Monday 26 January 2015

Bridge House’s Next Anthology

Excitingly we already have a name and some quite concrete ideas for the cover. So now we just want the submissions to flow in.
‘Snowflakes’ is our theme. This may be literal but it can also be metaphorical. In fact, it’s probably likely to be. Obviously, though, given the time of year, your story may well feature snow.
So, what do we mean by this? 
Well, let’s just think about the quality of snowflakes for a while:
·         Each snowflake is unique
·         And perfectly formed
·         Possibly / probably beautiful
·         Is one of a variety of kinds (some research into the properties of snowflakes might be interesting and inspiring here)
·         Snow melts and turns into water – a life-giving force. Maybe the story has a face value and as we take it in and as it stays with us a while it gathers a deeper meaning. We always want our stories to make people think. That’s one of the things about short stories anyway.      
Did any of you watch the One Show about photographing snowflakes? There were some amazing photographs. That too is inspiring.
Again we have the Advent Calendar form. We’re looking for 24 stories – one a day for 1 to 24 December. We’re not looking for children’s stories, though.
We’re open for submissions until 31 March. The book will be out by 15 November. Full submission brief here. Happy writing!  

Sunday 11 January 2015

Win, win, win on the sale or return issue

The perils of sale or return
This can be a real sticking point for small publisher and book sellers. It can upset a very carefully designed financial plan that otherwise means the publisher doesn’t   pay any upfront production costs until the book is sold. It can leave the publisher out of pocket and can prevent the writer from receiving royalties.
If publishers don’t offer sale or return, they are not attractive to the book seller. The book shop only has so much shelf space. They can’t keep books that are not selling there forever. They need to sell books.

What return actually means
Usually if books are indeed returned they are not sell-able. They may have had stickers put on.  They may have been man-handled. They will have traveled around quite a lot.  It’s relatively common practice for the bookseller to remove the covers and return just those to the publisher as proof that the book has not been sold. If mass printed conventionally, that’s probably 20p per copy, so perhaps bearable. However, if the publisher is using print on demand as many small publishers now do, the unit cost is considerably higher – pounds not pence. In both cases, it’s also common practice to set this loss against royalties earned. The author is not charged for the loss but shares the loss with the publisher.