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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Anthology Anyone? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Anthology Anyone?
extrinsic
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What would you want from submitting to a Treehouse anthology?

Publication format:
Digital,
ePub
PDF
Paper Bound,
Mass market paperback
Trade paperback
Stitch-bound paper digest
Casecover

Minimum acceptable renumeration if for profit publication:
Penny per word
Nickel per word
Dime per word
More?
$100 flat payment, up to 5,000 words
$250 flat payment, up to 5,000 words
$500 flat payment, up to 5,000 words
More payment?
More words per payment?
Royalty based on sales and individual percentage portion of total stories' word count, due annually upon sales report

Not for profit, for memento publication, no payment

Word count:
2500 words max
5000 words max
10,000 words max
More?

Page count:
80, roughly 28,000 words
160, roughly 56,000 words
240, roughly 84,000 words
320, roughly 200,000 words

Content:
Illustrated
Text only
Third-party commentary, i.e. editors and/or publishers' introduction or foreword
Per story commentary, editors', author bio. etc.


Degree of editorial screening and copyediting discussion:
Light
Medium
Heavy

Distribution:
Contributors only, not-for profit
Through Lulu.com
Through CreateSpace
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Through non DRM ePubbers like Goodreads
Unrestricted public access to PDF from a website

Rights:
Iron-clad contract
Informal contract
Hand-shake agreement
Assignment of all rights for perpetuity
Limited licensing of rights
Author retains all copyrights for perpetuity, excepting publication permission for a one-time, one-edition paper anthology so long as it remains in print, for digital publication that's pretty much perpetuity

Indemnity responsibility:
Entirely for authors, none for publisher
Shared between author and publisher
Entirely publisher, none for authors

Theme:
Specific genre
Specific milieu
None, Treehouse Writers Best Of

Anything else?

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History
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Oy gevalt! Too many choices.
If so many are necessary, this makes me wary of attempting to offer one to the Treehouse myself.

For me, it is less about being paid then about being seen--particularly among a quality selection of stories that are worthy of traditional markets but, for whatever reason, were not chosen.

I believe the purpose should be to showcase the best budding talent we have. Getting the work out to be read would be a first priority. Keep your costs low, keep the quality high (the anthology need be something members should aspire to).

--Epub with or without print-on-demand
--Interior illustrations per story would be a plus.
--Payment should be low to start (~$10-$20) and royalties (if any) should go to the costs of producing the next anthology.
--The anthology should have 1st publication rights (and any subsequent publication should credit the anthology).
--Authors need assume all responsibilities for the original content of their stories, thus I suspect a signed agreement is needed.

I've shared my own thoughts on the subject with a couple Hatrackers in passing. If I offer a shared world anthology, by necessity this would require greater editorial input and restrictions; for example, individual authors need retain sufficient rights to their created characters yet the editor need maintain all rights to the created world.
A straight forward anthology of diverse stories need not require this degree of editorial and creative rights oversight, but as a reader I think I'd be more interested in a theme or genre anthology.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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snapper
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I am attempted to write [I]all the above[i/].

Motivation of what to submit to is what drives me. Here is my list of motivations.

Exposure
Recognition
Payment

Often, a matter of who is in an anthology (or publication) matters more to me than an attractive pay-per-word pay format. If I could get in a paperback anthology that I knew would be on every bookshelf in Barnes and Nobles, I would happily sell my script for a penny a word over an epub that was offering 10 cents a word but didn't have a recognizable name in it.

Let's face it. Names (Mike Resnick, Larry Niven...) Will sell more books than a theme will. Allow my name to join there's and I am in regardless what the pay or contract says.

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Foste
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What about mary robinette and aliette? Both are hatrackers.
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snapper
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Aliette, Robinette, EJ Stone, Torgensen, Woodbury - I'd be stoked to be in an anthology with any of them. Hell, I'd take Colston, Mann, and Tchan (or T Chain - whatever his name is) at this point. The problem is, they would probably say "what's this guy doing here?" When they saw my name gumming up the TOC.

Truth is, if a call for an anthology for hatrack exclusive author is made, I'd probably submit my best for it and hope it would be good enough.

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LDWriter2
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Quite a few choices indeed.

And if we could get a couple of hatrackers that have gone on to be pros that would good.

Personally I think the theme should be the Treehouse--other than that it's open: steampunk, SF, fantasy, UF, cyperpunk, Noir, space opera. Including that new one kabbalistic-Yiddisheit Made famous by a good friend of ours here.

