Sunday, December 23, 2012

Special Christmas Ebook Sale

Starting today, December 23rd, authors Robert Ford, J. F. Gonzalez, Brian Keene, Kelli Owen, and Robert Swartwood have teamed up to make several of their ebooks available for just 99 cents each -- over twenty titles!
  • From Kelli Owen, her novels Six Days and White Picket Prisons, as well as the novellas Waiting Out Winter and The Neighborhood, and the collection Black Bubbles -- all available in the US Kindle Store and the UK Kindle Store.
This special sale will only run through Wednesday

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tagged - The Next Big Thing

Robert Swartwood tagged me two weeks ago in a post you can read here.

Recap: the blog post I was tagged in is part of an ongoing series of blog posts in which one writer poses a series of questions to another writer, then tags five more writers, who repeat the process the following week in their blogs. Sounds fun, right?

Even though I no longer maintain a regular blog (I no longer have the time), I decided to kind-of-sort-of play along. I'm answering the questions, but I'm not tagging five other writers. Any working writer I would tag either a) doesn't maintain a blog or b) if they do maintain a blog, they're too goddamn busy right now. So I'm not tagging anybody. Other folks probably have, so go forth and see who, and check their blogs in a week or two to read their responses. And buy their books, okay?

In the meantime, here's my contribution:

1) What is the working title of your next book?


2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Musing on the disconnect between the extreme wealthy and the working class, specifically the working poor, and, believe it or not,  watching various shows on Food Network.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It's a straight thriller.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Nathan Fillion (Castle) could be a good choice for one of the main characters.Aside from that, I don't know. It would probably be best if it was cast with unknown actors. But if film rights are ever sold and a big-budget adaptation is green-lit and the producer wants to cast Snooki or The Situation or one of the Real Housewives in it, I'm okay with that.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’m not sure a one-sentence synopsis is possible with this novel. Let’s just say the plot involves a wealthy businessman with Mitt Romney-level money searching for his estranged missing daughter as a separate plot thread; most of the novel details various going-ons at a very high-end country club in Wyoming that caters to the ultra-wealthy – the Director of Operations is having an early mid-life crisis, one of the waitresses is out of her element and simply wants to get through the last three days of the season without being fired, and suddenly money is being stolen from some of the wealthy high-rollers and several brutal murders occur on the grounds. Is there a thief and a murderer on the loose, or is the thief a murderer too? Both seemingly disconnected plot points eventually meet up just as the reveal is being laid out, so I won’t go any further.  Basically, it’s quite different than my other work, and certainly more mainstream. However, fans of my more horror-tinged thrillers will probably like it.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

When I initially conceived the idea for Retreat it was intended to be my “break-out” novel; that was in mid-2008. After I lost my mass-market publisher (this publisher later crashed and burned), I intended this book to be my calling-card back into mass-market publishing. I had intended to market it to one of the big Six publishers because I felt (and still feel) that it's a mainstream thriller that will appeal to a wide, general audience. Between then and now, I had committed to several other projects, specifically a few straight horror novels for various small presses, as well as some film work and some ghosting work to pay the bills, so the first draft of Retreat was written in late 2009 and early 2010. I have only within the past two months or so revisited it. Since originally starting the first draft, the eBook revolution has really taken off and a re-evaluation of mass market publishing has led me to the decision to publish the book myself once it's completed (and it's vetted by several trusted folks I use as editors and pre-readers and it undergoes editing and copy-editing). So the short version of my answer to this question is, yes, the book will be self-published, and no, it won't be represented by an agency.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Three or four months.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I'm not sure, since I've never read a novel quite like Retreat. However, if you're a fan of the works of John Connolly, Duane Swierczynski, or Michael Marshall, you might want to give Retreat a try once it's out there.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

To reveal that would spoil it for you.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Retreat is the first book in an open-ended series I plan with recurring characters. The second novel in the series exists as a one paragraph entry in my notes, as does the third. My goal is for each novel to work as a stand-alone novel, but each novel will also be linked to each other (and there will be subtle links to my past body of work as well). In fact, I have hinted at this in other interviews  and in conversations with fans, but the second novel in the series will also provide a sequel of sorts to my novels Survivor and Fetish. It won't be a straight sequel by any means, but there will certainly be enough narrative to address certain loose threads from both those novels. 

