The Day After and Other Stories goes digital

Day_after_ebook_cover tl;dr: The Day After And Other Stories is once again available for download. It's $4.99 at Lulu. Yay!

In December of last year, I released a very short collection of very short stories for a very short time – just ten days, actually – as an experiment in releasing short fiction. It sold fairly well, wildly exceeding my expectations. I got very good feedback from readers, but I'd committed to pulling it off the shelf in its print version at the end of ten days, so that's what I did. I'd always planned to keep the eBook version on sale, but I got busy after I pulled the print version offline, and didn't get around to republishing just the e-version until today.

So, for those of you who want to read a very short collection of very short stories for a very small price ($4.99! Cheap!), now you can.

If you're wondering what this is all about, here's what I wrote back in December:

Last year, I collected a few short stories I'd written and sold them as a chapbook at PAX. It was a scary thing for me to do, because while I feel confident as a narrative non-fiction writer, I am paralyzed with terror whenever I think about releasing something I invented out of nothing more than an idea to the public, and before I actually release it, I hear Carrie's mother screaming at me, "THEY'RE ALL GOING TO LAUGH AT YOU!"

A couple of things have happened recently, though, that gave me the courage to actually release this short collection of short stories to anyone who wants to buy it. First, Project Do Something Creative Every Day is making me feel less and less afraid of sucking. Like I said recently, the goal isn't to be perfect; the goal is to be creative. I don't think The Day After and Other Stories is perfect, but it is creative, and the few people I have shown it to told me they liked it.

Second, over 400 people expressed an interest in buying an autographed copy of The Happiest Days of Our Lives over the last couple of days. That really blew me away, and made me think, "Well, maybe there aren't as many people out there waiting for an excuse to laugh at you as you think. Also? It's adorable that you think you're that important to anyone, jackass."  

I've had these files ready to put on LuLu for over a year, and it wasn't until this morning that I screwed up the courage to actually do it. I'm sticking to my original plan, which is to sell the paperback for a limited time (10 days) and then just offer the PDF version. I'm not quite sure why I wanted to do it that way, but it's nontraditional, and a little weird, so there you go.

Here's the introduction:

Every year, before the summer convention season gets underway, I pull a few excerpts from whatever I plan to release in the fall, take them to my local print shop, and make a deliberately lo-fi, limited edition chapbook to take with me on the obligatory summer convention circuit.

I’ve done previews of Dancing Barefoot, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, Memories of the Future, and in 2008, I pulled together a sampler that eventually became Sunken Treasure.

While Memories of the Future is 2009’s “big” fall release, it didn’t make sense to me to release a Memories– based chapbook this summer, because one already exists.

It looked like there wasn’t going to be a 2009 entry in the traditional Wil Wheaton Zine-like Chapbook Extravaganza, until I realized that I have several pieces of unpublished fiction sitting in my office, just waiting to be published.

“Hey,” I said to myself, “people keep asking me to write and release fiction, and I’ve been waiting until I have an actual novel to give them. But these things totally don’t suck, and I bet readers would enjoy them.”

“That is an excellent idea, me,” I said. “And have I mentioned how smart and pretty you are?”

“Oh, stop it. You’re embarrassing me,” I said.

Together, myself and I collected some of my (mostly unpublished) fiction and put it into this chapbook, for safe keeping.

Even though this is limited to just 200 copies, it represents a significant step for me in my life as a writer, because it’s the first time I’ve collected and published stories that I made up. (You know, like a writer does.) I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for your support!

The more astute among you may have noticed that this says it's limited to 200 copies; that's because this was originally offered as a limited chapbook at PAX, and we're using the same files. Think of it as a delightful legacy issue, or something like that, if you must. I don't know how many of these books I'll actually sell, but I doubt the number will be exactly 200. When the paperback goes to the Land of Wind And Ghosts, though, I suppose I can check to see how many were sold, and you can use your very own Red Pen of Doom to put the actual number into your copy. Hey! Look! It's interactive!

I hope I can get this available in .mobi and .epub sooner than later, but I don't have conversion software at the moment (Clibre and Sigil barf on the .pdf, so I have to start over with a .rtf file when I have the free time).

