I’ve been fortunate enough to have three short stories selected for publication this year, and since this is new to me (and possibly new to others), I thought I’d share my experience.
“Choteau’s Crossing” will be released in late January in the Rough Country Anthology from High Hills Press. That same publisher (Louella Turner) is also publishing “Unfinished Business” later this year in Cactus Country IV. “Resurrection” is contracted for the Broken Promises Anthology from La Frontera Press, date TBA.
I’m told an author makes little or nothing directly on pieces in anthologies, with a typical payoff of $50 plus five copies of the finished work. The real benefit is exposure, at no cost. The publisher distributes the work to libraries and bookstores, and/or to major distributors like Ingram and Baker&Taylor, and perhaps readers discover the author and seek out more of the author’s work.
For me there’s been another plus. I just finished “Higher Ground,” the third novel in my series, and since Lou Turner likes my two short stories, I asked if she’d consider the novel-without the painful query process. She said yes, and asked for it and synopses for the first two novels. Since I have the rights to them, I’ve also asked her to consider becoming the ‘publisher of record’ for them, and thus take over distribution from me. If she agrees, I’ll get a much smaller cut from sales but hopefully the increased volume of sales would make up for it. Fingers are crossed but I’m hopeful, as she just nominated “Choteau’s Crossing” for a SPUR Award in the 2014 Western Writers of America competition.
In each of these cases, I regain rights after a short time and can perhaps bundle these stories into my own anthology somewhere down the pike, if I get busy and write a half dozen more.