I have been debating with myself about the possibility of doing a Best of Friday Flash – Volume Two. But before I even consider doing a call for submissions I thought it best to share some information about how we are doing on Best of Friday Flash – Volume One and then get the take of the community at large. This way we can all consider it with our eyes wide open with no delusions concerning the fame and fortune we might expect.

As you may recall we decided that the proceeds of Volume One sales would go into a kitty for the promotion of Friday Flash, most likely to pay for prizes for readers and/or writers contests. Of course the nature of the prizes would depend on the amount of revenue we generated.

So, how’d we do?

Here are the numbers as of today:

Ebook sales via Smashwords
23 units sold for a royalty of $50.98

Physical book sales via Amazon/CreateSpace
50 units sold for a royalty of $16.90

Grand Totals: 73 units sold for $67.88 in gross sales.

If we were paying the authors on a shares basis that means each person would have made just about a buck. In other words, don’t quit your day jobs.

So my question to all of you in the Friday Flash community is simply this: In light of these sales figures do you want to do another Best of Friday Flash anthology? And if so, what do you want to do with those proceeds?

Whether or not we do another round of the Best of Friday Flash is in your hands. I expect sales of Volume One will continue to trickle in whether or not we produced a Volume Two, and we can use those proceeds as originally planed to fund prizes for Friday Flash writer’s contests. If we do decide to do a Volume Two then we need to decide what we will do with those proceeds – plow them back into Friday Flash promotional activities, or pay them out on a shares basis to each contributor?

Please use the comments to give your take on both questions:
1) Do we delve into BOFF – 2?
2) If so, do we use the proceeds from BOFF – 2 for promotional events, or do we pay them out to the contributors?
It’s all up to you.
~jon

  38 Responses to “BOFF 2? You Decide”

  1. Jon, ff is a great experimentation space, even in a published anthology I can’t imagine anyone would be hung up on royalties. even a teeny amount raised is best served going back into the conmunity, as it’s such a greAt thing to take part in I reckon most would feel this way. as for boff 2 it’s a great idea, raises the profile and is a nice legacy of everyones good work.

    • I’ve always looked on it as an experiment. So far it has been a worthwhile experience for me – I’ve learned a lot, and try to share what I’ve learned with everyone.
      ~jon

  2. I would love for there to be a Vol 2. Best of collection. I highly enjoyed the first one, and am hungry for a second. If anything, it will provide more exposure to our community, and what we’re doing with it. It will also promote the writers involved and give them something else to put on their resume.

    As far as revenue goes prizes, contests, are okay, but using it for marketing sounds like a good idea. We can use it to (again) get our community some more exposure.

  3. I would LOVE there to be a volume 2! I so enjoyed volume 1, and I would contribute and help out. I think the proceeds should go to promote the community.

    Don’t get me wrong. While I would love fame and fortune, it’s not about that. I think as a community we get a lot from the anthology – experience, the thrill of being part of than publishing process of a vibrant community, recognition and (of course) the writing credit. Hey, it can’t hurt saying you were published in a ‘Best of’ anthology; can it? Being part of volume one is one of the things I’m most proud of, and I’d love to repeat the experience with volume two.

    • There are definitely intangible benefits to doing one of these, be it as an author, a judge, or an editor. But there is also the danger of it being looked on as a vanity anthology which only sells copies to its own members. That’s why I’m a little disappointed the number of sales were not a bit bigger than they were. Perhaps that will change over time. There still are a few more marketing options available to us. We’ll discuss those in another post.
      ~jon

  4. I would love to be involved in BOFF 2. I think the sales aren’t that bad and perhaps another issue will give the thing a bit more of a profile. And I’m for using the royalties to promote Friday Flash because it would mean more than it would if each writer got like $1.

    • Yes, I can hardly imagine anyone getting excited about a dollar royalty check. It is a nice idea that Volume One can be used as the foundation for building a bit more success for Volume Two. I see that as a possibility. I also think it pays in the long run to grow something like this organically, over time. I just want everyone to be aware of the reality of the situation, so we can all make an informed decision together.
      ~jon

  5. I’d say yes to a BOFF2, and not just because I’m in BOFF1! If you keep producing the anthos, then hopefully each one will trigger back sales of the previous editions – that’s the long tail at work. Slowly, BOFF and Friday Flash in general should grow.

