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Tie-ins and Work For Hire

Today, shelving books at the store, I picked up the CATWOMAN movie novelization, and realized it had been written by Elizabeth Hand. She's done at least three tie-ins that I know of (and possibly more -- listen to the sound of me being too lazy to go to amazon.com and look it up), but I always feel a little shock when I see her name on one. Why? Perception, I think. Her novels have always been treated seriously (and they should be), and her writing has always garnered critical praise in the genre (and sometimes outside of it). Which doesn't mean she doesn't need to eat.


There are many reasons to write a tie-in novel. If you love love love the series (Jennifer Roberson's Highlander novel comes instantly to mind), it's not a bad bet; it's like writing the professional variant of fanfic. If you need the money and you can write to deadline, some of the tie-ins have, in past, been lucrative (very, as in 75K lucrative; the Trek novels, at one time, had a base 25K payment, although that was years ago and I think it's gone down since) to writers who otherwise make small midlist advances for their books.

Most tie-ins will not net you anywhere near that much, however, and it's classified as Work For Hire. It occurs to me that I haven't really gotten into that yet, so I'm doing that now, as a semi-digression. Work for hire is pretty much exactly what it sounds like; you don't own or maintain any rights to what you've created in the world. The Weis & Hickman Dragonlance world is a prime example of what this means: You create the characters, the universe, the plot-line, etc. -- but the company can then feel free to do whatever they want with them, up to and including hiring other writers to write books using the same characters, and perhaps not in a way that would make you happy.

In the ideal world, your best bet is to work on creating your own world, as it were. When you have sole ownership, any sales or any acclaim garnered is attributed to you. I'm not actually going to talk about artistic integrity at this point, because that's a hot button, and if Elizabeth Hand and Pat Cadigan can write tie-ins, anyone can. Greg Bear has done them. John Ford has done them. Pamela Sargent has done them. Barbara Hambly. Are they thought of as tie-in writers? No.

Here's the deal. An agent of my acquaintance once said, in years past, that he had a strong preference that his writers not do this for the most part. He felt that it took time away from their writing, and from building their own careers; the work they did for hire did nothing positive for them except bring in money. He also acknowledged that for writers, money is an issue, and never more so than when starting out.

Okay, I lied. There are two digressions in this one.

Writing full-time, like any freelance work, is tricky at best. Writing novels full-time is more so in many ways. It's easier to assign a per word value for a lead column in a national magazine based on the prominence of the column & the magazine itself; it's harder to do that with fiction. Especially novels, when everything is always a gamble. Remember the part about no one caring how long the first book took to write? Well, if it gets a 5K advance, which is common, and it took you ten years to write it, you can do the math. That's not a living wage. Thus the adage Don't Quit The Day Job. If, however, you could sell a novel a month at 5K, which would mean that you could write a novel a month, that's 60K a year, and that's decent middle class. You'd still have to sell a novel a month, and the money doesn't come in instantly. Tie-ins are published at a book a month, roughly speaking. There are a lot of tie-in properties -- comic based, TV based, movie-based, etc.

There is no one who is going to buy original fiction for adults at one book a month -- at least not that I can think of. So… at that point, you could do tie-ins and it wouldn't hurt you; financially it would even be helpful. One book a month and yes, even the agent in question would probably shrug and accept it, as he still gets his cut.

But for others, it's often a choice between writing their own work and the Work For Hire work. I've seen people who, having sold a second or third novel, are bursting with optimism and the intent to go full-time. I would never have done it had I not had children, because I could work full-time and write, and the steady paycheck soothes financial anxiety. I have tactfully asked them how they mean to make ends meet, and -- did I mention optimism? -- the writing! Is the answer. People in this position can often be pushed into media work, because they need to eat, and pay bills. It's for this reason that cautiously cutting out of the day job, rather than leaping off the cliff, makes more sense to me. To Me. As in, IMHO. If you're determined to go freelance, it's a really good idea to try to have 6 months worth of living wages tucked away in the bank. This will also help when your roof starts leaking, your car departs the earth, your appliances die, your children need braces, etc.

Some agents will actively push some of their client roster into doing tie ins. And why do some agents do this, when others don't? (This involves pushing, as opposed to finding work when their clients ask them for it because of money concerns -- and there's a huge difference.) I think it's lack of confidence on the part of the agent. If the agent can get more money for the tie-in than they can for the original novels, and they don't think this is going to change, from a purely business perspective, the tie-ins make far more sense to the agency. They're much less difficult to sell, and the money often comes in more frequently. Okay, end of digression.

