Meet the Author Podcast

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.


Meet the Author Podcast: Matt Mikalatos, “Imaginary Jesus”

Matt Mikalatos’ Imaginary Jesus is a Christian novel that even non-Christians are raving about, a book that seeks to answer the question, who is Jesus, and where is He in the midst of our suffering? But that book description sounds dry and almost dull, and this surprising, hilarious and deeply touching book is anything but dull!

Matt and I talked about so many subjects, including:

The crossover appeal of Matt’s book and the response of non-Christians to the book.

The dangers of taking oneself too seriously.

The Apostle Peter’s early years following Jesus.

Why Matt believes that most of Jesus’ followers, himself included, may sometimes be following an imaginary Jesus of their own.

The autobiographical nature of this novel.

The universality of pain and suffering as a part of the human condition.

Matt’s early work at a comic book store.

Matt and his wife Krista’s overseas experiences as missionaries in Communist Asia.

How the idea for the novel Imaginary Jesus came about, and how Matt wrote the book in five weeks and found a publisher for it.

How the publisher, George Barna of Barna Books, became a character and a caricature in the book.

The decision to make “Imaginary Jesus” free in ebook format during the month of February, and how this is affecting sales (we also touched on ebook lending).

Matt’s upcoming book, Night of the Living Dead Christian.

Here are links for topics we discussed:

Imaginary Jesus in the Kindle Store (FREE for USA customers until the end of February)

Matt’s Blog

Campus Crusade for Christ

Wes Yoder

Tyndale House Publishers

Barna Books and George Barna

Here’s the book trailer for Imaginary Jesus — fantastic illustrations!

Meet the Author Podcast: Aaron Goldfarb, “How to Fail”

Welcome to our brand new podcast, Meet the Author, and our first interview with Aaron Goldfarb, the author of the funny, raunchy novel How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide. Aaron and I talked about a lot of things including his book, the idea and experience of success and failure, the process of writing, publishing and marketing in today’s fast-changing book market, and his participation in Seth Godin’s collaboration with Amazon, The Domino Project.

Notes and Links:

Here are some links for books, authors and projects Aaron and I discussed during the interview (in chronological order as discussed):

Aaron’s novel, How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide

David Foster Wallace

Junot Díaz

Pulp Fiction

Kindle Formatting: The Complete Guide To Formatting Books For The Amazon Kindle by Joshua Tallent

Paulo Coelho and his book, The Alchemist

Aaron’s 30 Bars in 30 Days Book Signing Tour

Seth Godin and The Domino Project

Amanda Hocking

Aaron’s book of short stories, The Cheat Sheet and The Cheat Sheet Film Festival

Tucker Max

Next week’s Meet the Author interviewee is Matt Mikalatos: Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos (free until the end of February)