|From:||Jak Koke <jkoke@****.EDU>|
|Subject:||Various defenses of FASA|
|Date:||Wed, 2 Apr 1997 12:09:41 -0800|
slamming on the World according to FASA has slotted me off, though just a
little. I don't work at FASA, I just like them a lot.
Rumor #1: FASA is exceedingly harsh regarding submissions, especially from
In my experience, FASA is more accepting of new writers than most
publishers. This is true of game material as well as novels. The problem of
waiting six months or more for a response on an "over the transom"
(unsolicited) submission is commonplace in the writing business. It sucks
for the freelancer, but it's not limited to one or two companies.
I submitted seven novel proposals over the course of a year or so before
hearing a response. It came on the last one, for Liferock (an ED book). I
was a new writer, having only published about five or six short stories at
the time. Mind you, I did not get a contract; I got a "we like this idea,
send us some more chapters and lets see if you can write". I did. They liked
it, and I got a contract for the novel. This whole process took another six
months or so.
I wrote the book and sent it in on deadline, and this was 3 years ago.
Because of differences between FASA and Roc, the Earthdawn novels were
dropped from production, though FASA assures me they still plan on putting
them out. (I'm not holding my breath). BTW, if you want to see Liferock
published or Caroline Spector's ED novels "Scars" and "Little
prequels to "Worlds Without End" which tell the story of Aina and Ysgrathe
(sp?), please call FASA or email to FASAMktg@***.com
The books are quite good.
Anyhow, my point is: this is not a fast business.
After writing Liferock, I sold them a proposal for an SR book -- Dead Air.
Same thing happened: they liked the synopsis so I did a complete chapter
outline and a few chapters, then I got a contract a while later. I wrote the
book and turned it in on time.
My advice to anyone submitting manuscripts (to any publisher) for
consideration is to be patient. Work on your next proposal or manuscript or
whatever and forget about what you've sent out. If six months go by and you
haven't heard anything, send a jog letter -- an extremely cordial note to
the publisher asking about the status of your submission. Wait another six
months, working on new stuff. Send another job letter. If you want to
withdraw your submission, send another extremely cordial letter (pissing of
a publisher is not the way to sell anything) saying that you regret to have
to withdraw you manuscript for consideration, blah, blah, blah. Send it to
someone else or rework it and resubmit it.
The more you submit, the more likely it is that you'll get a response. Once
you do, write the best fragging thing you can, and get it in on time. Be
easy to work with; offer to do revisions if necessary.
Rumor #2: Calfree Sourcebook sucks and was written by non-californians.
I did not write the Calfree Sourcebook, but did help with some of the ideas.
I live in San Diego county, and I have spent a lot of time in the Los
Angeles area as well as the Bay Area and northern CA. I was writing Dead Air
at the same time as the Sourcebook was in draft form (it did suck then). But
Lori Methany did a lot of work to make it better. She also lives in
california, though I'm not sure where exactly. I think it's Oroville or Chico.
The only non-californians who did significant work on it were Diane
Piron-Gelman -- FASA's brilliant editor -- and Mike Mulvihill.
I like the Calfree sourcebook, and they put my city in Aztlan! The stuff
they did with magic and the desert was very cool.
FWIW, the gypsies were created by me as background for the Dead Air
characters, Jonathon Winger and Tamara Ny. They ended up in the sourcebook
because Mike liked them. I didn't write them up in the sourcebook, but I
read over what they wrote and didn't see a problem with it. I also had some
impact on the ideas which eventually ended up in the LA section -- old LAX
(the Fixx) and some other stuff that you see in both Dead Air and Calfree.
Rumor #3: Australian book is being purposefully delayed
AFAIK, after the original announcement of the release of this book, noone at
FASA has said it's coming out at all. Look at the schedule of upcoming books
(Mike posted one here a while back); is it there? No. I have a tentative
schedule for 1998 and it's not on that one either.
What happened with this book (and it happens from time to time) is that FASA
contracted for it, and when it came, the editors deemed it unacceptable.
They have pretty high standards for consistency and quality. They shelved
it in favor of better products.
Once again, unless Mike comes on here and contradicts me, do not expect an
Australia sourcebook in the next two years. Also, when I mentioned the
Space book, I said that Mike saw a need for it, but that it wouldn't be out
before 1999. That doesn't mean it will be out in 1999. Mike is working on
it, but the lead time on books like that is very long.
End of rant. Sorry if I've offended anyone. I just hate to see people
slamming such a great company.
Jak Koke | "Though I am not naturally honest,
jkoke@****.edu | I am so sometimes by chance."
La Jolla, CA | --Shakespeare (The Winter's Tale)