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Old 03-01-2014, 12:11 PM   #16
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@Dr. Drib: Thanks for the clarification aoub the deleted link
@Graham & Dr. Drib: This project has learning about writing, publishing, and editing as it's main purpose. I hope the more experienced authors at MR will take part in this project. The second purpose is actually getting some material out there.

I've been writing passages and scenes, but I don't actually know how good (or bad) they are, and I feel I don't have enough material (yet) to create a full length novel, of which I am of the opinion that it should be around 200 pages long at least.

I do have enough material to create one or two short stories, and I think there may quite a few people here who have an idea, write something, but don't think their idea is "big" enough to create an entire book. Putting everyone in the same boat, writing and working together, will make all short stories better (hopefully), and then, at the end, there will be an actual book available. For people who have never put any writing "out there", that's a big deal, and a giant leap for mankind. (Uh... or at least for the startups, it is )
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cromag View Post
As it turned out I had a hard time sleeping last night ... and an idea for a story came to me. But, as I've mentioned elsewhere, my brain seems to be tuned for very short stories. I see this one "fleshing out" at maybe 2500 words. I'd worry about having it seem "padded" if I try to push it beyond that. So if 4000 words is going to be a firm minimum I'll have to go back to the drawing board.
Everything in the "rules" (cough...) can be seen as a guideline. I suggested to keep a short story between 4,000 and 8,000 words, so that a writer can have either one or two stories in the anthology, totalling 8,000 words.

If you can come up with three stories of 2,500 words for a total of 7,500 words, then this is fine as well. If another person comes up with one story of 8,500 or 9,000 words, or two stories of 4,500 words, I'm fine with that as well.

So, take everything "rule" as a guideline and use some common sense

The suggestions are there because I don't want one author to dominate the Table of Contents with 10 flash fiction stories of 800 words, or another one putting a novella of 40K words in there.

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Also, with regard to publication -- I have no problem with it being Free, so if it is published as a free anthology at a place like Smashwords it wouldn't be necessary to provide an epub to each author -- we could just download our own, in whatever format we want.
I was thinking that each contributor would get a version of the book to be included on their website or Smashwords page or wherever they want to.

The only problem would be that if 10 people would post this book at Smashwords, it gets distributed to other stores such as Kobo. At that point, Kobo would have 10 copies of the same book, each by a differet author.

Is this a problem?

In that case, I could post the book under my own name, crediting all other contributors in the description and in the book. If everybody is fine with this and it is seen as the proper way to do it (to prevent stores ending up with 10 copies of this work), we'll do it like this.

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But, since each author would retain copyright to his/her own story, I don't think anyone else could make the whole anthology available without each author's permission.
I was thinking that, after it is finished, every contributing author owns the entire book, and that each of these authors can post it anywhere and everywhere (except maybe torrenting it through Pirate Bay).

If we decide to allow each author to post the entire anthology, then obviously a prerequisite to being included in it would be that you give permission for this.

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But each author could make his/her own story available as a stand-alone story under whatever terms they want -- unless we agree otherwise. In fact, I'd like to do this myself, although I'd have no trouble agreeing to give the anthology a six month period of exclusivity.

Thoughts?
The anthology will be in the MobileRead library, on the grounds that it is developed on this forum. Also, I'll post the anthology for free as well. This means that all stories will be free forever.

If I'm going to be the sole poster of the entire anthology because of the fact that I made the first post in this project, then I would suggest this for the seperate stories:

- Every author can post their own stories seperately wherever they want.
- Each of the stories must include a reference to the anthology in the MobileRead library, and at least one other source (Smashwords/Amazon/own website...).

Personally I would like it best if each author got a copy of the work for himself, with only one principle to adhere to:

"Do with the anthology as you like. Post it everywhere you want. The only rules are that you don't change anything in it after publication, and keep it free forever."

The only problem is that the book will probably end up multiple times in book stores. If that is not seen as a problem, I'm all for this approach. I don't really mind if the anthology is bought (for $0.00) from you, me, Vydor, Graham or whomever, or downloaded from the MR library.

If you'd want to actually sell your own stories seperately (so you DON'T post the anthology yourself), I have no problems with that either, but people may not like it, if they find out that they could have gotten the story for free at a gazillion other places.

