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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

There *is* a place for your short stories. Submissions wanted...

Dragons playing poker

Almost a year ago I decided the way forward was to set up my own publishing company. At the time it was for tax reasons and with a modest goal of publishing one of my own books and possibly progressing from there. Then I had a dream. Not an asleep, dragons playing poker, while I did their washing, kind of dream, but one where I was fully awake, thinking ‘What if?’

‘What if there was a site on the internet doing for the short story what Amazon has done for books and Apple has done for music?’

‘What if all the stories that have appeared in magazines, and for which the authors still have the rights to other publishing, could be dragged out of drawers and made available to the public?’
The best place to download short stories to read at your leisure 

‘What if I were to create something unique for the benefit of my fellow writers?’

I did some research and could find nowhere that was providing short stories for download in multiple electronic formats AND which edited stories and only took the high quality work.

There are two reasons for a gap in the market. One, there is no market and Two, no one got there first or had the range of skills to plug the gap. I’m a writer, whose background involves a law degree, an accountancy qualification and having headed up IT departments. It’s not a normal background for a fiction writer, but it’s a great starting point to set up a company offering an internet based product.

I dreamed of launching with 100 stories from at least 25 authors and growing from there. Within days of our launch we had contracted our 74th author and our 250th story. We’ve had to reject quite a lot along the way. As far as we can, we send back advice on where the writers need to improve. We’ve had odd instances of toys being thrown out of prams, but how else can a writer get it right next time if no one tells them why they missed the mark?

Rosemary J. Kind Managing Director Alfie Dog Limited 
I haven’t stopped dreaming. If you disregard the large warehouse I drove past the other day which I imagined carrying the Alfie Dog Limited logo and being stocked with the real books we will be publishing, I have three dreams at present. I am dreaming of sales exceeding 1,000 downloads a month. Our early sales suggest that this is well within our grasp. I am dreaming of our Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter ‘followers’ exceeding 1,000 then 10,000 and so on. Social Media is better than any other form of communication to get to a wide fan base. Finally, I am dreaming of paying out royalties to our authors. When I do that, I will feel I have done something really worthwhile. I’m dreaming of doing it by the end of our first royalty period and then maybe I will be able to relax just a little bit and turn my attention to the dragons playing poker.

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