Thursday, October 11, 2012

The NaNoWriMo Problem

Since I'm still an unemployed writer, I've decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo. I've decided to do this under my real name "lydamorehouse," so if you're also doing it and looking for a writing buddy, feel free to connect to me.

I've been told the best way to survive National Novel Writing Month (which, btw, starts in a matter of weeks, beginning in November,) is to do a lot of pre-plotting and outlining before the big event. The idea is that will keep you focused when you're trying to push words out. But, I have a much bigger problem: I'm not sure which project I want to focus on.

At Gaylaxicon, thanks in large part to Kyell's enthusiasm for it, I actually got an offer to publish my gay superhero story, which I read as a work in progress at WorldCON. Being the sort of person I am (*cough*writingwhore*cough*), the idea that there's a built in market for this novel/novella really appeals to me. Plus, the story is a great deal of fun. It would not be the sort of thing that I would find difficult to sit down and plow through for an entire month.

However, the editor who offered kept apologizing for the fact that almost no money would be available, and he encouraged me to try to sell that story elsewhere, should I finish it. At this point in my career, any offer works for me. However, it does put this project on a more even ground with something like writing the next Garnet Lacey and/or Precinct 13 story as an e-book.

I could potentially make some $$ if I self-published a sequel/continuation of one of my existing series as an e-book. Presumably there are fans out there who would want to buy an e-book release. My biggest worry/concern about doing a Tate Hallway e-book is that I'm not quite sure what my rights are in regards to those books. All of the Tate books are still in print, which means they belong to Penguin USA. Technically, my contracts stipulate that the publisher has right of first refusal on all sequels/next works of paranormal romance, but I have no idea if that extends to a project like this. I suppose I should ask my agent. She would know.

The other drawback is one I probably shouldn't admit to in public, but part of me still resists this business model: self-e-publishing. It still feels really labor intensive to me, and I remain unconvinced all that work upfront is worth the supposed eventual paycheck. One of the things I like about having a big, New York publisher is (the advance, but also) that I don't have to mess around with all the formatting details. Plus, I'd suddenly be responsible for the single most critical part of a book's success--the cover art. That, quite frankly, freaks me out. And, I'd need to be super-rigorous about typos. Anyone reading here or my frist-drafty fanfic KNOWS I have a problem with spelling and I have NEVER ACTUALLY mastered the use of the comma in the English language.

On top of those super-appealing options is a third one--all those other stories I said to myself, "damn, if I ever get time I'd like to work on those." The problem, of course, is that I've had time, and nothing has quite grabbed me, alas. But, this feels like the perfect time to take on something that's been a dream project. So, I don't know.

I need to decide soon. With NaNoWriMo approaching, I'm going to need to focus on those outlines. (Another plus in the Hallaway projects column is that all the potential novels is that they come with book proposals/outlines already written.)