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Author Topic: Contest Anthology 2016  (Read 11425 times)

Offline m3mnoch

Contest Anthology 2016
« on: December 06, 2016, 08:20:48 PM »
so, i had a thought in the shower this morning -- because, duh, that's where i do all my best thinking.

what if we took the top 3-5 stories each month and assembled a "Fantasy Faction Contest Anthology 2016"?  if you think about it, four stories per month, at 1500 words each, is 72k words.

also known as a book.

i was thinking we could even put it up on the kindle store (or somewhere) and the proceeds could go towards funding the server costs and author events and such for the site.  or, maybe even a professional editor for the 2017 edition.

while we poor, lowly authors wouldn't necessarily get paid for something we already do willingly for free, we'd hopefully get a skosh more name recognition out there in the wild, right?  of course, anyone can opt out of their stories being included any time.

as to how we'd determine which stories would be included, i was thinking choosing based on gold, silver, and bronze medals each month.  it should come out to 3-5 stories per month because we usually have ties and the like.

actually, lemme go back and look at the stories for this year.

stand by.

. . .

kk.  i'm back.

so, just going by 3rd place and better finishes, these are the stories through the first 10 months of this year that would make the theoretical cut:
Quote

january:
1 - But, I’m a F#@%ing Dragon! - m3mnoch
2 - A Twist Two Far - Rukaio_Alter
3 - Narrative Friction - OnlyOneHighlander
3 - The Wall of Going Forth - Nestat
3 - Kendrick -  night_wrtr
3 - SKELETON WALKS INTO A BAR - Jmack
3 - Sponge Riot - tebakutis

february
1 - Mistaken Identity - Rukaio_Alter
2 - Bulls and Horses - m3mnoch
3 - TROJAN HORSE - Jmack

march
1 - A Gift for the Nightmare Man - tebakutis
2 - Mare Ridden - Patchwork Mind
3 - Keep Turning - Hedin

april
1 - Everything in Frame - tebakutis
2 - The Hound of Arnas - Nora
3 - Our kind of Watchman - Peat

may
1 - The Magical Lamp - Lanko
2 - The Strangled Heart - tebakutis
2 - Sweet Release - m3mnoch
3 - How I Met Your Mother - Jmack
3 - The Wolf of Tales - Nora

june
1 - One Last Drink - tebakutis
2 - The Gambit - ArcaneArtsVelho
3 - Curse the Schedule - m3mnoch
3 - Cat Country 100.3FM - Lady_Ty

july
1 - Conan meets Nietzsche - Lanko
2 - The Frosted Glass - tebakutis
3 - The Cake Won't Kill You - Anonymous

august
1 - Goldenfoot, The Brave - night_wrtr
2 - Potion, Potion, Potion - Anonymous
3 - Love Potion - m3mnoch

september
1 - The Rule of the Curse - SugoiMe
2 - The Treasure of Saint Curio - tebakutis
3 - The Precious Cargo - Elfy

october
1 - Where there's a will
2 - Is it Really Graverobbing if it's for Science?
3 - Harry
3 - Blink


hrm.  looking at that list, it's looking like 3.8 stories per month, so 6k words per month average seems about bang on.

so, is this something that anyone is interested in?  what do you guys think?  should i pull together a sample book and we can see what it looks like?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 08:43:51 PM by m3mnoch »

Offline Nora

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Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2016, 08:31:28 PM »
I, of course, definitely support this idea. Find it very cool. You can use all my three stories, and any more that might crop up.
Now you almost make me sad I skipped three months this year.

I'd love to get a kindle version of this.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline xiagan

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Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2016, 08:56:03 PM »
I have thought about this before but shied away from it because of the work.
I edited, formatted and published books before (at my university) and self-pubbed a small anthology too, so I know exactly how much work it is.

But we have a great bunch of talented writers, critique givers and artists (anthology cover will be @m3mnoch's goat in daisy dukes of course) here, so if we spread the work on many hands, it may be doable!
If Marc agrees with this (and I don't see why he shouldn't. I think he thought about this too at some point but more important stuff got in the way), we would have a hell of exposure through the main site and the FF twitter/facebook.

