One of our own has finally found a useful outlet for the nihilism that infects the writing pool here.
Though you may have never heard of him, we knew the boy well. Mark Raby, a former TG Daily editor, taking a giant career leap forward, is a renowned expert on zombie lifestyle. With his ingenious products like the Zombie Wig (“Zwig”) and ingestible Zombie Translator, he has proven that not only is it possible for zombies to be domesticated, but their existence opens up whole new markets for everything from raw animal brains to congealed blood sauce in the grocery store. Raby is the founder and CEO of the Bureau for the Rehabilitation, Advancement, and Investigation of New Zombies, or BRAINZ™, a consulting firm that has worked with covert government agencies around the world to demystify the world of zombies.
He has chronicled his experiences in The Zombie Code, a book that confirms an impending zombie invasion will happen, but tells readers not to worry. Turning into a zombie isn’t all that bad, it contends, and it even goes so far as to say that it might be a better life than being a human. After all, having no emotions and a more animalistic kind of mating ritual takes away a lot of the stress that we face every day.
If you’re at all wondering what is reality and what isn’t at this point, then Mark’s plan has worked. There is indeed an actual Mark Raby, and there is an actual book called The Zombie Code. But Raby is not a zombie scientist and there is no actual zombie invasion, at least not yet. The book is set in an alternate reality where zombies do exist and have for years, and even walk among us without us knowing. A complex brain-meat distribution system provides sustenance for the zombies in a discreet and confidential way, with every human an unsuspecting target.
Just a few years ago, a book like this could get commissioned and written but never see the light of day. But fast-forward to today, and this book is a testament to the way new media has allowed smaller publishing companies to more easily get a large amount of attention. The Zombie Code already has its own Twitter page, with nearly a thousand followers. It has a blog, a Facebook fan page, and work is already underway on a Youtube marketing campaign. A Zombie Code Facebook game is also in the pipeline.
These various social platforms also direct users to a campaign on Kickstarter, a Web site that allows new start-ups to seek funding from everyone on the World Wide Web. If there’s a social media network out there, The Zombie Code is on it.
The book’s publisher, Marion Street Press, is a small outfit based in Portland, Oregon. The company doesn’t exactly have the resources of Random House when it comes to marketing, but thanks to the growing reach of social networking sites and an increasingly strong way to connect users to products, Marion Street can publicize the book in a big way for a very small price. Thousands of copies have already been pre-ordered.
Raby says the state of the digital world makes it easy for aspiring writers to get their big breaks. “It is so much easier for talented artists to get noticed and picked up these days,” said Raby. “Whether it’s amazingly gifted teenage singers on Youtube, or authors who can self-publish on platforms like the Kindle and self-market on social networks, anyone can become a success. I’m living proof of that.”
We are, obviously, testament to the fact that writers are nothing more than people who cannot get a job anywhere else, but I won't let my own self-pity get in the way here.
Having started writing for online publications when he was only 16 years old, Raby has been able to turn his lifelong passion into a career. “I’m part of the generation where you can find a topic you like to write about or some sort of niche that interests you, and there will always be an avenue out there somewhere for you to pursue it. The market for careers like this is only going to continue to expand.”
The Zombie Code will be available in print at retail bookstores in September, with plans for a Kindle edition already set up for shortly thereafter. The list price for the book is $10.95.
Readers can follow along with Mark Raby and The Zombie Code at zombiecodebook.com.