Update on IT by Stephen King!

Hi Folks!

Obviously our webhost wasn’t prepared for the It: The 25th Anniversary Special Limited Edition by Stephen King announcement even though we warned them that it was going to be huge and gave them traffic comparisions from past announcements so they could prepare. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience many of you experienced while trying to order this morning.

We are taking down the Limited Edition and Lettered Edition order buttons for now to prevent duplicate orders and charges. Click here to join the Waiting List to be notified when these editions are available again. We are very sorry for the trouble.

The SLIPCASED GIFT EDITION is still available for preorder right now on the main product page while supplies last, but sales have been extremely strong even with the website trouble.

Watch our Twitter or Facebook accounts for more frequent updates today while we work on the server problem.

As always, thanks for your continued support and enthusiasm!

IT: The 25th Anniversary Special Limited Edition by Stephen King

“I worked on the book in a dream. I remember very little about the writing of it, except for the idea that I’d gotten hold of something that felt very big to me, and something that talked about more than monsters…”
— Stephen King, from the exclusive afterword for this special edition

It: The 25th Anniversary Special Limited Edition
by Stephen King

IT by Stephen King

Read more on our website or place your order before time runs out!

Discuss this project on our message board!

As always, thanks for your continued support and enthusiasm!

Cemetery Dance magazine #62 Signed Limited Edition!

Cemetery Dance magazine #62: The William Peter Blatty Special Issue
Extremely Affordable Deluxe Signed Limited Edition Hardcover Commemorative “Magazine”
LOW PRINT RUN and LOW PRICE: These Will NOT Last Long!

 

CD #62Hi Folks!

Today we’re very pleased to announce the Cemetery Dance magazine issue #62 Deluxe Signed Limited Edition Hardcover “Magazine” which features some incredible special content for fans of William Peter Blatty!

These collectible books will be Smyth sewn and printed on the same interior paper stock as our normal signed Limited Editions so they’ll hold up better than the regular version of the magazine you see on the newsstand.

This extremely affordable hardcover will also feature a full-color reproduction of the magazine’s front cover right on the binding, a beautiful special endpaper, and each copy will be signed by the editor on a unique Limitation Sheet featuring stunning COLOR artwork by Glenn Chadbourne created just for this special edition!

(See photos of the Cemetery Dance #61 special edition hardcover in our photo gallery if you didn’t see how incredibly those turned out!)

PLEASE NOTE: If you would like us to match your number from the Cemetery Dance #61 Limited Edition hardcover, please REPLY to your order confirmation email for this new volume and tell us what your number is right away!

Click here to read more or to place your order before supplies run out!

Or visit our new message board to discuss this new project other readers, fans, and collectors!

Thanks, as always, for your continuing support!

Full Dark, No Stars Signed Limited Edition Art Prints! 13 X 19!

Art PrintsAs many of you know, Tomislav Tikulin’s cover artwork for our special edition of Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King was one of our most talked about covers of 2010.

What you may not know is that Tomislav lives in Croatia, which makes getting books or art prints signed a difficult and expensive proposition at best.

That said, Tomislav has been getting A LOT of requests so he has decided to produce FOUR different SIGNED Limited Edition Art Prints of the FRONT and BACK cover artwork for Full Dark, No Stars!

To help our collectors, we’ve arranged to take orders for the next TEN DAYS ONLY and then place one order with Tomislav on behalf of our customers. He’ll ship the prints to us in one big package and then we’ll re-ship to our customers, which should save them a lot of money.

These Signed Limited Edition Art Prints are 13 inches X 19 inches and they will all be signed and numbered by the artist! Please visit our website for complete details and more information.

Read more on our website or place your order before time runs out!

Discuss this project on our message board!


Cemetery Dance Writing Contest!

You Could Be Published Alongside Douglas Clegg, Brian Keene, and Ray Garton!

We’ve decided to hold a “Short Short Story Contest” and the winners will be featured in a brand new Cemetery Dance chapbook alongside classic stories by Douglas Clegg, Brian Keene, and Ray Garton. Each winner of the contest will receive a $75 dollar prize as well as 5 free copies of the finished chapbook.

Not a writer but still want a chance to win? In conjunction with the story contest, we will also be holding a separate contest to name the chapbook. The winner of that contest will receive a $50 Cemetery Dance Gift Certificate that can be used toward the purchase of anything in our online store.

For more information, please read the announcement in the official Cemetery Dance forum!