    I’d say to plow the money back into making and promoting the anthos and then, should they ever start to make more reasonable money, you could always pay the authors for their work. Even if it’s a single payment of $10 for each story published rather than royalties, that’s not bad for an internet movement.

    If you can be bothered, I say go for it!

  6. Incidentally, with regard to sales, the ebook link to BOFF1 in your sidebar is broken. :)

  7. I think there should definitely be a BOFF #2, and I agree with other commenters here, any funds generated should go towards promoting the #FridayFlash community. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be excited by a $1 royalty cheque, but only because it would be my first one ever! ;)

    As a very new (and wet behind the ears) writer, for me to have a story chosen for inclusion in BOFF #1 was nothing short of thrilling. I owe you and the team a debt of gratitude for my first appearance in print.

    Not being a salesman either, I am trying to do my bit to spread the word about BOFF #1, now…if I can just get a few of those folks to order a copy. Surely there must be someone in the #FridayFlash community who could help you out with the marketing; I wouldn’t know where to start with that.

    More power to your elbow, as we say in these parts (which is a good thing, BTW!). Here’s hoping BOFF #2 becomes a reality. :)

  8. Even if it is a volume that is all alumni sales, who cares? These writers are proud of their accomplishment and for many Jon, it’s their first real self in print. That sort of happiness is priceless. I couldn’t afford the BOFF Vol 1 when it came out so I’m a lost sale. Keep in mind a lot of us are broke, else we’d be all over it. Which reminds me I need to be getting all over it now that I’ve recovered.

    • That’s one of the reasons I worry. I really do believe in the principal that money should always flow toward the authors. That’s why there are and never will be reading fees and why I sent everyone a PDF version, so they would not have to buy one. I did do that didn’t I? God, I hope I did. Brain cells aren’t what they used to be.
      ~jon

      • A second volume of BOFF would be a great idea, I think, and like Carrie said, it’s my first real self in print as well.
        As I’m an emerging writer, a young Hungarian woman living in Romania, writing in English (and as far as I know, the first and only writer of #fridayflash filling these exact characteristics) – you can imagine my excitement and feeling way beyond honored to have one of my flashes included in the anthology!

        I think a second volume of BOFF would be a great opportunity to advertise #fridayflash even more than it already is (though I myself don’t really know how to advertise, not so much a sales person in this department either, but I’m sure there must be someone in this large community who know a thing or two about it).
        Also, it takes time even for the e-book copy to get released, so that gives quite a few months for the first volume to get it’s popularity upped, right? :)
        And I agree with everyone else, the proceeds going right back into #fridayflash is the best idea.

        PS: I wouldn’t mind a PDF copy :) (hope I didn’t overlook it, but can’t recall receiving one yet)
        I’m way beyond excited to have my print copy though, which has a special place on my bookshelf!

  9. BOFF is good for the community. I’m just wondering if there are other ways to package the selected flash pieces. Would it be possible to produce a cluster of shorter BOFF products that together formed the BOFF2 anthology, and that could be purchased separately or as a set?

    • Hmm, I will have to think on that one. Interesting idea.
      ~jon

      • I also wonder about niches. Further anthologies are certainly worth pursuing in tribute to the community. But if we’re looking to appeal for sales to people outside the community, what if future anthologies had specific themes? Horror readers will buy Horror stuff. Fantasy and SciFi readers are likewise. If there was a Best of Friday Flash: Humor, it could be targeted towards specific markets rather than offered as a grab bag.

        • Also worth considering. I’m thinking that might be something to do in another year or so. That will give us a deeper pool of candidate stories to choose from which I think would be needed if we broke things out by genre or clusters of genres.
          ~jon

  10. I like the idea of BOFF 2. I had great fun with the whole process of the first, being involved the whole way through is great fun, and how often do you get the chance to do that. I would love to participate again.

  11. I’d vote for a second one, it was a great idea :) And put the money back into the community. We all do this because we love it, and I’d rather see the returns going into encouraging more writers to take part in #fridayflash.

