Meet the Author Podcast: Matt Youngmark, “Zombocalypse Now”

This week I talked to Matt Youngmark, founder of Chooseomatic Books and the author of the choose-your-own-ending book, Zombocalpyse Now.  If you liked Choose Your Own Adventure books when you were a kid, you’ll love this choose-your-own-ending book for grown-ups featuring a pink stuffed bunny protagonist battling the zombie hordes.

Not only did Matt and I talk about his book and the process of writing a book with over 100 endings, but we also had an in-depth discussion of the new realities of publishing in the ebook age.  We covered a lot of ground:

Our memories of reading choose-your-own-lending books in our youth;

The premise of Zombocalypse Now and what made Matt decide to have a pink stuffed bunny protagonist;

Shawn of the Dead and our cultural preoccupation with zombies;

Whether or not the book is appropriate for older kids;

How Matt organized himself to write a book with 112 possible endings;

The book illustrations and the cover;

The next Choose-o-Matic book, Thrusts of Justice;

Matt’s experiences with ebook self-publishing;

Ebook pricing and marketing;

Changes in traditional publishing and the explosion of independent publishing;

Amanda Hocking’s success;

Crowdsourcing curation of independently-published books through social media;

Matt’s book-pricing epiphany when he dropped the price of his ebook to $2.99 in January;

The evergreen nature of ebooks versus traditional dead tree books;

Google Books;

Why Matt’s books are DRM-free;

Independent record stores and bookstores and the future of print publishing;

Where Matt thinks ebook pricing will settle;

The immediacy of social-media and word-of-mouth driven ebook sales;


The opportunity ebook platforms provide for authors’ formerly out-of-print books;

The growing market for authors’ services in ebook publishing;

Replacing the editor in independent publishing;

Ideas for future Choose-O-Matic books.

Related Links:

Zombocalypse Now

Shawn of the Dead

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Chooseomatic Books

Joe Konrath’s Publishing Blog

Kindle Boards

Next week, I’ll be interviewing Kim Olver, author of The Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner and Your Life.  I hope you’ll join me, because I’m really looking forward to talking to Kim about what she learned from her interviews of 100 happy couples.


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