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Summer Sale

Shapeshifter is once again available as an eBook in Kindle and Nook formats. You can purchase them here:

Shapeshifter - Nook edition

Shapeshifter - Kindle edition

Shapeshifter is priced at the low introductory price of $2.99 until the end of June.

The price on The Corporation and The Beloved have gone down to $3.99 and $2.99 respectively. All three of these titles will remain at these prices until the end of July.

In addition, the Nook edition of The Beloved has finally hit the market. Sadly, the Nook edition of The Corporation won't be available until late August. My apologies for this.

Here are the links to purchase:

The Beloved - Nook edition

The Beloved - Kindle

The Corporation - Kindle

As usual, a full listing of all my titles can be found here.


Friday, June 08, 2012

Stuff for sale

 While doing some rearranging of the home office, I found some extra copies of some of my titles. I am offering them here on a first come, first serve basis. Price includes shipping at media mail rate. For shipping to Canada or the U.K./Europe, inquire. All books come either flat-signed or personally inscribed to you. If you're interested in any of these items, please email me at 'jfgonzalez(at) Spend over a hundred bucks, and I'll probably slip something extra in the package for you.

 The Beloved - Altar 13 signed limited hardcover edition. 2 PC copies - $45.00

 Clickers II - Delirium Books, signed limited hardcover edition - 2 PC copies - $55.00

 Clickers II - Delirium Books, signed lettered edition; this is bound in leather and slipcased and contains bonus material (outtakes). PC copy - $200. Very rare, as only 52 were offered to the public.

 Clickers III - Delirium Books, signed limited hardcover edition - 1 PC copy - $50.00

 Clickers - DarkTales Publications, trade paperback, 2nd state. $25.00. 3 copies

 Hero - Bloodletting Press, signed limited hardcover edition - 2 PC copies - $40.00

 Old Ghosts and Other Revenants - Prime Books - Trade paperback. Rare. $25.00. I have two copies. 

Clickers vs. Zombies - Morningstar Press, signed limited edition hardcover - $55.00. PC copies. 

Thanks! JFG

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Online Piracy
- Updated
Let me make one thing perfectly clear: readers who upload electronic copies of books that are not in the public domain to file sharing services are committing a crime. The crime is copyright infringement.

Copyright law is pretty confusing to most people, and I suspect it is this ignorance of copyright law that allows for the rampant practice of readers (especially younger ones) to upload books to file sharing services. Their reasoning is they are simply "sharing" copies of books they've acquired, through legal or non-legal means. They compare it to loaning physical copies to friends, checking the book out at the library, or buying it at a used bookstore. What's the harm in that?

While the harm is still debatable, the basic fact of the matter is that it is still copyright infringement and it is not the same thing as loaning a paperback to a friend or checking out a hardcover at the library. Don't understand basic copyright laws? Click here for a primer. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Finished? Good. I hope you learned something. For those of you who didn't feel the need to read the article I've linked to, it all boils down to this: the author of the book you have uploaded to a file sharing site owns the right to "copy" and "distribute" the work - not you. Furthermore, when you upload books to file sharing sites that charge a nominal fee for access, you are committing outright copyright theft.

How can I be committing copyright theft? I didn't physically steal anything from the author?

Well, yes, you did. The fees collected by file sharing services do not get doled out to the authors in the form of royalties. Those fees go toward the criminals hosting the site.

Copyright of a work begins the moment the author commits it to paper or digital format. They have the right to publish it themselves (in hardcover, paperback, or digital) and sell those copies, or they can license the right to copy and distribute the work (the "copy" in copyright) to a publisher. This latter method is how writers have been doing things the last hundred and fifty years or more - we license our work to publishers for a certain amount of money for them to sell and distribute our work to the reading public. If the publisher manages to sell a million copies, we get a portion of that (the vast majority of us sell far less copies, though). Sometimes we license sub-rights to publishers; this means our publishers can license our work to other markets and media including film/TV, foreign translation, audio, and video game adaptation in exchange for a further percentage of the revenues they collect. Many of us hang onto those rights and license them ourselves to other parties. What it all boils down to is the original creator of the work, the author, has the right to decide how their work gets distributed.

