SFFMP 112: Producing and Marketing Anthologies for Fun and Profit with Patrice Fitzgerald
On previous shows, we’ve talked about the various ways to put short stories to use, including putting them into anthologies. But we haven’t talked much about producing multi-author anthologies of short stories–and actually making money doing it. (A lot of people edit and publish anthologies for the love of it, but turning a profit can be difficult, especially if you’re paying the authors decently for the rights to use their work.) Today we chatted with Patrice Fitzgerald, who, in addition to being an author in her own right, has published numerous science fiction anthologies–and done well with them.
Here are some of the details of what we covered:
- The transition from attorney to author to anthology producer.
- How Patrice is putting together mystery and science fiction anthologies that sell and make money.
- How she approaches some of the bigger sellers in the indie community (and sometimes out of it) so she’ll have some stories from popular authors to go along with the stories from up-and-comers.
- How she goes about recruiting those bigger names, and also how she sets up a way to receive submissions without getting too inundated by entries.
- Whether it’s better to pay authors a flat fee or do a royalty split.
- Whether it’s best to include stories that are completely stand alone or if they can tie into an author’s existing worlds.
- Whether there’s an ideal length for the overall anthology and for individual stories.
- How she gets past the bias (if there is one) against shorter fiction and sells a lot of anthologies.
- Using Kindle Unlimited and 99 cents to launch her anthologies (and then going up to $4 or $5 the second week).
- Gathering email addresses and starting a mailing list as a publisher and also leveraging the large lists that some of the authors have.
- Doing a series of anthologies in a similar style as opposed to jumping all over the place.