Last month I learned that due to lack of funds that the anthology that “Playing Chicken” was going to be published in was canceled. This bums me out for a few reasons. One, I won’t be getting paid. Two, I won’t be getting my story published. Three, one of my favorite small publishers (that’s published me in the past) is struggling.
It’s the third point that really troubles me. See, when I ask you to buy an anthology I’ve been published in, I’m not just asking for me. Yes, I want you to read the story I wrote, but I also want you to read the stories everyone else in the anthology wrote. I get paid a one time payment of a certain amount per word when the anthology is published. I don’t make royalties off of it. The money made from you buying an anthology pays the bills, allows the small publisher to keep publishing, and provides me with the future possibility of having another story published with them.
So, while I don’t reap the immediate monetary rewards from all of the copies the anthology sells, you are providing me with the opportunity to get paid by these people again. That’s important to a writer, especially in a time when the short story market is competitive, tough, and not paying a whole lot. Buying the anthologies and keeping the small publishers afloat help out not just the publishers, but the writers, too.
So, with that all said, the “Playing Chicken” ball is back in my court and I am charged with finding a new home for it. On one hand, that’s a pain in the ass. This story was sold, dammit! I should be done with it. On the other hand, it gives me another story to shop around which kind of gives me a boost for my goal to make more of an effort in my submitting. It’s easier to submit a story when you actually have a story to submit, which will be the key to reaching my submitting goals.
They say that when one door closes, another one opens. Let’s hope the next “Playing Chicken” door opens quickly.