However… if you haven't established a name for yourself outside of that, there's an attitude that exists on the part of some publishers, editors and readers that makes it much more difficult to do so after the fact. I don't know why. Yes, there are counter examples to this that I can think of -- but not so many that this isn't true in the majority of cases, and the examples I can think of often involve people like Weis and Hickman, or Ed Greenwood -- people who've shown that they can create their own universes, albeit for someone else.

Perception is tricky. Always has been. Is it fair? Hardly. But I remember when Iain Banks did an interview in which he essentially said he writes for a couple of months each year, because that's how long it takes to write a book; a number of his long time readers were both surprised and disgusted. Why? Because the perception is that time=quality. This is silly. Sadly, though, it doesn't matter if it's silly, because it's almost impossible to combat. If you have one book a year, no one cares how long you took to write it; if you wrote it in four weeks and you take the rest of the year off, no one is going to notice. Tell someone that you can write a book at that speed, and many people will suddenly append the word "hack" to your name.

If, on the other hand, you've established bona fide credentials -- if not stellar numbers -- the attitude is different. Thus, someone like Elizabeth Hand can write a tie-in, and there's no ripple in the attitude of her readers (or at least none that I've heard in the store) when an original novel, like MORTAL LOVE, comes out.

This doesn't mean, if you've done tie-in work, that you're doomed. But the more you're known for it, the more you're likely to be thought of as a production house of your own, rather than a writer in your own right.

I've seen five distinctly different writer reactions to this. One writer I know took on a tie-in assignment, and before he'd finished the first book (it was for three), had sunk into a deep depression. The money was decent, but it wasn't something the writer felt any attachment for -- and on some level, they felt that they were selling themselves short; that they were, in fact, selling out. If this is how you feel, run for the hills. In the end, the author extricated themselves from that contract because they weren't writing much at all. And they didn't do it again, and they're doing really, really well now.

The next example is a writer who is both fast and good. This one had started a couple of series, but they hadn't done stellar numbers. I've seen a number of writers start out in a similar position and in my opinion, given the audience this author was slowly building, I think they could have been Tanya Huff or Charles de Lint. But they were frustrated by the financial fact that the publisher was not willing to pay them more for continuing their own work, when the tie-ins paid so much better, and in the end, they chose not to continue doing the series I thought would eventually take off. They're making a living, and they're writing. But I think they would have been in a better position overall had they stuck it out, or at least continued to do both.

The third example I can think of did a very high paying tie-in, and was astonished at the sheer numbers those books sold. They did a number of them. But after that? Not much of anything. I'm not sure why, either -- except perhaps that in this case, the perception that can accompany (but doesn't necessarily have to, see above) such work was also a self-perception.

The fourth example -- or example(s), because I can think of a number -- have done very, very well writing tie-ins. They've hit the high end, and their books have sold. But trying to establish themselves as their own brand, their own name, seemed hideously difficult by comparison. They're writing less tie-in and more of their own stuff, now.

And the fifth? Look at the list above. They wrote their tie-ins, for whatever reasons they had to do so. They also continued to write their own books, and those books do sell to publishers for decent midlist advances, and they do sell in stores.

At some point, almost every author I know hits the financial blues rut, in which they question their choice of living. They look at everyone else -- lawyers, doctors, programmers (less those, these days <wry g>), Norah Roberts -- and they wonder what the point is . The feeling of being the financial deadweight in a household is pretty darn hideous. When money is tight, it's easy to feel that you're not contributing much; that you're clinging stubbornly to something that has no essential value.

Do not do this. If you feel that you need to -- and are in the position to do so -- seek other work which provides financial relief. If you are capable of writing Work for Hire novels without taking a self-respect hit, that's perfectly valid "other work", but it's not the only option.

And you know what? If my family needed the money and we were in a state of financial crisis, yes, I would do everything I could to sell something that I could write. Period.


That said, is anyone in need of a gmail account?

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
domynoe
Aug. 29th, 2004 09:15 pm (UTC)
I'm in an awkward position when it comes to the whole writing versus working thing because I have an extra consideration in the mix: an autistic son. Being able to write and make something at it would allow me to stay home when he needs me. But I know writing isn't as self-supporting as it once was, so I'm going to be a substitute teacher for the time being. I'm hoping to get my Master's degree and do adjunct teaching at a college, which would allow me to work evenings instead of days, but we'll see - we're still stabilizing from a move and getting there may take awhile (or never).