As cool as this sounds, we have to consider the danger for our contest too.
If this takes off, our contest will get a lot more exposure too, more writers will join and besides the problem of voting for 30+ stories, the temptation to cheat (i.e. have five family members vote for their story) will be higher if this means to be part of the next anthology.

So what do you think?

Oh, and if we do this, I would take February out. I'm not sure having Fanfic in there would be a good idea...
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2016, 09:13:18 PM »
I realy liked the idea...
and then I read this:
As cool as this sounds, we have to consider the danger for our contest too.
If this takes off, our contest will get a lot more exposure too, more writers will join and besides the problem of voting for 30+ stories, the temptation to cheat (i.e. have five family members vote for their story) will be higher if this means to be part of the next anthology.
which is a very real danger :-\

So... dunno...
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

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Offline Nora

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Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 09:13:52 PM »
Agreed on fanfic.

However, if we do the work of assembling this anthology ourselves, then we can also decide to keep it for ourselves? I mean, it can be a pay-per-print thing, or as I said, I'm happy with an ebook, and these are easier to put together.
Getting the anthology could be a 'present' of sorts for the people who participated in the contest.

Whether we want more coverage or not... Hmm... Not sure that I do want to read 30+ stories, but it might happen either way, since the contest did go bigger each year, right?
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2016, 09:39:54 PM »
personally?  i feel like it will be a bit more realistic to think the dozens of new writers flooding into our contest in the terms of "anthology sales".  my off-the-cuff estimate would be in the neighborhood of dozens per year -- and most of them to the existing members.

i don't suspect the contest would be that much more popular if we had a neatly-packaged anthology for readers.  i mean, it's not like posting the winning stories on the main site draws an enormous crowd currently.

don't get me wrong, i feel like we can continue the trend upwards, but i feel like it would be more in the neighborhood of 20%, not 200%.

there are a LOT of reputable short story anthologies out there published monthly.  i doubt if we'd contend with them with our once-per-year release, and only if you place top-three, and only if you write to our specific theme.

and, honestly, i don't feel like the fanfic thing is that big of a deal either.  but you guys know me on that one.  i've got a fairly loose view of copyright laws.  however, if you think about it, we're currently publishing them anyway on a site that's asking for money -- so how is this any different?

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2016, 10:01:21 PM »
EDIT: My post is super long and rambling. Short version.

Like the e-book idea, if implemented as follows. Only include the stories that win each month (the ones we publish anyway). Make this clear in the guidelines that already state they'll appear on the site. All this is is an alternate method to view what is already published anyway, so no more motivation for "cheating" than already exists. Give e-book away free to people who donate any amount through e-mail, don't sell directly.

LONGER POST BELOW

Hmm, an interesting idea fraught with peril! In other words, it must be a m3mnoch post. (Just kidding :p) I like the idea, but see issues.

To start, we all know (or should!) that Fantasy-Faction is funded by donations. So if we were to make an e-book of contest stories to support the site/forums, I feel like it should be sent to people who donate as a thank you gift for donators, not sold directly. Basically, it would be a nice bonus for people who donate to keep this site we all enjoy running. If that were the method of distribution (I imagine Overlord could add a link to the e-book in his "Thank you for donating!" automated e-mail) you would get a nice feel good treat for helping the site run.

As to the problems will selling it, there are two big reasons I think selling the e-book directly (say, on Amazon or other services) is a bad idea.

1) Even if authors opt-in and agree, it's still technically selling an author's work in exchange for "exposure", which has become somewhat of a dirty word to many authors today (and something more established authors advise newbies against, because it's so often BS). Also, what if they *don't* agree?

In this case, F-F is well known enough that I think there would actually be truth to exposure, but *only* if the included authors already have existing books for sale elsewhere. Because the authors aren't getting paid for their donated stories, they'd only benefit if someone liked a donated story enough to buy the author's OTHER WORK. So do you list their other work in the e-book? If you don't, why not? And what about people who have no other work to sell? It just gets complicated and messy fast.

