A Winter Wedding (or, a Cautionary Tale from the writing business)

onehundredvoicesv2In October 2015 my short story ‘A Winter Wedding’ was selected for Stroud Short Stories’ ‘Eerie Evenings’ event where I had the (terrifying) opportunity to read it out in front of a paying audience.

I looked for other places to send the story and found Centum Publishing who were looking for stories for their anthology ‘One Hundred Voices’. Centum give each author a custom 10% discount code for them to use in their social media marketing, so every sale can be tracked back to the individual author to help calculate royalty payments.

Centrum accepted ‘A Winter Wedding’ for their anthology ‘One Hundred Voices Volume 2’ which was published on January 15th 2017 in hardback and paperback. Buying the book in the UK directly from Centrum costs $14.95 (minus 10% author discount) plus a $17 international shipping, a total of $30.45/£25.11, a ludicrous amount for a paperback of short stories from relative unknowns. Fortunately, the book is now available from Amazon at One Hundred Voices for £15.88, it even has four 5 star reviews already!

My own copy has now arrived and my first impressions are not brilliant. The cover is untidy and contains far too many fonts. The printing looks amateurish and comes far too close to the edge of the pages, I guess to fit the maximum number of stories into the smallest number of pages.

My own story contains a typo which seems ludicrous when I emailed them an electronic copy in the first place.

Having read the first half dozen stories I am not impressed by the quality. Packing a hundred new writers into a single anthology makes for an undigestible read: in the age of the eBook wouldn’t it make more sense to publish 10 volumes of 20 authors instead of 2 volumes of 100? Could this be a ploy to ensure that at least 100 people buy each copy?!

It’s always a buzz seeing your work in a real live book and (technically) it counts as a genuine credit, but I can’t recommend Centum to any writer, however desperate they might be to know that their name is in print.

Please don’t rush out to buy this without borrowing my copy first!