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Discussion Starter #1
I've been working on a couple of short stories to submit to anthologies and it got me wondering...

To me, the pros of submitting to a anthology are that your work gets exposed to a wider audience plus an upfront payment.

The pros of publishing it straight to KDP is having more work available so you can be found on amazon by more people.

Of course, I can always self-pub my stories after they've been in the anthology but that's a huge turnaround time.

I'd love to know what other people think/do.  Is there any pros and cons for either that I haven't thought of?
 

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As noted, you can always add them to your own collection again later. I would definitely opt for putting my short stories in an anthology or magazine... if I could get anyone to take them! :D

From what I've seen (other authors' books, not my own), anything smaller than a novelette released on its own tends to make Kindle readers disappointed.
 

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I'm in agreement with everyone else here, if you can get it placed in market, whether mag or anthology, you should. I think it may even be more crucial for those whose writing leans more toward the literary genre as other genres have better sell-throughs on KDP (on average).

Laura Rae Amos said:
From what I've seen (other authors' books, not my own), anything smaller than a novelette released on its own tends to make Kindle readers disappointed.
Is this always the case? I have tried to label both my stories clearly so readers know that they are shorter than novels. Though one is a novelette, it is having difficulty selling while the short story was steadily selling before being listed for free and now greatly outpaces the novelette. (But of course, it's free! :D) There are other problems with the novelette: it's LGBTQ, a more philosophical story, and I have no idea how to market it. The novelette was also impossible to place in a magazine because of it's length. I thought it may do better at KDP, but it's only been a week and a half.
 
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Unless Amazon changed the rules, it the story is published in electronic format anywhere, including an anthology, you CANNOT put it in Select. You can sell it normally, but you can't put it in Select because you won't be able to offer exclusivity. I had a heck of a time right when Select launched because a bunch of crazy authors demanded that I remove issues of my journal from the marketplace so that they could put the stories in Select (despite the fact that I PAID for a non-exclusive right to publish the stories). I was expected to pull the issues, but they wanted to keep the money  :p ::)

The beauty of the short story marketplace has always been the ability to get paid multiple times for the same story. Just make sure that you are clear what rights you are selling. Don't sign over exclusive rights unless it is time restricted. For example, some publishers may ask for a three month exclusivity period, followed by non-exclusive thereafter. 

Unless it is a renown editor or high profile anthology, I wouldn't waste time on anything that is unpaid. Too many people running around claiming to be publishers putting out anthologies of work they haven't paid a dime for, offering "exposure." But if it is a paying market, then take it. Paid publication credits increase your profile and give you more marketability.
 

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This has been mentioned in part already, but one pro of getting your work in a mag or antho is the print run. Some mags, like F&SF or Asimov's get print runs that are in the tens of thousands. That's a lot of people to read your work and potentially like it.
 

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I publish anthologies, though the only payment in these is getting your work out there. I think that anthologies are a great way to get your work out there and get noticed. You get your stories edited free of charge and promoted way more than you could do on your own. Most of the time the anthology publishers as well as all of the other authors are promoting. I also include author links in my anthologies so that readers can easily connect. Also, there is the added bonus that you can always compile all of your short stories into an anthology of your own in the future.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Unless it is a renown editor or high profile anthology, I wouldn't waste time on anything that is unpaid. Too many people running around claiming to be publishers putting out anthologies of work they haven't paid a dime for, offering "exposure." But if it is a paying market, then take it. Paid publication credits increase your profile and give you more marketability.
I'm probably misunderstanding you here, but what about literary journals. Some very high profile journals don't pay or don't pay professional rates. Granted most of these journals are literary journals and do not (usually) feature genre fiction.
 
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bmcox said:
I'm probably misunderstanding you here, but what about literary journals. Some very high profile journals don't pay or don't pay professional rates. Granted most of these journals are literary journals and do not (usually) feature genre fiction.
I would say the same thing about a journal. IF it is a renown editor or a high profile journal, then it is worthwhile to submit even if there is no cash payment. But if it is an unknown publisher or someone peddling "exposure" then ignore them. A lot of the established literary journals are actually non-profits run on grant money. I consider them a different thing entirely.

Money flows toward the writer. It isn't even the amount of money that is the issue. It is the point that if someone wants to profit from your work, you too should get something for it. Don't let someone else make money on your work if you are not. I adopt the Harlan Ellison approach. If you can only afford to pay me $10 for the story, then SAY THAT. And I can decide whether or not I want to accept it. If I like your publication and what you are doing, I might accept the $10 just because. But don't blow smoke up my butt and promise me exposure or claim I'll be getting publicity or other nonsense. Authors should use common sense. All "exposure" is not created equal. If you have an opportunity to get published in a respected literary magazine that has been around for a decade and won numerous awards, jump on it. If it is "Jane Doe wanting to support indies gimme your work for free and help me promote the magazine" ... well... ::) Particularly when said journal or anthology expects ME to do the promotion FOR THEM. If I have to promote the anthology AND I am not getting paid, who is really getting the deal here?
 

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I'm definitely in agreement with Julie. I worked for a small online flash fiction publication as a slush editor for a good while, and though we were a small operation, we still managed to pay for our stories. We published several stories in the "body" of the magazine and a featured story. We paid more for the featured story, but the other guys still got something. The owner of the publication was very honest about rates, and almost everyone was happy to submit. We also included multiple editor comments on all rejections.

