Wednesday, September 10, 2014

35 years old. Is my book a Classic?

Star Axe came out almost 35 years ago.

Gee, that almost makes it a classic.  Heh.  I do believe the old books gain a certain "halo."  Like, those were the days, you know.

Here's the original cover, which I think is charmingly retro:

Anyway, I'm hoping to put Star Axe back out as an ebook.  The way I read the original contracts, the rights have reverted to me.  Interestingly, the publisher sold out to Amazon a couple of years ago, after finally giving up the ghost.  So I guess Amazon will be telling me if I can publish my book or not.

OH....after writing the previous paragraph, I went to Wiki and found this:

"In August 2012 Amazon Publishing announced that it had acquired at auction the publishing contacts of over 1000 books from Dorchester Publishing. Dorchester authors were offered the opportunity to join Amazon Publishing and receive the full back royalties that Dorchester indicated were owed. Under the terms of Amazon’s bid, any former Dorchester Publishing authors that chose not to work with Amazon Publishing will have their rights revert to them to pursue other publishing opportunities including self-publishing via the Kindle Direct Publishing platform."

So the way I read this, I'm free to do what I want.  (I doubt there are any royalties due...Dorchester went through a bankruptcy soon after publishing my books -- I got all but the final advance.)

I took the book to a printer and had it scanned.  I thought it would be an easy thing.  Just do a few touchups and ready to go.  But it came out pretty scrambled.  I can decipher it, with some difficulty, but it takes time.  I have to check each and every paragraph.  (Man I had long paragraphs back then.)

Other than a couple obvious errors, I haven't changed anything.  This book has existed in its current form for a long time, so I'm sticking to it.

I'm not sure, but I could probably type the damn thing about as fast.  In fact, I'm thinking of doing that with Icetowers (my third book.)

My second book, Snowcastles, I found online, pirated all over the place. (It was published in England, so got a much broader distribution.  All over the world.)

The one thing I really want to do is use the original covers.  I think the covers were kind of cool, and was probably the reason the books sold as well as they did.  I didn't like the third cover, though it was done by a name artist.  So I'll probably use the Snowcastles cover for Icetowers as well.  I'm thinking of combining the two books, actually.  Just call it, Snowcastles and Icetowers, what else?

The artist, Ramos Kukalis, wants a fair chunk for the two covers, but I'm going to go ahead and buy the rights because I think they'll sell the books -- if they sell at all.

Meanwhile, though, it is a very slow process.  About 5 pages an hour, (a total of 50 hours) plus it will need proof-reading.  But when I'm done, it will be fun to see them out in the world again.

But I have enormously fond feelings for these books, obviously.

They transformed my life.  Gave me hope and confidence.

So let them live.

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

Just for shits and giggles I emailed Amazon to see if I'm due any royalties. I think they're off the hook because of Tower Books Chapter 11 filing.