Oh that reminds me, someone would have to edit and judge the stories or do we do it as a challenge ?

An aside here. I don't recall Asimov's Azazel stories. Either it's been way too long since I have read them or somehow I missed them.

I would mostly agree with snapper even though personally recognition and payment is probably tied. But in this case payment wouldn't be that big a deal--if we can decide on how to do it.

And I think it would due best to use a standard contract.

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extrinsic
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I have several business models in mind. One, just do it for the experience and memento product and as a showcase of the current state of struggling Hatrack writers' art, documenting a historical snapshot for prosperity's sake, a yearbook, so to speak. I favor that model. Two, strive for modest sales with limited screening and only mechanical style copyediting, a conventional start-up venture. Three, full bore striving for top-tier excellence. Four, start out and see where it settles out anywhere in between extremes.

Due to the many publication options anymore, a variety of formats would suit audience comfort zones: paper and digital. There's still nothing comparable to leaving a paper digest in a strategic location so that it starts conversations, like on a living room coffee table or lying around the local coffee café (guerilla marketing--product placement). Digital doesn't enjoy that feature; devices are private possessions zealously guarded. Content sharing aside.

On the name recognition side, a traditional strategy to include recognized names asks for support for a venture. Every accomplished author at one time in her or his career arose from the shadows of someone else who came before. It is a privilege and a responsibility to pay back and pay forward for struggling writers' career advancement, without which literary arts would die.

Encouragement and praise of writing virtues builds word-of-mouth buzz and contributes to the conversation that the literary opus is. Focusing on writing vices is tantamount to complaining. No one really likes to listen to complaints. We like to give them though, do we like to give them.

From studying the careers of winning writers, I've noticed a strong tendency for writers to mutually support each other through sincere, warranted, favorable commentary on each other's works. By focusing on virtues and letting vices stand, writers become aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Read some early Asimov and his criticisms of his own works and Campbell's responses to them and compare to his later works and see if this principle is not valid: Supporting other writers is mutual support and pays dividends for all concerned.

Costs for publication today are in a peculiar state. With print on demand book manufacturing coming into its own, real costs boil down to sweat equity and some unavoidable costs like copyright registration and POD al la carte charges, like for distribution packages. A Lulu.com POD published book shouldn't cost a publisher more than $200.00 out-of-pocket for actual production. Digital publication production has no real cost beyond sweat equity.

Payments for content are another matter. A journal---trade paperback format---I'm currently working on (intern) does not pay royalties of any kind. Publication and recognition and prestige are their own rewards for those authors. Authors provide their own illustrations at personal expense. One of the authors spent $500 acquiring illustration permissions. I'm flummoxed by that, but I don't understand the journal's reader community either. I'm not required to. I am reasonably well-paid, though, through a fellowship grant. The journal publication enjoys a self-sustaining budget from subscriptions, 400 copy biannual circulation, and a reputation among its subscribers for excellence.

It’s a new world order. We, the writers, can make our mark upon it as it evolves.

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extrinsic
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. . . The screening model I have in mind is not much, if any. Writers do their own screening; decide if they want in and can offer the best they are able. A 200-page digest format, 5.5 by 8.5 inches, has space for up to 70,000 words. 5,000-word average story word count means up to fourteen stories. 5,000 is a nice number because it takes an average reader a half hour to read one, which happens to be an affordable daily reading-time budget for regular digest readers.

The editing model I have in mind is several heavy individual passes for nondiscretionary mechanical style issues so no one is embarrassed by a mispelt word, a missing or extra sentence stop stop,. a dang dangling participle, a tautological redundancy. So, say, six editors.

Discretionary editing might comment on but not alter content or organization. Let's face it, we don't all write carefully crafted dramas or sagas where dramatic structure, plot, emphasis influences narratives. Some write artful character or setting sketches or artful anecdotes or vignettes.

Then light editorial commentary on expression or voice. No altering voice, but comments about voice lapses could and should be constructive.

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LDWriter2
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extrinsic sounds like you have more experience and knowledge about such stuff than I do, if I did an anthology the was open to other writers I would have to learn everything from scratch.

My thoughts on what you just said, however.

That would mean we would have somewhere along the lines of 14 members here who could get in, less if we could get one to three ex-hatrackers to submit a story. We would have to have some way of cutting deciding who gets in if this is true.

