For the last fifteen months I’ve been producing a comedic, horror, fantasy movie called John Dies at the End based on the terrifically bizarre and unique novel of the same name. Check out the reviews on Amazon and you’ll see that this book has the most rabid following I’ve ever witnessed. It’s amazing.
Here are a few excerpts from its reviews:
“I haven’t slept a full night in the years since I first read John Dies At The End and this is the reason the state took away my driver’s license”
“Imagine that H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Jim Butcher, Grant Morrison (of comics fame), Brian Lee O’Malley (another comics guy), Douglas Adams, and Robert Rankin were sitting in a room together. Now, scoop out all of their brains, put them in a blender and mix well, then pour out the mixture and shape it into something vaguely resembling a giant brain. Finally, re-animate the thing like Frankenstein’s monster. The result is the kind of brain that I imagine came up with John Dies at the End.”
But more interesting than its reviews, is how this book came to be. Let me present to you a timeline of how this book came into existence:
2001: Jason Pargin (AKA David Wong) was working in a cubicle at an insurance company and wrote a “fictional” story about his adventure battling the supernatural, in particular a monster made of meat. He posted John Dies At The End on his website chapter by chapter for the next few years as he worked on it.
2004: It was an actual edited manuscript available as a free PDF.
2007: Permuted Press, an indie publishing outfit specializing in horror novels released a paperback. By the time “David Wong” removed the free online version, it had been read by an estimated 70,000 people. Don Coscarelli, director of such horror and fantasy classics such as Phantasm, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-Tep, read the magical, twisted and deranged tale and purchased the book-to-film rights and started writing his script.
2009: Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin’s Press, one of the world’s largest publishers published an awesome hardcover version with additional material.
2011: A friend of mine was in the Barnes and Noble on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles and saw JDATE on it’s own rack and in premium placement. It has come a long way from the days when David, I mean Jason, was giving it away for free.
Nov. 2011: Check out the trailer to John Dies At The End:
The moral of the story is, if you create good material, audiences will find it. Don’t hold out forever for that rich publishing deal. You can, and should certainly try to get it, but if it doesn’t work out, don’t despair, just upload your work to the Internet and let it exist. In my opinion if you wrote a book and never distributed it then you didn’t really write it.
If you make your book available on Amazon’s Kindle for $.99 or free, I guarantee someone will read it!