Part One of the John F.D. Taff Library
In our previous episode, you learned that one of my past publishers, name redacted, went tits-up earlier this year. It had previously published several of my books, including Little Deaths, The Bell Witch and Kill-Off. Now, bad stuff happens in small press publishing all the time, so I’ll not speak ill of the dead. And to be honest with you, I made a fair amount of money with said publisher, to whit: that publisher managed to sell nearly 24,000 copies of The Bell Witch and about 20,000 copies of Little Deaths. Sold, mind you, not gave away. These are unheard of sales numbers. Most small press books are wildly lucky to sell 1,000 copies. A smash hit in the indie press might sell 2,500 to 4,000 copies. So, how can I be sure that these two books sold so well in the small press?
Simple. I was paid on these sales numbers. Ain’t no publisher gonna pay you on inflated sales numbers.
Anyway, so said publisher folds its tent, leaving some of my titles unhomed. I approach Tony Rivera at Grey Matter, the publisher of my Stoker Award-Nominated The End in All Beginnings, and ask him if he’d be interested in taking them. The answer was yes, and the newly packaged books will be released in trade paperback format next Tuesday, December 12, with e-books to follow shortly.
The first of these books I’d like to feature is a bit of an odd duck, at least for me. It’s a thriller called Kill-Off, and it represents a bit of a departure for me.
Kill-Off is a straight-forward thriller, with not a whiff of the supernatural about it. In that, it’s not typical of what I normally write. I wrote it about 20 or so years ago, used it to snag a big time New York City agent. But big time New York City publishing was undergoing some paroxysms around that time–contracting vendors, distribution problems, how to deal with the whole digital revolution–and my big time New York City agent wasn’t able to do much with it. Boo-hoo, right?
Oh well. I had sole Little Deaths to my small press publisher, it was doing well, and he wanted to know if I had more. Yes. How about Kill-Off? OK. Bam! Published.
Grey Matter has taken this book–the tale of a shadowy organization that blackmails our main character into becoming a hit man–and has given it a whole new edit and a great new cover. Bram Stoker Award-winning author Joe McKinney was the big name I’d approached for a blurb, and he gave me a great one:
“Kill-Off is a tightly written, dark descent into the world of the contract killer. John F.D. Taff knocks this one out of the park.”
Kill-Off has a squarely suburban noirish feel to it, and while not supernatural, is just as dark and unwholesome as the other stuff I write.
A fantastic trade paperback will be available at Amazon and the usual outlets beginning December 12, with e-books to follow.
And don’t forget, this all leads up to my new collection of short fiction Little Black Spots, Spring 2018. More information on that forthcoming.
Next up for discussion The Bell Witch.