I would think 15 to 20 stories would be good but obviously that would mean significantly more pages. And a couple of us tend to be longwinded-in a good way-so maybe a couple slots for longer stories?

I would go with E-publishing and POD. But if we did POD wouldn't we need a back cover designed which might push the price up some.

The editing model seems good to me as would allowing someone to add their own illustration.

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MattLeo
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I'd really have only two criteria for such a treehouse anthology:

(1) That the stories be absolutely first rate, as good as in anything published in the pro markets.

(2) That it has something of mine in it. ;-)

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babooher
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The price for the publication would be minimal if broken up equally among participants. Editors could be absolved of the buy in with their cost folded in on the price for everyone else. Everyone shares equally on any profits.

Are we allowed to use Treehouse Writers Best Of...?

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extrinsic
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My philosophy for this anthology would be inclusive rather than exclusive. If things run over page budget then so be it. As I expressed previously a yearbook approach could fly once a year, or more frequently if justified and self-sustaining. Frankly, my sense of the purposes for readers acquiring a copy is twofold at least. One, for entertainment value. Two, for insight into struggling writer culture, That one, I like.

I don't see participation interest being especially strong at first. But that could build once a reputation is established. Other factors will self-limit interest: missed deadlines, self-doubts, limiting submitters to Hatrack membership, other kinds of personal reluctance to participate.

Twenty 5,000-word average stories would run to about 288 pages, about as thick as an average hard bound or casecover novel,.$6.82 manufacturing cost from Lulu.com. Their suggested retail price is then plus royalty, plus their vig of 25 percent of royalty, then doubled or about $16. To recoup out-of-pocket costs, two hundred copies must sell with a dollar royalty each. Twenty contributors purchasing ten copies each can make up that number. But that's $160 plus postage. Not practical. Though that modest royalty sets a realistic base target of 200-copy circulation. Whether a free contributor copy or two is practical is a matter of sufficient revenues earned to justify the expense. A shoe-string budget doesn't have much room for it. My thoughts are participation is its own reward.

Lulu allows publishers to set their own retail prices for purchases through Lulu. Say at cost plus royalty and Lulu vig, that's $8. For a digital e-Pub Lulu takes 10 percent. The rest of, say, $1.15 gross revenue for an e-Pub is $1.035. Other paper retailers set their retail prices based on a wholesale price. Keystone double is conventional. Amazon and Barnes and Noble? I don't know, 1.25 to 1.5 times.

Cover design, I have training, education, and experience in that area. The Treehouse brain trust I'm sure can come up with a suitable and artful design.

Lulu has a free ISBN assignment. Or for a charge a publisher can acquire one independently and use it through Lulu. CreateSpace's policies are similar to Lulu's as makes little difference. An optional ISBN is required for distribution outside of Lulu. CreateSpace assigns one regardless.

Illustrations are somewhat problematic. Color interiors cost appreciably more to manufacture. Four times as much due to needing CMYK printing and not just black ink on a publisher-grade white paper. POD doesn't do color page inserts the way traditional book manufacturing does. It's not practical in time or expense. Color is no obstacle for digital publication though needs to be RGB colorspace for optimum color rendering.

A traditional cover design for paperback short fiction digest books I favor is an artfully rendered table of contents with some brand recognition artwork. Keeps it simple. Back cover design could be traditional reviewer blurbs or excerpts from the content. Spine would, of course, be a readable title and branding mark. That's just my take on cover design. Whatever, it would be best to set a brand recognition benchmark and stick to it so editions are readily identifiable on sight.

I favor the proposition that the anthology be open to all genres, even perhaps creative nonfiction and poetry. Again, my philosophy is inclusive.

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Owasm
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You can count me in. I've got about 40 stories already slated for three short story collections I'll be publishing, but will use one of my best or do a new one for a Treehouse anthology.

Any genre, any length.

I do like thematic anthologies, if that arises, if not, I still would like to contribute, for contribution's sake.

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History
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Hmm.

Well, it seems:

(1) people have a variety of ideas: yearbook of everything and anything; thematic or genre anthologies, shared world, etc.

(2) there is consensus that a Treehouse anthology should be open to submissions by all members.

(3) there are differences of opinion on permissible story lengths [at 5000 words I'm out [Wink] ], book length, publication format.

I also believe the stories need be top notch, professional quality. A yearbook of members just submitting what they think are their best stories for inclusion, as they would their yearbook class photo, would not achieve this.

