Multi-Author Short Story Collections?

Okay, so I’ve got this idea…

Now, you’ll recall that I don’t think ideas as such are worth much, but this one amuses me.  What I’d like to do is get a number of writers to write short stories based on this idea, and package it all together as a book.  Does anyone out there have experience working on (or, it is to be hoped) actually producing such a thing? Any ideas for someone who might be interested?

I don’t want to go into what the idea is just yet, but I think it’s broad enough a concept that there could be a lot of different ways to develop it.

About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle.
This entry was posted in On Promotion, On Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Multi-Author Short Story Collections?

  1. pajarigirls says:

    I like it! Submission guidelines, please. 🙂

  2. MishaBurnett says:

    Woah! Slow down there a minute. I’m just trying to see if anybody has done such a thing before, and how it works. I am nowhere near decided to actually put it in motion.

  3. tracycembor says:

    This sounds like an interesting project. Here are some things to consider:

    1. The scope of the project – How many authors? How many stories? What is the page goal for the final product? Will it be text-only, or is there consideration for illustrations too?

    2. Sales, marketing, and revenue – Where and how will it be sold? Will everyone be responsible for promoting it? Will it be free or sold with intent for a profit? How will the profits be distributed to the individual members?

    3. Project planning – What is the timeline for submissions, selections, edits, rewrites, and copyedits? Who will be doing the editing and copyediting? Who will be responsible for formating to the various digital formats, uploading, and handling any maintenance issues?

    4. And on a lighter note, what sort of themes are you considering?

    If you decide to go through with the project, and I think you should, I would be interested in participating as well as assisting with some of the administrative aspects.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      Good questions!

      1. My goal would be what I consider “feature-length”, 60,000–80,000 words, although I’d probably go as high as 100,000. How many stories is that? Well, it depends on how long the stories are. I’d consider any length from short-short (200 words) to mid-novella (40,000 words.)

      I was just thinking about text, but since you bring up artwork, well, we’d definitely need a cover. I have no experience with including illustrations in e-books, but I suppose I could learn.

      2. Is a biggie. I know that there are for-profit anthologies out there, but I don’t know who distributes funds or how. (That’s one of the reasons that I would like to talk to someone who has done this before.) My first impulse is to use this as a promotional tool for the individual authors, not as a money generating book. So I was thinking of putting it out there for either free or .99 and have all the authors promote it via their own channels. If authors are willing, I’d just as soon donate any and all proceeds to a worthy cause–perhaps a small press startup.

      3. Timeline? Haven’t got that far yet. I’d want one person to handle creative control–selecting the stories, putting them in order, doing the book design, formatting it for e-book. I’d be willing to do that part. I’d want at least one other person to do line editing. Perhaps each author could receive a copy of the galley proofs for editing.

      4. I suppose the unifying theme could be described as a shared world alternate history. My idea is to start with a single world-changing event, and then have everyone do their own stories about what happens after. The stories could be set anywhere in the world, and be unique in terms of tone and mood and characters. I don’t really want to say too much about the world until I have my own story and the world guidelines written.

      Thank you for your support. I will be posting more when I have the basics fleshed out.

  4. fortyoneteen says:

    Wow Misha, I hope you find the help you’re looking for.

  5. Big project! Sounds interesting.

  6. Wow Misha – love the concept and would love to part of this.

  7. melindaclayton says:

    Hi Misha – I’ve participated in a few anthologies. Some divide royalties up among the authors. Most pay the author a one-time payment (say, $25.00). Others (like my last one) donate all profits to charity. Unfortunately, none of the anthologies in which I’ve participated seem to sell very well. Not sure if that’s because of the themes, or if it’s because people don’t care for short stories. I’m with a small press out of Washington and every year or two they invite us to submit short stories to be put together into an ebook for purely promotional purposes (we all link to it on FB, Twitter, in our blogs, etc.). Believe it or not, it’s even been difficult to GIVE them away! Those always tend to be romance-oriented, so maybe something with a different theme will be more successful!

    • MishaBurnett says:

      Thank you. I have been thinking of this primarily as a promotional tool for the authors. I’m one of those people who does like short stories, and I have found several indie authors from reading stories in collections.

      • melindaclayton says:

        I’m a fan of short stories, too – especially when they’re written by different authors within the same book. I’ve never understood why the anthologies I’ve been a part of haven’t taken off. Maybe we’ve just chosen the wrong themes. 🙂

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