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Self-Published Zombie Titles Have Doubled Since 2012 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-we-want-to-do-is-eat-your-brains dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For the second year in a row, the number of self-published ebooks with the word zombie in their title has doubled. The annual check is performed on Halloween in Amazon's Kindle Store, and this year discovers 8,052 ebooks (with titles like 'Jesus Camp Zombie Bloodbath' and 'Never Slow Dance with a Zombie...') — more than 12 times the number that appear in the Library of Congress. 71-year-old literary author Joyce Carol Oates — twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize — also named her 2009 novel about a serial killer 'Zombie (P.S.'", but most of the titles in the Kindle Store 'aren't as ambitious,' notes this article, which still applauds the self-published authors and their 'massive outpouring of new creativity, as people all around the globe start wondering what's going to happen in their own imaginary zombie scenarios...'"
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Self-Published Zombie Titles Have Doubled Since 2012

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  • by TheloniousToady (3343045) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @07:50PM (#45295933)

    ...that most of them are autobiographies.

  • by themushroom (197365) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @07:53PM (#45295961) Homepage

    is because a real publishing house with editors would reject them as poorly written tripe.
    (And that Oates went through her publisher, and was not self-published.)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The internet is here. Services like Google Play exist. Publishing houses are obsolete.
    • by icebike (68054)

      is because a real publishing house with editors would reject them as poorly written tripe.

      But on the good side, the Vampire authors have mostly given up that Genera and moved on.

      There are some good self published ebooks. Its pretty hard to find them because of a wheat/chaff problem.
      You can find well known authors going directly to ebook these days, and you can find top notch editors
      taking in more direct to ebook editing jobs (or so my writer friend tells me).

      But its a wasteland out there...

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I'm going a different direction with my book. Electronic versions will be free, you'll only have to pay for paper versions (even though paper comes out before electrons).

        Oh, and there aren't any zombies or vampires. There are ghosts in chapter chapter 21 but they're not really ghosts. It's science fiction, not horror.

        Shit, it's halloween, sorry. The bad guys are ghouls (at least that's what the Martians call them).

        Am I on topic yet? Damn...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        you can find top notch editors taking in more direct to ebook editing jobs (or so my writer friend tells me).

        I recently translated a book from a foreign language into English for publication by a new publisher that tries to compete in both ebook and print formats in a niche areal studies market. The publisher does not have in-house editors and spent a while searching for one for this publication. Ultimately the book I had translated was assigned to someone without the least familiarity with the subject. I

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Editors aren't cheap. It would have cost me $1000 to have Nobots professionally edited, so I just proofread the thing, fixing mistakes, a few hundred times.

        Publishing a book is expensive without any professional services, at least hardcover and paperback (e-books are a lot cheaper).

        • by icebike (68054)

          But you know that proofreading and fixing mistakes are but a small part of what editors do. Much of this can be accomplished by software, not only spell checking and punctuation but also voice, tenses, etc.

          Macro structure, interweaving of subplots, deletion of entire sections, general slashing and burning, and razing of villages is the part of editing that causes most authors the greatest anguish, but often yields the best results.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Exactly why it's so hard to write a good book without an editor. But editors are expensive.

    • by inflex (123318) on Friday November 01, 2013 @12:11AM (#45297337) Homepage Journal

      Oh help us, imagine if this happened in the world of software, eeeeish, they'd probably create something like Linux! *shudder*.

      Readers are the ultimate choice makers, while big publishing houses can bring some useful services to the writer they're quickly becoming less relevant as the whole industry reworks itself into more independent units for hire ( cover art, editing, proofing, marketing ).

    • Actually, you'll find that a significant portion of self-published authors is very concerned with quality control, and spend a lot of time polishing their works. You'll also find that freelance editors are quite busy with all the self-published customers they have.

      We self-published writers try very hard to escape the reputation of uploading unedited garbage.

      Sites such as Kboards have a writing community which actively encourages making your work as good as it can be before publishing, and as a writer I spen

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Actually, you'll find that a significant portion of self-published authors is very concerned with quality control... We self-published writers try very hard to escape the reputation of uploading unedited garbage.

        You could have fooled me.

    • Zombie games are not "massive outpouring of new creativity" by and large. Rather it is "uncreative developers attempting to jump on a popular bandwagon." There are some good ones, but most are poorly done and very uncreative in design.

      I'm a big fan of indy (aka self published) games but I can't think of any zombie ones that have caught my eye as good.

    • by lxs (131946)

      Quoting from a future edition of Wikipedia.

      Zombie Apocalypse: the time when you can't open up your webbrowser without being bombarded by a deluge of inane zombie fanfic.
      ex. "before the Zombie Apocalypse, browsing the web was a whole lot less tedious." anon. 2034

  • ...zombie novel, check out "Toothless" by J.P. Moore. It doesn't read at all like the author was merely jumping on the pop culture bandwagon.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Night of the Living Trekkies. If the cover art doesn't do it for you, I don't know what will.

  • Somehow she managed to win the 1996 Bram Stoker Prize for a "2009 novel". But the "(P.S.)" was removed by the time machine, and the protagonist was renamed from Zombie to Quentin P.
  • by bob_super (3391281) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @08:03PM (#45296073)

    Can someone make a graph with the yearly occurrences of wizards (early '00s), vampires, werewolves (late '00s), zombies (early '10s) ?
    Cross it with more standard fanfic (esp star wars from 99 to 05, star trek afterwards).

    Wraiths, mummies and ghouls would like to know when they'll get their turn. (and don't tell me they're harder to write for, you can pull a Twilight and reinvent them completely, just keeping the name)

    • Re:Fashion trends (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wvmarle (1070040) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @09:35PM (#45296659)

      More interesting: how does this compare to the overall number of self-published e-books? Afaik self-publishing as a whole is growing fast, too. If the number of self-published titles has doubled, it's no wonder zombie-titles doubled too.

