The Hours of Creeping Night – Reviews and Sales Figures

Well, it’s been around five months since I decided to self-publish a collection of my dark speculative short stories, The Hours of Creeping Night.

I haven’t been actively promoting it, so I didn’t expect much to happen. My agent actually bought a copy before he decided to offer me representation (though the offer was more about my novel). Interestingly, both he and one of the reviewers picked out my story ‘Dead Cell’ (zombie outbreak in a prison, told from the inmates’ perspective) as the best of the selection, despite a few of my beta readers not particularlly liking the story. Just goes to show how different people enjoy different stories.

At one point, I decided to make the price on Smashwords free just to get some exposure, so Amazon matched that for two months. I checked in with the figures today – and wow! Two thousand copies were downloaded in two months, ranking the ebook #41 in the Amazon.com short story Kindle chart.

Only 74 copies were downloaded from Smashwords, and less than ten from Amazon.co.uk… So I guess the US Amazon site is the one to focus on.

Out of those two thousand copies, only two people left a review, but they were great reviews!

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ What a fantastic read! 
May 23, 2012, By Meredith M.
Each story is a tiny universe to itself that explodes from the page and leaves you ink splattered and enthralled.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Decent book
May 29, 2012, By DareT0Dream
This book is one of many short story books ive read this year. I am actually taking the time to review this book, which means I liked it enough to spend some of my time. The only reason I am giving it a 4 rather than a 5, is because i feel it should of been longer, maybe 30 pages longer. I was so close on getting my fix, that when it ended it left me “unsatisfied”. But other than that great job, i dont want to spoil it for other readers but, one story in the book Dead Cell should be made as a stand alone book.

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The Hours of Creeping Night is a collection of short stories that encompass the surrealism of the late hours of the night, when the coming dawn feels like an impossible dream. This 11,000 word ebook is filled with weird and morbid tales of mechanical creatures, living forests, zombies, wedigo and other monsters, while exploring the darkness of human nature in various strange fictional worlds. Read more about the stories inside…

You can buy from the following places… The pricing is a little mixed at the moment, depending on the vendor(!) Pricing correct at time of posting (18th June 12).

Publication News

Note to self: improve immune system.

Yes, previous to the last six weeks, the last time I had a cold was the winter of 2010-11. But over the past six weeks, I’ve caught three viruses worse than the average cold. Damn you, germy world, and damn you crappy immune system.

But enough of that. You don’t want to hear about the Armageddon of snotty tissues in my bedroom. How about some publication news instead?

Today, the February issue of Yes, Poetry is out. You can download the free PDF from their website. It contains just the right amount of quirky and insightful poetry to keep you entertained. And it features my poem ‘Breathing Out’.

In Novermber 2010, I submitted a little poem to The London Magazine. In February 2011, they wrote to say my poem was accepted. Then I never heard anything back. I kept an eye on the website. Nothing. Months after this, the same poem was accepted for an anthology, but the anthology asked about publication rights. I assumed I still held all the rights as The London Magazine hadn’t published the accepted poetry, nor had a signed a contract, nor were there rights information on their website. Then by chance I saw that my poem was published by The London Magazine. Despite three emails and a promise of a contributor copy, I still haven’t received my contributor copy. If this was any other magazine, I would have been livid with their disorganisation. But its such a prestigious publication that I can’t help but still be pleased I’m included. And I really think it’s the best poem I’ve written.

You can read Napkin Swans in the Oct-Nov 2011 issue of The London Magazine.

It will also appear in The Young British Poets Oxfam Anthology, published by Cinnamon press to raise money for Oxfam.

As well as that, our Royal Holloway MA anthology, Bedford Square 5, was published in Dec 2011. It contains novel extracts and poetry from two year’s of students on the MA. It features the first chapter of my novel The Sky, The City, The Others (working title), which is a steampunk/zombie adventure story. It’s really interesting to see what all the other groups were working on. Though the general reader is unlikely to pick it up and read an anthology of extracts, it’s a good showcase for prospective students, agents and publishers. Some of us will be reading from the anthology at the Runnymede Literary Festival on Friday March 16th at the Centre for Creative Collaboration on Acton Street.

And my last piece of publication news is that I’ve taken the plunge into – gasp – self-publishing. Now, I immediately feel the need to justify myself due to the great prejudice against the notion. (I’ve written about the concept of self publishing recently, here.) I wouldn’t self-publish a novel, as I’d much rather have a team of experts working on it, as well as the quality control assurance the backing of a publisher provides.

However, I have decided to publish a handful of my short stories. Some of them have been previously published in magazines, but mostly I know that short story collections are notoriously hard to publish traditionally, and I think my collection might be too dark (and too short) for a traditional publisher. So I’ve released this collection as an ebook. It is very much an experiment, but I thought it would be interesting to see how it fares, rather than letting the stories sit, unread, on my computer.

I put a lot of thought into which stories to include. All of them are dark in nature and contain a speculative element. I had one story, that I was slightly unsure of, professionally edited. I had all the stories analysed by a handful of beta readers – these were my fellow MA or BA students, and I knew that they would be honest and critical. I gave the collection a final edit based on their suggestions. I designed the cover myself… purely because of budget. I’m pretty sure its better than most of the self-published covers…

The Hours of Creeping Night is a collection of short stories that encompass the surrealism of the late hours of the night, when the coming dawn feels like an impossible dream. This 11,000 word ebook is filled with weird and morbid tales of mechanical creatures, living forests, zombies, wedigo and other monsters, while exploring the darkness of human nature in various strange fictional worlds.

You can buy the ebook for less than two quid at:

You can view the first few pages at Amazon or Smashwords. I’ll be posting more about this project in the future.

Okay, this disgustingly self-promotional post has been long enough. Thanks for reading.

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