Since Craig’s System Apocalypse – Relentless came out at the start of this month, I’ve had a few people contact me about writing in the universe. Now, it’s incredibly flattering, but I figured I’d make a more public post.
Let’s start with the basics.
Fan Fiction, Fan Art and other Non-Commercial Uses
If you are writing fan fiction, go for it! I’m happy to have fan fiction written. If you’re creating RPG settings for you and your friends, I’m super supportive of the idea. If you want to do fan art, please share… it’s one of my bucket list items to get fan fart for my writing (as an author).
Bottom line – if this is for personal use, if you are not making money off it, I’m happy. Even if it’s sort of ancillary (e.g. a patreon stream of you doing the art); it doesn’t matter as much to me and I don’t care. It won’t affect my copyright.
Can I read your work? That’s trickier. It doesn’t remove my copyright if I read your work. However, the big fear most authors have is that if, after reading your work, said fan gets angry if a similar(ish) character shows up in the future. It’s a lot easier for the author to defend in court if they basically say ‘I never read that work’ and can (for the most part) prove it.
As usual, bad actors spoil things for everyone.
Bottom line – if you are having fun with the world with yourself and friends, go for it! Enjoy yourself and mark it as fan fiction / fan art. I’m super chuffed you even thought to do something like that.
Co-Authors and Official Works
How about if you want to be an official co-author and write for money? That’s trickier. Since I want to make sure the system is in-line with what’s been written before and the world lore, etc. are all correct, I have to read all the work myself. It means that I have to spend actual time that I could spend writing or eating chocolate on this.
Legally, don’t try to sell and/or name your work the System Apocalypse. The trademark is basically to ensure there’s no confusion in the marketplace, especially now that I’ve got multiple series coming out (yes, K.T. Hanna’s SA Australia is getting close).
I’m also going to be a little picky. Again, see above about this taking away time. So, here’s what I’m looking for (in general):
- obviously, fans of the System Apocalypse universe who are up to date on the main series at the least.
- authors who have finished (and preferably published) two books of their own.
- plotters or plantsers (i.e. have a general outline of their work and know where they are going, if not individual beats). Pure discovery writers are going to have problems since they have to take into account the world.
- willing to work collaboratively (and aren’t going to argue when I say ‘this isn’t how the System works’. Or ‘no, that alien / concept / Class doesn’t work’.
- willingness to commit to at least three (3) books before they call it a day
- writing that I love reading
- only 0-3 more people (number depends on how experienced and easy it is to work with other authors)
Nice to have?
- a fanbase of your own. 😛
- ability to write fast (i.e. releasing every 3 months or so or faster!)
So that’s individually. What am I looking for in stories?
- not another John. 🙂 Annoying, angry loners are done.
- if you want / are willing to write stories about someone who doesn’t get a lot of Perks, that’d be great. Even non-combat Classers or someone whose focus is so different from John’s
- stories set outside of Earth! there’s an entire Galaxy….
I Got It. So What Now?
If you’ve got all that, or at least close, I’d be happy to talk to you and most importantly, see your level of writing. Here’s the blunt truth – with ANY co-author work, I’m reading it at least 2 to 3 times minimum. If I hate or even mildly dislike your writing, I won’t work with you because it means I have to do something I hate. And this is PURELY personal preferences. It has nothing to do with how good a writer you are, it’s just a matter of taste.
But yeah, if you want to co-author in the SA universe (or really, any of my universes);
- send me an e-mail with an introduction and indication of how you fit the above points
- give me an overview of the kind of concept you have and the 3 book (or longer!) arc
- send a sample of your writing (or just send me the Amazon link so I can poke at the samples there)
And that’s it. Once I read your sample, I’ll let you know if I do want to work with you on an official basis. If we do, realise that this is a professional relationship then, which will mean we’ll have contracts to sign, deadlines set and the like (because I need to schedule editors, cover artists, etc.)
Furthermore, realise this is a co-author agreement. That means any income made is split. There might be none. If we can’t work together, we both have the right to cancel the contract at any time and go on with our lives. You won’t be able to use the SA world, though if you file off the serial numbers (see Fifty Shades of Grey); you could probably rework the world.
As for the money part, roughly, I take half or more of the income, you get the rest but I pay for everything (editing, covers, audiobooks if we do them, translations, advertising, etc.). There’s a bunch of other things involved (yes, there’s a contract); but that’s the important money part.
I think that’s it. Hopefully it answers all the questions.
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