1. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Who is buying zombie stories?

    Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by deadrats, Oct 24, 2018.

    I see in quite a few publication guidelines for genre magazines that say they don't want zombie short stories. And from what I've read of them, which isn't a whole lot, they don't seem to publish them very often if ever. I'm new into my venture into genre. Perhaps, I'm just toying with the idea still and trying things out. But I do seem to enjoy penning the occasional zombie story. Can anyone help me out and recommend a good publication that's into zombie stuff? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    If by "good publication" you mean pro rate, none come to mind. They got way oversaturated with zombie stories back when the craze started and later collapsed, hence the explicit statements about not wanting them. The handful of zombie stories I've seen from places like Daily Science Fiction took very unorthodox approaches to the topic.

    Your best bet for a market that's interested is probably a themed anthology. They come and go all the time. Won't bring much cred, and almost certainly won't pay pro rate, but if you enjoy writing that type of story and want them to find a home, they're worth a shot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
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  3. Carriage Return

    Carriage Return Member

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  4. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Contributor Contributor

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    I think there's a lot of truth in that. So often agents and publishers seem to want 'just like Big Bestseller X but different,' when the real big sellers tend to be the stories that tap into a market that hasn't been served for years.
     
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  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I'm not as concerned with the pay as the reputation of the publisher. I've just begun looking into some anthologies. I did send one to a call I saw on duotrope. But it's very hard to tell (for me) if these places putting together anthologies are actually selling copies and getting the work they publish out there. I did look up the publisher and saw a few other anthologies they've put out on Amazon. There weren't many reviews or anything. I did read the reviews that were there of the other anthologies they've done. No one said anything bad. This one pays $200 to $300 for a story. When I submitted there were like four submissions logged on duotrope. A short while later that number shot up to about 40 or 50 submissions. So, it would seem like maybe this publisher is somewhat popular. But I don't see calls that often on duotrope for anthologies that actually want zombie stories. Any suggestions on where else to look besides duotrope? And how do you find out info on the publisher of such anthologies to know if they'll be any good or not?

    I would like to think my zombie stories are outside the box, different from the norm. But maybe everyone thinks that about their zombie stories which is why they're on the no-no list at so many publications.

    If I remember correctly, you've published in quite a few anthologies. Any advice or tips to finding them but also getting in? My lover thinks I'm wasting my time with this zombie nonsense, but sometimes you just need a good, clean break from reality. I've tried writing a few non-zombie genre stories, but I feel like I do better with zombies than space travel, end of the world and other science fiction topics. I don't write genre all that often. You could say I'm somewhat experimenting. Or you could say I'm just wasting time with my zombie nonsense. :) Thanks for your insight and any other suggestions you might have.
     
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  6. Carriage Return

    Carriage Return Member

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  7. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Other than duotrope, the Submission Grinder is probably the best place to start. There's also a site called Horror Tree that posts calls for submissions every weekday from various magazines and anthologies, mostly speculative fiction and of that mostly horror spec fic.

    When I look at anthologies to submit to, I don't usually look at the publisher itself. I think about whether the topic of the anthology itself is appealing and look at the terms they're offering.
     
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  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks. That's super helpful. I'm excited to check out Horror Tree. I think it's kind of hard to judge these small anthology publishers and some of them it seems like are putting together a one-time project. What you say makes sense. Have you been in many anthologies? How hard is this? Like I said, I've only submitted to one at this point. But it's quicker than I thought it would be to get rejected by all the good mags these sort of stories could go to. After all the rejections and probably a few times in between, I worked on the story I submitted more and more. Genre or not, that's one of my favorite pieces of writing. So, I'm going into this with my best work.
     
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  9. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    I don't know if you'd say many but anthologies make up a little over half my acceptances (five out of nine). Didn't seem any harder than magazines. Probably a little easier, since themes make what the publisher wants clearer and eliminate competition from writers that don't like that theme.
     
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  10. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    @X Equestris -- Do you write zombie stories?
     
  11. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    No, my niche is more Sword and Sorcery and Weird Western. Some touches of mystery and Superhero stuff too. I think I've had the undead pop up a couple times, but they're not the focus or anything.
     
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