Furry Writers' Guild Forum

New Avenue For Anthro Fiction?

Hello all!

Quite recently I’ve started listening to story podcasts on my way too and from work Lightspeed ( http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/podcasting/ ) and Podcastle (http://podcastle.org/) being the most listened to ones. I LOVE reading, but haven’t had as much time to do so these days, and what with Audiobooks being all the rage recently with the rise of Audible and portable sound-based entertainment in general, I had the thought that it might be a good idea to help legitimize and spread anthropomorphic fiction in a similar way.

I’ve often lamented the fact that the aesthetic is under-represented in any audio format I might choose to partake in, the last time I remember seeing an anthropamorphically based story being when Lightspeed featured Gordon the Self Made Cat by Peter S. Beagle
http://www.podcastchart.com/podcasts/lightspeed-magazine-science-fiction-and-fantasy-story-podcast-sci-fi-audiobook-short-stories/episodes/peter-s-beagle-gordon-the-self-made-cat .

I’ve produced podcasts often in the past, and have ample audio editing experience, so if there’s any interest I’d be quite enthused about getting a gang together and starting something up. From an editing standpoint they are SUPER easy to produce, the main hurdle being finding good readers, though I know a few VAs who might be interested in the project.

Other hurdles being that for at least the first year submissions would most likely be unpaid unless it builds up some REAL steam, but I for one think a lot of short story authors would adore a chance at a wider audience for thier shorter projects. This endeavor would likely be for shorter fiction 1.5-2.5k words unless otherwise specified, to make for a 15-30 minute cast. This would be so as not to be to taxing on any readers who would put thier time forth, nor to drag on for listeners. Most likely it would be a bi-weekly project with a submission pile and a website I’d be more than willing to build and host.

Anyway let me know if this is a good idea, or if any of you have any further input!

Thanks

Bellworth

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I would definitely be interested in that.

It has been done, but there’s nothing happening currently that I know of, other than authors doing their own novel podcasts and that sort of thing independently. For over 5 years (and over 50 episodes), Will Sanborn ran the Anthro Dreams podcast, which to my knowledge is the only audio furry fiction publication we’ve had. That podcast was officially discontinued earlier this year, but he still has the episodes on his FA account, and they’re well worth checking out:

http://www.furaffinity.net/gallery/was1/folder/133715/Fiction-Audio-Stories

(I also have higher-quality versions of the episodes my stories were in, hosted on my website’s audio page.)

I’d love to see something like that return. :slight_smile: As far as finding readers, maybe Will could help hook you up with some of the ones he was using.

Huh I had not heard of Anthro dreams. Looking at the website, it could be more pleasingly designed, and formatted for easy access. In the words of one of the fathers of advertising: “Design the box, what you put inside it doesn’t matter nearly as much.”

Also I think if furry fiction wants to reach a wider audience, then the name of the cast should be something less imediately identifiable as ‘Furry’. Not to say it would be hiding its roots, so much as it would simply be to avoid anyone googling the podcast from finding less than savory corners of the net on accident. I’d probably call the cast Metazoa, which is another name for the scientific classification for animals (I would call it Animalia, but there’s a famous book by the same name). A good one word name would be best, something no one’s really claimed yet and a quick google shows only a brewing company with the moniker.

Also if I put forth any capital into the venture it would most likely be for a banner ad on FA to help boost listenership and perhaps a commission or two to sprinkle around the website. Simular to what I’ve done for the soon-to-be-launched serial story site Timorous
http://timorous.org (Some place holder art in areas where assets are being created)

I love this idea. I’m a huge fan of audio and podcasts and it would be amazing to see something like this start up.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about the paid content issue, primarily because I’m pondering how anthropomorphic writing could get a wider audience and how a periodical, print, e, or audio, could sustain itself in the interim while it tries to gather interest and yet still be fair to its contributors.
I think wanting to pay the author a good wage is a noble goal, and yet the reality of a start up magazine or podcast being able to do this in any genre let alone a niche one is incredibly hard.
I have an idea that has probably already been tossed around, but if it hasn’t might help. From what I can see, what I’ve heard, etc. a lot of the authors who sell an anthro piece once, tend to pop it up for free on the social sites, FA, SF etc. This makes sense since selling reprints is not an easy task, but it also makes me think that a podcast or magazine that strictly took reprints would not be exploitative if if was a “no pay” or “copy of issue” pay venue.
Publishing only reprints would do a lot of things,
1- keep good anthro fiction on the market
2-ensure that the content was already of a publishable quality, ie: showcase our best work and reduce the need for editing
3-allow a magazine or podccast to focus on wider promotion and marketing
If people are already writing off their reprints as free content, a reprint market might fill a need and serve one of the main goals of the guild to get our best fiction out there to a much wider world.