“Focus! How Writers Can Improve Their Productivity” by Lisa Morton

“Focus!: How Writers Can Improve Their Productivity”
By Lisa Morton

Productivity – it’s every writer’s best friend or their arch-enemy, the master or the slave. These days, when there are hundreds of new writers popping up every year all vying for the attention of the same readers, controlling productivity is more important than ever. You need to capture your readership with great work, and then keep them interested by offering them a constant flow of new material. The days of lounging by the bottle of absinthe waiting for the muse to strike are long gone (if indeed they ever existed at all). Produce or die is the new mantra.

In other businesses, productivity might depend on management, on training, on equipment, or on wages and benefits. But we’re writers; hopefully we don’t have to deal with management often, we know that our training goes on perpetually, we already have the equipment (although see below for a note on that), and we laugh in the face of wages and benefits. In writing, productivity is probably most defined by two other factors: Time and focus.

Anyone who has been writing for a while knows that the second most- frequently posed question by non-writers (after the dreaded, “Where do you get your ideas?”) is, “How do you find the time to write?” I have a standard response to this: “How much television do you watch?” This is usually met with a groan or an abashed nod, and the discussion is over.

But since you’re reading this, you’ve already demonstrated that you have more than a casual interest in writing. You’ve already decided that writing (and reading this article) is more important to you than the television you could be watching instead right now, or the game you could be playing, or the music you could be listening to.  If someone asked you, “Why do you write?,” your answer would be simply, “Because I have to.”

But even with that dedication, time keeps slipping away from you. You’ve been working on the same short story for a month now, and somehow you can never seem to find the time to finish it.

Let’s chat briefly first about your day job. Unless you’re lucky enough to be living on a trust fund or have a rich family, you have a day job. I’m going to assume that you have a day job that doesn’t leave you so overworked or stressed out that you’re simply too exhausted to write. If you’ve got one of those jobs that requires you to work 70 or 80 hours a week, just stop reading this article right now. Seriously. You’ve already committed to one job to such an extent that you’ve left no time for a second one, and you need to think of writing as a full-time job in order to succeed. You’re probably already late getting back to work anyway; go, be happy, make a zillion dollars, and leave the writing to those of us who are willing to work day jobs that allow us enough time and energy to write in our off hours.

So you’re not watching the latest reality t.v. show, and you’ve got a nice, low-key office job…but time still slips through your fingers faster than words do. This next part’s gonna get ugly and is definitely not for the squeamish. Anyone who believes You Can Have it All should please leave the room now. Here’s the tough love:

After that great time-sink that is television, the next biggest thing stealing your time is probably other people. Your friends want to go out. Your spouse wants to talk. Your kids want to play. All of them are taking time away from your writing, but their feelings will be hurt if you tell them that words on a screen are more important to you than they are.

Sorry, but you’ve gotta do it. Okay, maybe you don’t have to phrase it exactly that way, but some lines must be drawn. Your friends and loved ones have to understand that you need their support to realize your goals, and that support may include telling them you can’t go out to a club tonight or sit down on the couch to watch a movie. Telephones can be a big interference, and folks need to know that you may let yours roll over to voice mail or the answering machine if you’re in the middle of writing. Make it clear to them that you consider writing a second job, and ask them if they’d barge into your office workplace just to gossip about who won American Idol last night or show you the new Lady Gaga video.

Even with self-discipline and understanding friends, it’s sometimes simply impossible to find hours at a time to write. That’s why my last suggestion on managing your time is a little notion I’ve personally employed to great success for years:

Harness the power of the micro-session.

A micro-session could be as short as five or ten minutes, and is just what the name implies. I don’t recommend micro-sessions as a complete alternative to real chunks of time set aside for writing – you can’t really develop a plot or a character in just a few minutes. But micro-sessions work great for things like outlines, synopses, bios, queries, articles, or even those blog posts that’ll keep your readers hooked.

Now, remember that mention I made at the beginning about equipment? Here’s where I’m going to make that one suggestion: You need to find what works best for you, whether it’s carrying a moleskin notebook and a pen, taking a small recording device for dictation, or figuring out how to put your smartphone to writing use. For me, I’ve recently moved from a laptop to a smaller, lighter netbook, and I’m loving it; this little sweetheart has a full size keyboard for easy typing, but I can carry it with me anywhere. Yesterday I typed while I watched a friend’s cat, during a break at the day job, and in bed just before I fell asleep. The equipment is enabling the micro-sessions.

Let’s look at focus now. We’ve probably all had that nightmarish hour spent in front of a page or a screen staring at the same ten words typed yesterday, and feeling just completely hopeless. Most likely you’re distracted, but you could also be simply indecisive. Perhaps you thought you knew where this story was going until you actually sat down to write it.

