Two guys from Brooklyn founded this (where have I heard this story before). I won’t get into graphic detail here, but basically they’re selling eBooks, they’re tweeting stories 140 characters at a time, and they do Print On Demand for old-school folks who want to hold a paperback edition. Aaaannnd they are doing audiobook version of their stories.
Sounds like everything we are doing or about to do with the DailySkew Bookstore.
Writers get $1,000 per short story they publish. They publish four stories per book (I think), so that’s $4,000 per book.
There website has slick artwork and photos, with thin white female models smoking cigars in hospitals, or drinking a 40 of Old English in public.
Sigh. All this made me pause and think … where is this money coming from?
Seriously — who in their right mind is paying for all these crazy photos and artistic book covers? Where is the $4,000 every three months coming from?
I mean, we are talking about the ever-shrinking publishing industry, right?
Who are these people?
What makes them different from Damian and I?
Answer: they have money to burn, and we don’t.
Sorry — but when I see that each author they published for their summer anthology are already established in the industry … in addition to all the expense to put together a book, the expense of creating and maintaining a website with all that slick packaging, the expense of promoting everything and reaching out with press releases to get comments from places like N.Y. Times, etc., etc. … excuse me, but this isn’t real. It’s the Realtor, once again, selling you independent thought on pages bought and paid for by the MAN.
Give me a break.
I mean, when I was younger, I might have fallen for this and bought a book or mailed a query letter … but this is not the first time I’ve seen this kind of slick packaging, claiming to be preserving an “Artform.”
Seriously. Give me a break.
Yeah, let’s promoting smoking, drinking, and “Reading that’s bad for you.” That’s just great.
Did I just hear all the toilets on earth flush in unison?
Damian’s right: we are devolving.
This is a bad era to be living in. Terrible era.
UPDATE: Here’s another question — who is buying this book?
Answer: desperate writers looking for a gig, wanting to write content that fits that tone of the anthology.
Don’t believe it? Check out this text from their Submission Guidelines page (my comments in brackets and all caps):
If you have a story you would like us to consider for Electric Literature, send it our way [OKAY]. But before you submit your work, please purchase a copy to familiarize yourself with the publication [RIIIIGGGHHT -- THE PLOT IS REVEALED!].
No Submission Fees
We pay writers, they don’t pay us [PROUD OF THAT, HUH?]. We are proud to support writers who entrust us with their work [OKAY].
Every other month, we select five stories for publication [OH, FIVE. I THOUGHT IT WAS FOUR. BIG SPENDERS]. Each writer receives $1,000 [WHOA]. This is a payment, not a prize [THAT'S RIGHT, FOLKS. YOU SEE, IF IT WAS A CONTEST, THEY WOULD HAVE TO SAY "NO PURCHASE NECESSARY." SINCE IT'S A GIG, THEY CAN ASK YOU, OH DESPERATE WRITER, TO BUY THEIR BOOK]. We value writing [WE VALUE BOOK SALES], we know how hard it is [TO SELL SHORT FICTION ANTHOLOGY TO THE INTERNET GENERATION], and we believe writers are entitled to fair compensation [AS LONG AS ENOUGH OF THEM BUY OUR BOOKS SO WE CAN PAY THESE MODELS AND ARTISTS AND WEB DESIGNERS ... OH, AND THE WEB HOST ... AND WE GOT TO BUY GROCERIES AT SOME POINT. GOTTA EAT. GOTTA PAY RENT. GOT MOUTHS TO FEED. BUY OUR BOOK. BROTHER, SPARE SOME PAYPAL CHANGE, MAN. YOU KNOW YOU HAVE DREAMS OF GETTING PUBLISHED. WE DON'T LOOK AT RESUMES -- WE JUST WANT GOOD WRITING].
No Cover Letters
We don’t need to see your resume [SEE? TOLD YA!]. All we care about is the story [I MEAN, IF YOU'RE A NAME, WE'LL RECOGNIZE THAT RIGHT OFF THE BAT. WE DON'T NEED A RESUME TO RECOGNIZE A NAME OF AN AUTHOR WHO HAS BEEN PUBLISHED. AND WE KNOW IF YOU'RE PUBLISHED YOU CAN WRITE ... AND WHO KNOWS? MAYBE YOU'RE FIVE OR TEN FANS WILL BUY SOME BOOKS TO, ALONG WITH THE WANNABES. SO, TO QUOTE DYLAN MOCKINGLY, "IT'S ALL GOOD."].
Heck, we here could do a Dream Seeker Anthology and offer writers $$$ per short story, while recommending that they buy Velvet Mask and Return of Joshua so they understand the story and “tone.”
Wow. Thanks for the great idea, Electric Literature! More power to ya! We’ll be right behind ya, selling anthologies to free people’s minds! WOOOOOOOoooooooh! Oh yeah! Let’s all do a Google Wave, everybody! uuuuUUUUUP! DOOOOowwwwn! WOOOOoooooh! Let’s sell some books!
- Dream Seeker Anthology: freelance fiction writers proving the Realtor right
- Dream Seeker How to Get Work Published
- No Dreams
- Deep thought provoking questions: trust the DailySkew?
- Poverty Line – NPR
- The Realtor’s World: it’s all about selling