BLOGOSPHERE FAVE Marko Kloos announces that he has inked a deal to pub his two MilSF novels with 47 North. Congratulations are due, along with best wishes for every success.
I should disclaim that I wouldn’t enter into such a deal. But that’s easy for me to say, as I don’t have anything on the market now. That may change. But, being following Kris Rusch and Dean Smith, as well as Joe Konrath, Lindsey Buroker, David Gaugran and myriad others, I can’t say right now I would have any reason to sell rights to my work to a publisher. Any rights. I can conceive a time down the road when I might want to HIRE a publisher to distribute my work, but I would not be selling them any exclusive and unlimited licenses to anything. It would be a hire contract of specific scope and limited time, renewable ad libitum. That’s just the way I see things stacking up. The war stories I hear, and the way the stats stack up, I don’t see what a publisher offers that’s worth the incredible hit one takes in the money.
Marko offers the rationale — which I’m not discounting, just questioning its validity for me — that he doesn’t have time or resources to do the finishing work. It takes too much time away from writing. For me, I don’t get that. Especially, as I say, for the hit to the cash. Hiring an editor can be done for a lot less than a trad-pub house wants to charge (in the cases I’ve heard reported, at any rate — your mileage may vary). And, as for covers, judging by the experience friends have had dealing with publishing house art departments, I’m dead certain I can — and will — do better. Nor do I think anyone with an educated eye can do much worse. As much as I rag on Dean Smith for his PowerPoint pose (I notice his covers have improved immensely since he hired a pro), he does have one thing right — the pros have made far more of the mystery of the thing than is really there. One presumes in defense of their rice bowls.
And, since I was already doing that (during the period of highest production on the current WIP, I did a rough equivalent to ten or fifteen book covers at my day job), and managed to turn the main production on The High T Affair in about five weeks, (only two of which could remotely be called “full time” work), I can’t say I follow the math.
But we’ll have to see how events actually shake out, now, won’t we?
I have notes back from my alpha and am working my way through them and am intending to get the reworked MS of The High T Affair to my prospective editor in a week or two. Then the rubber begins to hit the road at a different speed.