Thus, there is a necessary threshold for inclusion; and there need be "editors" to make the selection. This is where it gets touchy, perhaps.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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extrinsic
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Such an anthology no matter the criteria would require a table of organization: administrators, supervisors, and associates in order to set and meet expectations and facilitate efficient process ease and avoid ruffled feathers.

A sample table of organization:
Administration
Publisher chairperson--the head honcho
Editorial board
Editor chairperson (1)
Assistant editors (2)
Associate editors (3)

Advisory board for discussing and making recommendations to the editorial board
I.e., genre, content, theme, screening criteria, minimum and maximum word counts, page count, design and layout, artwork, calendar dates, etc.
Board chair and members, (6)

Bookkeeper (1) tracking and archiving necessary business details and reporting to editorial board

Producer (1) receives content and produces anthology according to editorial direction

Perhaps a publishing consultant for smoothing over unforeseen complications

Plus, a calendar schedule would be required regardless.
Due date for submission
Due date for completing editorial oversight
Due date for author revisions from editorial oversight
Due date to deliver content to producer
Due date for galley proofs to authors and illustrators
Due date to return approved galley proofs
Due date for initial anthology production
Due date for editorial and publisher final corrections
Due date for final anthology production
Date of anthology release--the pivot point off which all other dates depend
Due date for bookkeeper's reports

[ May 07, 2012, 12:00 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Pyre Dynasty
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Interesting idea, I'd certainly send you something. I have some experience typesetting and editing as a student so I might be able to help in that area.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Tales from the Treehouse?
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
Tales from the Treehouse?

I like it. And thus, naturally, a treehouse branding logo. Easy-peasy and potentially distinctive.

Due diligence might require also:
A constitution delineating the articles of organization
A business plan
A financial statement
A business registration. i.e., proprietorship, partnership, Chapter S, LLC, or incorporation; nonprofit or commercial

I favor a limited liability partnership arrangement, which limits individual liability and permits promotional fund-raising events, like contests where by law a minimum of 20 percent of proceeds must be awarded to winners. Nor must a partnership show a profit. However, partnership losses can't be taken on personal income statements. They can carry over to subsequent years.

Great, Pyre Dynasty. Participant sweat equity will make this venture a success.

I have education, training, and experience in all publishing areas. Ideally, I'd prefer not to be the publisher chair. One of my shortcomings is a disastrous dearth of diplomatic skills. As the figurehead of an organization, a publisher chair is largely a political/diplomatic role and a tie breaker and a dispute settler and the public face and the heavy hitter who takes and gives all the grief and wears a formal suit.

Me, publishing consultant, yes; producer, yes; advisory board member, maybe; associate editor, yes; a more senior editor, maybe. Bookkeeper? Oh my. I can but it's a time-consuming and heavy responsibility.

[ May 07, 2012, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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History
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>o< >o<
....-0-....

Seems more a corporate skyscraper than a Treehouse!
Is all this hoopla necessary to get together and provide a showcase and visibility for our Treehouse talents and our best stories?

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Whether it's really necessary or not, it's better to have covered all the bases at the beginning than to find yourself wishing they had been covered later on.
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History
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Perhaps.
I've written many a contract for provision of services the past twenty years (our clients are hospitals and medical groups), and what I've found is that clear and simple agreements are better accepted and more conducive to achieving the mutually desired goals than complex ones the lawyers devise. The latter see the other party as a potential adversary and press for advantage, creating an adversarial relationship in their desire to ward against one. It would be nice to have an agreement that encourages participation and good will.

Just saying.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
Whether it's really necessary or not, it's better to have covered all the bases at the beginning than to find yourself wishing they had been covered later on.

I've been there, done that, much to my chagrin. A business maxim says it all: Fail to plan; plan to fail. Small business ventures fail at a rate of nine out of ten from a lack of pre-planning and organization and due diligence.

Plan B. I take on the whole ball of wax, which would require 120 hours of my time and $200 of my money to produce an anthology of 288 pages. And I'd dictate reasonable if controversial terms. I would solicit and welcome editorial, advisory, and production contributions. I won't have the time for another year.

[ May 07, 2012, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Osiris
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This all sounds great, I've just been watching this thread with a smile. I do think it is possible some of Hatrack's accomplished alumni would contribute something, at least a reprint if not a new story. I consider Hatrack my writing childhood home, and if I ever achieve the success of people like Brad and Mary, I know I'd want to help out with something like this for the place where I got started

For the logistics of submission, you could consider using Submittable:

http://www.submittable.com/

It does have a monthly fee, but it is a great system. I read slush for another anthology that used Submittable, and am happy to volunteer to do the same for this one.

