Saturday, April 01, 2006

Royalties - good. Source material - bad.

It's that time again, when publishers send out their royalty statements for book sales during the period July-December of the previous year. Freakishly, I actually got a cheque with one of my statements, instead of the more usual selection of statements informing me I need only sell another four thousand books and I'll be making money. BBC Books very kindly sent me a cheque for a whisker under fifty quid, which is good as I didn't issue a single invoice during March.

Unfortunately for my pride, the royalties are for sales of possibly the worst novel I've ever written. The book in question is Doctor Who: The Domino Effect, a rather witless alternate reality tale about an Earth where the invention of the computer has been deliberately suppressed. Of all the novels I've written in the past ten years, I find it embarrassing that my worst effort is the only generating royalties. Of course, the nine books I've produced for Black Flame were all on a flat-fee, no royalty basis, so that's a factor in the equation.

Apparently my Fiends of the Eastern Front novels are doing rather well for Black Flame, as evidenced by an interview with publisher Marc Gascoigne on the Emerald City website. You can see the whole interview by clicking the headline on this post, but this is the bit that's relevant to Fiends...

"Black Flame’s biggest recent success has been the three-book Fiends of the Eastern Front series by David Bishop, where good old Sven Hassel-style WWII mayhem meets vampires, and goes for the jugular (sorry). It’s Commando war comics meets The Bloody Red Baron, and why not? It seems readers worldwide have got the joke and are clamoring for more, a noise most joyous to any publisher."

Just a shame I don't make royalties from this success, isn't it? Still, I knew the terms when I sign my contract, so moaning about it now does nobody any good. You never know, if the Fiends novels do well enough, Black Flame might decide to extend the franchise. Das Vampyr Boat, perhaps?

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