Okay, so the big publishers are probably not keeping a nervous eye specifically on our little outfit, but I felt pretty smug reading the current edition of The Bookseller, to find out that, in the UK, the Big Six are indeed following our lead.
Random House are launching a short fiction brand called StoryCuts, priced from 99p-£3.99. Random House’s digital editor, Dan Franklin, said: “It’s that principle that is intuitive at the moment, taking short stories and selling them outside of collections.” That’s pretty much exactly what I wrote in the Greyhart Press launch publicity back in May.
Meanwhile, over at Penguin, a new series of Penguin Shorts are being launched, priced £1.99. Penguin US will follow next year. Viking publishing director Venetia Butterfield (what a cool publishing-type name) said: “They are explicitly designed to be read anywhere, on any device, in a small space of time-and fill a genuine gap in the market.” Again, that’s what I said back in May.
I welcome these new entrants to our field. Come on in, the water’s warm and there’s plenty of space. Having been a manager in a large corporation for many years, I relish the advantage I have as a sole proprietor in being able to quickly steer Greyhart Press in exciting new directions. It’s not quite so easy at the larger corporations, as I know very well. But the idea of short fiction married to eReaders, tablets and smartphones is such a compelling and exciting one that I’ve guest posted about this before: Are you ready for novellas? Three reasons why they’re coming your way.