You may have noticed on our anthology calls that we charge below normal fiction market rate at 2½¢ per word and have a note maxing fees per story out at $100.
Why is this? In short: anthologies are expensive to run for a house as small as Hybrid.
Here is a good breakdown of the pricing for an anthology.
A good length for an anthology is 100,000 to 150,000 words. The low end of the industry standard for fiction is 6-10¢ per word. If we split the difference to about 7½¢ per word, that comes out at an investment of $7,500 to $11,250 — let’s say a round investment of $10,000 — per anthology.
If we pay an artist for a cover, we can expect to pay $500 to $1,000. We can save some money by generating the cover in-house or using freely licensed works, but for the sake of this breakdown, let’s assume a cover cost of $750.
The per-unit price for a print version of such a book is about $4.30, the set-up fee is $40, and shipping for 100 copies is $71.43, totaling $595.95.
That turns into an initial investment of $11,345.
How will we earn this back?
A print copy of this book will retail direct from our store for $15, and an e-book copy will retail for $10, meaning we would have to sell 1,135 ebooks or 757 print books. This is a steep goal. Perhaps attainable, but almost certainly unrealistic for a house our size with our reach.
What about other outlets? Our distributor will net us about $1.70 per copy when distributed to retail outlets such as brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers such as Barnes & Noble, but for those, we obviously won’t have to pay for the copies and shipping. Still, that works out to 6,345 copies, which is definitely unrealistic for the time being.
Capping the price at $100 keeps our maximum investment for the author payment portion of the anthology to around $1,500.
Hybrid Ink is currently funded out of pocket. That is, our editor-in-chief, Madison, pays for all expenses with money from her day-job. It is our dream to build a self-sufficient publishing house that can pay anthology authors a fair market rate. Until we reach that goal, however, we will have to work within our means in order to get the projects we take on out there into the world.
We thank you for your understanding, and hope that you will still consider publishing your short stories through Hybrid’s anthologies.