Zero Hour is coming… slightly quicker

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DEPARTMENT 19: ZERO HOUR publishes in the UK in less than two months. *gulps*

This is the time when it all starts to seem frighteningly real – the book goes to print, I start to hear about the marketing and publicity plans, and the sales initiatives that my publishers have come up with to try and get the book as wide an audience as possible. And this time, HarperCollins have come up with something very cool, which is what this post is about.

We’re going to divide the ebook up into four parts and start publishing it, as a sort of serialisation, well before the release date.

So, as well as the full ebook of ZERO HOUR (which will be available on 5th June) there will be also be four ebooks released, each containing roughly a quarter a novel, in the weeks before pub date, i.e.:

– part one three weeks before

– part two two weeks before

– part three a week before

– and part four on the same day as the entire book, so that nobody gets to read the end before anybody else.

Which means… you can read the first part of the book three weeks before official publication date. If you want to :) They look like this…


I’m a huge comic books fan, as well as a compulsive watcher of TV dramas, so the idea of a serial story is something I’m very into. If you want to wait and read the whole thing, then that option is there, the same as always. But if you want to read it in smaller chunks, one a week for a month, then you can now do that too. I’ve worked with my editor to find good points to break the story up, and have made sure that the major spoilers (of which there are many!) are all in part four, so nobody will have anything revealed ahead of time. I think it’s a cool idea – I don’t know how many people will go for it, but in the digital age, I think experimenting with how books are delivered to readers can only be a good thing.

The first part (chapters 1-13) is FREE, then parts two to four are £2.99 each.

Which adds up to £8.97, about a pound less than the RRP for the ebook of Zero Hour.

But there is something to bear in mind – retailer discounting means we can’t completely control the price of the parts or of the full ebook. Right now, as I type this, Amazon have discounted ZERO HOUR down to £6.99, and have already discounted Part Two down to £1.99. These prices might stay as they are, might go down further, or go up. I don’t know. So fair warning: I cannot guarantee that if you buy the separate parts of ZERO HOUR you won’t end up paying more than if you had waited and bought the whole book.

Of course, this is nothing new – I’m sure we’ve all bought a physical book for full price then seen the same book in a sale that started the very next day. So just please be aware of the possibilities, before you make your choice. Readers are the people who give my books life, I’m grateful for every single one of you, and I don’t want anyone to feel ripped off. And in the interests of full disclosure, inn case anyone thinks this is some kind of cynical cash-grab, both myself and the publishers will make less money if people buy the four individual parts. I just think it’s a really cool idea (otherwise I wouldn’t have let them do it!) and I’ll be incredibly interested to know what getting the continuing adventures of Jamie and the rest of the D19 gang in weekly segments is like.

And if you want to read the whole thing in one go, but fancy thirteen chapters to whet your appetite, you can download the first part and wait for the full book on the 5th of June – there’s absolutely no commitment to buy the others!

Here are the links…


Part One

Amazon UK   |   GooglePlay

Part Two

Amazon UK   |   GooglePlay

Part Three

Amazon UK   |   GooglePlay

Part Four

Amazon UK   |   GooglePlay


I’ll continue to put up new ones as they appear, including (hopefully!) some links to retailers outside the UK, although that’s subject to lots of complicated conversations.

Ultimately, this is all an experiment, and we’ll see how readers respond to it. It’s a brave new digital world, and everyone is working out ways that we can use it to make the reader’s experience more interesting, and enjoyable. As always, I just wanted to make sure that I let you know what we’re doing before we do it, so that you can make an informed choice. That’s very important to me.



  • GD
    April 25, 2014


  • Maggie Slight
    May 23, 2014

    Will ZERO HOUR only be an ebook??????

  • nate
    July 9, 2014


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