror, Fiction » Horror » Undead
Want the Greatest Zombie Stories Ever Written? Award winning authors and New York Times Bestsellers come together in this fantastic zombie anthology. Includes great tales by Ray Garton, Jonathan Maberry, Kealan Patrick Burke, Jeff Strand, Robert Swartwood, Gary McMahon, Kim Paffenroth… and so much more. A BESTSELLING HORROR TITLE.
The Hanging Tree
Price: Free! Words: 6,690. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2013 by Books of the Dead Press. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Historical » Paranormal
In the old west punishment comes swiftly. Especially when the crime is murder. Mort Clancy - a pathetic drunk - had one to many drinks at the local watering hole and he did something stupid: he shot the sheriff. Now there's a new law in town, and Mort's on his way to the hanging tree. But the hanging tree has a terrible reputation, and what dies on the tree doesn't always stay dead.

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