I think a lot of enthusiastic authors see Stephen King and J. K. Rowling and think, "Oh, I can do that too!" not realizing that there are so many more writers who are lucky to get even one book out and never publish again.

In a sense we're an entertainment industry. Yea, we have our Brad Pitts and so on, but do you think evey extra in TROY made as much as he does? Not likely! So it is in writing. You have your stars, the rest of us have to work for a living.
msagara
Aug. 29th, 2004 09:32 pm (UTC)
I'm in an awkward position when it comes to the whole writing versus working thing because I have an extra consideration in the mix: an autistic son. Being able to write and make something at it would allow me to stay home when he needs me. But I know writing isn't as self-supporting as it once was, so I'm going to be a substitute teacher for the time being. I'm hoping to get my Master's degree and do adjunct teaching at a college, which would allow me to work evenings instead of days, but we'll see - we're still stabilizing from a move and getting there may take awhile (or never).

That's tricky (she says, making the biggest understatement so far in her LJ). How old is your son? And how are you both coping with the move? I hope you've got a solid support network behind you. (Feel to respond with "none of your business" or "I'd rather not talk about it".)

I've balanced things by writing and part-time work at the bookstore, but also by being married to someone who works full-time <wry g>. We both also consider the staying at home with the kids part to be the equivalent of a full-time job -- just minus the pay; in order to make enough for daycare (at least in the early ages), for two children, you'd have to have a fairly decent job.

Or you'd have to have a career that doesn't pay well but that doesn't reward long hiatus (i.e. editor); you keep the full-time job because in the future, you want the job, even if in the present, daycare costs eat the salary.

One of the things I adored about ETHAN OF ATHOS was, in fact, the society's response to 'traditional' mothers <g>.
domynoe
Aug. 29th, 2004 09:53 pm (UTC)
Taz (as we call him) is 12 now (you can see his sorely in need of a REAL update family journal here as well as his story - click about) and is transitioning so much better than we thought he would. The new school he's in has had a lot less problems with him than the old. The network we still have to work on - we didn't just move, we moved across country (from Cali to Georgia)! But the neighborhood we're in is so much safer (no ducking because of shooting, no keeping the kids in because of gang activity) and he can go out to play. We're seeing a bit of a blossoming in his desire to interact with others, which is both wonderful and hard to adjust to. lol So far, the hardest adjustment has been getting him to realize that he can't see dad all the time (I'm in my second marriage - dad and oldest sister remained in Cali).

And no, I don't mind answering questions about my son. People really do not understand how much goes into being the parent of a disabled child, and I am one of those people who want to break that barrier. The funny thing is I don't want to write a nonfic book about it or a regular column. I live with it, give me my fiction to let me get away for awhile! lol

In California, I pretty much resigned myself to living at or just above poverty. I had an English degree that became worthless because the Ed. budget got cut 4 times and they were laying off full time certified teachers. Out here, I'm not sure what to expect. My husband is working 3/4 time and I'm trying to get in as a sub, but if Taz needs someone, it will be me who takes the time off, not my husband (and that's my choice). I won't risk daycare for him - too may day care workers either neglect the disabled or abuse him. He has made incredible strides in the last 7 years and I will not risk them.

Soooooooo, we make do. Hopefully I'll be hired to sub, when off I'll write, and the husband will keep the steady job. Whatever our income, we've lived next to the bottom already, know how to juggle, and will get by. I'm used to that.

And, who knows, maybe I am the next J. K. Rowling. *snort*
domynoe
Aug. 29th, 2004 09:54 pm (UTC)
hrm . . . that link doesn;t want to show up. lol so . . . here:

http://taz.domynoes.net/
janni
Aug. 29th, 2004 09:42 pm (UTC)
It took me a long time to come around to realizing that, first, my personal goal really was to write the books I most wanted to write; and second, that given this, the work that supports my writing shouldn't be work-for-hire fiction, but something else--not only because I wasn't ultimately comfortable writing other people's stuff, but also because in general, work-for-hire pays worse than other things I could do, and therefore leaves me less time than those other things do for writing my own fiction. (Because the more other work pays, the less time I have to spend on it, and the more fiction time I have.)

I do not at all regret the first work-for-hire contract I took on, from which I learned a lot.

Someone once said, when the subject of work-for-hire came up, "Do it, but only do it once."

