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Putting Together a Collection of Shorts

As readers of Writer Unboxed know, I’ve recently launched myself into a bit of an adventure through founding my own micro-publisher, Sixteen Press. My first Sixteen Press e-book, a collection of my fantasy/supernatural short stories for a crossover readership (adult and young adult) titled The Great Deep and other Tales of the Uncanny, is now available to buy in both Amazon’s Kindle Store [1] and the Kobo bookstore [2], with other platforms to follow when I get round to it.

The reason I chose a collection of short stories for my first Sixteen Press book is that these have all been published individually before, in anthologies and magazines, but never before published together. They have all been properly edited and have proven themselves with readers individually, are linked by genre—fantasy and the supernatural—and even thematically, in some ways. So all in all they seemed like a naturally elegant fit, and a collection of short fiction the best thing to start with. Then I got thinking; why not do more of these types of collections, not only fiction, but non-fiction? Like most professional authors, I’ve written lots and lots of shorts, fiction and non-fiction, and though I’ve had a book of essays, Life, Literature, Legends [3] published recently in handsome hardcover by a small publisher in Australia which has been very well-reviewed,  plus an earlier softcover POD collection of my short stories and essays, Walking in the Garden of the Mind [4], published by another Australian small press, I’m not holding my breath that there is going to be a big demand from publishers for more collections of shorts of mine. Yet I think there’s a definite market for them, and not just in Australia but internationally. So I’ve decided that’s what I’ll concentrate on, with Sixteen Press: collections of my shorts, fiction and non-fiction, and across different age ranges. It also fits in well with the rest of my published works, by not being in competition to them but extending my possibilities at the same time.

The experience of e-publishing is not what I want to cover in this post, though, but, rather, passing on tips about how to put together a collection of shorts for publication. I’ve had a fair bit of experience in that: not only was it me who chose the pieces in all these collections, including the ones released by the other publishers, but I was also creator, editor and compiler of The Road to Camelot  [5](Random House Australia) an anthology of short stories about the childhood of characters from Arthurian legend, to which some of Australia’s best writers of fantasy contributed. (You can now also buy this book as an e-edition on Amazon and other e-tailers.) So here’s some of what I learned:

Image by Fuel. [6]

About Sophie Masson [7]

Sophie Masson [8] has published more than fifty novels internationally since 1990, mainly for children and young adults. A bilingual French and English speaker, raised mostly in Australia, she has a master’s degree in French and English literature. Sophie's new e-book on authorship, By the Book: Tips of the Trade for Writers, is available at Australian Society of Authors [9].