THE LAST WEEKEND out Real Soon Now

Hi all,


Today, this package was delivered to my workplace:




Pretty neat, eh? The sack contained ten author copies of my latest novel, The Last Weekend, published as a hardcover exclusive by the United Kingdom’s PS Publishing. For lack of a better description, it’s a “New Narrative zombie novel.”  Anyway, check out the book!


The story of the book is nearly as long as the novel itself. In early 2010 I was approached by a friend who was looking to start an imprint of zombie-themed novels that would be branded “George A. Romero presents…” I wrote a few chapters, sent it in, and waited, but as it turns out, Romero didn’t actually like anything my friend had solicited. My agent tried to place the book for a while, but 2010 was a time of glut—everyone was submitting zombie novels, and even “different” ones like mine were hard for a publisher to justify acquiring since there were already so many in the pipeline. I wrote a bit more (30,000 words all together) tried a couple of publishers on my own, and one of them liked the novel but just thought it inappropriate for his mass-market paperback house. He then recommended PS publishing.

That was a good idea, as PS Publishing is a small press with a great reputation. I sent them my sample in December 2010 and by the end of the month had a tentative agreement; a contract arrived in February 2011. In Sept 2011 I finished the book and sent it in, and then the waiting game truly began. The idea was to be paid in 2012 for a mid-2013 release. As it turns out, I was paid in early 2013 and then the book was moved to the end of the year. The new schedule slipped too, though I did see a cover, a copy edit, a galley proof, and all that fun stuff. Ambitious small presses and international recessions tend to lead to schedule changes.

Between 2010 and now, there’s been a huge self-publishing boom. (I’ve also published four other novels in that time.) Why not just self-publish your zombie book?” I was asked any number of times. Well, for one thing, I still can—the PS deal is for hardcover only, in two editions (signed and unsigned) with a small print run and a deadline for rights reversion. I could still self-publish it here in the US after giving PS time to sell their hardcovers, or I could resell the rights to a paperback house that would do a normal paper/ebook deal for the US, especially now that the zombie craze had settled down into an established subgenre. Naturally, my goal is the latter. Bookstores still matter, especially for a book that steps outside genre norms. (Plus, I already have a full-time job in publishing. When I come home from work, I want to do something else with my time.) 

I guess that if there’s a lesson here for WestConn MFA students, it’s this: be patient. Sometimes it takes years to get a book. Checking my files, I see that it was literally four years ago tonight that I wrote my one-page synopsis of The Last Weekend for my friend who knew George Romero.



About nickmamatas

Nick Mamatas is the author of several novels, including I Am Providence and The Last Weekend. His short fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Asimov's Science Fiction, New Haven Review, and many, many other venues.
This entry was posted in MFA General and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to THE LAST WEEKEND out Real Soon Now

  1. brclements says:

    Thanks for this post, Nick–and congrats!

  2. melissagordon09 says:

    Congratulations! 🙂 Great great news Nick! Thanks for the write-up you included and the pics (and the inspiration of patience pays off).

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s