Given that the second work-for-hire project I took on did fall apart (to be fair, this wasn't for lack of trying to make it work on my part), I kind of wish I'd followed that advice. (wry g)

There was also a ghost written book between the two, which was pleasant enough to work on, and ultimately did neither harm nor good, but wrote itself without much fuss and was paid for as promised.
alfreda89
Aug. 30th, 2004 07:51 am (UTC)
It took me a long time to come around to realizing that, first, my personal goal really was to write the books I most wanted to write; and second, that given this, the work that supports my writing shouldn't be work-for-hire fiction, but something else--not only because I wasn't ultimately comfortable writing other people's stuff, but also because in general, work-for-hire pays worse than other things I could do, and therefore leaves me less time than those other things do for writing my own fiction. (Because the more other work pays, the less time I have to spend on it, and the more fiction time I have.)

I think this is very good advice, and I hope you offer it up at new writing panels. I never could crack the tie-in market--an editor told me once I was perceived as "too literate" to write a tie-in. (I think that's a compliment....) I thought that I could beat the record on quitting that day job, at first...but after watching how the publishing industry unfolded (my first publishing house failed under me, the second changed its imprint and I wasn't perceived as a big enough hitter to keep, and the third merged and all my editors were fired. Go figure...) I lost that ideal fast. Ironically, my Ex encouraged me to quit and write full-time. I was able to write a book a year, but selling it for anything reasonable was ridiculous.

I started training for RMT, to use my body and spirit differently during half the day, and write the other half--as opposed to returning to tech writing? But then I became ill--and the rampant arthritis happened (long story, years in making--it's Lyme) so I trained for web design, and the computer market crashed...

To sum up--now I am once again looking for a writing job, discovering they want tools I don't know, and I'd be very grateful if I could get the state to hire me--even though the benefits, etc. aren't what they used to be. I really don't want tie-in work anymore--I want a 40 hour a week job that I leave at the office.

I will write what I want to write. If I'm lucky, I will write the books I know they can be. If I'm very lucky, a real publisher will pay me for them.

I'll settle for the first luck, because although communicating with greater numbers of people and getting paid for it is wonderful--writing a great book and sharing with friends can do as a great hobby.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us--
remainthesame
Aug. 30th, 2004 03:51 am (UTC)
not really on topic but...
I just had to tell you that I'm really enjoying your posts--you're articulate and insightful and everything you say always spawns the most interesting discussions.
msagara
Aug. 30th, 2004 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: not really on topic but...
to continue in the off-topic vein, thank you -- and I love that icon <g>.
sleigh
Aug. 30th, 2004 04:04 am (UTC)
Speaking as one who has done a few of these things and who is not intending to do another (but never say never...), I'd add this: if your tie-in novel takes off and sells incredibly well, the credit will likely not go to you, but to the source material -- as in: "Of course it sold well; after all it's Star Wars."

If your tie-in novel sells poorly, however, the blame will likely be laid at your feet -- "This should have sold much better; after all, it's Star Wars. Must be the writer."
msagara
Aug. 30th, 2004 09:28 pm (UTC)
If your tie-in novel sells poorly, however, the blame will likely be laid at your feet -- "This should have sold much better; after all, it's Star Wars. Must be the writer."

Something else to consider, which I hadn't thought of; the books for a particular franchise -- say, STAR WARS -- tend, with a couple of exceptions, to sell pretty much evenly. If it's a new tie-in, no one knows how it's going to do at the outset; if it's established, there's a fairly good idea, although numbers can decline over time, to the point where some are simply ended.
(Deleted comment)
kristine_smith
Aug. 30th, 2004 09:07 am (UTC)
The other thing about writing tie-ins is that they do take time and energy from writing original things, and I think you can end up, if you do a lot of them, by coarsening the way you write, the things you think it's possible to do.

I've wondered about this. I've only read two tie-ins, but the one thing they had in common was that story was Told to a very great extent, with minimal dialogue and description. It was as though I read a letter from someone describing the events. Very distant feel. I don't know if all tie-ins are written that way, but I could see how a writer with a penchant for description or getting inside their characters' heads might have a devil of a time switching back and forth.
sqrrlsrant
Sep. 1st, 2004 05:29 am (UTC)
It varies from author to author. I thought the (don't laugh) Phantom Menace tie-in was well done, but I believe that's due to the fact that Terry Brooks wrote it and there were explanations and mini-events included in the book that were not in the movie. The tie-in to Buffy Season Six "Chosen" was horribly written and was like reading a script for each episode. No depth to characters or even to the desciptions of the action. Very bland.

Hm, now I hope I'm using "tie-in" correctly :P
zhaneel69
Aug. 30th, 2004 09:55 am (UTC)
But however good a first novel Everway tie-in I'd have written, I'd never have been nominated for the Campbell.