Also, because it's a FAQ: If you want to print it out and make your own book from it for your personal, non-commercial use, you have my permission to do that.

30 thoughts on “The Day After and Other Stories goes digital”

  1. Start my FREE… already a member… click here to… what the what now?
    I just want to eBay you some money, man. Why you gots to make it so complexicated?

  2. I bought the hard copy in December (it ain’t a book unless I can hold it in my hand) and I really enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone who likes Wil and reads his blog.

  3. Thanks for sharing Wil. I’m really looking forward to checking this out! Any plans for an audio version in future?
    @58limited – When Universities agreed to let us use digitised versions of anatomical text books was a great relief. Sure you can hold them in your hand(s), but they’re stupendously cumbersome! Now they occupy a more lightweight format, that does not make them any less important as a resource.
    Kind Regards

  4. Don’t misunderstand me, digital books are great, especially in an academic setting. I do not have fond memories of lugging 40lbs of textbooks around campus, having them stacked in my car, etc. Here at my home, however, I tend to only buy hard copies that I can hold, dog ear, smudge, and enjoy in front of the fireplace (I’m a little old-fashioned I guess). I know storage can be a problem too, but I love my full bookshelves and I have incorporated them as part of my living room decor.

  5. I’ve been reading your blog for the better part of a year now, and all this inspiring talk has forced me to comment. *Ahem*…Way to go! I’m a huge tightwad so even for things I love (like fiction and you and books in general) I have a hard time coughing up the dough. When I saw this post I thought “it’s a sign from the Intrawebs, buy it!” and I’m excited I did. Your experience with writing fiction mirrors my own and I hope to screw up my courage soon and be equally courageous about putting my material out there as opposed to my only my nonfiction.
    I don’t remember how I found you on Twitter or this blog (should I admit that I’ve never seen any of your work besides the Guild? I’m really really sorry, truly) but I’m really glad I did and you always keep me coming back and enjoying my time “with you.” Write on, good sir, because you’re affecting the lives of many. Fan-nerd out.

  6. >click< Done. Sweet! More good stuff to read. I haven’t read any of your fiction yet, so I’m looking forward to this.
    Is the work you do on your Project Do Something Creative Every Day strictly writing? Lots of forms of creativity, and from reading your stuff I can see you’ve done miniatures, models, etc. Are you doing those as well, or is this strictly a literary push? (Sorry, still reading back into your blog, so if you discussed this some time back I’m just not there yet.)

  7. In defense of the electronic form:
    I used to live in Texas. Over the years my wife and I collected a couple thousand paperbacks and hardbacks. Then we moved to Hawaii, and oh hell YEAH all our books came with us. We live on the “dry side” of the Big Island, and darned if it doesn’t look a lot like West Texas.
    But… Book mold runs rampant here. No matter what we do, our books are dying. Hardbacks fare better than paperbacks, but some of my old Andre Norton and Marrion Zimmer Bradley copies look more like zombie books than real live breathing books these days.
    About a year and a half ago we made the decision to get as many of our new books in electronic form as we could. It was an excellent move. We haven’t been able to replace all the “at risk” titles in our paperback collection, but I hope that’s just a matter of time.
    I love curling up in front of the fire with a good book as much as anyone else. It’s the book mold and crumbling pages that get me.
    Thanks for offering this as a PDF, Wil!

  8. That would be great Wil! A writer that also has a suitable voice and experience to perform their works is a very lucky writer indeed.
    Kind Regards

  9. Ah-hem *
    Please note that the puck drops tomorrow at 7pm. Calgary is on a 6 game win streak and we intend to crush L.A. for #7!
    On the ironic side: despite having free tickets to the game, I will not be able to attend (or even watch) as I will be a referee for a children’s hockey tournament hosted by none other than the family of L.A. Kings allstar forward Ryan Smyth right here in our home town of Banff, AB.
    Have a great weekend :)