2) Amazon and NOOK take a cut of every e-book they sell (that's why they'll sell anything!) and in some cases, a big cut (I assume other services are similar). If you were to price the e-book at less than 2.99 on Amazon, for instance, they would take 75% of the book price. That leaves on 25% of the price as an actual donation to F-F ... the rest is a donation to Amazon. >.>  If you put the price above 2.99, Amazon's royalty drops to %35 ... but they're still siphoning money away from F-F, which seems to defeat the point.

Then, of course, there's also the financial and tax stuff. Amazon requires a real SS / bank account / etc before you can sell stuff, which means someone (presumably Overlord) would have to set that up on Amazon, which seems like a lot of trouble. If you have someone else running the account with their bank account, then donating the money to Overlord, you're adding more complexity and probably more fees. While setting up an Amazon author account for this might be something Marc is willing to do (if you're reading the thread, Marc, chime in!) there's still the issue of Amazon's cut.

So, in summary: since F-F is already publishing winning stories on the site ANYWAY, providing them in e-book format doesn't seem to be doing anything but offering another way to consume them. But it would make more sense as a reward (donate whatever amount you want, and receive a free e-book!) that a book sold on a vendor with a set price.

This assumes you could get a volunteer to format the stories in a readable format (Kindle and Nook are different, and I'm not sure about others) and actually create the e-book (I know you do it automated m3m, but I'm not sure how it compares to the quality vendors expect, as I usually read online). There's very specific things you have to do to get a book to look "good" in Kindle and Nook (I know, since I've published books!), to get chapter headings to work, and so on. So though you almost certainly know that, I just want to call it out for discussion.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 10:07:01 PM by tebakutis »

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2016, 10:23:41 PM »
Give e-book away free to people who donate any amount through e-mail, don't sell directly.

i LOVE this idea!


Hmm, an interesting idea fraught with peril! In other words, it must be a m3mnoch post. (Just kidding :p) I like the idea, but see issues.

. . . and also this!  ha!


To start, we all know (or should!) that Fantasy-Faction is funded by donations. So if we were to make an e-book of contest stories to support the site/forums, I feel like it should be sent to people who donate as a thank you gift for donators, not sold directly. Basically, it would be a nice bonus for people who donate to keep this site we all enjoy running. If that were the method of distribution (I imagine Overlord could add a link to the e-book in his "Thank you for donating!" automated e-mail) you would get a nice feel good treat for helping the site run.

or links to the patreon folks!

it'd be like another asset to help balance the cost/benefit equation in our favor!

bam!


As to the problems will selling it, there are two big reasons I think selling the e-book directly (say, on Amazon or other services) is a bad idea.

1) Even if authors opt-in and agree, it's still technically selling an author's work in exchange for "exposure", which has become somewhat of a dirty word to many authors today (and something more established authors advise newbies against, because it's so often BS). Also, what if they *don't* agree?

In this case, F-F is well known enough that I think there would actually be truth to exposure, but *only* if the included authors already have existing books for sale elsewhere. Because the authors aren't getting paid for their donated stories, they'd only benefit if someone liked a donated story enough to buy the author's OTHER WORK. So do you list their other work in the e-book? If you don't, why not? And what about people who have no other work to sell? It just gets complicated and messy fast.

2) Amazon and NOOK take a cut of every e-book they sell (that's why they'll sell anything!) and in some cases, a big cut (I assume other services are similar). If you were to price the e-book at less than 2.99 on Amazon, for instance, they would take 75% of the book price. That leaves on 25% of the price as an actual donation to F-F ... the rest is a donation to Amazon. >.>  If you put the price above 2.99, Amazon's royalty drops to %35 ... but they're still siphoning money away from F-F, which seems to defeat the point.

Then, of course, there's also the financial and tax stuff. Amazon requires a real SS / bank account / etc before you can sell stuff, which means someone (presumably Overlord) would have to set that up on Amazon, which seems like a lot of trouble. If you have someone else running the account with their bank account, then donating the money to Overlord, you're adding more complexity and probably more fees. While setting up an Amazon author account for this might be something Marc is willing to do (if you're reading the thread, Marc, chime in!) there's still the issue of Amazon's cut.

sold!


So, in summary: since F-F is already publishing winning stories on the site ANYWAY, providing them in e-book format doesn't seem to be doing anything but offering another way to consume them. But it would make more sense as a reward (donate whatever amount you want, and receive a free e-book!) that a book sold on a vendor with a set price.

