‘Guitar Bands Are On The Way Out’ British Agents And Short Story Collections

I’ve been wondering about short stories in the publishing landscape for a while now. At first I was all, “Well of course short stories would be hard to sell,” but since I realised how much I and others I know love to consume them, that big ol’ “WHY?” has been forming in my brain. Erinna Mettler makes a fantastic, rightfully indignant point.


On Friday, checking in with Twitter, I came across #Authorday, which invited tweeters to ask agents from Peters Fraser & Dunlop questions about their work. I am presently sending out a themed collection of short stories so I thought I’d ask the obvious.

#Authorday how come agents hate short story collections when the best do actually sell better than bad genre?

The answer?

Because finding a publisher to buy them is like putting a magnet to a haystack for that elusive needle.

I replied that as it was once again the year of the short story it should be getting easier for agents to get publishers interested and asked if it wasn’t a matter of pre-conception all round? Another short story writer commented that he too was disappointed by the lack of mainstream push for the genre. Neither of us got any further response.

This makes me so mad. What…

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