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Old 03-01-2014, 01:01 PM   #18
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I found a story that I wouldn't mind putting in there, but it's only 1040 words. I'll see if I can find another one to go with it. I don't want to enter too many - don't want to fill up the TOC.-)

The story hasn't been published before, except as one of the award winners in a local writer's group thingy. Still okay?

rjb
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by arjaybe View Post
I found a story that I wouldn't mind putting in there, but it's only 1040 words. I'll see if I can find another one to go with it. I don't want to enter too many - don't want to fill up the TOC.-)

The story hasn't been published before, except as one of the award winners in a local writer's group thingy. Still okay?

rjb
If you want to be included, and decide to two, maybe three stories of ~1000 words, I'm okay with that, but you'll be wasting 5-6K words.

And, as said, creating the anthology is about learning the writing / editing / publishing process; I don't want to end up with 20 short stories tomorrow. ("Hey dude, I've got a few hanging around I was too lazy to make into a book. Cya!") Me building an e-book is not the goal or point of the project; it's the cherry on the cake, the way to actually get the works out there.

Each author must provide at least one (1) new story, written specifically for this anthology, or there won't be anything to learn about writing.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:36 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Each author must provide at least one (1) new story, written specifically for this anthology, or there won't be anything to learn about writing.
I think it would be OK if it was a story that hadn't been published elsewhere, as long as the author was happy that we were all going to go through a review, critique and edit process. We should all be engaged with that.

I was thinking of using a story that I wrote last year that would benefit from rework, rather than writing a new one from scratch.

On the distribution front, I think it would be best if the anthology was distributed just by you - assuming you're happy with being the editor - and we all just link to it.

And I agree that we should come up with a suitable agreement where we can then use our own stories later on as we wish, on the understanding that the anthology will remain available and free. Allowing a period of exclusivity of, say, six months sounds fine to me.

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Old 03-01-2014, 03:53 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Graham View Post
I think it would be OK if it was a story that hadn't been published elsewhere, as long as the author was happy that we were all going to go through a review, critique and edit process. We should all be engaged with that.
Very well

Submitting an existing story is OK, but it has to be expected that the story will be critiqued, and that changes could be suggested.

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I was thinking of using a story that I wrote last year that would benefit from rework, rather than writing a new one from scratch.
That's OK as well. It adds to the learning experience for all of us.

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On the distribution front, I think it would be best if the anthology was distributed just by you - assuming you're happy with being the editor - and we all just link to it.
I'm open to any suggestions. My experience with this is nil, nada, zilch. I'll be creating a Smashwords account (assuming I can, outside the US). If everybody is fine with it, I'll post the athology in there, and in the MobileRead library.

edit: Smashwords has a Premium Book program, where they push the book into other stores if the work meets certain formatting guidelines. I intend to follow these guidelines, so the work will end up at more stores than Smashwords, to be "bought" at a price of $0.

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And I agree that we should come up with a suitable agreement where we can then use our own stories later on as we wish, on the understanding that the anthology will remain available and free. Allowing a period of exclusivity of, say, six months sounds fine to me.
Seconded.

My suggestion:

- The anthology will always be free.
- It will be posted to the MobileRead library, as a minimum.
- Each of the contributing authors can post/promote the anthology wherever they wish, as long as they don't change it, and keep it free.
- The stories will have 6 months of exclusivity in the anthology, starting from the date it is first posted.
- After these six months, the authors can do with the short stories whatever they want.
- Each story, if provided for download seperately, should have a reference to two download locations the anthology; one being the MobileRead library, the other being a store, author website, for example.

I have a feeling that trying to sell a story that is always available for free in an anthology might not be a good idea. Customers could get angry at you. Even if we leave the reference to the anthology out of the individual stories, customers might find out by searching for the author's name. At some point in time, Google WILL come up with the anthology.

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Old 03-01-2014, 07:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Very well
...
- The anthology will always be free.
- It will be posted to the MobileRead library, as a minimum.
- Each of the contributing authors can post/promote the anthology wherever they wish, as long as they don't change it, and keep it free.
- The stories will have 6 months of exclusivity in the anthology, starting from the date it is first posted.
- After these six months, the authors can do with the short stories whatever they want.
- Each story, if provided for download seperately, should have a reference to two download locations the anthology; one being the MobileRead library, the other being a store, author website, for example.
...
I still think this is going to be a problem. I'm not an expert, and I can't speak for any publisher, but this comes from Smashwords' Terms of Service, point 9a:

Quote:
is the sole owner of the rights herein granted;

I read that as the anthology being one work and being offered by one authorized person -- such as the editor.



