Ian Donnell Arbuckle writes about...
Publishing “Twisted Fairy Tales”
Ian describes an enterprising project.
I wanted to let you know about a project that a few of my writing friends and I undertook a couple months ago. We decided that it would be fun to collect a number of twisted fairy tales into a peer-edited volume and hawk it out around our disparate locations’ bookstores. I already had one (a Rumplestiltskin variation called “Grammar” that was published by lostinthedark.net last summer), and had some more ideas.
Well, now there are at least seven contributors with stories in the works ranging from “Rikki Tikki Tavi” to “Seven at One Blow” to “Wayland the Wandering Smith,” and they’re all shaping up beautifully.
Now with your contest looming, I thought I might put the bug in the ear of my contributors to submit their stories to you guys, because our collection certainly isn’t planned for publication until May or so. Just thought I’d let you know that I’m directing a small flood towards you.
Also... I wonder if any of the contributors you submit to your contest would like to participate in this publishing experiment? The goal is not to make profit, but to have each contributor make an effort to market the book within their sphere of influence, to build up as much interest as we can. More of a vanity project than a publishing effort, I suppose, but my sincere hope is that the popularity of the project will be helpful in sprinboarding we amateurs on to greater things.
Just a thought.
Our collection is going to be called Time for Bedlam with some sort of explanatory subtitle that hasn’t yet been decided upon. :)
We, the authors, give the booksellers our books for free and they sell the books for money. If any of us were trying to make an independent profit from this project, that wouldn’t look so attractive, but, honestly, neither myself nor my contributors even want to consider the option of making a profit yet (that might be something to pass along to possible BwS contributors.) I haven’t yet checked with large-chain bookstores, such as Borders or Barnes and Noble (both of which tend to have small “local author” sections).
Basically, we’re going indie: we have a project we reasonably believe will interest people and generate a small fanbase. We will put in money, and hope to organize readings for interested parties, and create the product via Lulu.com, purchase an amount of our own books to distribute to booksellers, and organize as much local publicity as possible in our far flung regions of Omak, Spokane, Seattle, Los Angeles, Missoula, and Vancouver, B.C. We kind of hope that any contributor will be excited enough by the final product to do a bit of shilling themselves, as well, though we won’t make it a requirement, by any means. We’re young writers, at this point, having fun — we’ll be grizzled and cynical when we have time.
And I’ll have a contribution for the contest, as well. Good luck with this!
Copyright © 2005 by Ian Donnell Arbuckle
Thank you, Ian! And good luck to you and your friends, too. In light of Jerry’s editorial in issue 133, it looks like you and Bewildering Stories are going the same way. Who knows, maybe we can go together. It’s certainly seems like something we might talk about.