It all comes down to focus, and you don’t have any.

I’m going to start by asking you a question: Have you ever worked on a writing piece with a deadline? If so, I’m betting you made the deadline with no problem, right? So, what was different between that project and your current piece, which is written entirely on spec?

The answer, of course, is obvious: The deadline. Somehow having a finish date pre-set for us and constantly looming seems to inspire that fickle muse to work harder and faster. The answer, then, is simple and usually surprisingly effective: Set deadlines for yourself. If you’re working on more than one project, stagger the deadlines so you can finish one story before moving onto the next. Make the deadlines realistic (don’t, in other words, aim at writing a novel in a week), and follow them. Understand that there will be a penalty to pay if you don’t meet the deadline – you won’t be able to start the next project on time. I even go so far as to write the deadlines out on a post-it note and slap that right on the side of my screen (or make an image of it and set that image as the new desktop background). Look at those deadlines every day; a little pressure is good for the writer’s soul.

A few thoughts about word counts: Some writers find it helpful to set themselves a minimum word count to meet every day. I once asked a successful mid-list writer about this (since that writer seemed extraordinarily prolific to me), and was surprised to hear that he aims for just 500 words a day. That doesn’t seem like much on the surface – it’s not even two complete double-spaced pages – but when you multiply it by 365 (and yes, this writer WILL work every day of the year),  that means he’s going to produce 182,500 words in a year, or two novels and some short fiction (and yes, I know I’m not counting rewrites). I have another friend who is frequently contracted to write movie and television novelizations on short schedules, and she knows she must sometimes manage at least 4,000 words a day. Personally, I don’t set a minimum daily word count for myself; I may go days without typing a thing other than e-mails and Facebook updates, but during those days I might be researching or working out a plot in my head. Then, when I do sit down at last for a few hours, I may disgorge 10,000 words at once. The point is: If a daily word count requirement works for you, then find your optimum number and stick by it. If it doesn’t, don’t push it. You’ll only make yourself unhappy, and unhappiness is a big distraction.

So are lots of other things. If you’re having trouble seeing words materialize on that screen in front of you, take a look around and figure out why. Is it the work itself? Are you subconsciously telling yourself that something needs to be fixed in the work you’ve already done? I’ve noticed that writers seem to block most often at endings, and my advice is always this: If the ending isn’t working, that means there’s something wrong with the beginning. Read over what you’ve already done, and see if it jogs something loose for you.

Or is the distraction outside of the work? Granted, a lot of distractions you have no control over (I live right in the flight path of an airport, so I know all about unexpected big sounds), but others you do. Do you find your mouse cursor sliding over to that new game you just installed? Or are you just certain that you’re missing the world’s greatest Twitter trends while you try to pound out a few more words?

If you’ve already created a project schedule for yourself and you know how many words you want to achieve each day, then consider making the game or the social network part of your schedule, preferably as a reward. If you’ve set up your master plan to include writing from 6 to 9 p.m., then save your fun activities for after 9 p.m. If it helps, write this down on that list that’s posted in your work area.

And don’t forget to inspire yourself from time to time. What inspires you – a walk, a great song, a favorite movie? I tend to think of my own writing life as an input/output system – my output is much better when the input’s been superior. Reading another writer’s terrific story or seeing an amazing movie can pull me right out of writer’s doldrums. In the midst of all that other scheduling mentioned above, I tried to leave a little time for the input part of the process, and experiencing something great invariably has me champing at my writer’s bit.

I once heard a story about how the 19th-century British novelist Anthony Trollope worked (if you’re not familiar with Trollope, all you need to know is that he’s regarded as one of the most prolific writers of all time) – Trollope wrote for exactly two hours every morning, and at the end of those two hours, he put down his pen, regardless of whether he was in the middle of a sentence or not, and walked away; the next morning, he started again, picking up exactly where he’d left off (he was also a postal worker who occasionally robbed the “dead letter” collection for inspiration). While I know I’m not capable of that – ahem – excessive compartmentalization, I applaud Mr. Trollope’s work ethic and recognize the importance of creating my own schedule and methods of staying productive. Trollope, of course, didn’t have the temptations of social networks and television to distract him…but somehow I’m guessing he would still have avoided those playthings of the Devil to stay focused and productive.

Remember: Those words aren’t going to write themselves, and if you’re going to be a career writer, productivity is what could make you – or break you.

 

Big News is Coming on Monday, May 23rd

 

We’ve done this sort of “tease” a few times over the years and the main reason is because there are certain announcements that some collectors care about more than others — and if they miss out on those, we sure hear about it! That’s why this notice has now appeared on our front page:

Coming Soon...

