Author Topic: Promote Your Work with the Indie Anthology 2016 - PUBLISHED!  (Read 19083 times)  

Offline J.T. Williams

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Any thoughts on ARCs of this collection?


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Offline George Donnelly

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I'm beginning to wonder whether we'll ever get everyone to agree on a title. :D

I suspect I'll have to make an executive decision once submissions close and I see exactly which stories in which genres we have. I'll post that info here.

Any thoughts on ARCs of this collection?

I think we should distribute them liberally. Any help with that is very welcome.
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Offline jdcore

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Here's the thing with that. It has the word 'long,' therefore I immediately think the book or the stories are long. People browsing these things don't take the time to process language. They just skim. So I think we definitely don't want the word 'long' in the title or subtitle.
I once read a comedy entitled, "The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul."

There's a great book called "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People " About as negative a title as ever was one.

I think you under estimate the reader.

Offline Crenel

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...Controversy sells....

Here's the thing, and no offense intended to you Stuart, but where is the inherent tension in that title? The title has to promise conflict or else it's got nothing to hook readers with.

For a story, I would (generally) agree. But this is not a story, it is a collection -- and as you've pointed out, it is a collection that lacks any binding concept, other than the length of the stories in it. Sure, conflict sells. Controversy sells. But so does sex. Are we going to have scantily clad models on the cover? I should hope not, because that would not tell the potential reader anything meaningful about the contents. I don't really want my work associated with disappointing readers unless that is the fault of my craft, not merely the result of misleading branding of a collection. The entire point of this is to gain readers, not just to have copies of the collection on as many Kindles as possible. It doesn't matter that it is free in a monetary sense, the reader still invests time & attention and that investment should be respected.

Readers have wide interests, and some will be attracted to the idea of reading our diverse sampling of very short stories because that notion itself appeals to them, just as some choose to read technical books, regional history books, books about animal health, diet books, and so on, all typically lacking conflict, controversy, sex, or other "selling points." We can't please all readers, but we can please those who choose to download and read this book, and in doing so we can gain new readers. Courting negative reviews just to get more reviews is something that should only be done with unanimous agreement of participating authors, because the negative reactions from readers resulting from that strategy can negatively affect any or all authors with works appearing in the collection, and I specifically do not agree with it. If the goal is merely maximum distribution rather than maximum reader satisfaction, then I ask that you remove my submission.
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Offline George Donnelly

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I'm not saying we have to go an extreme and put naked ladies on the cover. I'm just saying that the title must promise conflict, otherwise it's not doing its job.

then I ask that you remove my submission.

I'm just going to be really blunt here. If someone wants to dance the line between being in or out of the anthology over some fine point, then just get the heck out already. I don't have time to engage in this kind of drama and I won't be intimidated. No offense intended, Stuart, and thanks for giving me the opportunity to be really gosh-darned clear about this.

For questions about the purpose of the anthology, please see the first post. I have nothing to add to that first post on that topic.

If there are folks who would like to trade ideas in a relaxed manner about the cover, title, blurb, formatting, etc, I'd love to continue doing that and would be very grateful for the opportunity. It's my intention to reach a consensus and make everybody as happy as possible.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 04:46:15 AM by GeorgeDonnelly »
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Offline Crenel

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I'm just going to be really blunt here. If someone want to dance the line between being in or out of the anthology over some fine point, then just get the heck out already.

I understand that you may be frustrated about the to-do that was made earlier about the email list requirement, but taking the risk of poisoning an author's reputation (or at least alienating readers when the stated goal is to gain more readers) is not "some fine point." It is a major issue that every contributor should look seriously at.

Nothing in your first post indicates "we're going to snare as many downloads as we can, bad reviews be damned."  Nothing in your first post indicates "we must create an impression of tension, controversy or conflict."  On the other hand, your first post does ask others to help you with marketing. That is exactly what I'm doing -- because marketing starts with the plan, not with the execution. Or do you now want to amend your first post to indicate that you don't want help marketing at the planning stage and only want others to help you implement what you've unilaterally decided is a good idea?
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Offline Crenel

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I will add to my comment about where marketing begins -- it really begins with understanding the product that you're trying to promote. If you think you need to express tension/conflict in the title of this collection, I think you fundamentally do not understand the product.
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Offline ConnieBDowell

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And... I just squeaked in before the 8th was over, but I've submitted my story!

Offline George Donnelly

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And... I just squeaked in before the 8th was over, but I've submitted my story!