Interesting. I hadn't thought about that in relation to my own work.

Zhaneel
msagara
Aug. 30th, 2004 09:36 pm (UTC)
But however good a first novel Everway tie-in I'd have written, I'd never have been nominated for the Campbell.

This is almost certainly true. I can only think of one exception: It did not stop Julia Ecklar from being nominated for (and winning, I believe) the Campbell for her Trek work (she may have had other short work out there, but the only thing I can remember from that time period is the Star Trek book, of which she was one of, I think, three writers).

The other thing about writing tie-ins is that they do take time and energy from writing original things, and I think you can end up, if you do a lot of them, by coarsening the way you write, the things you think it's possible to do. I don't think it's just pride you can lose, I think it's horizons.

I could see how this could happen, depending on the writer. I think I've read about half of the Diane Duane tie-ins, and I liked most of them; whatever it was she invested in the story, it was all there. I liked her Trek books, although they're of an older vintage -- the books written when the license owner had almost given up on the franchise, and was willing to let writers play with the universe to a much great extent. John Ford's two trek novels were great, and I would have liked them had he managed to file the serial numbers off them and publish them as something else.

But with the advent of NEXT GEN, that changed, and the guidelines became more onerous, or so I've been told; it was less like play and more like work (as in for hire <g>).

I think tie-ins are our genre's "category" books (in Romance, there are novels and category novels; the former published in the normal way as standalone novels, the latter as part of a line, with restrictions on content, tone, etc.). Some people can think of inventive things to do within category, and they have some enthusiasm for them -- but some can't.

If Elizabeth Hand were to write fifteen more tie-ins before being able to afford to get to her next original novel, I think it might well not be as good as it would have been. I've seen a couple of writers I used to think were very good come back to original fiction after writing a pile of WFH tie ins where I felt their work had really suffered from it.

I wonder, though, how true that is in general. Err, let me try that again. I can think of authors whose early works I adored, and while they've never ever done work for hire, their later books didn't speak to me; they had some technical merit, and perhaps they spoke to other people -- but they seemed to lose some intrinsic heart.
mmarques
Aug. 30th, 2004 07:21 am (UTC)
Interesting points. I work full-time as a technical writer, so in a sense most of my paid work is work-for-hire. Although I have yet finished revisions on a novel to submit for publishing, I do think my work-for-hire experience has helped me:
* Feel less personally invested in the novel while I'm doing edits... I didn't feel bad cutting favourite scenes that didn't help advance the story.
* Develop good habits for planning/writing. Unfortunately, all my organization has fallen apart during the revision stage.

Would it be possible to use a pen-name during work-for-hire? And would that help?
msagara
Aug. 30th, 2004 09:38 pm (UTC)
Would it be possible to use a pen-name during work-for-hire? And would that help?

If it's the first novel you do? I think it would help. And I do know writers who have used pen names for their work for hire work.

Then again, I can think of at least three SF writers who made a living writing porn, which is certainly a variant of writing to feed the family; I also know a lot of technical writers who also write fiction -- and no, I'm not trying to compare them <>.
zhaneel69
Aug. 30th, 2004 09:50 am (UTC)
Very interesting. I don't know if you saw the whole SH article (with responses in the SH forums and a response article on IROSF [registration needed to access, free]) about elistism in the genre, but you just hit the nail on the head about most of it.

I have often mused on this subject. I've read some tie-ins that are crap. Mostly in the WotC/TSR empire. When I worked for Locus, we didn’t cover any tie-ins. WotC kept sending them and we kept not listing or reviewing them. That was the editor's choice. However, I've read some good tie-ins and I know that some well respected authors do tie-ins. I just completed a novel submission for a WotC open call.

I did that knowing what I was getting into. Knowing that I could forever be thought of as a "tie-in" writer because if I get this contract my first novel will be a WotC novel. Knowing that even if I do a good job, I will still be judged as one of "those" writers. Which sucks. It sucks to think that by trying to break into the field, in any way possible, I will be considered less than good for my choices. I want to become a writer full time. I will do nonfiction articles, interviews, short fiction stories and novels (and hell, even nonfiction books!) to do this. To me, that is what a full-time writer does. If I believed I could do it all on my fiction, I would. Currently, that is not an option.

