anyone interested in a short fiction collection?

I have a question for everyone who reads my blog: if I put some short stories I'd written together into a little collection and sold it at Lulu, would you be interested?

I ask this because I collected a few short stories into a limited edition chapbook for last year's PAX Prime, and it's been sitting here, in my computer, just sort of staring at me accusingly and asking why I didn't release it to anyone in the world who wanted it.

It's just four short stories – well, two short stories and two stories that are slightly-longer than flash – that haven't been collected in any other place.

It will be available worldwide (anywhere Lulu ships). I'll keep the price down, and offer it in print and digital editions (probably around $7 and $5 each, if I've calculated the economics on Lulu correctly) … but here's the catch: it will only be available for one week. (I don't have a good reason for that, I just think it's cool to make something that's a limited edition. Wait, that's a perfectly good reason; a cromulent reason, even.)

Here's the introduction to the PAX edition:

The Day After and Other Stories

Every year, before the summer convention season gets underway, I pull a few excerpts from whatever I plan to release in the fall, take them to my local print shop, and make a deliberately lo-fi, limited edition chapbook to take with me on the obligatory summer convention circuit.

I’ve done previews of Dancing BarefootThe Happiest Days of Our LivesMemories of the Future, and in 2008, I pulled together a sampler that eventually became Sunken Treasure

While Memories of the Future is 2009’s “big” fall release, it didn’t make sense to me to release a Memories-based chapbook this summer, because one already exists. 

It looked like there wasn’t going to be a 2009 entry in the traditional Wil Wheaton Zine-like Chapbook Extravaganza, until I realized that I have several pieces of unpublished fiction sitting in my office, just waiting to be published. 

“Hey,” I said to myself, “people keep asking me to write and release fiction, and I’ve been waiting until I have an actual novel to give them. But these things totally don’t suck, and I bet readers would enjoy them.”

“That is an excellent idea, me,” I said. “And have I mentioned how smart and pretty you are?”

“Oh, stop it. You’re embarrassing me,” I said.

Together, myself and I collected some of my (mostly unpublished) fiction and put it into this chapbook, for safe keeping.

Even though this is limited to just 200 copies, it represents a significant step for me in my life as a writer, because it’s the first time I’ve collected and published stories that I made up. (You know, like a writer does.) I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for your support!

Wil Wheaton



So, knowing all of this, are you interested?

227 thoughts on “anyone interested in a short fiction collection?”

  1. i think i’d pick it up…if the collection were held together as a theme. I kinda liked Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors, but was turned off of the majority of Fragile Things..

  2. That would be pretty sweet–the release and the format. I would definitely order a visceral copy, and hopefully, have you sign it if I can ever manage to make it to any of the cons/expos/etc. you attend/speak at.

  3. I know I’ve commented here in the past on assorted “1000 Big Fans” and “Long Tail” discussions. It seems to me that if you want to do a “limited edition”, its really best done (and only done) with the print version. If you halt sales on the eBook edition, then you’re only sealing the fate that the only way for people to get it if they missed the boat is to pirate it.
    So my recommendation is you make the print version a big deal. Make it exclusive and rare and all those collectable bits that bibliophiles relish; and keep the digital edition available for a reasonable cost to allow people later the opportunity to still get it without being dicks.
    (That said, I need to mail you a book that I self-published in an ultra-rare edition last year. (10 copies…))

  4. You are totally right about this. In fact, I thought about it over the weekend, and concluded that if I end up doing this little book, I would make the print edition limited, but keep the eBook online indefinitely, so that people who wanted it would wouldn't have to resort to the seedy underbelly of the Internet.

  5. Good move. The idea of a “scarcity of ones and zeroes” is problematic. Limited edition downloads simply means limited income possibility for yourself. I know people gave Scott McCloud a lot of crap about his micropayment advocacy, but really he was making such noise before things like Lulu or the iTunes app store came along. People WILL give you money for something that they perceive has value if there’s a system in place that makes it easy for them to do so. There’s just a threshold beyond which it’s not worth the effort for them.

  6. Well as you would say, a non-zero number of people have already said yes. But just in case you were counting, I’ll add my voice as well. I’d probably buy the digital version.

  7. I’d definitely order from Lulu, and if only an e-version were available, I would take that instead! (I do wish it were easier to gift things on Lulu, as I’ve run into trouble buying copies of audiobooks for others).

  8. Yes, Will.
    And will you please get a simple mailing list application or survey box for these kinds of things? I imagine counting up all these comments is a little tedious.

  9. I asked my Kindle. My Kindle was PISSED OFF. Seriously. So the Kindle is a “yes” *and* I had to go buy “Just a Geek (Kindle Edition)” just to shut it up. Wow. So demanding. Good thing I have a 6 hour plane ride coming up…

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