What genre groupings are best when publishing a collection of short stories?
I'm in the process of rewriting all of my short stories and short short stories as I prepare for self publishing. I have well over 100 to work with. My feeling is that I should publish a speculative fiction book which would include horror, science fiction and fantasy. What are some other groupings I could use for my other stories? I'm assuming it would be a mistake to try selling a book of short stories with horror and romantic comedy.
I think one group can be of moral stories with some lessons that include ethics, social awareness and something spiritual. Romance and nature can be one group. But, you are well aware of all these things.
Drama, Romance, and Comedy can be clubbed together. Thriller, action, and horror go together. Adventures may also be put in it.
Thanks Ellen. My concern is that a person might look at such a book and see a fair number of genres they don't like and therefore not purchase it. Would multiple books with similar genres in each be better than one volume w/ a wide range of genres.
I don't think so. Short stories are by nature varied and can be quite different. Bradbury became famous with short stories, but I believe he had them published all under one genre. Perhaps it's natural that they should differ, but all called 'short stories.' My best wishes to you bro, most are real masterpieces, especially the shorter ones. Much Love.
I appreciate the confidence. So a book with 50% romance and 50% horror wouldn't turn off the person who hates horror or the one who hates romance?
No. As long as they are done well. A great horror short story is as good as any other short story. The strength lies in the writing or telling of it.
There was a TV series titled 'Tales of the Unexpected', where the range was broad but the endings were uncanny. A twist has to be introduced in each tale to give them a common factor, revenge being the background theme, i.e., 'he who laughs last'. That allows a variety of story lines on various themes including comedy or romance (betrayal for gain or sexual prowess with comic undertones).
Your imagination is your limit.
Horror anthologies do sell, though there's a lot of competition. It isn't as bad, though, as general fiction like "vague mystery set in suburbia" or "funny anecdote but made up!" stories.
Do group stories into the same genre so that one is horror, one is mystery, one is science fiction. Don't try to mix them all into one, so you can properly market the anthology.
You can narrow them into tighter niches like "dark scifi"; I've sold such stories as horror, though, because a few editors see it as a good deviation from vampires, werewolves, ghosts. Or group into "funny scifi".
Where possible, publish a few stories in different magazines or websites with a mention in the bio of the upcoming anthology to help market it.
Tamara, thanks for the excellent information. I'm getting mixed opinions on what genres to include in one volume. Are you saying to have one book per genre? My thought was to do speculative fiction, a mix of horror, scifi, fantasy.
I was going to answer, but Tamara answered this perfectly already.
Kylyssa, thanks for letting me know that you feel Tamara has some good thoughts in her response. I appreciate the help.
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