Recently, I had an opportunity to submit to a pre-existing series of romance novels. The creators had put together a bible of worlds that anyone submitting could chose from and write about. You submitted the complete novel and waited for the acceptance. You submitted only the synopsis to the creators of the series so they could verify it fit. I did this last year. It was a great idea. It got me out of a writing rut and got the creative juices flowing once again. My first book had been published, I was working on my sixth book, had two other books contracted and a fourth one pending acceptance when the creators read the first book and decided it was not right for the series. They said it didn't fit and that what I had written for some of the planets clashed with the future writings of the creators.
So the publisher had to go to the expense of having the cover art changed and the first book revised to change planet and other names that were significant in the series. I imagine a few choice words heated up the email traffic for a while. I had to go through the next three books and make more revisions which in fact were not that many as I really just used the name of the planet and that was about it. I guess what I'm trying to say is how much flexibility should be allowed when you create a world and then open it up to the public for submissions? You have to expect some creative license.
What was the purpose of creating this series? Was it to build up a stock of books thereby attracting a wider audience? Was it an ego-building project? See how many people thought how exciting it would be to write for this series? It was a very defined, well thought out world-building exercise. It would attract and inspire a lot of people. I guess it just comes down to managing the series. Were the creators overwhelmed with the work involved? Were there too many cooks in the kitchen and no one ready to decide where to place the fresh parsley on the finished plate?
So, overall, I do appreciate the fact that they created this series. It became my muse. And now I have six books under my own name with the possibility of five more as I give the minor characters their own books. The negative? Working with the creators who love the series even more than you do and having to follow their rules. There does come a time when you feel it's best to part ways and learn to rely on your own creativity.
Anyone else have this experience?