But something strange happened on the way to the deadline. A publisher, Gnome on Pig Productions, who I had contacted last spring, contacted me with an interest in publishing the novel. They sent me a general work contract which says that neither of us owe the other anything, but that I may not show this novel to anyone during the six months of the contract without their permission. During that time, starting 1/20/16, they and I will work together on the final publishable draft of the novel. At the end of the six months, or before by mutual agreement, we will both enter into a publishing contract (they included a sample template) or walk away. They offer the chance for publication in hardback, paperback, e-book, and anything else for reading. I took them up on the offer. But it meant I couldn't offer the novel in the contest. That'll probably save me twenty bucks. I needed to do the editing anyway, so it's not like there's any wasted effort. I just didn't need to hurry it as much as I did.
I've been offered a bad contract before, and I've signed a decent one, so I had examples to look at. Their contract offers an excellent split to the author and lasts only two years. The contract makes sure the author retains the copyright, which is probably the most important thing. The general work contract specifies that I can work on any other author project and offer it anywhere. It only limits this specific project.
Just Lucky has been declined by about a dozen agents and/or publishers in the past. The publishers wanted to define it as a Romance, but it does not have a Happy Ever After ending so it didn't fit their market's preferences. I've never considered it a Romance, though. But it is a two-volume story and the second volume does provide a sort of HEA.
The publishers have been complimentary about the writing, evaluations ranging from "adequate for publication" to "lovely." The writing is better after that edit, so it ought to be terrific now. The challenge will be the market and marketing. I wrote this without any explicit thought to market. It's intended to be enjoyed by anyone who's been a college student, men more than women but not that much more.
The reason I wrote this 300,000-word story, which I pared to two volumes totaling almost 200,000 words, is worth a blog entry all by itself. And so it will be.
Till next time...