Novelist Amanda Hocking, the bestselling self-publishing star now published by St. Martin’s Press, has teamed up with Dynamite Comics to digitally release The Hollows: A Hollowland Graphic Novel, a comics adaptation of her 2010 zombie novel created with writer Tony Lee with art by Steve Uy. Beginning today Dynamite will release the first two chapters of the ten-chapter series as e-books, including offering chapter one for free. The rest of the ten chapters will be released every two weeks on all digital platforms and priced at $1.99 per chapter.
Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci, who discussed the project during a phone interview with PW, said this is Dynamite’s first “digital-only” series--there will not be any print periodical issues. A full graphic novel collection will be released in late 2013 or early 2014. “No print periodicals. Just look at her history. She sold her [self-published] novels digitally on Amazon and she did it herself and built a huge dedicated audience,” Barrucci said. “So this is our first digital only e-comic. And all the fans can check out part 1 for free and hopefully they’ll stick around for all the rest.”
The first chapter of the Hollowland Graphic Novel can be downloaded for free beginning May 29, and chapter two, which is being released on the same day, and all subsequent chapters, will cost $1.99. In two weeks (June 12) chapter three will be released and all subsequent chapters will be released every two weeks.
Barrucci also said that publishing a digital-only series is likely to put more focus on the forthcoming trade paperback later in the year. He said the book may be available by “Christmas 2013 or the second quarter of 2014. We want to see the results [from the digital releases.] But he also emphasized that “right now the focus is on digital.”
Originally announced back in 2011, The Hollowland Graphic Novel is based of Hocking’s 2010 novel about a young woman who finds herself leading a small band of survivors while she searches for her brother, who is lost amid the chaos of a violent, grimly horrific zombie apocalypse. The prose series is made up of two books, The Hollowland (2010) and The Hollowmen (2011) both self-published via Amazon’s Kindle line. During a phone interview Hocking, a self-professed “big” comics fan, told PW she was happy to see the comics finally being released, “I’m very excited. I really like how it’s turned out and the process of seeing it come to life.” Hocking said that Dynamite brought in veteran comics writer Tony Lee to adapt the comics and she worked along with him.
“He pitched me [his] idea and I loved it. He wrote the script and I would look it over and make small changes and tweaks,” she said. Artwork was done by Steve Uy, in a style Hocking described as “sort of like manga, but in between” the Asian cartooning style and a more western style of illustration. She said that Barrucci suggested the digital release strategy and believes it will work well with her fans, who are used to paying a similar price point for her prose e-books. “My fans are into e-books and they’re early adopters,” Hocking said, “the Hollowland novels have never been in physical bookstores so this will reach them. But the fans will also be able to get the graphic novel later.”
Hocking emphasized that the publisher will also offer pre-ordering info and that she intends to leverage her considerable online presence, including her blogging and social media platforms, to help promote the book to her fans.
“One thing about working with Amanda that has been really exciting,” Barrucci said, “she understands comics, graphic novels and digital publishing. She has really helped to make this publishing project work.”