As a reader, when you buy a book you own the physical object. You do not own the words on the paper. You can loan the copy out to as many people as you like. You can resell your copy to a used bookstore or, if it becomes valuable, you can sell it for more money than you paid for it. What you can't do, however, is make copies of that physical book. That right is retained by the author.

Likewise, when you buy a digital book, for your Kindle or Nook or whatever device you may use, you do not own the words and images in the file. Only the author does.

(As an aside, Amazon is in the process of undertaking a lending program for Kindle titles. I don't know the details, but from what I've heard about it, I have no problems with it)

So when a reader gets a copy of our work and uploads it to a file sharing service, they are doing it without our permission. It usually says so in the copyright notice of the book in question (pay special attention to the part where it says the work cannot be distributed or uploaded to a file storage and retrieval system). Only the author, the creator of the work, has the right to do that.

Libraries don't make physical copies of the books they have on their shelves. No, they have that one copy, which they've legally paid for, and they lend that book out to multiple patrons. But to copy that work, that's where we get into copyright infringement. Understand the problem now?

But other authors support online piracy of their books! They say that when we pirate their books, they see an increase in their overall sales. In fact, some authors upload their own works to file sharing systems!

Yes, they do, and as the copyright holder they are entitled to do that and I support their decision. That is their choice.

Brian Keene and F. Paul Wilson would rather you not do that with their works, however, and you should respect that. Why? They own the right to copy and distribute their work - not you. You may think you are doing them a favor by "sharing" their work, but in their opinion you are not, especially when most authors depend on sales recorded by chain brick-and-mortar stores (tracked by Book Scan) for their next contract. Here's how that works in a nutshell: mass market titles are generally given a two month window (in many cases it's a month) from the date of release to make an impact. If a pirated copy of a book is uploaded and distributed across multiple file-sharing networks and experiences more free downloads within that time period, it could potentially siphon off crucial sales. If the publisher was aiming for a 55% sell-through in that period but illegal downloading bumped that figure to below 40%, there is a good chance that author won't get a contract for his/her next book.

Has this kind of thing happened? It has led one writer, Lucia Etxebarria, to quit writing - (blogger is being unreliable now, but you can read this article at Among my friends and peers, the jury is still out. However, I hear a lot of anecdotal evidence from other writers that online piracy helps their sales. Whether online piracy of my own work has benefited, I am not sure. A lot of writers, like Neil Gaiman and Celia Tan, in particular, have not only learned to ignore online piracy, but have participated by uploading their own works. Readers have indicated they have downloaded books by writers they have never heard of, liked it, then gone out and bought either physical copies or authorized digital versions. If that happens, that is a good thing.

But how often does this happen? Personally, I am on the fence about this. I don't know enough about it to form a solid opinion. On the one hand, I don't like the idea of the choice to control the distribution of my work being taken away from me - that is where I side with F. Paul Wilson and Brian Keene. On the other hand, if pirated copies lead to future sales and new readers, then I am all for that. I have been told by colleagues and one of my publishers that pirated copies of my work will eventually lead to more sales, more readers. I am cautiously optimistic about this. Realistically, I know there is not much of anything that can be done about online piracy. I would rather my work not be uploaded to such sites without my permission (especially to sites that charge money for access). I seriously doubt that most people who download books from file sharing services never read them anyway. Maybe most of them flip through them, akin to sampling a page or two in a bookstore, then forget about them. Regardless, if you wind up reading one of my novels that you have downloaded from a bit torrent or illegal file sharing site, I would rather you purchase a legitimate copy or send me a pay pal donation (to 'jfgonzalez(at)'). I have bills to pay too, and I can't do that if illegal downloading is siphoning off legitimate sales.

Ultimately, it all boils down to control of one's work. In the 1840's, pirated works were plentiful. Charles Dickens was incensed when, upon arriving in the U.S. for a book tour, he discovered that pirated copies of his works were rampant in the States. I don't like the idea that if I want to write and publish a free serial on my website and later expand and revise it for profit, the earlier bastardized version will be available for free (and, in some cases, profit) on file sharing sites (which is what happened to Brian Keene). One of the primary motivations for online pirates is to have the book in a format they desire - hence, scanned pdf copies of limited edition books or books not available in digital format being uploaded to file sharing sites. I understand that - I get it.

