1. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Short Story Collection

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by colorthemap, Sep 15, 2013.

    Just curious, is generally considered taboo to start with a collection like this? I find that I am more interested, at present, with multiple stories developing a general theme than a full out novel.

    The only collections I see are of famous writers or random anthologies, so is there even a market? Do I have to be Neil Gaiman refurbished to get attention?

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    While it's not a taboo, I would say that it's not in your best interest to try and publish a short story collection. It's harder to sell a short story collection than a single story simply because there's no market for collections. So you're much better off submitting each story individually.
     
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  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There are, and have been, writers whose first books are short story collections, but they're rare. In order for a novice writer to interest an agent in a short story collection, it has to be brilliant. Jhumpa Lahiri did it, as did Junot Diaz and George Saunders. Alice Munro did it a generation earlier. All of these writers are regarded as top-tier. You pretty much have to be top-tier or your collection of short stories won't find an agent, much less a publisher.

    Of course, you can always self-publish, but that brings its own bushel of issues. We have a lot of threads here in this forum that discuss self-publishing.
     
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  4. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    What they said. It's not taboo, but if your end-game is trad-publish then you're making your life harder than it needs to be. I'm far more of a short story writer than a novelist, and if I ever want a collection available I'll probably go for self-publishing for that reason.
     
  5. tjoudega
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    tjoudega New Member

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    You could try to get your most interesting/most current short-story published in a journal/magazine or some other medium with -hopefully- a lot of readers. Then you already have something published and you can try to build some momentum. Hopefully you can publish more and if you have a bit of a name you can publish a bundle! This probably easier said than done but if you try step 1, maybe you get there bit by bit.

    Yours,

    Thomas
     
  6. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Thank you all for answering and reaffirming what I should have known already. I had thought about people like Jhumpa Lahari, and wondered if there was further precedent. I suppose it's all a game of publishers buying what they like, and readings reading what they want.

    If anything I'll just write some kickass stuff and get it out there worrying about the bigger picture later.

    Thanls
     
  7. Roxie
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    Roxie Active Member

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    Keep in mind that once it's all said and done with your kickass material under your arms if it cannot be sold as an entity there are many other options to get your work outthere - individual story call for submissions and comps, magazines, blogs etc. Just focus on writing the material and worry about the next step once it's polish enough to get it there. Best of luck!
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you want to sell an anthology of short stories, your best path would be to first sell short stories to literary magazines and anthologies, and to win some short story contests that are out there. (Some of them have some very nice prizes.)
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    an 'anthology' [as the term is most commonly used in the publishing world] consists of various authors' short stories that are selected by the book's editor...

    if the book consists of a single author's works it's called a 'collection'...

    many anthologies are unfortunately semi-scams in that the writer is not paid for piece and is required to buy the book in order to see his/her work in print... so choose carefully, make sure it's put out by a respected publisher...

    do the same for short story contests, as many are not worth the entry fee and will not help establish your name as a short story writer...
     
  10. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    For trade publishing, you'd probably have to first sell the stories to magazines or anthologies and build a buzz as a result. For self-publishing, lots of short story writers publish collections as well as the stories, but they generally don't sell much better.
     

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