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History
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If someone believes I can help, I will consider it, and would contribute to start-up costs.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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extrinsic
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Interestingly, I've used Submittable for a journal, too. The basic package allows for 1,000 submissions per month, access for up to ten staff, at a cost of $10 per month. $120 per year about halves again the budget. But submission managers manage all submission tracking, track edits and evaluation reports, track votes by editorial staff, and generate responses. It's worth considering if 320-copy circulation would justify the expense.

To achieve that milestone, I think a degree of screening and a degree of editorial input would be essential.

What degree of editorial input would submitters accept? Heavy copyediting for mechanical style, medium craft developmental editing, light voice developmental editing? Heavier or lighter?

Takes me about an hour to read, evaluate, edit, and respond to an average short story at that degree of editorial input. Longer for longer works. Revising my works are a longer process for me.

History, due to your exemplary diplomatic skills, you could be the publisher chair, which could include inviting name-recognition writers to participate. I'd also ask if you might draft a proposed constitution.

Osiris, I'll count you penciled in for the editorial board. Could you compose a screening and editing criteria proposal?

Pyre Dynasty, I have you penciled in for production support.

I'd like volunteers for other board and associate positions too. I have some spare time over the next year just not enough to do everything myself until next June.

[ May 08, 2012, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Osiris
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Well, I'm happy to participate, as I've got fuzzy plans for an anthology of my own someday, so this will be a good experience. All of my comments that follow are just food for thought, this is your baby, extrinsic, so I am just playing devil's advocate with some of my comments.

First thing I want to suggest is that it may be worth considering electronic formats only to begin with. This presumably simplifies the process and costs less. I'm all for hard copy at some point, but it makes sense to me to start smallish and simple, where we are free to learn the process without a whole bunch of risk. Plus, I think you can reach more readers with electronic formats.

Another thing to consider regarding inclusivity... yes I agree, inclusive is good, but to what extent? I think a broad spectrum of 'speculative fiction' best represents the core of Hatrack, though I know folks here, myself included, write outside spec fic. My main concern though, is that with something that includes all genres, you may turn off many readers who want to know that they are getting an anthology that generally suits there tastes. Someone who likes to read creative non-fiction may not want to buy an anthology if only 3 of 20 stories in it suit their tastes.

quote:
What degree of editorial input would submitters accept? Heavy copyediting for mechanical style, medium craft developmental editing, light voice developmental editing? Heavier or lighter?
That is really going to depend on the submitter, and it is going to vary depending on the story, too. I think you'll have to take it on a case-by-case basis.

Speaking as a slushie, the stories that are easiest to accept are the ones that get the story-telling aspects right, and only require a little bit of mechanical line editing. If a story is really good, it is easy to forgive a smallish number of typos/punctuation/grammar issues because these are generally quick fixes. On the other hand, an immaculate manuscript is easy to reject if there is no story, or it is poorly constructed.

It is also going to be driven by the number and quality of submissions. A market that gets a lot of submissions can afford to do little or no editing because they will have a huge pool of stories to select from.

Smaller markets will more likely have to do more editing to maximize the quality of the stories in their pages. My gut says this: good story and good writing is an acceptance, good story with writing issues is a rewrite, poor stories and poor writing is a reject. Seems obvious and simple enough.

quote:
Osiris, I'll count you penciled in for the editorial board. Could you compose a screening and editing criteria proposal?
I can give it a shot, with the caveat that I've never done anything like this (though that's never stopped me before!). Some of this will depend on organizational structure. Is there an editor-in-chief? A fiction editor? How many slush readers? I'm inclined to follow the model I'm familiar with from Triangulation, with four slush readers plus the editor voting on accept/reject/rewrite and the editor making the final decision based on votes and slush reader comments.
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WouldBe
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Leonard Richardson did a spec fic anthology for fun and included his motivations, methods and budgets in an appendix. You might get a tidbit or two there.

He's perhaps best known for his Internet technology and software development books published by O'Reilly Media (affectionaltely: the O'Reilly zoo).

Here:
http://thoughtcrime.crummy.com/2009/
Appendix A has his thoughts
Appendix B has a sample contract

You'll find links there for a ePub, PDF and other formats...and a print edition.

You've somewhat covered the rights purchased. Leonard chose a flavor of Creative Commons. CC might not fit your needs (or the authors'), but an advantage of standardized agreements is the vetting behind them.