  12. Like Alan said, creating a tail will produce more sales – people buy BOFF #4 (think BIG!) and like it, they will go back and buy 1, 2, and 3. Hope your elbow’s strong. ;) I’d love to see it continue.
    As for the money, I’d say leave it in the pot for whatever.

  13. I think the joy of #FridayFlash is that it is a community of writers for writers supporting writers. So an anthology of that writing is a way to reread some of our faves, and promote #fridayflash and perhaps build people’s cvs. Yes we want to be more than a vanity project, but, even if sales are low, I think it’s worth doing. It’s something writers can point to and say, my writing was validated here. Besides, I see learning to be a writer as little baby steps and being in a small anthology is just one of those!

    So if you have the time, the energy and commitment, go for it, with my heartfelt thanks for creating such a supportive and fun and international writing environment. And any money can be reinvested in the community

  14. I’d vote yes, with profits back to the community.

  15. I would love to see a Volume 2 with profits going back to the community in way you see fit.

  16. I wasn’t on the first, but I think it’s a great idea. Why not? And the proceeds should be used for promotion.

    I agree with Virginia, it would be nice to have see our “faves” in book format or ebook.

  17. Also, you never know. There are many seasoned authors as well as newbies such as myself in the #fridayflash community. If one of us becomes the next Stephen King or something, well that might improve sales too. Just sayin’… :D

    • Well, that is the hope, isn’t it – that one (or more) of us will hit it big. We already have published authors. Now one of ‘em just needs to hit the NY Times Bestsellers List. No pressure, guys. :)
      ~jon

  18. Hi there Jon,
    Nice to meet you. Well, I am fairly new to this community and have only just recently heard about the friday flash project, which by the way is fantastic!

    I have however recently published my own ebook on Smashwords and one thing I have learnt from Mark Coker is that to create more sales a deep back list is essential, so yes, I think you should definetely keep going with volume 2 (I must start contributing soon!!)

    Mark can provide you with examples of authors who made very little in their first quarter on Smashwords, but then in little over a year or so had started to make a good income. They did these by publishing multiple ebooks with Smashwords and this way they gradually built more readers.

    I think the key then would be to definetely keep publishing more #flashfriday ebooks and then also backlink to previous volumes each time you publish a new one.

    This way you are also building a brand and a name that people can follow. A #Fridayflash series of books will have better leverage I think in the marketplace,than just the one.

    Anyhow, hope these thoughts are helpful – I know how you must be wondering about sales etc…through Smashwords -
    I too am still learning about marketing for my own ebook, but just wanted to share these things I have already discovered.

    Perhaps too the #fridayflash stories could be collated according to genres and published that way. All these ideas and I haven’t even sent in a #fridayflash story (yet!!).

    Bye for now, Jon. I love the #fridayflash project and will be back soon.

    Cheers,
    Monica

  19. Well, I’m late, sorry about that, but must put my 2 cents in:
    I agree with the majority here, definitely publish a BOFF 2, (if you can make it through yourself Jon, it takes an awful lot more effort for you than it does for us), and use the money for marketing.

    Sorry so short a response, only on my first cup of coffee. :)

  20. Like I said, I’m only on that first cup – I forgot to say:

    Thank You Jon for the first BOFF experience! Holding that book in my hands was nothing short of thrilling, and then reading it front to back, (and yes, over and over), was such a fantastic reading experience.

    Thank you so much for all you do for us!

  21. I say BOFF2! I agree with the others who have said to give it another shot. And thank you Jon for all you do to keep the #Friday flash community going.

  22. Although I’ve only been posting to #fridayflash for almost a year (a year next friday, to be exact!) i think the idea of continuing the anthologies is a good one. Just my two cents. And using the proceeds for the community is an excellent thing. We all benefit from it. The first one was terrific! :)

  23. Jon — my vote is for a BOFF2 as well. As a newcomer to the friday flash world (5 flashes old) – I am thoroughly enjoying being part of this community. I am originally from India living in the US for the last fifteen years and like you, have a full time day non writing related job. Writing is my favorite hobby (for now) that I feel a driving passion for, just as you all do. Participating in this community has already provided learning opportunities for me and I think anything that will further sustain and establish the Friday Flash world is worth going for. I really like Amanda and John’s idea of multiple BOFF s by category. I’d love to contribute and help out in any way possible.

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