The Loot Drop Deal

Tor-Logo1I’m pleased to announce that I’ve sold a new novel to Jim Frenkel over at Tor, the largest publisher of science fiction in the world. It’s called Loot Drop, and it’s a modern-day thriller packed with elements from the online universe of MMOs (massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft).

This is not a tie-in to any particular game. In fact, I’m going to develop a fictional game of my own as part of writing the book — which is due in September, so I have a busy summer ahead of me. I considered asking permission to use someone else’s game for the book, but this frees me to write this story without worrying about approvals or any kinds of restrictions.

The book is slated for publication in early 2015, and it should be released in hardcover first, with a softcover edition to follow. That’s all a long ways off, of course, and subject to change. We may simply be downloading stories directly into our brains by then.

Because the book’s not written — other than a few sample chapters — I don’t want to say too much about it yet. However, here are some fun details I can share.

  • A loot drop is what happens after you kill monsters or characters in an MMO. When it dies, the creature drops a pile of loot you can rummage through and claim as your own.
  • I sold the book without an agent, just as I have with all of my books to date. Well, except for the ones I self-publish, which I sell to readers rather than editors. 
  • Tor is a division of Macmillan (one of the Big Five publishers in English), which is a division of Holtzbrinck (one of the top ten publishers in the world).
  • Tor is the only division of any of the Big Five to date to get rid of DRM (digital rights management) for all their ebooks. I love that.
  • I originally planned to offer this book as the basis of my third 12 for ’12 Kickstarter, but I’d pitched it to Jim a year or two before that. He’d been excited about it, but we both got busy with other things, and the deal stalled. As a courtesy, I emailed him to see if he still wanted the book before I used it for a Kickstarter. He stopped me and asked for a few sample chapters, and we went from there.
  • I replaced Loot Drop with the Dangerous Games trilogy of thrillers set at Gen Con. That became the most successful of the four 12 for ’12 Kickstarters I ran, and How to Play — the first book in that series — goes on sale next week.

I’ll post more details when I can. Meanwhile, set your calendars to early 2015 for Loot Drop!