But when you take it upon yourself to upload a copy of that work, without the author's permission, to a file sharing site that charges a fee for users to download the material?

That is theft, plain and simple. The author isn't seeing a penny of that money. And no, it isn't the same as a used bookstore selling used copies of my paperbacks. Used bookstores don't physically copy those books and then sell those copies.

Big difference.

So what's the solution? I don't know if SOPA or Protect IP are the answers. I want to be able to earn a decent living from my work. I want to reach as wide a paying audience as possible for my work, yet at the same time I want to give them a product that is affordable and that they can have in whatever format they need.

So tell me what you think.

*UPDATED TO ADD - I should add that copyright infringement is also being committed against the artist who created the cover for the book when it is uploaded to a file sharing site as well (provided the reader uploads the digital art that came with the book). Therefore, my earlier statement that only the author has the right to copy the work should be amended to only the author has the right to copy and distribute the words - his or her words - not the images that are included in the book. The cover artist retains his/her copyright. As an example, I sought permission from Daniele Serra to use the cover art for my novella Do Unto Others for it's digital edition and received it. I plan to do the same for as many other artists of my backlist as I can, or commission entirely new pieces. If I don't want to pay for cover art, I will just draw stick figures.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

I wasn't planning on doing this, but I figured why not?

I am having a Black Friday sale on my overstock of my own titles as well as a select assortment by other writers. Many of these items are collectible, however, they are priced below current secondary market rates in order for me to move them out of here as quickly as possible. In other words, there are some real deals here. For example, the edition of He is Legend I am offering normally sells for $200 and up on the secondary market and I'm only offering it for $150. My aim is to give you, my loyal followers, first dibs on these before they go up on eBay in another week or so at a higher price.

Note: unless indicated, I only have one copy of each item. Should you be interested in any of these, let me know by sending me an email to jfgonzalez(at) and I will send you pay pal information and hold it for you for ten days. After that, I've got to give one of the great unwashed on ebay or Horror Mall a chance at it. I ship media rate on all items. I will also personally inscribe those titles by me or flatsign them; your choice.

Books by Me

Maternal Instinct - Delirium trade paperback - $100

Back From the Dead - Delirium, signed limited (PC copy) - $40 - 2 copies left

The Beloved - Altar 13, signed and numbered limited (PC copy) - $40 - 3 copies left

Survivor - Leisure, mmp - $4 - 6 copies left

Bully - Midnight Library, tp - $5 = 3 copies left

Clickers II - Delirium, signed limited (PC Copy) - $40 - 2 copies left

Clickers III - Delirium, tp ($12) - 5 copies left

Clickers III - Delirium, signed limited (PC Copy) - $40 - 2 copies left

The Corporation - Morningstar Press, signed limited (PC Copy) - $50 (slipcase has very slight ding)

Do Unto Others - Thunderstorm Books - signed limited (PC copy) - $35

Hero - Bloodletting Press - signed limited (PC Copy) - $30

Books by other folks

He Is Legend, edited by Christopher Conlon. Signed limited edition (#300 of 750 copies). Signed by all contributors including Stephen King and Joe Hill. - $150

Offspring by Jack Ketchum - Overlook Connection Press - Signed limited edition (#707 of 1000 copies). $40

Take the Long Way Home by Brian Keene - Necessary Evil Press - Signed Limited edition (#188 of 450 copies) - $60.

Infernally Yours - an anthology celebrating the fiction of Edward Lee - Necro Press. Featuring original stories by John Shirley, Brian Keene, Edward Lee, Bryan Smith and others. Signed ltd edition of 450 copies. This is a PC copy. $75

Necon XX - Necon Program Book, published in 2000. Bound in black wraps. Binding is tight. Signed 'To Christine' from Dallas Mayr (Jack Ketchum) on the title page. Contains original fiction by Ketchum, Les Daniels, F. Paul Wilson, Douglas Winter, and a very rare Stephen King story, "The Old Dude's Ticker". Commonly sells on the secondary market for $300 or more, I'm letting this go for $225.

Four Rode Out - novella collection by Tim Lebbon, Brian Keene, Tim Curran, and Steve Vernon. Signed Limited edition. $30 (list price is $40)


More items will follow in the coming weeks. Thanks for looking.