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HEY!! You should head over to Gennita's thread. She's the new sheriff in town!,173210.0.html

My original post has been replaced with Cherise's excellent summation, which we can update over time.

So the idea is an anthology with a ton of KB Authors. Flash fiction. With the idea that we would blow this thing out at a great low price with all of our social media power and see how many "I'm a NYT Bestseller T-Shirt" selfies we can compile.

(Hugh's ideas in red)

Original Stipulations:

Less than 1,000 words
Proceeds go to charity
Beta read the story of the poster above you

Some New Thoughts:

What if the theme of the stories and a word in the title somehow is "Flash." It's a word that can be used in so many ways, but it gives us a common thread? We use this to expose people to flash fiction, and maybe encourage our readers and other writers to give it a try.

Common Questions:

Is this for real? Yeah.
When's the deadline? February 28th?.
Who do we send the stories to? We'll create a thread (Yeah, the stories will be public. Think: Perma-Free.
Which charity will proceeds go to? We'll vote. Could be quite a few, divvied up.
Can we have a common theme? If so, it needs to be very broad. The good thing about a theme, is that we could do more of these down the road.
What rights would we be donating? None. You can use your story after 60 days of exclusivity.
Are reprints OK, or only brand new, never published stuff? I vote brand new. But I'm cool with reprints.
Target Audience Age Range? I would vote for all-inclusive, but that would mean putting the racy stuff at the end, with warnings.
Submission formatting guidelines (links allowed? to where?) I would vote for links to page of choice, with a very short author bio (50 words).
Will this be one huge book or several books of 100 authors each?
Whose account will it publish under? I suggest we set up a separate KDP account for the works (Amazon has informed me that this is okay to do). We could even share the login info across the group, so everyone has access to the sales data. Authors are listed alphabetically, for fairness. I'll be writing under the name Aaron Abner, which has been a lifelong dream.
Can unpublished authors contribute?
Will there be a story selection process, or are all stories accepted?

Charity Ideas So Far:

A literary charity that has been vetted? inner city library project for kids?

I'd love to suggest Room to Read as a charity candidate. They work globally and have received a solid four star rating from Charity Navigator for the last seven years. (They also make their financials as easily accessible as possible, which earns them a favorable point or two.)
Vivienne Mathews
Zoe Cannon

Ronald McDonald House charities are very worthwhile. They're active in over 50 countries worldwide, and provide wonderful services for the families of critically-ill children.
Jena H

Editor Volunteers:

Zoe York (10 stories)
Cherise Kelley
Greg Strandberg
Jennifer Haymore (5-10)
Roz Marshall (5-10)
PeggyI (5-6)
Endi Webb
Lanette Curington
LectorsBooks (5-10)

I will definitely edit any of the stories written by current RAP clients. I will do others as time permits.
Once you've nailed down the charity, or charities, I will ask if any of my staff would like to donate some editing time.
Lynn McNamee


***If we encourage every participating author to read through [the whole book], looking for typos, that should give us a clean work.
Hugh Howey

If we contribute the stories by posting them in a KB thread as Hugh suggested earlier, then we can all just PM each other with typo fixes. Each of us would fix our typos in our post. And then the formatter would use the thread as the master document. Those who wish to have editing help should request it before posting in the new thread Hugh would create for this.
Cherise Kelley

Beta Reader Volunteers

Shawn Inmon (5-10)
Caspar Bogart

Organizer Volunteers:

Joseph Turkot

Formatter Volunteers:

Greg Strandberg

Cover Volunteers (who suggest only a small committee or one person have approval of the cover):

Dara England

Theme Ideas So Far:

...give a bunch of writers one story idea, and then have them all write the "same" story, only of course, they'd all end up being different...

It will have Hugh's name on it. Hugh could sell his grocery list. Don't worry about it.
Bards and Sages
[Cherise's note: But Hugh plans on publishing under a pen name, so maybe this is not the case.]

Golden retriever puppies
Gretchen Galway

A single object

Maybe give everyone the same first line. "A man walks into a bar."
Dee Ernst

Tentacles and Tribulations.
Dan C. Rinnert

Maybe we could all end on cliffhangers then do KB Anthology 2 - Tentacle Boogaloo

Maybe a color, say red, could be a theme. The stories could then be any genre, as long as the color appears somewhere in the story. That way, if it took off, we could use other colors for future editions. The KB Caf� Red Anthology, Blue Anthology, etc.

Stories about writers and writing. I like this. Leaves it wide open, but gives it a theme that makes sense. Very meta. Everyone could work in a writing protag or another.

Maybe the stories should all feature wool in some shape or form...
Lisa Scott

The pen is mightier than the sword
Unreasonable expectations
A funny thing happened on the way to the ___
Flash Grimm's fairy tales, reappropriated to our particular genres.
It's always who you least expect
The seven deadly sins
Pick a charity, then use that charity's "theme" as our own.
Lost in ___
7 continents--each section of the anthology could take place on a separate continent. Maybe an eight could be fantasy/space.
Endi Webb

The theme doesn't have to be what the stories are about. Some of the top anthologies are themed as a variety of stories based on something like year or nationality or kind of writer, or where the stories first appeared.

Title Suggestions:

Things Go Horribly Wrong... With Tentacles
Vivienne Mathews

If the purpose is to showcase a wide variety of indie writers, a couple of titles come to mind.
(These are self-mocking titles, but could be fun for promo and covers.)
"Monkeys With Typewriters"
"Tsunami of Swell"
These would probably require a subtitle ("100 Voices of the Indie Publishing Movement" or something).
Camille (daringnovelist)

SYNTHETICS, Tales by Hugh Howey and the Wool Scarf Club.
Hilarious, but vetoed! I don't want my name to have any special status on this. It'll go with everyone else's. I think if an editor volunteered their time, they could have prominence and headliner status, as with most anthologies.

