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Wednesday July 8, 2009
Star Pirates Anthology Builder
The folks at Star Pirates have been itching to get me to design ads for them for over a year now. Unfortunately for them I've been too busy to pay much attention to advertising -- which is kind of strange, because you'd expect a good mercenary like me to be taking to that particular revenue stream like a fish takes to water, but I digress -- so they had to go stand in line for slots via Project Wonderful.
By way of thanks to them for their persistence (and apology to them for not being able to follow through) here is linkage: Go play Star Pirates! There's a "Tagon Toughs" fleet out there for you to join, even. Their imagined future is a bit darker than mine, but the game is still a thematic fit with Schlock Mercenary. That's why I'm letting them use some of my stuff in their ads.
While we're on the subject of me not being able to follow through... Sandra's sister Nancy has invented the salvation of short speculative fiction. I promised her some artwork, but have yet to deliver.
So what is this miracle project? It is Anthology Builder, and it lets you assemble a print collection of short fiction, selecting stories from among hundreds of reprints from popular magazines. Then you pick cover art, drop coin, and your customized anthology is printed on-demand and sent to you in the mail.
How will this save short fiction? Let's describe the problem, first: Most short fiction is published in magazines with a very limited circulation and shelf-life. Once published, those stories rarely see reprints in anthologies because the market is a too small to support more than a few runs of mass-market paperbacks. The result is that authors have little incentive to write short stories, so they don't. The art form stagnates.
Enter Anthology Builder: Print-on-demand (POD) technology makes it possible for extremely small print runs to turn a profit, in turn making it possible for these short stories to be marketed to the niche that loves them. This means that authors get residual royalties for work that is technically out-of-print, and that incents them to create similar work. The art form again blooms.
(On an only-slightly nepotistic note: Anthology Builder now has three Sandra Tayler stories in it.)
Anyway, Nancy asked me if I'd like to contribute cover art for Anthology Builder, and even though this is something I'd get paid for I still haven't managed to submit something. Too busy making comics, I guess.