A gift for Chris - WFG author anthology idea

I had an idea today. The more I thought about it, the better it sounded in my head. Please hear me out!


What if we banded together for an anthology of short stories by web fiction authors who benefitted from their WFG listings? And if the earnings went to Chris, to help pay for a site overhaul and as compensation for all his tireless work?


Now with a bit more detail:


Imagine a collection of stories by popular WFG authors, each one with a short introduction about the author and their history as a publisher of web fiction. The goals would be as follows:


-To raise global awareness of web fiction OTHER than Wattpad (it's shocking how many people believe Wattpad is the only platform there is)

-To raise awareness of WFG / RoyalRoadL and increase reader traffic

-To promote each featured author and their work

-To increase interest in web fiction as an alternate form of publishing

-To help Chris pay for site upgrades and offer compensation.


It would be easiest if Chris himself acted as the publisher and put the finalized anthology up on Amazon, through D2D etc.


Unfortunately, anthologies by relatively unknown (compared to Stephen King etc) authors tend to not sell like hotcakes. But I think we could really push this anthology up the ranks (and gain a lot of visibility) by promoting it to our individual followings. For instance, I have about 2K blog followers and mailing list subscribers combined. I could also make waves on Kboards and would pay for promotion, possibly the cover as well.


If y'all agree this isn't a horrible idea, I'd like to get the following authors on board:


Wildbow

Drew Hayes

Jim Zoetewey

Blaise Corvin

Leo (I forget his surname, sorry!)

Scott Straughan (Author of the Iron Teeth)


Others who gained large followings and / or made good money thanks to WFG (even if other factors / listings elsewhere also played a role)


Would you guys be willing to contribute a 5-15K word story that can be enjoyed as standalone fiction? Already published serial interludes might work, though our own readers would probably prefer to get something new from us if they buy the anthology.


I think a publication in spring 2018 should be realistic. Opinions?


Oh, and anyone who knows the listed authors (and others who'd fit right in) and is able to pull them into this thread, please do so <3


Interesting idea Chrysalis. I would definitely buy it.


By the way, here's a webfiction anthology that was pulled together in 2010. It is not associated with WFG but most of the authors have multiple works on WFG. There are some great stories in here (read my review!).

https://www.amazon.com/Other-Sides-12-Webfiction-Tales-ebook/dp/B00472O6M0/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8


its been done before. I did two volumes of Dream Fantastic, and we actually had some decent dls through smashwords and amazon free for a while. And we had the shared world anthology several of us were working on earlier this year, but that kinda... flopped out, sadly.


Anthologies are notoriously hard to pull off - the royalty split is a nightmare, among other things. Which is why I suggested we donate the earnings to Chris, and let him act as the publisher to avoid the royalty split hassle. And cover and marketing would be covered, so no need to rack our brains over splitting cost.


Besides, since we now have some RoyalRoadL authors who are doing well and are active on this forum, it would be nice to include them! In my opinion, anyway. :)


I heard about the past anthologies and will check them out for sure!


Guess there isn't a lot of interest :(


I would be interested in supporting such a thing if it helps Chris.


Thanks, LadyAnder. I'll see if I can't mobilize some of the folks I've already emailed in the past - I'm looking at you, Leo! And a couple others, too. ;)


If we could get a couple early confirmations, it might be easier for others to join in.


Aaaand we should probably ask Chris if he even likes the idea...



But yes... First ask Chris about it.


EDIT: Also, I let Drew know.


Assuming leo there is leo me, I'd be happy to contribute! Really appreciative to this community as a whole.


Would anthology be the best idea or are there other options? Happy for either.


Thanks, Leo!


Update: I emailed Chris and asked him to please take a look at the thread. Let's wait for him before we do any more plotting.


I think this is a wonderful idea, if you will have me I would be interested! If not I totally understand :)


Hi all,


To be honest, I seriously considered closing WFG's Patreon account a few weeks ago, and may yet do so. The only reason I didn't was to give me a bit of time to consider if hiring someone is an option, as I have consistently made no progress on rewriting the site software. I don't want to be collecting money that will never get used.


If you all want to publish an anthology, have at it, but I can't be involved. My current employer is a certain orange-themed writing site, and publishing an anthology would definitely put me in competition with them, which I have agreed not to do. So, yeah, I can't be involved. :)


Thanks for thinking of me. I really do appreciate it. But I don't honestly know what to do differently with the site, and rewriting it just to eliminate WordPress hasn't yet proven enough reason to do it.


Chris


That's sad but understandable, Chris. The anthology project would feel a bit pointless without your involvement, but if anyone has another idea how to make this work while also having it be a project for corporate (WFG community) good - without royalty splits, because those are just nightmarish - by all means.


You could just donate all proceeds to charity.


Or adverts! Can't imagine anyone would complain about new readers.


On a separate note Chris, if there is any way we can thank you for everything you have done, let us know. We really appreciate it. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.


-Leo


If we donated to charity, we'd have to trust one person (the publisher) to actually donate the full amount and not keep any of it. I don't know whom I'd trust that much. Wildbow, maybe? I doubt he'd agree to take part in it, though.


I believe there's a very special hell for those who steal from charities, so the worry never occurred to me. I suppose you could look for someone from the charity to be the publisher or maybe set it up so that Amazon or wherever sends the money directly to the charity.


Could we get the big names together for a charity anthology, though? I have a feeling they would have considered it for Chris but wouldn't be that interested in yet another anthology (as Holly said, this was already done 2-3 times).


My goal was to spread awareness of web fiction and WFG, and that's only going to happen if we can include a good number of authors with notable success stories such as Jim and Drew. '10 web fiction success stories' would attract far more interest than '10 stories from the web fiction world' and make the marketing far easier. If we only had a realistic chance to sell a few hundred copies to our combined followers, we might as well donate however much the editing for each story (plus the cover, and marketing) costs to charity. I know this sounds awfully pessimistic, but I learned the reality of the market the hard way...


Even if you look at it in terms of gaining new readers, selling an anthology to people who are already aware of web fiction (and how to find it) won't provide that much of a boost. For instance, I'm sure your fans on RoyalRoadL are already aware of all the top stories that made waves on there. What we want is the readers who don't yet know web fiction is a thing worthy of being taken seriously. Hell, not even my own editor knew what it is! She thought I was writing fanfic (ugh) until I corrected her.


I'm actually not sure if I'd have the right to include myself - I'm not earning a living like Drew, and haven't done something outstanding like Jim. But maybe some people would be interested to hear that it's possible to find some measure of success and renown as someone who isn't a native English speaker, if you work hard enough?


I mean, I actually learned English by writing (mostly) daily for 3 years. My very first drafts were barely coherent. I've no idea why the first 100 readers stuck around! xD I'd be willing to drop out and give my spot to someone more deserving, though.


Well, I certainly don't make a living from writing. I'm not exactly a WFG success story, either. My claim to fame is being the oldest ongoing story on RRL and managing to cling precariously to a spot in the top 10 for four years. I do enjoy writing short stories if I'm inspired by the stated topic, so if this ends up going through, I'd be willing to contribute based on whether I get any inspiration whatsoever from the topic. (That's basically why I dropped out of the shared world anthology; way too much having to agree on details between authors.)


As to people not willing to do it for charity: think of the children! (or polar bears or rainforest or whatever your social cause is)