The majority view seems to be – put the author’s ‘about me’ page at the start of a set of that author’s stories. I concur. It would be like having a lot of small collections bound together in one larger book, thereby making the small collections economically viable.
I once experimented with individual short stories in print. It works in eBook because you can price them at 99 cents (US) but there is a minimum base cost of about £2.50 (currently $3.65) per book for printing and binding. That holds true up to around 100 pages before it climbs any higher. So a book of 20 pages will cost the same as a book of 100 pages. I know which one I’d take off the shelf.
Therefore, I need a minimum 100-page book to get people interested in it. I think I have that now but it can still get bigger. I’m sticking to that May 31st deadline for getting stories in but remember, by May 31st I need your About the Author page (250 words or less, please, I want it to fit on one page, and if it just says ‘No’ that’s fine with me :)) and the name you want to use as a writer.
You can call yourself anything in the writing world. I’ve written as H. K. Hillman, as Dr. Dume and as Romulus Crowe – although the Dume book was ‘edited by’ the H. K. Hillman name so that it shows up with the others on Amazon searches.
You don’t even have to stick with the same name. If you write different kinds of stories, you can use a different name for each genre. It’s up to you.
I won’t tell anyone who you really are, and since all I have is an email name I can’t be sure I really know anyway. One contributor is going in by his online name and that’s all I know of him and that’s not a problem.
I will need real signatures on the contract forms, but fear not, I am well aware of the Data Protection Act and nobody else will see those forms. I think I can make a form, send it by Email, you can print and sign it, scan it and send it back. It’ll have my signature on it already.
If you have a printer but no scanner, the form will have my address so you can post it back. There will be a space for your address but if you don’t want to give that, it’s okay. Considering modern transport costs and time limitations, the chances of me randomly turning up at your door and demanding booze is pretty much zero but if you aren’t comfortable with putting your address, don’t. People move house anyway. It’s the signature I need.
For collections I am only buying the right to put it in one book. Copyright remains always with the author and the stories/poems are still yours to do with as you will. All I ask – and it’s a request, not a demand – is that if you put them anywhere else later, you say they are in the book, and give the title.
I really don’t have the time or resources to trawl the internet or check so as I said, it’s a request only.
Novels etc will be different. I’ll devise a contract that gives me sole publishing rights for a set number of years (say, five) and at the end of that contract, either party can say ‘nah’ and the author gets all rights back again. Except cover art – unless it’s the author’s own. Those books will be paid on royalties and royalties per book won’t be huge. I have to compete with Tesco and others who sell books so damn cheap these days. We have to sell cheap and fast if we’re going to get anywhere.
So, by 31st May, I need to have the first book ready to roll, all the contracts in, the book formatted for print and for all the different eBook formats, cover art (sized to the really strict rules of every different eBook format as well as print), an intro and maybe also an outro and a back cover blurb. It’s going to be fast work. Late entries will be accepted so realistically I’m expecting to be very busy for most of June and to have it out before 30th June.
Naturally, this is the time my mother has chosen to visit. She arrives Saturday and will be here until Wednesday. Might not be around much for those few days.
If your story has a Christmas link, hold back. Once this is done I’ll start on the Christmas anthology. It’ll have a deadline of October 31st and that book will be out at the end of November.
The poetry book will go when I have enough poems to make a decent sized book. It’ll be paid differently too. So far, most poetry folk seem happy to be paid in copies of the book. We’ll see how that pans out.
I’m thinking of starting the back cover with ‘Sex, violence, blood, gore and smoking, this book has it all’. Might as well brag about our collective non-PC-ness 🙂
It’s happening, folks. It’s happening fast. Hold on, it’s going to be quite a ride.