Asking out

The die is cast once you lose your champion. It’s as true in the publishing world as it is on the field of Warhammer fantasy battle. I sent in a written notice to my publisher a few days ago, informing them that they are in breach of contract, having accepted a certain, long-awaited novel more than 18 months ago without publishing it. Accompanying the notice was a request for termination and reversion, which would allow me to recover the publishing rights without having to wait six months for the automatic provision to kick in.

I did so because the vice-publisher who happened to be the editor that first offered me a book contract departed the company in favor of another publishing house. While the book survived – for the second time – a catalog kill review conducted by his replacement, a conversation with him left me convinced that there’s no future for my books there.

This isn’t a bad thing, since there’s not only another publisher who is interested in publishing the book, there’s also an editor at a third publisher who wants to publish a fantasy trilogy set in the world of the five novellas. And to top it all off, I was exchanging emails last week with a Very Big Name – we’re talking major articles in Time Magazine – who read and liked my unpublished Chronicles of King David, of all things.

(I actually received the first email from said VBN from mid-2004 on my old laptop, but I’d never responded to it since I didn’t note the name and I basically ignore everything that mentions television, the movies or anything remotely having to do with Hollywood. I had to fire it the old machine again to figure out when that other novel had been accepted, happened to notice his email, and found myself wondering why the name seemed so familiar. So, I sent a very belated email asking if he was THE VBN, and was shocked when that turned out to indeed be the case. Strange, but it goes to show that you just never know who is reading your website.)

Anyhow, who knows will come out of any of this, but one thing remains clear. I am the king of being paid not to publish. If anyone else requires me to not write or not publish a short story, novel, or screenplay, please contact me and I will be happy to not write it for you. Be warned, however, my word-rate is high.

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