|Lessons: Original Anthologies and Small Press
||[Jun. 19th, 2009|09:07 am]
authors, with the idea that that can be built on, and leveraged, in some form or fashion. Unfortunately, such anthologies rarely earn out, and quite a lot lose money. Between that, and the energy and time spent on multiple contracts, mailing out contributor copies, and the like, proved to be a relative chore, and a drain.I found this out, early on, almost eight years ago: one of the easiest ways of making a big mistake is by publishing a lot of original anthologies. The appeal of them is that it's the easiest, and quickest, way to attract a lot of attention, from |
Yes. I think that is why most of the gay and m/m presses do it for almost no money, so they can cut their loses. But just the postage demands are ridiculous. Unfortunately, good anthologies are so much fun to read.
Ultimately, yes, which is why I keep doing Jabberwocky, because it is a lot of fun . . . though I think the lesson I learned from past experience was not to do a lot of them. One particular year I found myself saddled with too many original anthologies, and had to make a difficult business decision. Of course I see a lot of presses, then, and now, go down that road, and go belly-up, because no one told them otherwise, I think. But, then, if you do, then you sometimes catch flak, and it's simply not worth it to give out advice, anymore.
Having a small press that just put out our first anthology, I do prefer single-author collections.
Jabberwocky is neither a drain nor a chore. So pfft. heh
Is it the easiest way to attract authors? I find the easiest is to go to conventions.
Yes, it definitely is an energy drain. But I don't find it a mistake. Then again, we haven't been losing money on our products.
I can't find your pay rates, on your website, which may impact your business model, but I do have access to sales-tracking, which report something else. Do you wish to clarify?
Invitation only anthologies and the majority of sales through convention/book fairs. Means most of my energy drain is in doing the events.
It is a different model than say open anthologies where you have a massive time sink in slush reading.
I imagine from the bookscan numbers our sales numbers look pretty similar to other small press. Thankfully I knew before publishing not to risk our finances based solely on sales through the standard distribution channels.
Amen to that! I've tried a few different ways to work with editors to lighten the load but no matter what I've tried I keep learning the same lesson, it's not worth the trouble/expense.