It’s been quite a while since I reached into my giant pile of rejection (and some acceptance) letters, so this week I spun up random.org to have it tell me which folder I should reach into. It selected folder I-J, from which I pulled an old contract from Hard Shell Word Factory (now an imprint of Mundania Press, home of some oddly specific genre categorizations), for the eBook rights to Night Watchman. “Hard Shell Word Factory” doesn’t belong in the I-J folder, of course, but, you know, sometimes things get misfiled. But anyway, I picked it, so here it is. Rather than reproducing all umpteen pages of the eBook contract, I thought I would just pull a few selected sections from it, which may serve as an interesting illumination of how the eBook world has changed since the year 2000 (or, as we called it back in those panic-stricken days, “Y2K”).
So this week I reached into my big folder full of rejections (and the occasional acceptance) and pulled out something new: A contract! Arriving as it did in November of 1997, this was, if I remember correctly, my first-ever contract, for a story called “The Short Route” (AKA “My Cousin Susan’s Favorite Story Of Mine Ever”), in which a tenderfoot from Back East discovers that there’s more than just cattle on his first cattle drive. The story appeared in “Vampire Dan’s Story Emporium” a tiny regional magazine published in Syracuse that ran from 1997 to 2001.
Although I’m still putting the finishing touches on Long Before Dawn, I’ve already started formatting my next book, Dragon Stones, a fantasy novel about (yes) a vengeance-obsessed dragon. This book was originally slated to be released by the publisher who had put out one of my earlier books, but after waiting seven months for the contract, I’ve decided to withdraw Dragon Stones and release it myself. The quality of the Lulu.com product was a strong factor in this decision.
Side note: I have nothing but good things to say about my editor, who tried hard to get the contracts together for me. Sorry, Karen — maybe we can work together on a project in the future.
To everyone who’s been wanting to read one of my books but was afraid to crack open Crows or Night Watchman, let me just advise that Long Before Dawn is not the book you’ve been waiting for. Dragon Stones is.