Ye Olde Magick Shoppe: A Fantasy Anthology
Short stories of wonder, adventure, thrills and chills that result when magic is for sale, by new and experienced authors.
Have you ever wished that people could publish the books that you wanted to read? Now, you can make that wish a reality! Ye Olde Magick Shoppe will be a short-story anthology in the fantasy genre, broadly defined, with stories that feature the purchase of a magical good or service from someone for whom this is their profession. (Read the details here.) Open to new and experienced authors, this anthology is your chance to help bring original and exciting stories into the world!
The goal is to publish ten or more short stories, of between 3,500 and 7,000 words, and to pay the authors fairly for their work. Your donations will help support the authors whose work you want to read! (It's part of a concept I like to call audience-driven writing.)
My previous Kickstarter anthology, The Odds are Against Us, was initially meant to be self-published; however, thanks to the amazing stories that were submitted, I decided to submit it to publishers. The anthology is now under contract with Liberty Island Media, due to be published this October. No promises that this anthology will find the same success, and Plan B is to self-publish; but you never know…
Why Ye Olde Magick Shoppe?
Seriously, who doesn't like a good magic shop? And despite the title, no actual shop is required. Characters can lurk in back alleys, or travel boldly to new lands, looking for trading opportunities. They can sell magical assassinations, or rent out animated bodyguards against demons, or push addictive magical drugs, or provide arcane knowledge to help solve a social crisis. The question is: what becomes possible when magic is for sale?
We have a fantastic lineup of submissions already; the authors below have already had their work accepted, and more will be chosen as the submissions period comes to a close. This anthology's stories will astound, thrill, and entertain!
Authors whose work has been accepted so far include:
Steve Cook: Steve is an author and teacher. Previously, his work has been published in Amygdala magazine, Cogs In Time 3, 'Avast, Ye Pirates, and Broadswords and Blasters 2. He publishes free flash fiction twice weekly on his Patreon, ‘Giant’s Reach’, and short stories once a month.
L.C. Gibson (new!): L.C. is a retired Marine Officer who currently works at one of those three letter agencies that you love to hate. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and a spoiled rotten rescue dog of uncertain antecedents.
Will Neely: Will is a musician and author. This will be his first time in print.
Max Sparber (new!): Max is an author from Minneapolis. His speculative fiction has appeared in “The Best of Strange of Strange Horizons: Year One” and “People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy.”
Wondra Vanian: Wondra is an American who lives in the United Kingdom with her husband and an army of fur babies. A writer first, Wondra Vanian is also an avid gamer, photographer, cinephile, and blogger. She was a multiple Top-Ten finisher in the 2017 Preditors and Editors Reader's Poll, including in the Best Author category.
(Watch this space for more authors as the Kickstarter continues.)
How will we use the funding?
When I announced the Call for Submissions, I guaranteed that selected authors would be paid $25. But really, that's not a lot of money for a short story. The main goal of this Kickstarter is to raise funds to pay our authors what they are worth.
If this project funds, the first thing will be to immediately pay all accepted authors $100—bringing the compensation level close to industry standards for short stories. At the initial funding level, that lets me publish seven short stories (after subtracting Kickstarter's fees and my own expenses thus far).
The more money we get, the better the anthology becomes. More authors will be published, and they will get a higher payment as well:
$1,500: Publish 10 short stories
$2,000: Author payments go up to $125
$2,500: MOAR… (To be updated as we get close)
My goal is to be able publish every worthy story submitted, and to pay each author $300—ambitious, yes, but with your help we can make it happen.
If we get the funding, expect this space to be updated—I would love to publish lots of stories, and to pay the authors even more for their work! (Maximum author payment $1,000 per short story. We'd have to get a lot of donations to hit this level, but just saying…)
Call for Submissions
We will be accepting submissions until the beginning of June. (Click the link for submission requirements. If you ignore these, your work will be rejected!) If you are a fantasy author and you want your work published, we want to see it.
On the sidebar, you can see the ways in which we will say "Thank you!" for your support. First of all, you'll be getting to read the stories! Beyond that, there are extra perks like being Tuckerized (getting to name a character after yourself), or even becoming a Master Merchant! Because, you see, this is only the beginning…
The Master Plan
Have you ever scanned the shelves of a bookstore or browsed Amazon and thought to yourself, “I wish there were a book I could buy that spoke to my tastes”? Do you prefer a particular type of read—say, Cambellian sci-fi with high politics, or time-travel romance with cross-dressing werewolves, or literary musings on the deep existentialist nature of pawnshops—that no one seems to be writing anymore?
Well, together we can change that. The master plan is for audience members to say what kind of book they want to read, pool their money, and attract a skilled author eager to give you the book you want. Crowdfunded anthologies are increasingly validated as a business model; the next step would be to create a structure for people to fund books before they are written. This project is a small step towards that goal; my hope is that as the author payment grows, the word will spread and talented authors will decide to write new work for submission.
Where does audience-driven writing go from here? Stick around and find out…
Risks and challenges
This will be my fifth published book (maybe sixth by then…). The anthology will absolutely be created and published as an ebook, barring acts of God. Creating the print edition and mailing books out will be more complicated, but not much. If the anthology is self-published, it will arrive on schedule, barring acts of God.
If the anthology is placed under contract, as my previous one was, that will slow things down as we will then be subject to the timetable of the publisher. My previous anthology is due out in October 2018, nearly a year after it was promised; but this time, I expect a quicker decision from the publisher on whether to pick us up. With luck, publication won't be too badly delayed, compared to self-publishing, and the production quality should be far better.
Should I become incapacitated but still lucid, I will be passing off the project to one of my professional editor friends. It may involve some delay, but the anthology will still be published. God-willing, this will remain unlikely.
The biggest risk is that we don't get as many high-quality story submissions as we would like. So far we've received several excellent stories, and a successful Kickstarter will surely encourage more authors to submit, given that our effective payment rates would be relatively high. You can help by spreading the word so that more authors see the opportunity!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)