Monday, March 13, 2006

The Year of Writing Non-Fiction

2006 seems to be turning into a year where I'm writing a lot of non-fiction. I've already delivered the massively revised and updated manuscript for The Complete Inspector Morse to Reynolds & Hearn. Publisher Richard Reynolds tells me the new edition is already attracting a healthy number of advance orders. The book is now entering the editing process, something that'll no doubt require more input from me. R&H is a small, taut operation. That means small advances but also means the company can publish books within a matter of weeks, rather than the elephantine gestation process of big publishers. With plans afoot for more episodes of the Lewis spin-off, it's crucial to get the new edition out ASAP for maximum sales.

Meanwhile I've provisionally agreed a deal for one of my long standing non-fiction projects to be collected under one cover. Again, there'll be a lot of rewriting, revising and updating to be done, but it's a relief to believe I might finally see this piece of work presented in its entirety in one mighty volume. The money involved isn't great, but this project isn't about the money. It feels like the capstone on something that's occupied a vast amount of my working life. Hopefully, twelve months from now I'll have a copy of the book in my hot little hands. Of course, until the contracts are signed and the book is printed, this is all just wishes and hopes. Fingers crossed they'll become reality.

Last week was something of a washout work-wise, but it did beget a bright, shining idea for another non-fiction tome. I've done some investigating since and it appears the publisher I would most obviously target with my idea is fond of acquiring the copyright in all the tomes it puts out. I've signed away the copyright on all my Black Flame novels, but they weren't my characters so it didn't seem like a big sacrifice. I've resisted all blandishments to do the same with my non-fiction books up to this point. Now I have to make choice: target the logical publisher for my idea and accept the fact I'll hae to sacrifice my copyright, or keep developing the concept but pitch it at other publishers. It's a shame, as I'm gagging to do this book and discovering the potential terms has blunted my enthusiasm a little. Hey-ho.

Meanwhile I've got a copy of short fiction irons near a pair of interesting fires - not much money to speak of, but both offer chances to exercise my rarely-used short story chops. Plus one of them could offer a toe in the door with a new, overseas client who's resisted my approaches up to now. Now I just need a couple of cracking ideas to secure me the relevant writing gigs.


pj said...

Here's hoping it's Thrill Power Overload...

- pj

Clemmo said...

Yes, Thrill Power Overload would be a nice thing to see between covers at last -- the Megahistory is a bit out of date now, and contrary to popular opinion, it is not possible to get everything one needs from teh intarweb.

W. R. Logan said...

Here's hoping its TPO as well, althoough my missus has just looked over my shoulder and is more interested in the Morse book.