NB: I have a story in that anthology.

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babooher
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Would being a slush reader exclude one from submitting? I'm interested in both.
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History
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"I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
--Groucho Marx [Wink]

quote:
History, due to your exemplary diplomatic skills, you could be the publisher chair, which could include inviting name-recognition writers to participate. I'd also ask if you might draft a proposed constitution.
Well, extrinsic, I'm honored by the nomination, but I fear I may not be the best choice:
-- The time I could commit to a project of this broad a scope may be insufficient to what is needed (I'm still a full-time working M.D.).
-- I lack your expertise and experience in publishing
-- As you can see from the preceding posts, my vision for such an endeavor is smaller and more demanding of submitting authors than what you (and others) propose. Thus a "constitution" I would draft would likely not be in step with the majority above.
-- I've no professional pub cred, nor have I been a long-time Treehouse Member to be known to "name-recognition" writers to conjole them into participating--other than Nick Tchan, perhaps.

The "Publisher chairperson (Head honcho)" need provide the vision for the entire project for everyone else to follow, and be the compass by which everyone else will steer, and be responsible to keep everyone on track. I think you need assume this position if you wish to achieve the result you outline above.

My thoughts are that inclusion is an earned privilege and not a right. As others have said, the anthology must be of such high quality that authors will strive to submit their best in hope of having their stories, and their names, seen in such company. Simply, shlock doesn't sell--even if its free.

There should be a set page limit/word count for each anthology. The editorial board can decide how it is to be filled, from poetry to flash to novellas, based on the quality of the submissions. This avoids bloated trashcan editions.

I'm less in favor of a potpurri of anything goes than I am for genre or thematic antholgies--though someday a "Best of" could be done from reader votes [Much as with DSF, permitting readers to rank each included story is an important feature]. You could even consider having different editorial chairs for different genre/theme anthologies between your board members. It would be good experience. I would be willing to consider doing one of these in a genre/theme of my interest.

I concur that electronic formats (with or without print-on-demand) is where to start under the perception (possibly misperception--you would know) that this is less expensive, easier, and faster to produce and publish.

Regarding submissions, they need be professional-aspiring--i.e standard manuscript submission format, proofread and more than reasonably free from spelling and grammatical errors, edits may be suggested/recommended (the author may refuse these but the editors may reject the story--or may not).

Critiques may be an issue. As Hatrackers we often offer mutual critiques (this is why we are here), but some are detailed, some are not. For a publication critiquing may not be feasible beyond a few brief lines from the editorial team. There are some sites (OTP) that offer critiques for pay, but my experience is that Hatrackers differ wildly on the quality of their critiques and I'd hate to have someone say they didn't get their money's worth and bad mouth the editors and anthology. However, this may offset the cost of producing the anthology, especially a paying anthology. You could consider charging a token submission fee/donation to support the project (and pay authors) as well.

Editors may also wish to contribute stories. This leads to the potential accusation of nepotism. Thus, stories should be submitted blind to the editorial team. Of course some of us have become rather identifiable by the kinds of stories we write and even our writing styles, especially among those who have kindly done numerous critiques, but what can you do?

Thanks for the kind compliment, extrinsic. But unless the postiton is a titulary head (the old guy with the beard in the back, usually half-asleep) who nods off but acts as a resource to help ameliorate disputes while others do most of the work, and who wakes up at times to schmooze with the nobles and princes (who may wonder "Who is this?"), I don't think I'm your best choice for "publisher chair." [Wink]

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

[ May 09, 2012, 10:45 PM: Message edited by: History ]

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Osiris
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I'm a believer in the notion that money should always flow to the writer, so I'm not a supporter of markets that charge a submission fee.

I am in favor of taking donations. I also wonder if something like Kickstarter is appropriate for a venture like this:
http://www.kickstarter.com/

I do agree that giving full-blown critiques to rejections is not feasible. I think Triangulation has a good system here, too. Since slush readers leave comments on all stories they review, it is a simple matter to collect these comments and supply them as part of a personal rejection letter. This way, you give the writer valuable feedback without doing any work that wouldn't have been done anyway.

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extrinsic
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My turn for a synopsis.

The model that probably satisfies the greatest number of interests is one of collaboration between editors (at least four associates who screen and comment on and score submissions) and contributors. Editors score submissions based on accessibility--meaning, reading and comprehension ease--craft and voice, originality, and mechanical style. Highest scorers selected for publication. Blind selection process, except for invitees' submissions.