If the anthology was offered as an anthology only here, in Mobileread's library, then the stories could be made available anywhere by their respective authors.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:30 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by cromag View Post
I still think this is going to be a problem. I'm not an expert, and I can't speak for any publisher, but this comes from Smashwords' Terms of Service, point 9a:

....

I read that as the anthology being one work and being offered by one authorized person -- such as the editor.
Hm. Indeed.

Quote:
If the anthology was offered as an anthology only here, in Mobileread's library, then the stories could be made available anywhere by their respective authors.
That is true, but I would very much like to get this anthology into actual stores.

Would it be possible that all contributing authors would grant me the right to publish the anthology in stores (Smashwords, Amazon...) and in the MobileRead Library? Of course, it will be in its complete form, unchanged, with full credits and references to author's websites and/or stores, and always for free.

By doing it that way, it will be in stores under my name, and each author can post it onto their own personal websites as a free download, if they so wish. There would be a six month exclusivity, and after that, all the stories can be posted/sold or whatever by their creators, on websites or in their own stores.

The only point that remains is that the contributors need to be aware that the anthology will be free forever, so selling the stories might disgruntle customers if they find out about the anthology *after* buying one of those stories.

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Old 03-02-2014, 06:42 AM   #24
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The only point that remains is that the contributors need to be aware that the anthology will be free forever, so selling the stories might disgruntle customers if they find out about the anthology *after* buying one of those stories.
I think we're basically saying that we should make it clear that contributors are not giving up exclusive rights to their stories. It would be great if we were able to polish up material to the extent where it had a value beyond this anthology, but in my mind that is simply so that it could be posted on my own blog as a freebie at some point, or included in a later anthology. No real plans - just trying to look well ahead.

Even having this very basic discussion is already useful, to try to make us put more professional heads on.

Graham

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Old 03-02-2014, 06:55 AM   #25
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And, as said, creating the anthology is about learning the writing / editing / publishing process; I don't want to end up with 20 short stories tomorrow.
We should think about this not just from our perspective, but also from that of the potential readers.

Arjaybe's offer of a short story or two is a nice gesture, and my initial reaction was that the project could cope with both the efforts of the self-editing 'collective' and the other authors on MobileRead who were more comfortable simply donating stories. After all, MobileRead readers wouldn't necessarily know the background behind the project.

I suspect that from a reader's perspective, the expectation would be that the ebook would simply contain stories by regular MobileRead posters. However, the key there is 'regular' MobileRead posters. Broadening the project to include any story opens the door to the anthology simply being used for self-promotion.

It could also put us in an awkward situation of having to make editorial decisions on whether a particular submission should be included.

So, on balance, I think you're right, Katsunami, that this should be restricted to contributors who are comfortable about the collective reviewing and analysis of the stories.

The alternative would be to do something like set a minimum post count for someone to have their story included if they didn't want to be fully involved.

Incidentally, are there any potential readers watching this thread? It would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

Graham

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Old 03-02-2014, 09:37 AM   #26
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I do like this idea very much, Katsunami.

I have a couple of stories around this size that I wrote last year that I've been wondering what to do with (it will be a long while before I have enough to consider an anthology of my own), so I'm definitely interested. I'm pretty pressed for time right now, so not sure if I will be able to participate in discussion as much as I would like - but I am willing to try.

I'm also writing something, that was supposed to be short, now ... but it's already on the high side of the limit of 8000, so it may not be appropriate. That's one of my troubles, I don't generally write fiction to a deadline, nor to a length, so writing specifically for this project would be difficult for me. However contributing a previous story of an appropriate length for critique and review as part of the discussion is something I can do.

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Old 03-02-2014, 11:04 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
Arjaybe's offer of a short story or two is a nice gesture, and my initial reaction was that the project could cope with both the efforts of the self-editing 'collective' and the other authors on MobileRead who were more comfortable simply donating stories. After all, MobileRead readers wouldn't necessarily know the background behind the project.
Yes, but if that happens, I could end up with 20 stories within a week, leaving me to just build an ebook and put it online. I don't want to just receive a bunch of stories and then being the "YOU do the work to get MY stuff out there"-guy.