Got it, Connie, thanks!
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Offline tommy gun

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there is a way to put a survey in here correct?
Put the top 5 titles and everyone votes.
First past the post.
If two are real close then have a second vote off.

Yay democracy.
Transference Zombie bk 1: 91%

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Offline she-la-ti-da

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We can have a poll for titles. I'm not sure if it's limited to a certain number of choices on the forum, but it can be done. It might be better to have it done off the boards, since this isn't of general interest. Perhaps there could be two, one for the title/subtitle and one for cover concept (which would probably need to be done after the title is chosen).

Speaking of the title, I'm not sure we need conflict so much as it needs to be intriguing while not being indicative one on particular genre. I think that's why the first anthology did so well, since it focused on the content, which was stories. That was one reason I put forward "Tidbits", as it's general enough, kind of an interesting word, and doesn't scream SF, or horror, or romance, or anything else. The blurb is where we make it clear what sort of stories will be in the volume, so I think having a title that grabs attention in a general way would be best.

I'd like to point out that while I volunteered to do the cover, it was never my intent to just decide what the final outcome was. I'm a participant just like the rest of you. I want us to discuss the issues and vote on what to name the anthology, just as we did the last time.

I made up some samples, going by titles and image ideas that were being talked about, but they were never more than something to give everyone a rough idea about how the cover could look. Not what it absolutely was going to be.
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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Did a general web search on multi author short story anthologies just to see what came up. Here's the link:  https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&biw=836&bih=494&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=multi+author+short+story+anthologies&oq=multi+author+short+story+anthologies&gs_l=img.3...11114.13110.1.13773.12.9.0.0.0.0.461.1362.2-1j2j1.4.0....0...1c.1.64.img..11.0.0.kUFntbG25AM

Ignore any sexy covers, please. For some reason, when I put the filter on, the results were more sexy, not less. I think Google is messing with me. :D

From what I'm seeing -- and I didn't check them all out -- we could pretty much do whatever. Most of these anthologies are themed, though, so it makes ours a bit more tricky. Still, I think we have enough brain power to come up with something good.
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Offline George Donnelly

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I did some research as well and, indeed, most of the results were erotica. Of the rest, all had some identifiable genre or other strong theme. The only one that didn't was the Stories on the Go anthology.

BTW, intrigue? That's conflict. :)

Also, I'm not putting the burden of final decisions on you, simply respecting the fact that you offered to take a leadership role on this topic.

On the question of a poll, I'm not interested. Good decisions aren't made by committee and this isn't a democracy.

I'm still interested to hear more ideas tho! Thanks everyone!
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Offline jdcore

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Actually focus groups work pretty well.

Offline George Donnelly

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Actually focus groups work pretty well.

Hey, if you want to influence the title, subtitle, cover and blurb, then just do it. Speak your piece. Generate and discuss ideas.

I'll check back on the 22nd.
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Offline jdcore

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We can have a poll for titles. I'm not sure if it's limited to a certain number of choices on the forum, but it can be done. It might be better to have it done off the boards, since this isn't of general interest. Perhaps there could be two, one for the title/subtitle and one for cover concept (which would probably need to be done after the title is chosen).

I just went through the posts and isolated all of the title suggestions that any person seconded. I then stripped apart any that had a subtitle and made two distinct lists - title and subtitle.

Here's the list:

I, Story
A Flash in the Pocket
Tidbits
Flash Forward
Bite-Sized Stories
Fair Trade Fiction
Flash Picks
Flash Fiction Fusion
Flash Flood
What Did I Just Read?
Finction in a Flash


: A Collection of Tall Tales and Short Stories
: A Very Short Fiction Anthology
: Commuter Fiction
: 30 extra-short stories for your commute
: Short Stories for Life's Long Pauses
: Flash Blend
: A multi-genre flash fiction anthology
: Awesome Stories for your Kindle



I propose we set up a thread asking the forum to act as a focus group and narrow our options to two titles and two subtitles, and then George can make an executive decision from there. I think doing it on the boards is fine. Helping our fellow authors is of general interest.

If three of you say AYE I'll git'er done.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 09:28:43 AM by jdcore »

Offline Hurricane John

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I'll give you an AYE  :)  but ultimately it will be George's decision.


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Offline jdcore

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Incidentally, these were the most popular cover themes to date:











Offline Crenel

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BTW, intrigue? That's conflict. :)

[...]

On the question of a poll, I'm not interested. Good decisions aren't made by committee and this isn't a democracy.

Not interested anymore. Your first post states "Perhaps we'll run a poll at a later date."

