My First Franchise
Posted on March 17, 2004 Posted by John Scalzi 1 Comment
I have the contract in front of me and I’ll sign it as soon as it’s printed, so it’s about as official as it can be: I’m writing Book of the Dumb 2, which I kind of hope when it comes out in stores might be called Book of the Dumb 2: Book of the Dumber (incidentally, the picture above is not the official artwork; it’s just me playing with Photoshop). Consonant with the Portable Press tradition of very short timelines on books, this book is actually scheduled for release in September, so as you may imagine, I’ll be getting to work on this one Real Soon Now — that is to say, probably not long after writing this Whatever.
I’m pretty excited about this for a couple of reasons. One, I like the Book of the Dumb idea: It’s fun to write to and I think people enjoy reading the results (at least, enough do to warrant a sequel). The new book will have much of the same sort of content, with a few new elements to keep things fresh, but it’s mostly a formula that works, so why mess with it too much.
Two: Hey, I have a franchise! It’s the closest thing to sure money a writer gets; as long as one doesn’t betray the reader’s trust by making a lousy book (which I don’t expect I will) there’s no reason not to ride this train for a while. To be clear, it’s not entirely my train; Portable Press owns the name of the series, for example, and can boot me any time they feel like it. But for now they like me and I like them and everyone’s having fun and making money, so choo choo choo, let’s get this engine out of the station.
As long as people keep doing stupid things, this series has legs. And — bwa hah ha hah! — people show no signs of stopping doing stupid things any time soon. I could be doing this for a while. I’m okay with that.
Scalzi on writerly subjects
I’ll mention separately that John Scalzi has been on a tear about writerly subjects. On March 17th, he posted about…