nancyfulda (nancyfulda) wrote,

You know what I want? A do-it-yourself anthology website.

I love reading short fiction, you see. But I like to read on paper, and I have limited time for pleasure reading. This means that I don't want to buy a magazine or anthology and get a grab-bag of stories. Sure, they'd be good stories, but they wouldn't be the stories on my urgent "Oh yeah, I've gotta read that" list. In the end, I'd never get around to reading them, and the purchased items would clutter up my shelves for years.

But. Imagine that I could go to a web site and build my own customized anthology. I'd skim the listing of available stories and think, "I've always meant to read 'The Cold Equations'. Let's put that in my anthology. And James Maxey's 'To the East, a Bright Star'. I've always loved that one. And, ooh! Here's one by Lois McMaster Bujold. That goes in, too."

Then I'd click a couple of buttons to select cover art, pay a fee which includes royalties for all the authors whose stories I used, and the software would automatically generate a pdf of my book and send the order to a print-on-demand publisher. Two weeks later, my anthology arrives. One anthology that satisfies my entire Wannareadit list.

As a bonus, when my daughter gets old enough, I could compile her an anthology of unicorn stories. And my son could get a fistfull of rock-hard science fiction.

So, uh... who'd like to volunteer to organize it?
Tags: anthologybuilder

samhidaka

September 7 2007, 05:17:48 UTC 6 years ago

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Re: Could this be a Universe feature?

Mike,

I thought the premise of the discussion was that Nancy likes to read on paper. (Yeah, that's sooooo last century.)

And JBU isn't going to get into the business of providing paper anthologies of JBU stories -- except for the BEST antho published by Baen.

As for providing an electronic anthology assembled from a subscriber's choices of stories . . . that might be a possibility in the future.

But I'd guess that it'll be quite a while in the future. There's quite a bit of work involved in assembling the stories and producing a printable PDF from it. I suppose we'll eventually automate the "produce the PDF" procedure for the magazine issues -- and that same procedure can be used for DYI-anthologies.

I'd actually like to have a year-by-year anthology of the Introducing stories.

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