Editors' responses to submissions could follow that method, and perhaps share scoring results with writers. Your "Story Title" placed 21st, just out of the running for the current issue. Our editors feel the narrative is creative and original; however, the story didn't score as high for accessibilty or craft as others we did accept. The narrative voice didn't stand out quite enough for our editors to consider accepting the story upon voice qualities alone. The mechanical style more than met our expectations. We'd welcome and consider a revised version for our next issue. Thank you.

Submissions accepted that editors feel might benefit from a touch of developmental editing would receive such tender loving care?

I agree with Osiris that money should flow to writers, not be published at a cost to writers beyond what they've already expended writing in the first place. An ePub serial digest could do that soonest and least costly. If writers are patient about royalty payments, payment could be based on individual published word count divided by total published word count, or percentage of revenue, if any, after costs. Standard sized illustrations, say 1800 wide by 1200 dpi height, lansdcape orientation, would be equivalent to half a page or 175 words. (Yeah, I know, a picture is worth a thousand words.)

Electronic edition revenue
Kindle publishing 30/70 split (vendor/publisher)
NOOK publishing 60/40 of retail price $0.99 to 2.99 or $10 to 199.00 -- 35/65 $3 to 9.99, PubIt.com
Both stipulate uniform retail pricing.
Smashwords pays 60 percent of selling price for other online retailers' sales, 85 percent of net through their store.
Goodreads isn't a paying market.

Print edition revenue
Publication "royalty" revenue pre-established by publisher, say $1.
Publication preparation for ePub does most of the heavy lifting for POD print publication. Copyright registration, ISBN assignment, and distribution package expense are the only added essential out-of-pocket costs.

Copyright registration essential for due dilligence and meeting statutory requirements
U.S. Copyright Office
$35 cost per issue or edition (per electronic or print edition), through eCo online copyright registration, and mandatory electronic deposit for ePub

ISSN assignment is free, International Standard Serial Number, for serial publications that recur continuously on a regular basis, electronic publishing eligible
ISBN for print edition required for distribution, cost free or up to $100 with Lulu or CreateSpace POD distribution package

Basic genre categories?
Fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, thriller, romance, western, literary.
Fiction, yes, poetry or CNF, maybe scripts, if selected by editorial board?

Submission management, probably by e-mail at first, until revenue numbers shake out?

Thanks to all for their input, to History for volunteering to be the funny-hat-squid-on-the-mantelpice in the back, and for you-all's continued input and guidance.

Osiris, you've got a strong outline going for screening and acceptance criteria. Go for it, understanding it will be seen as a work in progress until a board is constituted and agrees. A constitution would detail articles of organization, like purpose, mission, officer and board member selection, conduct, and terms, etc.

[ May 10, 2012, 02:35 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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LDWriter2
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Sounds good...I think.

But two questions. If you covered these I might have missed it or forgotten...there's a lot of stuff here.

Anyway, Are we opening the sales to the public? I ask because one post mentioned something about a few hundred books printed but the above post makes sound like we will have sells to whoever.

Second, a couple of people suggested pro writing levels for the stories in the project. I can understand that but few of us are on that level. Has anything along those lines been agreed on yet?


And will a web site by put up for the project?

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extrinsic
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I would like to see open sales to the public. Electronic publishing will open sales to the world regardless. Print editions would be limited to wherever Lulu or CreateSpace and Amazon and Barbes & Noble ship, though USPS mail shipping to Canada, Britain, and Europe and Australia are about $4 to $10 for a 12-ounce large envelope holding bound printed matter. $2.47 U.S. domestic Media mail.

I favor inclusion of as many reasonably artful stories as want to submit, can fit in a determined size format, and pass a modest editorial screening process. My philospphy is to mutually, progressively raise the caliber of struggling Hatrack writers' craft through the process. Nothing's been decided yet in that regard.

A website is a possibility down the road, surely as part of a five-year business plan at some point in time. Currently, a domain name registration costs about $15 per year, and site hosting about $6 per month, with Bulletin Board and e-commerce potentials.

[ May 10, 2012, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Osiris
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I already rent a hosting service for my own author website, and would be willing to host a website for this with its own domain name if someone is willing to pay for the registration costs.

I will work on an outline, as you said as a work in progress, though a timeline would help all this feel more concrete to me.

