Furry Writers' Guild Forum

FurPlanet Anthology Announcement

I wanted to give an update about the future of our anthology program at FurPlanet.

I have been discussing table sales with the FP team at cons, and have also pulled a lot of sales data going back to 2006 to compare anthology sales to the sales of novels and novellas. This confirmed what a lot of us were thinking, anthology sales don’t come anywhere near the sales of novels/novellas. They’re actually about 1/3 the size.

It’s also getting harder for us to effectively display all our titles on convention tables. We’ve had to start leaving more and more older and slower selling titles behind. Anthrocon this year was particularly challenging as we released 29 new titles, a mix of novels, novellas, anthologies, art books, and comics.

So, we’re going to be scaling back our anthology publishing. We will publish the anthologies we’ve already agreed to which are in the pipeline now so you’ll see a few more from us for the next year or so, but after that we’re going to focus on FANG, ROAR, one Fred Patten per year, CLAW after we see how the first one is received, and will possibly do an additional one if we come across a concept we really love.

That’s still four, possibly five a year. We’d like to free up some time to focus on finding some great novels to publish.

Also, with several new companies in furry publishing world who are also producing anthologies, I think there will still be more than enough publishing opportunities out there.

As always I am open for feedback and questions.

I like the idea of scaling back anthologies. I’d also like to know if we’d like to work on an anthology (say, Fang) how we might get involved with the process of applying to working on them or getting involved with their production, if that’s an available opportunity.

I definitely know sales are a challenge for anthologies. While I think anthologies are great way for new writers to learn, I realize they’re not being as well read as they could be. It would be nice to continue to give up and coming writers a chance to work with editors, but I can understand there is an issue with marketing so many books. FurPlanet has a huge slate of books they’re currently carrying, and books do not transport easily. Hopefully some of the other presses can pick up the slack.

I try to be hands-off with my editors in most cases so it’s up to them if they want to recruit assistant editors or slushpile readers. FANG is edited by Ashe Valisca, who is the scheduling head for Anthrocon. I’d say contact him directly to assist.

And of course Mary Lowd is ROAR’s editor.

Unfortunate for those of us who specialize in short stories, but if that is the market then it can’t be helped.

Sorry to hear this, as I love both reading and writing for the anthologies.
That being said, I can’t help but wonder if this will affect the opening of novel submissions?
Or is the backlog still too big?

It feels like a lot of the smaller presses have risen up to take this spot of putting out more anthologies. I don’t think the market will lose much so don’t despair. The anthologies that FP may have released will most likely be put out by another I assume.

I’d wondered if we were nearing a kind of max saturation point for anthologies in the fandom in general, let alone from a single publisher, so I’m not surprised, and all in all it’s probably a wise move. As long as FP’s core anthology series (especially ROAR) stick around, I agree with Ocean that we probably won’t lose much, provided other publishers can sustain their operations.

Here’s my question:

FP is saying anthology returns are 1/3rd that of novels/novellas. FP is fairly big–they attend 8-10 cons a year, have their own ebook site, and generally have a lot more name recognition. If FP is getting a poor return from anthologies, then wouldn’t a smaller press be even worse off/get even less of a return on anthologies? Can they even afford to say “Hey, let’s put out a book that’ll make 2/3rds less than a novel”?

In addition to the other markets FW mentions within furry fandom, maybe this change will make furry writers braver to submit outside the fandom too…