This new project is the result of a lot of different conversations with authors. There are a lot of short story writers who write longer short stories. The majority of publications today want shorter (under 5000 words) works. That leaves a lot of authors with great stories too long for most publications but too short to print independently. Some authors decide to self-publish these stories either on their websites or on Amazon as promotional tools. But many authors for a variety of reasons don’t want to self-publish.
Which means they sometimes come to me to complain about the lack of markets for longer stories. Because, for some reason, Julie is everyone’s big sister that they complain to in hopes that she will “fix it!”
So, Julie is going to try to fix it!
We’re starting a new short story series called The Society of Misfit Stories. Our goal is to publish, in digital format, one story a week.
Here is my thought process behind this program:
First, and most importantly, it creates a paying market for longer stories. For authors who self-publish, this isn’t going to be all that exciting. But for those authors that just want to focus on their writing and find homes for their stories, we’ll be able to do that. We will handle the editing, proofreading, and all the nonsense. The author gets paid.
Second, the program is built on a six-month renewable license. After six months, the author can pull the story from the program or we can renew the license. We pay the author a new licensing fee and keep the story available for another six months. This gives authors the flexibility, should they decide later they want to do something else with the story, to do so. And paying a regular licensing fee instead of dealing with royalty payments saves me a lot of time and money on accounting expenses, which helps control costs.
Third, because the program will be branded under The Society of Misfit Stories, it allows authors with stand alone stories to benefit from the collective brand building we will be doing. Stand-alone short stories are a very hard sell on most retail outlets. Customers tend toward serials these days. But the umbrella brand helps create the same effect as a serial.
Fourth, hopefully, the series creates a sense of comradery between authors in the program and they can cross-promote each others work to their own audiences. This helps all authors involve build their individual brands.
Complete submission guidelines can be found at http://www.bardsandsages.com/speculative_fiction/society_of_misfit_stories