It's finally happening: After four years and two close-calls, Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Bounty Hunters from Arachnxx Three is going to greet the world!
This was the novella that Harlequin's space opera imprint wanted to publish back in 2013, but they didn't want to share Captain Quasar with Every Day Novels. I made a case for the fact that there was enough of the captain to go around; I even listed all of the publications where Quasar's short stories appeared over the years. But alas, Harlequin wanted all or nothing. So they ended up with nothing, Quasar-wise.
Then Every Day Publishing agreed to release the novella after the novel was serialized. That seemed perfect at the time, and I had high hopes for a profitable working relationship with EDP for many years to come. But alas, they went the way of the dodo bird. And the passenger pigeon. And the dinosaurs. So I ended up with nothing.
No, not really. I still had a fun novella that Quasar fans would enjoy, and I just needed to find a publisher who would get the humor, publish a novella, provide incredible cover art, distribute far and wide, and pay me equitable royalties.
Easier said than done. A space opera parody is a tough sell; not all funny bones are created equal. Novellas are a tough sell; most publishers want to spend their time and resources on novels. Cover art by most small presses is sadly lacking; I've done better using free images and fonts designated for commercial use. Distribution by small presses is no better than what I'm already doing with my reprints. And as far as the royalties go, I'd rather earn 70% by going solo than 35% by splitting them with a publisher whose marketing department is anemic; been there, done that. (Remember Musa Publishing? Also extinct.)
Since 2009, I've sold 22 Captain Quasar short stories and a novel to various publishers. This is the first time I've decided to go "indie" with a Quasar tale. Because I'm fed up with small press shenanigans? Because I can do better on my own? Because Tor and Baen Books aren't accepting novella submissions? Because only Quasar fans get the humor, and I wrote this novella for them?
All of the above. So mark your calendars, folks: on June 3, Captain Bartholomew Quasar returns!