What we’ve learned from past experience is this: when we have something we think collectors might be really excited about, we spread the word about the date of the announcement as widely as possible so anyone who is interested can be paying attention that day.

We can’t say more about what we’ll be announcing, but we do encourage our collectors to watch for the newsletter, monitor our Twitter and Facebook accounts, or stop by the front page of the website.

Reminder: the newsletter can take up to 4 hours to send because we have more than 33,000 subscribers, so you might see news on Twitter or Facebook before the newsletter reaches your inbox:

Cemetery Dance on Facebook
Twitter

 

As always, thanks for your continued support and enthusiasm!

The Full Dark, No Stars Covers That Might Have Been

Did you know this could have been the cover design for our special edition of Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King?

Full Dark

That was just one of the dozens of options we considered. A lot of collectors never get to see “behind the scenes” of the creation of a Limited Edition book, so Cemetery Dance Managing Editor Brian James Freeman thought it would be fun to discuss how the cover artwork and design for our most recent Stephen King book came to be.

Right now you can view EIGHT different drafts of the cover artwork by Tomislav Tikulin, along with the dozens of cover design options we considered, and also read some details about how the process worked in Brian’s new post : The Full Dark, No Stars Covers That Might Have Been.

Read (and see) a lot more by clicking here!

On Dangerous Ground Arrives This Week!

Featuring Ed Gorman, Norman Partridge, Bentley Little, Robert J. Randisi, Jon L. Breen, Dave Zeltserman, Jeremiah Healy, and many others!

On Dangerous GroundOn Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir is shipping to us from our printer this week so this is your LAST chance to receive FREE US SHIPPING and a guaranteed 1st Edition, 1st Printing!

Because of the tremendous reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, we already have purchase orders from the big book distributors for MORE COPIES THAN WE ARE PRINTING so this book COULD have been made Out of Print months ago when it was announced, but we want to make sure our direct customers get copies at the regular retail price and not an inflated second-hand price!

Do not wait to order because we’ll be deciding next week how many of those distributor orders we’re going to fill.

Free US ShippingAbout the Book:

For generations raised on the Saturday afternoon thrills of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, the appearance of the so-called “psychological westerns” of the Forties, Fifties and Sixties came as a surprise. And, to some who didn’t care for them, a shock.

With such films as Blood On The Moon, Winchester `73, and The Naked Spur, audiences saw characters very much like themselves emotionally. Critics argued the authenticity of some of the history in these films but there was no denying their power. Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch confirmed, once and for all, that the western had changed forever, psychologically and sometimes politically relevant to our own times.

On Dangerous Ground features stories of every kind, all with a western setting, all with darkness at their core. And all with the kind of edge that demonstrates how timeless the form is when used well.

Read more on our website or to place your order right away!

Discuss this project on our message board!

Publishers Weekly reviews In Laymon’s Terms

In Laymon's TermsThe trade hardcover edition of In Laymon’s Terms is right on schedule to ship next month (with the Limited Edition to follow around the end of the summer or in early fall when the slipcases are done) and we’re pleased to report the reviewers are loving this massive tribute to Richard Laymon.

Here is a little bit of the very positive Publishers Weekly review:

“This substantial memorial anthology features photos, fiction, and interviews from his archives, as well as scores of essays and stories written in homage to his work… The editors have produced a discerning memorial to a fine and influential writer.”

Publishers Weekly

You can read more on the “reviews” tab on the product page, but as our long-time collectors know from past experience, a positive Publishers Weekly can generate hundreds or thousands of orders from the big retailers and book distributors — and we probably will NOT have copies to fill all of their orders.

Our first priority is always taking care of our customers who order direct and our long-time indie retailers, so please do not wait to place your order if you want to make sure you get a copy of this huge, acclaimed anthology!

Read more on our website or to place your order!

Discuss this project on our message board!

The Full Dark, No Stars Covers That Might Have Been

The Full Dark, No Stars Covers That Might Have Been
by Brian James Freeman

If you’ve read Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King, then you know this is a book with a really dark heart, which made deciding on a cover image and designing that cover a serious challenge. A lot of collectors never get to see “behind the scenes” of the creation of a Limited Edition book, so I thought it would be fun to discuss how the cover artwork and design for our most recent Stephen King book came to be.

First, we needed an artist. After much discussion, and once we rejected the idea of going with an AC/DC “Back in Black” style dust jacket, we hired Tomislav Tikulin to paint the cover. We had been impressed with his work on other projects and we felt he would bring a fresh perspective to this particular Limited Edition. We told him we thought we probably wanted a wrap-around cover (artwork on the front and back) with the back cover somehow “showing the inner darkness” of the character on the front, but that was all of the instructions we gave him so he wouldn’t be limited by our ideas.