2014 KBoards Cafe Anthology
Cherise Kelley

Story Threads: Creative Flash Fiction by the Author of Wool and Other Independent Publishers

How about the "Hugh-Ginormous Blue Book of Flash" and then we could do a second called the "H. M RED Ward of Flash" and so on and the Lillian Pink Hart of Flash" taking the biggest authors here, and naming a book for them?

Craft Suggestions:

Oh, and if anyone (like me, ahem) hasn't done much flash fiction, Holly Lisle (author and amazing writing teacher) has a free flash fiction course here:
Zoe Cannon

I like Isaac Asimov's description [of flash fiction] the best. Paraphrasing: A thousand word story or less that leaves the punch line to the last sentence, preferably to the last word.

Book Suggestions:

I want to be in the same book as Hugh Howey. Otherwise what is the point?
Victoria Champion

A boxed set (imagine those 3D box set graphics that show like, five books inside). One book in the set is labeled Romance, another Speculative Fiction (encompassing sci-fi, fantasy, and horror), etc. Each book within the boxed set gets at least one big name author in it (Hugh, Genita, etc). Those big names are listed on the box set cover, description, etc. That way there's equal (sorta) draw for each book within the set. We could allow hundreds of authors to participate by divvying them up into each big book and releasing all the big books together as a set.
Dara England
[Cherise's note: this summarizes several earlier ideas, which I deleted for ease of reading.]

Perhaps limit each contributor to only one submission. Otherwise the collective (whoever is involved in putting this together) will get overwhelmed.

If you're going for "Let's see how many authors we can get to be NYT's best sellers" then you'll want to include as many authors as you can. I'd say, go for 400 authors, but limit the word count of the flash fiction. 500 words x 400 authors = 200,000 words. A reasonable book, especially if you link to genre at the beginning. (Not each piece, that would be a massive Table of Contents!)
I like all of this.
[Cherise's note: I think only novels qualify authors for the bestseller lists, though.]

Also, I vote for 1,000 words, not 500.
Lanette Curington

Marketing Suggestions

I'd say just put it under Hugh's account and let him make the donations once a month. Visibility here is what it's all about, even if your story never gets read.
Greg Strandberg
We can create a unique KDP account and share the login details. Or at least have 10 or so admins.

When launch approaches, we could each send our contribution to our own mailing list as a gift and include a link to the complete anthology. It'll give us a reason to do an extra no-spam mailing, so win-win.

It's very very wise to have any USA/NYT bestselling authors listed by name as that helps with also-bots immensely.
Texas Girl

If all the authors are willing to use their mailing lists, we can create a schedule and then divvy it up over five or so days to get the word out, which is a good time frame to help get momentum. It works best if authors will tell us an approximate number of subscribers so we can divide it up evenly.
Texas Girl

I just had a vision for a Youtube trailer for this book: We each film ourselves saying, "I'm (insert name here), and I'm an author." And then it cuts, that fast, to the next author. And it goes through everybody. I'd be glad to edit the trailer if we decide to do this. I'm somewhat crafty with Adobe Premier.
Joseph Turkot
LOVE this idea.

Finance Suggestions

Perhaps we'd allocate a percentage to a Kboards fund for editing and other expenses...
I thought something similar, but how would you choose who this goes to? I also thought about a special needs fund, like SFWA does, but then you need a committee to hear the requests and make judgements. It gets messy.

I think everyone contributing announcing it to their mailing list/pages would be a given.
Mimi (was Dalya)

General Suggestions:

Hugh Should pick the theme.
Roz Marshall
Hugh does not want that much responsibility.

Are there editors who would volunteer their services in exchange for promo?
Amanda Brice
If not, I'll pay an editor. 1,000 word stories are easy to self-edit, though. There won't be as much work here as a 100K book would require. We'll just ask that every author do 10 or more passes.

Everything I've ever learned about group activities tells me that one person has to, ultimately, be the one in charge. Hugh, is it you? That one person needs to set all the guidelines. There's no way to please this many people, so all must agree to abide by the leader's guidelines. Oh, edit that to read abide by the leader's guidelines with a smile and the right attitude.
I nominate you. ;)

Hey, to help Kboards, since we're all sending it to our mailing lists, could we use the kboard affiliate link in those? I know I get some clicks from mine and make a few extra cents that way, and my mailing list is probably minuscule compared to a lot of others.

For a quicky count of who is interested in this thing, someone might want to start a poll on here, and have people just vote YES I'm interested. That way we can get a bit of an idea how many stories we're dealing with, and what word count we're looking at.
[Cherise's note: Camilla volunteered to start the poll, but like the Google doc thing, I think this will be more confusing than helpful. I suggest we keep it all in this thread.]

1,382 Posts
I'm IN!

When can I flash?


p/s Hugh to edit.

208 Posts
I'm game, I've got some flash fiction lying around.

And Hugh for president of something! He can't do worse than anyone else at whatever he's elected for!

263 Posts
This is an awesome idea!

I think having Hugh behind it would also turn it into a "story" that will be covered far and wide in the media and interwebs... and even create some interesting discussion on the use of the term "New York Times Bestselling Author."

The question is, would everyone's fans get behind a 99 cent e-book enough to actually make it happen?

7,648 Posts

I will write about a quilted crusader and a naughty billionaire, of course.
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