Work Begins on a New Novel, and a Trad Pub Decision

Yesterday, I started writing the second of four novels I intend to write this year. The novel is called “A Darkling Nine,” and I project it to be around 110,000 words.

In a break from my indie ways, I plan to run this past a handful of agents before I decide what to do with it. I have said publicly during interviews in print and podcast form that I favor having one foot on the indie side of the fence, and another in the tradpub side. But don’t worry, I still plan to release “Fishpunk” and other new material indie style.

Why this one? It’s the start of a new series in a unique environment. (Yes, Mike Stackpole, I can hear your opposition to this decision from all the way over here!) It’s a series that I don’t plan to parallel with any other work, and it is open ended.

This decision is strategic, not tactical. In that respect, it’s very similar to why I used KDP Select when I released “Rigel Kentaurus.”

I can see a number of scenarios where I kill a deal and release this novel indie,but I’m hoping to avoid those possibilities. Specifically, any broad non-compete clause that would strangle my indie side would be a deal-breaker. Any kind of nebulous reversion clause would be a deal-breaker.

I could be setting myself up for disaster by voicing those deal-breakers, but I figure it saves everyone time because I won’t sign such a contract anyway.

Enough about deal-breakers. I’m glad to be writing long fiction again, and glad I managed to start so quickly after my last novel. This is, for me, probably the most challenging novel project yet.

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3 Responses to Work Begins on a New Novel, and a Trad Pub Decision

  1. Rick,

    You mistake me herein, for I would never oppose an author making an informed decision. Having spoken with you at length, I know this is exactly what your decision is. Like you, I maintain a foot in both worlds, and likely would pursue the same course given the same parameter and variables. The fact that you know what your deal breakers will be shows that you ARE making an informed decision, and this I applaud.

    Just so anyone else reading this is not confused, I would simply remind you (and them, by proxy) that in writing a big book, keep open the possibility of novellas and shorter stories, or other treatments of the property (webcomics, graphic novels, podcast/radio plays, etc). Even in these days of Byzantine contracts, rarely to traditional publishers try to exercise control over them. Therefore, a single property can work both independently and traditionally, which is to the author’s benefit.

    Congratulations. God speed and good luck with the new book. I can’t wait to hear more about it.


  2. Rick Novy says:

    Heh. I actually didn’t expect you to be in complete opposition. Thanks for the elaboration. I tend to get a lot more hits when I talk publishing than when I talk fish keeping, hopefully other indie authors will consider the possibility of doing both.

    The aspect of the open-ended series works well for indie publications, of course. The same is surely true for the traditional side, as well. Since I can write at a pace well in excess of what a traditional publisher can swallow, there is room for a series in both. (My indie novel Rigel Kentaurus is the first of an open-ended series/sequence.)

  3. Hi Rick,

    I also keep one foot in both worlds, albeit with my trad pub world being small press rather than NY, but it’s a similar world. Mike raises a good point about ancillary properties, and here’s one other angle on that – there have been a few (so far a VERY few) cases where an author has sold a series to New York and their publisher has suggested that they publish a prequel novella indie to drum up interest. So that’s another possibility that’s beginning to happen.

    Good luck!

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