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Build Your Own Short Story Collection

Just got word of a new company called AnthologyBuilder.com that offers up a bunch of public domain and licensed short stories, allows you to pick and choose up to 350 pages worth of material, and then ships you a trade paperback (with artwork and a title of your choice) for $14.95. Authors who choose to have their work in the selection pool receive a pro rata royalty any time a reader picks one of their stories for their anthology. It’s a business model very similar to the one I discussed with SharedBook.com‘s Caroline Vanderlip last summer; heck, it’s one of the first applications I imagined for the underlying technology.

Right now, the selection appears to skew heavily towards science fiction and fantasy, but just think of what might happen with a larger inventory, either here or with another publisher. Don’t like this year’s “best” American short stories? Imagine you could draw upon the contents of all the major literary journals, at least when the authors agree to participate, and create your own all-star lineup. Or what if you could create your own “The Greatest Stories of [Favorite Author]“? Obviously, there’s issues to be resolved among authors and agents as they sort out the financial ramifications of putting their work into the kitty, but it’s got a lot of potential…

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