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extrinsic
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A calendar schedule, or critical path plan in business terminology, would be my next step, now that I see there is sufficient interest to move forward. A schedule outline is in the works. I'll dig up my copy of Bookmaking, Marshall Lee, R.R. Bowker, and draft a raw, hopefully practical schedule. From those two guidances, I'll work out a business plan too, a financial statement from the business plan, then I'll have a clear idea for a constitution's articles of organization. I have a collection of contract templates on hand. Deciding which best practice business registration will work to best advantage is on the horizon. A double entry ledger for account bookkeeping will do. That covers the seven critical areas of the business book. With the spare time I have, I think I'm looking at a month's due diligence there.
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GreatNovus
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Very exciting. Really need to write something that doesn't suck.
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LDWriter2
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Again I say sounds good.

I think I can write something new that doesn't "suck" which doesn't mean it will be good writing just that it won't be bad.


But along those lines nice you or do I say we, want it to be as good as possible do we have critting groups like we do with WotF?

That could be something for the future though.

But if we could let Kathleen title it.

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GreatNovus
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Hopefully our works will "suck" the reader in, haha.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by GreatNovus:
Very exciting. Really need to write something that doesn't suck.

Perhaps part of the goal of this effort might be to get Hatrackers' stories up to the quality we would like to have as representative of this forum.

After all, if one of our goals is professional publication, then an anthology from here should show that writers can be helped to attain professional quality writing through participation in this workshop.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by LDWriter2:
But if we could let Kathleen title it.

I thought I already did.
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
quote:
Originally posted by GreatNovus:
Very exciting. Really need to write something that doesn't suck.

Perhaps part of the goal of this effort might be to get Hatrackers' stories up to the quality we would like to have as representative of this forum.

After all, if one of our goals is professional publication, then an anthology from here should show that writers can be helped to attain professional quality writing through participation in this workshop.

Ms. Dalton Woodbury, that's the Number One philosophy I see. In fact, if I may, I could use those words verbatim in the constitution's purpose and mission statements.

[ May 11, 2012, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
quote:
Originally posted by LDWriter2:
But if we could let Kathleen title it.

I thought I already did.
Tales from the Treehouse

"Treehouse" dot com is already spoken for as a domain name, but equally visible and memorable options are available.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Is talesfromthetreehouse.com available?
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
Is talesfromthetreehouse.com available?

It's spoken for. rivertreehouse.com is too. rivertreehousetales.com isn't.
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Osiris
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You may also consider versions that don't end in .com, such as .net or .org. though there may be some stipulations for something like .org.
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extrinsic
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A dot org now requires a recognized nonprofit business registration. talesfromthetreehouse.net and dot org are available. The talesfromthetreehouse.com site is active, though a personal web site, not commercial in nature.

An LLP, limited liability partnership, or LLC, limited liability corporation, engaged in nonprofit activities qualifies for a dot org if they are registered with the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization, tax exempt status. An LLP doesn't require as much paperwork, other red tape, or out-of-pocket expense to register as an LLC does. It only takes two entities to form a partnership.

[ May 11, 2012, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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rivertreehousetales.com might work.
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snapper
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You know, this idea has been done before.

Eight Against Reality

The anthology is a collection of works by the Written in Blood critique group. The group had several hugo nominees in it. Authors like...

Aliette de Bodard, Juliete Wade, and Dario Ciriello.

Dario had plenty experience as the editor of the critically acclaimed Panverse publishing to help put it together. The anthology had all 8 members of the writers group in it. Half of the stories were reprints. The anthology was one of the first publications I reviewed at Diabolical Plots (very rough review). You could read it here.

It was also reviewed by Tangent Online.

In my opinion, if you want your anthology to maximize its sale potential, following a similar formula that "8" brewed may be your best option.

That would mean approaching established hatrack authors like Ms Bodard, Kowall, Eric J Stone - to name just a few - with an offer to publish a reprint of one of there works. Then opening the rest of the anthology to a general call for submissions.

I know many would not like the idea of reserving part of the publication with offers of buying stories already sold (possibly sight unseen) but if the principle pay out will be royalties based, an anthology with familiar names will be the best way to get your best bang for the buck. A collection of stories with award-winning authors also makes it more likely it will get reviewed - which would get it noticed by more potential readers.

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LDWriter2
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quote:
I thought I already did.
Oops, I thought the tales suggestion was from someone else. And I didn't realize it had been made even semi-official. Sorry about that.
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Osiris
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Perhaps just treehousetales.com/.net?
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