If absolutely necessary, I will use a pen name. I've already got one picked out for any erotica work I do [whether or not people want to find me I don't want some teen to look me up on Amazon and get an erotica when they were looking for fantasy]. I don't mind using another for tie-ins. Will it hurt me when I try to cross-over? I don't know. I know I could get a bigger advance if I had a "following", but I don't know if I could get the advance if I was already pegged as a tie-in writer.

I hate that perceptions can do this. On the other hand, I have my own set of perceptions as a reader. And I believe that the vast majority of tie-in work is not the author's best material. Not on purpose. Not because "they didn't try". But because most authors work best when it is *their* world. And it shows. I know I was happier with any of my original stories than with my novel submission. But others liked it.

Zhaneel
janni
Aug. 30th, 2004 01:26 pm (UTC)
It sucks to think that by trying to break into the field, in any way possible, I will be considered less than good for my choices.

On the other hand, I think that no matter what career decisions you make, someone will consider you less than good for your choices.

I've seen as much criticism for trying to write "those literary novels" as for trying to write "those tie in novels." Criticisms for writing too fast and too slow, for writing the wrong sorts of books, for caring too little about character and caring too much.

Maybe ultimately we all piece together careers how we can, and learn and adjust how we go. :-)
zhaneel69
Aug. 30th, 2004 02:31 pm (UTC)
Okay, you make a very good point.

And its not like I'm not trying to break in by doing other things either [have something sitting at SH after rejections at F&SF and ROF; sending out something tomorrow to TOTU].

Zhaneel
devilwrites
Aug. 31st, 2004 05:21 am (UTC)
Just friended you...
I don't expect you to friend me back, because I know how it goes when random people friend your journal and think you owe them the world. I did want to tell you that I friended you because I found a link to your entries on publishing and such through a community, and given that I'm a young writer struggling with both getting her own work completed, wanting to get into graduate school and one day get published, I find your entries both extremely useful and fascinating.

I haven't read any of your books, nor have I heard of you. I don't mean this as an offense, I'm just saying so because I don't want to sound like a babbling fangirl. :) Anyway, just thought I'd say hi. If I bother you too much in way of comments of questions, just tell me to go away, and I'll be happy to oblige. :)
msagara
Aug. 31st, 2004 08:34 am (UTC)
Re: Just friended you...
I haven't read any of your books, nor have I heard of you. I don't mean this as an offense, I'm just saying so because I don't want to sound like a babbling fangirl. :) Anyway, just thought I'd say hi. If I bother you too much in way of comments of questions, just tell me to go away, and I'll be happy to oblige. :)

Oddly enough, I think there are probably 20 people on my "read by" list who have either a) read anything by me or b) heard of me. Which may be unfair; there may be several people who have done a) and couldn't stand the writing or done b) and decided that what I was writing wasn't something they'd like <g>.

I often write tangentially about my writing, rather than about my writing, and I don't expect people who are reading the LJ to read anything but the LJ, and, in fact, only the entries that are of interest to them.
andpuff
Aug. 31st, 2004 10:04 am (UTC)
I seem to remember that I enjoyed writing my Ravensloft book. The rules made it a little like writing a sonnet rather than blank verse and I actually rather enjoyed the constriction since it forced me to be creative in order to say what I wanted to say in spite of it. (and that's probably the first time a TSR book has ever been compared to a sonnet...)

I didn't like the time frame -- while I can write a book in three months, I'd really rather not because it means that all I'm doing for three months is writing that book and that plays hell with relationships -- and I had rather a lengthy and heated argument about conservation of mass (dealing with wererats) that I sort of lost, but generally, it was fun applying D&D skills to a novel. (a reader told me once that I was clearly the only gamer they hired for that series)

I'm still very fond of the book and think it might do well in reprint outside a gaming audience but we can't pry the rights free.

I can't remember what I was paid for it but it was equal or close to what I was making for original work at the time since the editor came looking for me. Mind you, it's not making me anything now and if it hadn't been work for hire it still would be.

Would I do it again? Probably. So if Jerry Bruckheimer drops by, let him know I'm available for a Pirates novelization.


msagara
Aug. 31st, 2004 04:36 pm (UTC)
I can't remember what I was paid for it but it was equal or close to what I was making for original work at the time since the editor came looking for me. Mind you, it's not making me anything now and if it hadn't been work for hire it still would be.

Yes, it was equal to what you were being paid for the original work, and you didn't go looking for it -- it came looking for you, so to speak. And you pretty much wrote the book that you would write anyway, if someone had done the world-building for you, and it didn't cause you the stress that, say, FIRE'S STONE, entirely your own work did.

Not that I was there and reading it chapter by chapter while you wrote it or anything...
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