New printing of Headless! What’s changed?

Headless has been out for almost two years now, and it finally has a shiny new cover. And I do mean shiny. This paperback printing is glossy! I think it looks great. Along with the cover, there were some minor changes made to the interior, which are listed below.

This is actually the third printing. The second printing went largely unnoticed, because the cover stayed the same. To clarify, it is not a new edition. The changes were not extensive enough to warrant an edition change.

In this printing, a couple of minor typos were squashed, but primarily the changes are as follows: 

  • The unfamiliar Japanese words and fictional words have been italicized. This includes the familiar word sake to avoid confusion with the English sake. My wife says I had a good reason for not doing italics on the first printing, but neither of us can remember what it was. So I decided to go ahead with it, as it is the traditional thing to do.
  • Hell and Heaven have been capitalized when used as actual places. This is something I struggled with, because the style guides say not to. Even the Bible doesn’t usually capitalize them (which is an interesting thing to think about, I think. Why not? Are they not real places, even to believers?) Ultimately, I decided to capitalize them, because in the world of Headless they are real places, and it gives them a separate existence from expressions like “why the hell would they do that?” 
  • There was a minor discrepancy that only those familiar with Japanese language would have picked up on and that is this: I refer to the style of building that the kendo studio is in as a Sukiya-style building. This means “tea house-style.” Later, I refer to another building, Matsuoka’s house, as gassho-zukuri style. Gassho means “praying hands” because the A-frame roof looks like hands pressed together, but zukuri essentially means “style.” So it was the gassho-style-style house. I removed “zukuri.” And I uncapitalized sukiya, because it was unnecessary. 
  • The ellipses were formatted properly.
  • The copyright page was changed to credit the new artist and cover designer, and to show the new printing date.
  • There’s a newly written back cover blurb.
  • And, of course, there’s a new cover! And hopefully it will be more universally appealing. Although the first cover was loved by some (me included), it was clearly a turn off to several, who may actually enjoy the insides. And it may have even been a let down for some who were expecting something altogether scarier. But I love the new cover and feel it captures the spirit of the book. Thank you to everyone who helped me decide! And, of course, thanks to the artist, Giacomo Zanni, and cover designer, germancreative, who created it. 

If you’d like a copy, find your favorite format here. If you want a signed paperback with the original cover art, shoot me an email at



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