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An antho experiment - are we crazy?

491 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  IreneP
So, Romancing Austin (in which I have a story) releases today.

This is a crazy little project I did with my Austin drinking buddies. The concept sounds simple, we all write stories that intersect at a SXSW party in an Austin penthouse. We're all romance writers, so they are all contemporary romance.


The "crazy" part is where we failed to limit ourselves to a heat level or sub-genre. So. Out of seven stories, mine is the only LGBT (m/m), there are two paranormals, and heat levels vary widely.

I had a blast! However, I'm wondering if we will attract all types of readers? Or if everyone will be turned off by something?

My guess is we will do fairly well during the introductory pricing ($0.99) - but I'm not sure how we will fare later at $3.99. I'm feeling nervous, because some of my readers only read m/m - so I hope I'm not deadweight at normal price.

Anybody else ever do a cross-genre anthology like this? What was your experience?

(Yeah, I know, most of this is release day nerves - I guess I'm really just asking for some hand-holding).
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It's tricky having an anthology with that much spread in expectation. Some readers get annoyed at werewolf stories being in with other "normal" romances or M/M or menage, if they think it's straight romance. Some like only steamy and hate books with no sex at all. The audiences are different for each niche. As long as you advertise the variety and use that as a good thing, like having a little something for everyone, you should find some kind of audience that can roll with it. But expect some negative reviews.
I'm kind of surprised that out of seven romance writers from Austin, yours was the only m/m story. ;-) It sounds like an interesting anthology, honestly, and if you get too much negative feedback maybe you could somehow spin it as if y'all are just "keeping Austin weird?" (Or are we Austinites and Texans the only ones who know about that phrase?) LOVE the cover, btw.
The anthology in my sig is cross-genre. Some sci-fi, fantasy, memoir, general fiction, a real mix! The most difficult thing to do is choose keywords that don't mislead readers. At least your anthology fits in one genre. Taiwan Tales has  the unifying theme of being set in Taiwan, so the only genre that covers all the stories is travel fiction (and then not really).

But as you've all done the work, go ahead and publish. What do you have to lose?

My writers group is currently working on another anthology based on a night market theme, and we're hitting similar problems again. But money making isn't the only object, so it's a project worth doing.
I think variety is part of the reason readers buy anthologies - to discover new things. As long as they're all good stories, that's what matters. Are some readers going to be unhappy and leave bad reviews? Sure. That's what readers do. You can't please everyone.

Your theme is awesome. That's the promise you make to the reader. As long as all the stories conform to the theme, it should be fine.
Thanks everyone! It looks like we are poised to drop under 2K in rank by midnight - so a pretty good launch.

Abderian - Wow - you are right - yours is much more diverse.

AubreyGross - My boys are South Austin where we definitely Keep It Weird! I actually had fun reading the other stories and seeing Austin through the eyes of my friends. We all picked a slightly different angle.

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