That is not the primary purpose of this project.

Quote:
Broadening the project to include any story opens the door to the anthology simply being used for self-promotion.

It could also put us in an awkward situation of having to make editorial decisions on whether a particular submission should be included.
Yes. Self-promotion is obviously a side effect of this anthology after it gets out there, but it's not its primary purpose.

Quote:
So, on balance, I think you're right, Katsunami, that this should be restricted to contributors who are comfortable about the collective reviewing and analysis of the stories.

The alternative would be to do something like set a minimum post count for someone to have their story included if they didn't want to be fully involved.
Nah... In, or out. Like Mr. Miyagi said:

Quote:
Miyagi: Now, ready?
Daniel: Yeah, I guess so.
Miyagi: [sighs] Daniel-san, must talk.
[they both kneel]
Miyagi: Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later
[makes squish gesture]
Miyagi: get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do "yes" or karate do "no." You karate do "guess so,"
[makes squish gesture]
Miyagi: just like grape. Understand?
Daniel: Yeah, I understand.
Miyagi: Now, ready?
Daniel: Yeah, I'm ready.
In other words, either submit a story and participate, or don't submit. Just dropping a story into the thread to gather enough for an anthology is not the intention of the project.

It's OK to submit a story that was started some time ago and needs rework. Even my own would be in this category, probably, because some scenes are already written out.

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Old 03-02-2014, 11:13 AM   #28
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I do like this idea very much, Katsunami.
Thanks You're welcome to participate. To be honest, I find the amount different people posting in this thread a bit underwhelming

Quote:
I have a couple of stories around this size that I wrote last year that I've been wondering what to do with (it will be a long while before I have enough to consider an anthology of my own), so I'm definitely interested. I'm pretty pressed for time right now, so not sure if I will be able to participate in discussion as much as I would like - but I am willing to try.
I'm thinking about doing it like this:

- For people who are writing a new story: write it "live", posting new versions to a Dropbox folder as they come along.
- For people starting with an existing story: post that, and then start editing rewriting.

If people want, they can download and read these stories in progress, and give suggestions by PM or e-mail, but everyone is free to either do this, or not.

At some point, we'll determine a finalization date. From that date onward, the stories will be frozen, and we'll start reviewing them one by one. After a story gets reviewed, the author can make the necessary edits to incorporate (some of) the suggestions. Then we move to the next story.

There could be one to three of these review/editing rounds; whatever we decide to do.

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I'm also writing something, that was supposed to be short, now ... but it's already on the high side of the limit of 8000, so it may not be appropriate. That's one of my troubles, I don't generally write fiction to a deadline, nor to a length, so writing specifically for this project would be difficult for me.
Maybe it would be a good exercise Meeting a deadline often comes down to setting priorities, and discipline. Meeting word length will be determined by what to include or leave out, obviously.

This project could help you to learn to do these things better

(As a software engineer, I'm sometimes in the same boat. "Just make this function a bit better", "just add a little bit here"... and then the deadline is there and not everything is finished.)

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However contributing a previous story of an appropriate length for critique and review as part of the discussion is something I can do.
I'd be glad to have you submit one
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #29
Graham
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- For people who are writing a new story: write it "live", posting new versions to a Dropbox folder as they come along.
I'd probably be OK with doing this, but I'd want it clear that no comments should be made until the author requested them. In the early stages this would be a valuable insight into what the author was doing, but I know I feel very vulnerable about what's written until I get the story to a point where I'm happy that it's a coherent 'first draft'.

I've also learned my lesson... don't show said first draft to significant other until at least the next day. It's very painful to have the glow of achieving that completed draft shattered by critical comment before you've even slept on it!

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Old 03-02-2014, 01:44 PM   #30
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I'd probably be OK with doing this, but I'd want it clear that no comments should be made until the author requested them. In the early stages this would be a valuable insight into what the author was doing, but I know I feel very vulnerable about what's written until I get the story to a point where I'm happy that it's a coherent 'first draft'.
Graham
Me too. I'm reluctant to talk about it before it's done.
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