This assumes you could get a volunteer to format the stories in a readable format (Kindle and Nook are different, and I'm not sure about others) and actually create the e-book (I know you do it automated m3m, but I'm not sure how it compares to the quality vendors expect, as I usually read online). There's very specific things you have to do to get a book to look "good" in Kindle and Nook (I know, since I've published books!), to get chapter headings to work, and so on. So though you almost certainly know that, I just want to call it out for discussion.

i spent a few weeks working out a publishing pipeline for my own stuff.  it includes all the interesting front and back matter and that sort of business.  i should just copy-paste it and assemble a sample version so we can see what it looks like.

Offline Nora

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Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2016, 10:42:03 PM »
Why publish only the first one though? What's the motivational point for readers who already follow and read the published stories? It's only 12 stories, you can read that in a 30min sitting.
While I think the donation idea is great, I believe m3m idea of including more work is better. Sometimes the difference between 1st and 2nd or 3rd is only one vote, and the quality isn't so different, it's all so subjective, so I think the "top" stories are often great and all worth the read, even if they don't always match what I vote for, and making a yearly anthology might as well be a fatter book rather than a leaflet.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2016, 10:45:30 PM »
Why publish only the first one though? What's the motivational point for readers who already follow and read the published stories? It's only 12 stories, you can read that in a 30min sitting.
While I think the donation idea is great, I believe m3m idea of including more work is better. Sometimes the difference between 1st and 2nd or 3rd is only one vote, and the quality isn't so different, it's all so subjective, so I think the "top" stories are often great and all worth the read, even if they don't always match what I vote for, and making a yearly anthology might as well be a fatter book rather than a leaflet.

i don't think he meant only one story per month.  or, at least, i didn't read it that way.

i was thinking teb meant that we'd only pick from stories that were already published -- which is ALL the stories in the contest, not just the winner.  meaning, we wouldn't include random stories by our authors.

or did i understand that wrong?

Offline Nora

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Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2016, 10:53:32 PM »
Quote
Only include the stories that win each month (the ones we publish anyway). Make this clear in the guidelines that already state they'll appear on the site.

Speaks for itself.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2016, 11:20:05 PM »
Quote
Only include the stories that win each month (the ones we publish anyway). Make this clear in the guidelines that already state they'll appear on the site.

Speaks for itself.

oh.  i see what you're saying.  i bet he meant the ones published on the main site.

yeah.  ALL the stories entered in the contest are published.  anything we write here, even if it's not a winner which was "published on the home page" is still considered published.  if you're posting your story in the contest, fantasy faction basically consumes your first publication rights of that story.

http://writersrelief.com/blog/2013/11/what-is-considered-previously-published-writing/
http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/11/can-i-say-that-my-story-was-not.html

it's important to note, this does not apply to the private writing group section of the site.  it's just the public contest part.  (and public critique requests, i suppose)

i would imagine that's why most of the working writers in our forums don't ever enter stories into our contests.  folks like cameron, cupiscient, jrtroughton, etc.  but, i could be wrong.

anyway.

my long, boring point is:  stories in the contest are already published.

regardless, we'd ABSOLUTELY get permission from all the authors to publish their work in the anthology.

Offline Nora

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Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2016, 11:39:22 PM »
For once it's me who thinks I might have misunderstood? I didn't think it was an issue of right publication?
My argument is for size. Of course all entries count as "published", since even posting on a blog or fb count as published.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Lanko

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Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2016, 11:46:11 PM »
Will we be able to revise for typos or that odd sentence that totally missed us in the final week when we wrote it?
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline m3mnoch

Re: Contest Anthology 2016
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2016, 11:52:11 PM »
Will we be able to revise for typos or that odd sentence that totally missed us in the final week when we wrote it?

of course!

possibly even heavier editing?  adjustments based on critiques?  even if it pushes over the wordcount?

/shrug

whatever it is that we agree to.  it would be our thing, after all.  i just wouldn't want to accidentally damage the stories after they've already been voted in.


edit:  tho, i suppose there is some value-add there.  a "director's cut" of the story, if you will.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 11:54:20 PM by m3mnoch »