      • by inflex (123318)

        In the last 2~3 years the number of books published outside of the "big 6" houses has done a lot more than doubled, 3~4x I think according to Bowker ( and that's just the ones that have ISBNs assigned). One way a lot of us notice the growth is by having a really unpopular book listed on Amazon and seeing how bad the ranking gets. The most recent peaking genres were erotica (thanks to 50SoG breaking the ice) and of course Vamps. Nice to see Zombies shuffling in :D

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          If it went 3-4 times over the past 2-3 years, then doubling since 2012 quite plausible, meaning that a doubling of zombie titles means the ratio of zombie/not zombie remains the same. So no spectacular rise of zombie titles. It may even have been a decline in zombie titles, when compared to other books.

          And of course, as always sex leads the pack Just like the abundant availability of porn has done a lot for the Internet as a whole (driving faster connections, improving payment/subscription systems, etc).

      • by ignavus (213578)

        More interesting: how does this compare to the overall number of self-published e-books? Afaik self-publishing as a whole is growing fast, too. If the number of self-published titles has doubled, it's no wonder zombie-titles doubled too.

        Even more interesting: the number of zombies has doubled too.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Wraiths, mummies and ghouls would like to know when they'll get their turn.

      Well, the Venusians are pretty ghoulish in Nobots, and the Martians call them ghouls... I guess if it becomes a best seller you'll see a lot more ghoul books.

    • by drsquare (530038)

      Personally I'm waiting for dinosaurs to make a comeback.

  • by hguorbray (967940) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @08:06PM (#45296103)
    I thought one of our main defences against zombies was that they couldn't reproduce..

    -I'm just sayin'
  • Right? [youtube.com]
    Something ironic about using the zombie concept [youtube.com] used to exploit consumers as if they were zombies...
  • Replace the word 'ebooks' with 'video games', and I would bet the resulting statement would still be pretty accurate.
  • Luckily, I wrote and published mine [mariolurig.com] in Oct/Nov 2011... so I suppose that puts me ahead of the curve.
  • by flargleblarg (685368) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @09:27PM (#45296605)
    At first I thought it said:
    Self-Published Zombie Titties Have Doubled Since 2012
  • Will there be a kind of Moore's Law of Zombie books that comes in to play?
  • by Izaak (31329) on Friday November 01, 2013 @02:26AM (#45297771) Homepage

    I've been getting great feedback. Rather than the usual shotgun toting road warrior style hero, I decided to explore how a tech geek might approach the zombie apocalypse. Its been described as McGuyver meets the Walking Dead. Part 1 is available on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, or download it for free directly from my blog. So far I've been getting 5 star reviews and very positive comments, but I would love to hear some feedback from the more technology savvy Slashdot demographic.

  • by korbulon (2792438) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:11AM (#45298639)

    What the fuck is the deal with this fascination with zombies? Especially among relatively intelligent people (i.e. nerds). I don't get it. Fundamentally it's a dumb idea, at least how it's presented 95% of the time. The only time for me that it works is as parody or as allegory, but taken as a natural phenomenon it doesn't have legs, feet, torso, etc. to stand on. A few exceptions where the genre works, it is attributable to external agency (e.g,. supernatural, alien). Very little of zombie lore withstands even superficial scrutiny. Why always so hungry when lacking a functioning digestive system? How are limbs able to hunt without sensory organs? Or move without a circulatory system? Why be only an asshole to the living and not to your fellow zombies? Also, how do they decide who to eat and who to indoctrinate into the zombie horde? No, no. It's just plain stupid.

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      Questions answere by Mel Brook's Son:

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Zombie-Survival-Guide-Protection/dp/1400049628 [amazon.com]

      • by korbulon (2792438)

        I thought you were taking the piss, and then I realized you were being dead serious, that in fact this Max Brooks of World War Z fame is none other than the son of Mel Brooks. Now I think the world is taking the piss. Nothing Mel Brooks ever wrote or directed was as silly as any given scene in World War Z. Zounds.

    • by Arkiel (741871)
      Yeah. It doesn't make any sense at all, does it? They're dead and rotting, and yet they move. Unknown. Awesome.
    • What the fuck is the deal with this fascination with zombies?

      Well, I think you went on to ask all the wrong questions. Zombies are not the main attraction of zombie media. In effect, they are just a natural disaster that humans are thrown against and thus the actual stories are human versus natuire, but really human versus human. Zombies are an excuse to thrust people into difficult situations and tell the story of how they interact with each other, not the zombies. Zombies work because they are a natural disaster that you can shoot in the face and thus provide acti

      • by korbulon (2792438)

        Yeah but what about BRAINS!? mm-mm, love me some brains.

        In that case, give me a more realistic antagonist - just not fucking zombies. Or maybe give a zombie a speaking role, or at least a song and dance number. Gentlemen, it's time.

  • and I'd like to put in a plug for Hugh Howey's "I, Zombie". Hugh has made a good name for himself in the self-publishing arena and his success continues to snowball. Not the least of which is due to his amazing stories like Wool, Moly Fyde, and my personal favorite the underdog Halfway Home, but also because he seems to be a genuinely good guy.

    As for I, Zombie ... it is not a human story about zombies. It is a zombie story about being a zombie. Check it out.

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      I'd call it a human story about being stuck in a zombie. Great book though either way. Kind of a different perspective on the zombie genre.

  • ...most of this is survivalist escapist fantasy garbage. Poorly written, poorly-defined characters. I suspect there's a therapy group for returning vets where the therapy goals are to write a zombie book and self-publish it. Never ever buy any book without a recommendation from someone you think you can actually trust. That means a recommendation outside the Amazon system.

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