The revelation Permuted Press was going to be sold didn't fill me with dread. After all, Jacob Kier was an author primarily and selling his company was something which would improve the lot for authors who worked with him. They would get greater exposure and more money devoted to making sure their books got into the hands of readers. This was a contrary viewpoint to doom-and-gloom posters on the soon-to-be-no-more forums who predicted Permuted Press was about to go belly up.
If you want to see what Jacob Kier has been up to since then, I recommend you pick up The Pen Name (see my review). I won't say what his relationship to that book is but it's a wonderfully dark and twisted story about an author eaten alive by his publisher.
Anyway, I submitted Esoterrorism to Permuted Press and I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited some more.
Amusingly, my first interaction with Permuted Press' new overlord was a rejection letter but not for Esoterorrism. It turns out, much to my surprise, The Rules of Supervillainy had been accepted for publication by Jacob Kier but the new owners were reversing that decision. They had no interest in "superhero" novels and were kind of annoyed they had an acceptance for a book they didn't want.
I was okay with this because The Rules of Supervillainy needed a lot of rewrites.
Hell, I'd forgotten I'd even submitted it.
(I was still suffering from "your old books suck, only new books are awesome"-itis).
Still, I was hoping they'd be interested in Esoterrorism.
Six months later.
Yes, yes, they are!
If I'm making the new owners seem callous, please understand I thought anything but of them. It turned out the Faceless Overlords actually did have a face and that was Michael L. Wilson.
Michael was a former social media hawk (he worked for Taylor Swift at one point) who was part of Permuted Press' buy-out because he and his fellows were tired of the big company rat race--yet wanted to continue publishing what they loved. They'd bought Permuted Press because it was an established presence in the indie scene with a noted catalogue they wanted to expand.
How would I like to be a part of that?
Sure, I said!
This was about the time that New PermutedTM revealed their goal. They were going to take the indie out of independent Press and make us a part of the big pleasures. Which, if not part of the big five publishers, would be still in their weight class.
Albeit, Glass Joe for Punch Out! fans.
We would have Permuted Platinum.
Permuted Platinum was a program designed by the new owners to reach deep into their pockets and pull out the dough necessary to pay for physical print runs which would end up in Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and other major chains.
With the closing of Borders, it was unlikely I'd get to see Permuted books in my local bookstores (which no longer existed), but it was the very definition of "the big time" for a lot of authors. If not published by Warner Brothers or Fox, you'd at least be New Line Cinema back when it was making Freddy Krueger.
Now there's a catch to all of this. Permuted Platinum wasn't the "Standard Rich and Famous Contract" offered the Muppets (and I'd be a dumbass to get into WRITING to be rich and famous--that doesn't happen until you sell your books to Hollywood).
It was only for already-successful books published by Permuted Press or ones they really believed in. Michael L. Wilson was very clear about all of this.
I'd like to stop and say I like Michael. He's a stand-up guy. The man wouldn't be in charge of Permuted Press if he didn't believe in publishing scary, spooky, and horrific stuff. He got put in a nasty position later on but I never felt he was an absentee owner or publisher. Any guy who buys an open bar for his authors BEFORE delivering bad news, at least has his priorities straight.
But we'll get to that in part 3.