Also, there's a basic difference between "I'm intrigued by this collection of stories" and "I'm intrigued by the [insert-genre-here] stories in this collection." The first project, which this project is undeniably derived from (you didn't start with a blank slate), did not use conflict in the title. It is just "stories."

It is a major issue that every contributor should look seriously at.

But apparently it is an issue that does not merit an answer from the project lead who somehow thinks that people being motivated to avoid risks is an attempt at "intimidating" him.

Please remove my submission. This project has strayed so far from the original (I'll appease the moderators by not saying where I think it has strayed) that I am not interested, nor am I willing to alienate readers just to achieve a high download count. That's spammy behavior. Others can choose what they want, obviously, and hopefully they're paying attention to the direction this train is headed.

I'm out.
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Offline tommy gun

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'Shrug'.

I think we all need to take a deep breath and relax.  Assembling this and being lead in anyway is a lot of stress and pressure. 

Thanks to everyone participating and I like:
Flash picks

30(or the final number) short stories for your commute

I liked the poll idea so that WE could vote and come out with leads on it.  There is so much to sift through and the days are short.

Thank you JDCORE.

back to work and packing and finding little wawa.
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Transference Zombie bk 2: 33%
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Offline jdcore

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I liked the poll idea so that WE could vote and come out with leads on it.  There is so much to sift through and the days are short.

Thank you JDCORE
Ill count that as an "Aye."

Offline jdcore

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Well, I thought it was a good idea, but apparently not.

Offline rs.ramanujam

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Got couple of mine in right on the 8th. Eager to see the story-kaleidoscope come out.

/Ram

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Offline UnicornEmily

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Fugitive Fiction: 30 extra-short stories to read in a rush

Cover concept: a woman looking over her shoulder, as if chased by someone

That would be fantastic for a thriller anthology!  (That's what that says: this is an anthology of thriller short stories.)  Maybe you should put one together, George.  :D

If we do this again, we need to set the concept/branding ahead of time. For example, a holiday like Halloween or Christmas. Or a season. Or a month. Or a setting, such as a train, space, airplane, etc.

I would SO not mind contributing to a Christmas anthology.  That thing would get downloaded like crazy.  Halloween might be a good option, too (or even Valentine's Day).

Having a loose theme that fits all of the short stories next time is probably a good idea, but even more than that (because you want it to be *very* loose, given disparate genres): shall we choose a title ahead of time next time?  That might be a good idea.

Speaking for myself, at least, I'd love for there to be a "next time."  :D


How about: Good Stories Come In Small Packages, with a cover showing an e-reader amid recently-opened wrapping paper.

I quite like that.  Even if we don't use it for this anthology, we should do something like that for a Christmas anthology.  We could call it "A Gift of Stories" or something.


Is there anywhere we'd have to be 99 cents instead of free? I thought everywhere did free, Amazon just took longer to get there. If we do price it at 99 cents somewhere and it actually makes a few dollars, what will be done with that?

My vote is, any money that gets made from the anthology goes into promoting it.  The occasional Bknights or something.  That would make it very easy.


Here's the thing with that. It has the word 'long,' therefore I immediately think the book or the stories are long. People browsing these things don't take the time to process the language. They just skim. So I think we definitely don't want the word 'long' in the title or subtitle.

I had the same thought.  I think, given that they're very short short stories, we want to avoid anything that would give the opposite impression.

Also, "flash fiction" is a pretty well known term among short story readers, as well as writers.  There are an awful lot of short story magazines and anthologies that use it.  It's not jargon, just a definition that most readers will have at least passing familiarity with.


I think we should distribute them liberally. Any help with that is very welcome.

I have some fabulous ARC readers.  I'd be happy to offer it to them.


Also, thank you for assembling that list, jdcore!  It's helpful to sort through and pick through.

Of the options, I like Fiction in a Flash and Tidbits the best.  Flash Flood is fun, too (though that sounds like it's adventure-themed), as is Flash Forward (though that sounds like it's science fiction-themed).  Of the potential covers you uploaded, I like the first one, with the lady on an airplane, and the third one, with the ring of books.

A poll is a terrific idea.  I want to see one.  If we don't get one set up on the thread, someone should do a Google form with two questions: "What's your favorite title among these options?" and "What's your second favorite title?"  That'd be the easiest way to assemble votes.  If nobody else wants to do that, I could.



Offline Hurricane John

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Well, I thought it was a good idea, but apparently not.

Jdcore

Why not just set up the poll and see what happens?

BTW - I gave you an aye in an earlier post.


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