Originally, my Slenderman-and-dream-inspired short story Eucha Falls was intended to be a free release, just a quickly thrown-together e-book with previews of both my novels in the back, more of a marketing tool than anything else. But then I grew attached to the idea of having a cover done by an illustrator whose work I follow (and adore) in the Marble Hornets fandom, which would really be a perfect fit. And in the interest of paying her for her work, I’d have to charge for the book. I suggested a profit share, but she prefers a flat fee, for which I can’t blame her in the least. She offered to do it for a very reasonable fee, but it’s still high enough that I’d have to do another pre-sale on Indiegogo to raise the funds.
Which, I think, is doable. I could pull my other unpublished horror novelette, Hungry Child, out of mothballs and finally do a revision to fix all the problems the beta readers found with it, and package them together for a paperback so I could offer signed copies. Maybe also throw in a few flash fiction pieces to flesh it out and make sure everyone gets their money’s worth. And if somehow the IGG campaign took off and became wildly successful, we could also talk about maybe doing that graphic novel version that Matt was all excited about.
But then yesterday I found out about a horror anthology that Ellen Datlow is putting together, and she’s accepting submissions, and in an unusual twist she’s accepting stories up to 10,000 words. EF is just over that and it wouldn’t take much trimming to get it under the limit. And if it’s accepted, it would mean a pretty decent paycheck. Not to mention a traditional publishing credit, plus it would expose my work to a much wider audience than I’m able to reach on my own. AND the anthology has the same title as my very first finished novel, which if I were superstitious I would take as a sign.
Hmm. Writing it all out, it kind of seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?
There is a downside, though. Mainly, the waiting. If I submit it and it doesn’t get accepted, then I’ll have wasted weeks or months in which I could have been using the story to promote my whole body of work, just waiting to be rejected. If it DOES get accepted, then I’m sure I’ll have to wait some contractual period of time before I can publish it as a stand-alone, or in any other collections. Or do that graphic novel. 😉
But again, if it does get accepted, I’ll get paid more in one fell swoop than I’ve earned in total royalties during my entire self-published career to date. Which, admittedly, isn’t very much.
I’m thinking I should follow the money. What do you think?