Tomislav spent weeks on the painting, showing us each stage and discussing ideas and looking for feedback and suggestions to nail the tone, and he has very graciously allowed me to reprint those different drafts on this page so you can get a better feel for the process of how the artwork was painted.

(This post has been updated and moved to Brian’s blog.  Please click here to read the rest!)

Wicked Things (With Bonus Novella!) New Signed Limited Edition by Thomas Tessier!

Hi Folks!

WickedToday we’re very pleased to announce our signed Limited Edition of Wicked Things by Thomas Tessier, which features a low, collectible print run, a very affordable price tag for the beginning collector, and a great bonus novella!

About the Book:

Private investigator Jack Carlson is traveling to the small, remote upstate city of Winship to look into a rash of suspicious insurance claims.

Like the farmer who accidentally blew himself up in a garnet mine, and the teenager who died in a peculiar car crash.

The Winship police and Medical Examiner appear cooperative but offer no real help.

Local insurance agent Joe Bellman is evasive and fearful.

And shortly after meeting Jack, both Bellman and his secretary Chris Innes turn up dead, an apparent case of murder-suicide.

Jack isn’t buying any of it.

As he pokes behind the Norman Rockwell exterior of Winship, he finds a place smoldering with crime, corruption and bizarre religious fervor. He becomes involved with a club dancer named Kelly, who may know some of the secrets but who may also be a mortal threat to Jack.

The town of Winship is itself part of the puzzle, a place where unseen choirs can be heard, where the ground appears to glow, creating confusion and mental disorder in anyone nearby, where gangs of young thugs roam free to bully and beat people.

A friend of Kelly’s disappears in an open meadow, as if swallowed up by the earth.

Behind it all may be a cherubic old priest, Father Jimmy.

And as Jack tries to unravel the growing number of mysteries — both criminal and mystical — he finds himself in a fight to save his own life, and sanity…

Click here to read more or to place your order before supplies run out!

Or visit our new message board to discuss this new Signed Limited Edition with other readers, fans, and collectors!

Thanks, as always, for your continuing support!

The Mailman: The 20th Anniversary Special Limited Edition

Stephen King calls Bentley Little “A master of the macabre!”

Hi Folks!

MailmanToday we’re very pleased to announce we’ll be publishing The Mailman: The 20th Anniversary Special Limited Edition by Bentley Little later this year!

Yep, you read that right! We’re thrilled to report that Bentley Little has finally decided to publish a signed Limited Edition of one of his classic novels! Considering how long the collecting world has been waiting for a signed Limited Edition of a novel like The Mailman (with the assumption it would never happen), we expect both signed editions to sell out VERY quickly! There will be no second printings of our edition!

Special Features Exclusive to this Deluxe Collector’s Edition:

• deluxe oversized (7 X 10) design different from any other edition ever published

• a color signature sheet featuring exclusive artwork by Glenn Chadbourne and personally signed by the author

• fine binding for both the Limited Edition and the Lettered Edition

• full color cover artwork by Les Edwards

• extremely collectible print run that is a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of copies of the paperback editions that have been printed over the years — and you will NOT see our edition in chain bookstores!

About the Book:

Once upon a time, waiting for the mail was filled with warm anticipation. But the suicide of the local mailman has left the residents of this tiny Arizona town shell-shocked. Nothing this bad has ever happened here. And now there’s a new mail carrier in town, one who’s delivering lethal letters stuffed with icy fear. Nothing — not even the most outstanding citizens or the most secret weaknesses — is safe from the sinister power of this malicious mailman…

Click here to read more or to place your order before supplies run out!

Or visit our new message board to discuss this new Signed Limited Edition with other readers, fans, and collectors!

Thanks, as always, for your continuing support!

Two New Signed Limited Editions Selling Out Fast!

Hi Folks!

Brides of the Impaler by Edward Lee is now 85% sold out, just 24 hours after it was announced, so we can say for certain we will not be sending any copies to the big online booksellers. Order your copy right away or you’re going to miss out!

The Miniaturist by Jay Bonansinga is now 95% sold out and, again, we won’t be able to fill any orders for the big online booksellers. The Cemetery Dance Signature Series books are some of our most sought-after of the past few years, so don’t wait to place your order!

There is a lot more news to come this month, so stay tuned. And thanks, as always, for your continuing support!

Don’t forget to visit our new message board to discuss these new Signed Limited Editions with other readers, fans, and collectors!