My other project…

So while Relics makes the rounds with some readers to find out what kinks need to be worked on, I’m also working on a science fiction novel based on the Elite: Dangerous universe.

On the one hand this could be seen just as fanfiction, and on a certain level it is. After all, I’ve written three novellas set in the universe before. So what makes this different?

Well, first off I’m writing it with an eye for publication. My fanfic books before were more like writing exercises, told from first person perspective, and was more like a collection of journal entries. This time I have a singular plot to focus on and guide events.

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Secondly, I’m hoping to get a licence from Frontier Development so that this will be official. That opens up marketing possibilities quite a bit, being officially endorsed and advertised by Frontier’s team and others.

Right now the license isn’t open as far as I know. They had an initial round of them offered during the kickstarter campaign, but no more since then. But it’s my hope that something happens later this year and I want to be ready with my submission when it does.

So why write in someone else’s playground and not create my own?  Well, for one thing, I already love the universe. While not as fleshed out as Star Wars or Star Trek or Babylon 5, it does inhabit a similar place in my heart, and I always wanted to write a novel for those franchises as well. This would be right up there with them, for me at any rate.

Elite has a very large fanbase, and so anything I wrote for them would hopefully lead readers to my other works as well. As the saying goes, the best thing that sells an old novel is to publish a new one.

The fact I’ve already written stories in this genre earlier can work in my favor, too. If the new book gets accepted, I could go back and polish/edit/rewrite the previous ones to be consistent with the universe and act as backstory for this new one.  Might even collect them together and offer them for the Kindle, who knows?

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3 comments on “My other project…Add yours →

  1. I looked at the Elite licence the first time it came out, but I found £2,500 too rich for my blood. Having read – and enjoyed – your Elite fanfiction, I honestly think that you’d be better off creating your own universe along similar lines rather than writing franchise-fiction. I’ve done a little work along those lines myself in the past, and it seemed to hurt sales more than help them. A good ‘space raider/trader’ novel would, I believe, do well.

    1. I get where you’re coming from, but I’d like to find out if ED has changed their stance licencing. That was part of the Kickstarter, after all, and the cost might not be the same now once they start allowing more writers. The real questions would be whether I’d make the money back and whether the exposure gained by the franchise connection is worth it. I have no idea how this worked out financially for other Elite authors, for example. I can always create my own universe some other time – to me this is as much about exposure as it is about fun and games. Of course, you really know how to nail the exposure side of things from what I’ve seen 😉

  2. It might be worth getting in touch and asking; the worst thing they could do is say no. Having a look at the Elite titles on the Kindle store is a little depressing; they’re doing reasonably in the UK, but in the US I can’t find one any higher than 150,000 in the rankings – though in my opinion they are pricing way too high, so I wouldn’t necessarily take that as definitive.

    In terms of exposure…it’s always a coin toss, and numbers are always hard to find. Steam lists the maximum number of E:D players at any one time as around 18,000, though of course a lot, possibly a majority of players purchased elsewhere. Optimistically, I’d say 60,000 as an absolute top number – and that’s not a huge pool to work with.

    Based on my past experience…I’d say go with your own ‘inspired by’ setting. The advantages of having full control, as well as no licensing fee, are I think a lot more valuable. The best bet is always to work in series and release regularly; while there are no certain ways to success, that seems to maximize the odds at this Great Galactic Crap Table.

    As always, of course, YMMV.

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