Publishing Challenge! Chapter 6

Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay

See Chapter 5 here

Chapter 6

Publication Day!
Today sees the publication of another Wordsworth Short.

Alexandra’s Ragtag Band is a fun story I really enjoyed writing. I started with the title and took it from there. The first magazine I submitted it to liked it, but asked if I could (a) add about 200 words, and (b) play down the drugs aspect of the story a little. Of course I did it, and the fiction editor accepted it.

On the previous Monday, another new Wordsworth Short was published.

The Complete Angler is a story the poet inspired me to write. He’s a match angler like the main character in this story, but he doesn’t like this picture (right) (or bottom if viewing on a mobile device) because it’s a carp set-up and not a match set-up. The magazine that accepted the story used an illustration of a fly-fisherwoman, which is completely different. But, to be honest, fly-fishing anglers made up the majority of the images that I found too.

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Stories online
I decided to remove all of my short stories from Medium for the time being due to Amazon flagging each and every one of them on potential copyright breach. Every time, they publish the story anyway because, well, the stories are all mine.

However, it means so much extra work, I simply don’t have the time at the moment and it’s also taking up time for Draft2Digital staff. It was quicker for now to delete them (and contact the publication owner to let him know why I was deleting them).

Flash fiction
From my records, I sifted out stories that are more than 1,200 words and made a note of the cover image information for those that are still going to come out as Wordsworth Shorts. I added some to the publication schedule.

The stories that are under 1,200 words are going to go into flash fiction collections, as some of the distributors have minimum page numbers for books. I know what stories are going in Flash Fiction 2, and I already have the cover, ready and waiting.

Covers #1
Once I’d done all of that, I decided that I’d publish all of the Wordsworth Shorts in collections of ten, fifty and a hundred. Then I went into Canva, selected images and created covers for these collections:

  • ten short stories – Wordsworth Shorts 1 – 10
  • ten short stories 2 – Wordsworth Shorts 11 – 20
  • ten short stories 3 – Wordsworth Shorts 21 – 30
  • ten short stories 4 – Wordsworth Shorts 31 – 40
  • ten short stories 5 – Wordsworth Shorts 41 – 50
  • ten short stories 6 – Wordsworth Shorts 51 – 60
  • ten short stories 7 – Wordsworth Shorts 61 – 70
  • ten short stories 8 – Wordsworth Shorts 71 – 80
  • ten short stories 9 – Wordsworth Shorts 81 – 90
  • ten short stories 10 – Wordsworth Shorts 91 – 100
  • fifty short stories – Wordsworth Shorts 1 – 50
  • fifty short stories 2 – Wordsworth Shorts 51 – 100
  • 100 short stories – Wordsworth Shorts 1 – 100

At the moment, only the first two books are complete, chronologically, but I have material for several still to be collated and formatted as well as the new ones I’m writing and not sending anywhere. I wanted to find enough images with the same theme so that they all go together while also looking different. Plus, the subheadings are all different.

Here are the first three, the first two of which are already in the sidebar (because those are already on the publishing schedule):

This isn’t the only job I’ve had to do on covers, though…

Covers #2
After reading a few horror stories about how some publishers aren’t ensuring recognisable people in images have signed model release forms, I (1) removed pictures of ‘recognisable people’ from all of my book cover images, and (2) wrote to the places I get the pictures from to ask about their model release policy.

While I’m now happy that I can actually use the images on my book covers, there was one other thing I still had to consider. I really, really liked the original cover for Alexandra’s Ragtag Band, and I was assured that the model had indeed signed a release form.

However, the story has a drugs connection which I’d already been asked to play down by the magazine that published this story in the first place. One of the clauses in all of the stock image sites is that if I do use an easily recognisable person in an image, under no circumstances can it be suggested that this person is connected to anything dodgy. As drugs are dodgy, no matter how much you play them down, I decided that maybe this wonderful cover needed to be changed.

It really was a wrench to lose the original cover as I still far prefer it, but the second one is safer. So I went in and changed it everywhere I could think of.

What do you think? Did I do the right thing? Would you have left the original cover?

Over to you…

Do you have any questions? How is your publishing challenge going?

Publishing Challenge: out in 2023