  10. I, too, bought the dead-tree edition, and I’ve read up through “The Language Barrier.” So far, it seems I like the shorter pieces better.
    Didn’t care for the way the dialog was handled in “The Day After.” As a rule, it can be confusing to follow dialog when you don’t identify the speaker occasionally. I had that problem with this story. It wasn’t an issue with the other pieces.
    I especially liked “The Language Barrier” for its theme. Many of us have overheard that kind of conversation, but damned few of us would act on it.
    Haven’t finished it yet, but the writing seems to get more polished as I go. (Are they included in chronological writing order? It seems so, to me.)
    I mentioned that, so far, the shorter stories ‘work’ better. That’s an uncommon talent. It’s damned tough to write short; fewer words requires more effort. It’s difficult to distill your thoughts down to a creative essence.
    Anyway, it’s a good effort. It makes me want to read more. Fortunately, I still have “Poor Places” for later. (Hmmm… it’s long. I might not like it. …Kidding!)

  11. over 400 people expressed an interest in buying an autographed copy of The Happiest Days of Our Lives
    that made me let out a happy laugh

  12. PDF is just perfect. I have a neat iPhone app that lets me use it as an extra drive and can transfer and read PDF files. Am just about to settle into bed and read some. If it’s as wonderfully written as your blog then I’m in for a treat. Your blog is fantastic and has helped me to realise how much of a gift life is. Keep on typing!

  13. For me, that’s half the fun of reading a book – taking the time to think about it and putting all that down on… um… paper. So thank you for providing me with something to think about.

  14. Wil,
    I’m a long-time fan, and also an eBook developer. I’d be more than happy to create great-looking ePub and mobi files for you, not just from an automated conversion software, for free. If you’re interested, please drop me an email (joshua AT ebookarchitects DOT com).

  15. On a completely unrelated not, I almost strangled one of my frineds thought you were the guy who played peewee hermin. Then I rememberd that I’m probably the only 14 year old who knows who you are…

  16. Okay, fine… so LA Kings may have come out on top on Saturday…
    Just so you know, while I am lying in bed all day eating tubs of ice cream it is not because I am embarassed or ashamed… it’s cause I went snowboarding earlier and had an epic crash and won’t be walking properly for at least a week.
    The annual Ryan Smyth fmaily tournament was a success, the kids had fun and a lot of pizza was had by all.
    Always the best wishes to you and your family.

  17. Hey, glad you consider photography a creative pursuit! Now I don’t feel so much like a putz. (I didn’t do any writing yesterday, but did do some photography.)
    I just finished Language Barrier, and I’m getting ready to start Poor Places. I wanted to give you kudos on two stories, though:
    I really appreciated The Day After for two reasons. First, it’s a zombie story. Second, the main characters were human and not some pumped up Rambo-style zombie hunters. It was an altogether human story. Cool stuff, and a rare take on the zombie mythos.
    Second, Room 302 was cool because you touched on blown highlights reducing the value of an interior photograph. DUDE you’re a geek! All creepiness aside, that had me smiling. I don’t like working interior lighting, which is why I mostly do aerial landscapes. It was a lot of fun at the end when he gets off the bus and makes that judgment call (no spoilers here.) Tough call for a photographer.
    Looking forward to Poor Places. Fun stuff!

  18. I’ve done a conversion of it to ePub for my own use. If you’d like to have a copy of that, Wil, to base your ePub from, you’re welcome to it. Haven’t had a chance to read through it yet, but I will tonight.

  19. Good News! I have been waiting for the e-version to reappear. I was given a Nook as a gift and was planning to buy it, but was surprised to see it taken down with the print version. I’m glad it’s back up.

  20. I have some epub / ebook tips & tricks here (free):
    The info is offered for free as I’m not trying to sell a self-pub DIY book or anything, just feeding the revolution.
    Lulu can be a bitch with ePub (if you decide to go that route), and my Lulu-angled ePub notes are linked from that main doc. I’ve tried feeding a “normal” ePub thru Lulu’s mangler and cannot find success… I had to follow the exact process I outline in the linked post.
    Of course, someone else offered to do it for free for you – the path of least resistance is always nice to have as an option! :) Good luck!

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