1. doctor_lester
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    doctor_lester New Member

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    A Book of the Eldritch?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by doctor_lester, Nov 7, 2015.

    I have about 150 very short true stories (about 500 words each) about a variety of weird and wonderful topics ranging from survival stories to unexplained mysteries -all edited, accompanied by an eye-grabbing image, and condensed onto a single A4 page. They are just sitting on my computer's hard drive gathering electronic dust -I'm an English teacher, and I wrote them as a basis for vocabulary class. So far, they have lined only the pocket of my boss, and they are crying out to be published -each one is a peach.

    I'll give you a couple of examples. The latest one is the story of Blanche Dumas (a woman born with two functioning vaginas) and Juan Baptiste dos Santos (a man with two functioning penises), and how they met and fell in love. It's a true story, I swear. Google it if you don't believe me. They are not all so...risque, of course. Another one is the tale of Jewel Shuping, a sufferer of Body Identity Integrity Disorder (BIID) who poured drain cleaner into her eyes because she wanted to be blind. Yet another is Prahlad Jani, who has not eaten, drunk, urinated nor defaecated in over 70 years.

    It seems like a crime to not publish them. My problem is how to put them together, and how to market it. I've been thinking about an anthology, an ESL vocabulary textbook, an illustrated coffee-table book...etc. I know it's bad form to ask for help in my first post, but I'll stick around and add to the forum...I promise ;)
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Selling short story collections to a publisher is a very difficult thing. Short story collections generally do not sell well, even when released by well-established authors. And a collection that has a wide range of topics or genres, can make it even more difficult. Not impossible, but a real struggle (beyond what it takes to find a publisher with a novel in hand).

    One option is to attempt to sell the stories individually. There are loads of markets out there--online, anthology, etc. It may take some work researching but there are sights that do a lot of that for you. There are other threads on the forum that discuss it, but Duotrope and The Grinder and Ralan's Webstravanza would be a few places to start. Many markets would really be interested in flash fiction (500 or so words) of very engaging and well-told stories.

    Having sold some of the stories will do two things: It can earn you some cash for your pocket, and it could demonstrate to publishers that what you're submitting to them as a collection holds a lot of gems that other editors/markets found worthy of publication. The only drawback would be to watch when the rights of the short stories revert back to you (each contract can be different--from immediately to a year, etc.) Some short fiction markets also accept reprints, and that would allow you to earn more than once and gain additional readers of your works.

    The route I am suggesting has worked for me. But I had already established myself with a publisher and sold pretty well and, after all of the story rights had reverted back to me, took on the short story collection with that track record, knowing that it would probably not sell as well as my novels. And in truth, it hasn't. But it did sell well enough that it was profitable to my publisher (earned back editing, cover, ISBN and other costs, plus some, and still earns a little bit here and there.).

    Good luck as you move forward, whichever way you attempt to get your stories out there for others to read.
     
  3. doctor_lester
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    doctor_lester New Member

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    Thanks Ervin. My original idea was to focus on an ESL textbook, so maybe I'll just stick to that. At least that way I'll leave something to my field.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Doctor Lester, that may be good. I know very little about text book publishing, except through the experience of a college roommate who is a professor teaching math, who had a text book/work book published. He made very good money from it.

    Good luck!
     
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