Devious Plans

Posted by on Sep 28, 2011 in General Chaos | 5 comments

I’m considering putting together an anthology of flash fiction. The idea occurred to me while I was on vacation, somewhere west of Bozeman, Montana, if memory serves. I have a title in mind, but it’s top secret! The subject would be various re-imagined traditional monster stories. I think for balance I would have to limit it to one story per type of monster and that way hopefully I won’t get all vampire stories. Nothing against vampires–you all know I love them–but the point of this would be variety!

Cover and editing would be covered by me, of course, but I’m a little conflicted about how to run submissions. Do I judge the stories myself or put together some kind of panel? Do I pay for accepted works on a per word basis or do I offer a share of the profits? On one hand, payment in advance seems much more professional. On the other, is it unfair to make money, basically forever, on someone else’s story? I mean, I know the publishing industry has been doing exactly that for a long time, but isn’t that what we don’t like about it? Of course, all of this is assuming the anthology actually makes a profit, which is probably a long shot. Authors out there: If you have an opinion on this I’d love to hear it!

In Broods news, I started the edits in earnest this weekend. So far I’ve only made it through chapter 2, but those two chapters are almost complete rewrites so I don’t feel quite so bad about my slow progress. My editor is away on vacation for the next week and a half, so the goal is to have the completed second (third, fourth? whatever) draft waiting for her when she gets back. We’ll see how that goes… I have high hopes! So far, I have to say I’m really excited about the changes. The beginning of the book suffered from a few problems that I could never quite conquer and a wonderful idea from my editor sparked several different directions that work quite well to enhance other aspects of the story.



  1. I’ve been talking to an editor friend who is branching out into writing and is putting together anthologies. She’s honest upfront that there’s no pay. The primary purpose is to generate publicity for the writers who contribute to the anthologies. As such, the writers are not assigning anything but one-time rights to their stories, and they can submit them elsewhere or publish them with no delay (no ‘first world rights for one year’, etc). As you say, it’s unlikely to generate huge profits.

    I think if you are upfront about whatever decision you make regarding payment and rights, then it’s all good. I would feel comfortable being involved in the kind of arrangement my friend mentioned.

    • That’s a good point, Margo! If the rights requested aren’t exclusive, that makes a big difference.

      The reason I’m leery of the “exposure” model of publishing is that it seems exploitative. I would never ask an author to give me any rights to publish at all without giving them *something* for it. Even if that something is just an agreement to share any profits with them, however meager they might be.

  2. I liked Margo’s comments about publishing in an anthology. It sounds like a good idea to me.

    I understand the time it’s taking to rewrite “Broods”. I’m there myself with “Racing the Dark”. The very beginning is essentially starting from scratch. But I see you’re hurtling along now (chapter 7 or so?), so hopefully you’ll meet your target when your editor is back from vacation.

  3. The quality of stories you’ll get will be determined by how much you pay. I won’t submit a story for less than $0.01 a word, or semi-pro, and I always start at the top paying and work my way down.

    Definitely pay either a flat amount or per word. Pretty much all anthologies and mags do it that way. Royalties would be too complex with so many writers involved.

    • It just struck me how jerky the “I won’t submit a story…” sounds. I meant, “I won’t as a general rule submit to an anthology being put together by people I don’t know for less than a cent a word,” not, “I won’t submit to your anthology, so you better pay what I want!”

      I was just trying to give an example of limits writers set, not make some sort of weird threat, as if you’d been begging me to submit.

      How weird this came to me like a week later.

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