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LINKED ANTHOLOGY IDEA

StanleyPark

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Jun 18, 2016
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My book idea is an Fantasy linked anthology where the world is post apocalyptic and each short story set in this world follows a different characters daily life adventures in this world. The characters are linked in one way or another and each story is taking place simultaneously. So my question is, Is my idea marketable? If not, do you have any tips to make it more marketable?
 

tinkerdan

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Ben Bova's Sam Gunn omnibus(a collection of previously published shorts stories)comes off feeling something like this. except that Sam Gunn shows up somewhere in most of the stories, and it is done well. I could name another book that doesn't pull it off well, however there's no need to besmirch an author at this point.

The bottom line is, if you do it well then it could work.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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Technically, an anthology is a book with stories by several authors; in this case it would be a shared-world anthology. In general, an anthology is only as marketable as the number of "name" authors it involves and their public visibility. Readers tend to be reluctant to invest in a book largely written by people they've never heard of, whose styles and tastes are likely to be so diverse that the likelihood of them liking them all is very slight. So there need to be stories by authors whose work they know, and whose stories they will be eager to read. Without that, no matter how good the basic idea or concept is, they'll be reluctant to buy.

If this is a series of stories you have written yourself, then technically it is a collection. A collection generally does better, too, after the author has gained some loyal readers, either because some of his/her stories have appeared in magazines, e-zines, or anthologies with other authors. Or because he or she has already published at least a handful of popular novels. Again, the concept alone will probably not be enough, no matter how well executed.

But the advantage of doing this type of collection is that you may be able to sell some of the stories while you are still writing the others, and in that way (if the stories are well-executed enough) build-up a bit of a following. By the time you've written them all, and time has run out for all of them on whatever rights you sold to the various places where they first appeared (usually a year after publication), you may have gained a lot of readers who have only read a few of the stories, liked them, and will be eager to read the ones they missed, knowing they share the same concept and setting (and perhaps characters). Basically, each story you sell would serve as an advertisement for the eventual collection. But this only works if you can do what tinkerdan said is so important. It will work if you do it well, if the stories and the writing are good enough. Whether anyone will want to read those stories—when they first start appearing or when they are collected—depends on how well you can execute the concept.

(Actually, that's the answer to probably 99% of questions about whether any particular concept is marketable: can you make it work.)
 

AlexH

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Jan 14, 2017
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Staffordshire, UK
It sounds interesting to me if you can avoid repetition and make each story stand alone.

A few authors from this forum contributed to The Last City, an anthology of stories set in the same world. I haven't got around to reading it yet, but I bought it as the idea appealed to me (as well as previously enjoying featured authors).
 
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