Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Memories of The Dead Redux

So Memories of The Dead went out of print back in October. Since then I've been trying to sell it to a bigger publishing house with little luck. The feedback I've been getting back from agents and editors are chiefly: It's too big and has been published before.


I finished writing Memories about three years ago. Right off the bat I knew it might be a hard sell since it was huge, about 250k words, and contained some traditional fantasy tropes, like dwarves and wizards. In a nutshell, Memories is the first book of an epic fantasy trilogy, which itself is the first in a saga. Everything about the series is set on a massive scale, but dwarves and wizards aside, the word count was the larger problem. George R R Martin, Robert Jordon, and Tad Williams can get away with 300k word novels but not little guys like me. I'm stuck in the 80-100k range for now.

When I was looking for a home for Memories,  I already had several projects under consideration at the bigger houses, so I decided to try a smaller one and found that Class Act Books was the only one accepting novels the size of Memories...the only problem I saw was, looking at Class Act's other titles, they seemed to primarily be a Romance publisher...still, the guidelines said they accepted fantasy, so submitted I did. 

In truth, I really hadn't been expecting an offer back; I was more testing the waters until one of the bigger houses opened up again, but within weeks I got a contract in the mail. The terms seemed good, and it was only for two years, so I went for it.

Big mistake.

First off, my editor (a nice lady) knew nothing about fantasy, which made the editing process akin to nails on a chalkboard. And then, once the editing was complete, out of the blue the editor tells me the book is too big and needs to be broken in two. So that was done, literally, making it Part One and Part Two, same cover, same title, giving it all a very generic feel, to me.

When it was finally time to market and promote the book, I did  my best, as I usually do. But dealing with a generic Part One and Part Two made my pitch hokey and awkward. So, I contacted the editor and suggested we pull Memories as is and re-publish as two different books, two different titles, two different covers, the trilogy can become a tetralogy; a bit of a hassle but much easier to promote and market. I got an enthusiastic, "Yes, maybe! We'll get back to you!"

I waited and waited...months later I contact the editor for an update. She tells me we can't break the already broken books into two different books because, "blah blah blah, printer, blah blah blah, ISBN, blah blah blah, excuses, excuses." What if I pay the $50 bucks for the ISBNs? "No, no, blah blah, legalities..."

So I let the contract run out and when the rights of the book reverted back to me, I re-submitted to the biggies...but, well...see above.

My thought was to let Memories die a quiet death. It'd only sold about five copies, and I might be generous in that assessment, so no one would be shocked to see it gone. (PS: to those fiveish people who bought it, I love you and I'm sorry)

But now I'm thinking something different. The story is one of those that will refuse to die even if I truly wanted it to (which I find, that I don't) and its a good one, in my biased opinion. Deep, emotionally-driven story lines, action, battles and wars, love, betrayal, magic...and I truly think it deserves a wider audience and that said audience will enjoy the story and all its epicness.

I might be pulling my own prick here but I've decided to publish the series through Varsavian Press, starting with Memories, which will be broken into two books, two different covers and titles. Part One is tentatively titled Shadows of The Past while Part Two will be Memories of The Dead. And I'm not gonna simply re-publish them: both books will have new content, giving the readers more bang for their buck.

I can't say when Shadows will be published, but it will be very soon. Weeks, not months, with Memories following shortly after. This doesn't mean I've stopped work on Settler. The writing there is going very well. What I plan to do is split my days between both:Settler in the morning, Shadows at night. By the time Shadows and Memories are published, I should have the first draft of Settlers complete and will be able to focus solely on it.

That's my plan, I'll keep you guys posted as usual.

And just a small reminder, if you wish, don't forget to visit and nominate my Horror novel , Crossroads, over at Kindle Scout. Here's the link: Vote For Crossroads!



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