My point is the same as Julie's (or at least similar). If it's a notable publication and you're comfortable with REAL exposure as payment, by all means take it. As far as I'm concerned, money always flows to the writer. I managed to sell my shorts to indie / small publishers for both exposure and money when I started. I don't consider myself the world's greatest writer by any stretch. If I can sell my work for inclusion in newsletters and online zines, other writers should have no problem.

Don't fall for people who consider themselves publishers because they have a wordpress site and will be more than happy to "...publish your stories... but we can't pay you!" They typically trick you into giving them your work for "exposure" and nothing else. You're likely not getting any true exposure, and you may not be able to publish the story yourself for a while. If you truly believe in the publication and want to help them out, it's your call. Either way, ALWAYS check to make sure what rights are being negotiated before agreeing to anything. That's to protect the publisher's investment AND the writer.

Anyway, I digress. Sell your stories for cash. It's simple enough if you submit to the right markets and you write well. It takes some time, but you'll get the hang of it. Sell to a magazine or journal, pay attention to the rights they purchase, and then publish the story yourself when the time comes for you to be able to legally do so. As Julie stated, I'm pretty sure that Select is out of the question for republished works. KDP is still perfectly fine, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies and talking some sense to me.  I was getting a bit impatient to build up titles.  I'd not even considered the getting edited (and even sometimes translated into American) aspect. 

I started having a good track record with anthologies then stopped writing for a while.  I did - very stupidly - sell all rights for five years for one story.  Huge regret. 

I've seen some dodgy online anthologies - not only no payment but they have a list of wants - no reprints etc. and the reward is "exposure" when half the time they have less followers than I do on my personal blog (and that's not many).  On the other hand, I've seen big glossy mags have competitions with the prize being exposure and no cash.  Sure you get a lot of exposure being printed in a magazine like Cosmo but even if they don't pay cash, they could get some sponsorship for decent prizes.

Ok, off to work on a story to submit...
 

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I actually disagree with the idea of writing off all non-paid anthology opportunities.  As long as you keep the rights to your story, what harm comes from gaining a little more exposure?  Exposure is what it is... regardless of whether the anthology publisher has a huge following or not.  I've discovered many great authors from anthologies of which I would have likely never ran across them otherwise.  This is from a reader's perspective, not a writer - but I've purchased author's novels after discovering them in anthologies many times.  I've also been on the publishing end of an anthology before (i.e: design, formatting, and promotions) and there is a heck of a lot of work that goes into it that the author did not have to worry about on their own.  So, in my honest opinion, an anthology could prove to be a great marketing tool as long as you don't sign over your rights and make sure you're allowed to promote yourself within the anthology somehow.

Good luck with your submission!
 
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phycel said:
I actually disagree with the idea of writing off all non-paid anthology opportunities. As long as you keep the rights to your story, what harm comes from gaining a little more exposure?
Because it is NOT EXPOSURE. Period. All exposure is not created equal. 90% of the people who claim to be putting together anthologies have no clue what they are doing, don't even edit the work, and expect the authors to do all of the promoting. These people have no clue what they are doing and won't help you gain credibility. Particularly if the finished anthology looks like it was put together by a blind alley cat. I've seen some of these anthologies where they actually have different fonts and formats for each story, because the "editor" published each story as-is without even standardizing them. With anthologies, they are only as good as the worst story in them. How much real "exposure" do you think you get when your story is included in the literary equivalent of a train-wreck?

Outside of the indie community, nobody talks unpaid anthology or mag credits seriously unless it is an established commodity. It's the equivalent of giving yourself an award. Unpaid credits don't count toward joining various writer guilds (like HWA or Poets & Writers or SFWA). They mean nothing to anyone.

Exposure is a myth in 90% of these cases. I publish anthologies as a publisher. Yes, I know very, VERY well the enormous amount of work involved. But you know what? THAT IS MY JOB AS A PUBLISHER! That is the job description: to produce marketable books. Just because that job is hard does not mean I don't have an obligation to pay people. Any work that I do as a publisher has zero bearing on whether or not the author should be paid.

People should be more discerning about where they publish their work. I'm not saying all unpaid deals are bad. There are legitimate publications that are non-paying (as I've said a few times now). I'm saying run away from a deal that ONLY offers exposure and pretends such exposure is a big deal. I learned this a long time ago; the harder someone tries to convince you how great their exposure is, the less value it actually has in the real world.

I've worked on free projects. I published several stories in a publication called Demonground years ago. Why? Because the stories were fan fiction that I couldn't actually publish anywhere else, and they had a special license from the IP holder to publish fan fiction. It was an award-winning magazine in the RPG industry, so in that case the exposure was real and meant something. I've worked on anthologies where all of the proceeds were going to a charity I supported, so I was happy to donate my work for the cause. I've worked on anthologies that were meant to promote an organization that I supported (in which case, WE were providing the exposure for the organization, not the other way around). And I've worked on projects just because the people involved were friends and I thought it would be fun. But insofar as letting someone I don't know make money off of my work while not paying me? No. I won't do it. And neither should any author.
 
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