impossibilia

Publishing a Short Story Collection

Fellow author Krista D. Ball interviewed me in August 2011 on my experiences with selling my two collections and with working with small genre presses for both of those books. l've blogged this interview in the past, but have pulled the separate blog posts from the interview into one article here.

Question: In Chimerascope, most of the stories were at least nominated for Aurora Awards and one was a winner. With credits like that, why did you choose to go with a small Canadian press like ChiZine?

Interview: Publishing a collection (part 3 of 3)

Krista Ball continues her three-part interview with me on my experiences in publishing my two collections and working with small presses. Part 3 is below or you can also read it on Krista's blog. Here are the links to the earlier posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2

Question: What are three things that people need to consider before going with a small press?

First is reputation. If you're considering a small press, check out their authors and contact at least three of them. Ask them about their experience with the press. How involved were they in the publishing process? Did they get cover input? What about the quality of the editing and copyediting? What about promotion? Where were they reviewed? Scan the awards ballots and see which presses are showing up regularly. And check out some of their books, especially their covers, and their author list. Any big names on their list? Would you like to be included on that list, or have you not heard of anyone that they publish?

Interview: Publishing a collection (part 1 of 3)

Fellow author Krista D. Ball interviewed me recently on my experiences with selling my two collections and with working with small genre presses for both of the books. The discussion went longer than we expected so Krista is posting the interview in three parts on her blog. I've posted part 1 below, or you can check out Publishing a Short Story Collection (part 1) on Krista's blog as well.

Krista's first question: In Chimerascope, most of the stories were at least nominated for Aurora Awards and one was a winner. With a strong list of credits like that, why did you choose to go with a small Canadian press like ChiZine?

True, the stories in Chimerascope have a lot of award credentials. "Scream Angel" won the Aurora, while another nine of the sixteen stories were Aurora finalists. "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" was also a Best New Horror selection, and several more received honourable mentions in the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror. I could talk similar numbers for my first collection, Impossibilia, which had another Aurora winner ("Spirit Dance") and an Aurora finalist in its three-novelette line-up.

But if I pick up any collection, I'd expect to see award credits for the stories. A collection is supposed to represent an author's best work. But unfortunately, regardless of awards, a "big" publisher will simply not be interested in publishing a collection, unless you are a Name (which I'm not). The strategy for how an author should market a collection changed from when I started writing to when I was ready to market Impossibilia in 2008. And it's changed again since I published Chimerascope just last year, thanks to eBooks and indie publishing options.

My collection IMPOSSIBILIA now available as an eBook!

(November 2012 update:  The PS Publishing ebook version has now been replaced by my new version, in both epub and mobi formats. More information here.)

I'm very pleased to announce that my first collection, Impossibilia, published in 2008 by the award-winning and most excellent UK press, PS Publishing, is now available in ebook format in both .epub and .mobi (Kindle) formats. You can buy directly from PS Publishing or from Amazon at the following links:

  • PS Publishing ordering link (.epub or .mobi formats)
  • Amazon ordering link (Kindle / .mobi format)

Impossibilia was a finalist for the 2009 Aurora Awards for best long form work. The lead story, "A Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh," was also a finalist for the 2009 Aurora for best short form work. Another story in the collection, "Spirit Dance," won the Aurora in 2001 for best short story. From the reviews:

"...stories that are so unusual and beautiful that no other name than Impossibilia could possibly describe this collection." "Impossibilia is a treasure to be savoured, like gourmet chocolates and fine wine...beautifully written and wondrously imagined." "The writing is superb. Douglas Smith is an artisan and his stories beautifully crafted. ... In my search for the perfect short story, the three in this volume certainly qualify." "Each tale was rapture and ecstasy, magical and mysterious, perfect and implausible." "Highly, highly recommended." "...echoes of Ellison and Bradbury..." "There is a certain exhilaration that comes from reading the book’s complex and powerfully emotional stories couched in that deft and smooth prose." "A fun romp that delivered something different......exhilarating, enjoyable..." "I loved them all from the first word to the last." "A book that ably demonstrates what Smith is capable of as a writer..." "Smith [lays] bare the psychological and emotional fragility that motivates his characters." "A wonderful book...Each [story] is an example of how a master at the art tells a story." "An amazing little collection." "[Smith deserves] to be known to by a very wide audience indeed.” "I don’t know what else to say...except READ THIS BOOK!!!"

And of course, you can still order the signed and numbered, limited hardcover edition (cover at left). More information on , including excerpts from the stories, can be found here. I hope that you'll check it out!

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