I know there are some general sff markets that focus on reprints, and it is possible to sell a story more than once, but it’s not easy and the pay is always less.
And it breaks my heart to see endeavors like GoAL that try hard to serve both our genre and our authors fairly go under. A reprint, contributor copy pay, market just might have more staying power and l certainly wouldn’t balk at tossing reprints at a no-cash market for the sake of spreading the word about anthro fiction.

In any case, :slight_smile: I’d definitely listen to the podcast whatever form it takes.
Best of luck!

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OOOOH that’s a FANTASTIC point. Get some really quality fiction out there from those who have already been compensated for thier work once before. Yes, I like it that is a great way to get some steam while keeping it an inexpensive project to help anthro fiction get more play in the mediaspace.

Bad Dog Books, with Skip Ruddertail and Toonces, originally had a podcast where they would read a submitted erotica story one episode then discuss the story the next.

Oh, yeah, I do vaguely remember that now. Okay, well, the only G/PG audio furry fiction publication we’ve had, then. :stuck_out_tongue:

Some of my work might be available for such a project.

I would be very interested in this but, as it’s unpaid, I’d love the option to submit “reprints” (anything published previously by a publisher or available on the usual furry sites). Would this be doable?

I have at least two of that length that would be suitable currently! Some that are a little longer too.

ALRIGHT

As a test run of what a possible site might look like I made a Squarespace trial account and did some webdesign jiggery pokery. Current photographic assets are placeholders. If this picks up any positive response the rights to the images are very cheap so this could very well be what the final site might resemble.

http://bell-weather.squarespace.com

Click this, click Guest Access and type in the code it prompts.

This looks really nice!

I have a couple of stories that I can donate to this, if someone else will do the reading.

I second both of these! It looks great and I really love the images you’ve chosen. :slight_smile:

Thanks! I’m glad the response is positive!

Now the only thing that I’d need is a ‘Host’ to introduce every story, and a couple of readers.

Well outside of perhaps some help with website building costs? The rights to these images run about $65 which is PRETTY darn cheap for images of this quality. Baring that I could find some free vectors to take thier place that are open for creative commons usage. Outside of that the site would be $12 a month to run, and about $20 to change the domain to Metazoacast.com or something simular. After the website building costs and domain costs (Totalling about $97), then the only cost to run the site would be the $12 a month squarespace fee, which I’m perfectly happy to pay indefinitely.

It might be a good idea to stick a donation button on the site, purely to cover operating costs, as I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting any kind of monetary gain from unpaid reprints.

ANYWAY, I think it’s a good idea, and could possibly work towards fronting those costs myself totally, but if the community at large is interested in assisting in even small amounts tis an appreciable effort!

Outside of that, I’m good to host the site, pay the monthly fee, and do all editing, including podcast theme music creation, stingers, show notes, the lot of it. But I will need a host, and a few good readers, towards which I already have a fair bit of interest.

I’m interested in submitting stories to this, particularly if you’ll take previously published work. Have you considered using free image resources instead, though, such as http://morguefile.com/ , rather than paying for an experimental site’s images?

Somewhat interested in the reading part, but don’t know if [sub]my voice[/sub] would be suitable. Will you call for samples of some sort for voices?

One note on this, Morguefile has recently changed their licensing terms so that in order to use the image you MUST alter it or give attribution.
Pixabay is still a good source for free use photos, and if you want animal shots, check out the wiki of public domain photos or the state department’s public domain database where there are tons of free use animal pics. :slight_smile:

You could probably also find work from artists in the fandom that you could license inexpensively, since many furry artists do feral/wildlife type pieces as well and not just anthro stuff. (Really, for about $65 a pop you could probably commission the furry art, but licensing would get you better quality for less since you don’t need custom work.)

The assets aren’t 65$ a pop it’s $65 for the whole suite of images, which isn’t terrible as far as web design assets go.

I’ll look around Morguefile and Pixabay for other assets though anything that lowers the cost of launching the site is a plus.

In the meantime however, I have some readers lined up! Metazoa will be opening for submissions soon, once I get some submission stipulations ironed out.

There will most likely be a 2k word limit on story submissions, I’m thinking the cast will be PG-13 at the very most. And for the first issue we might want to go less full on furry and play the animal angle up to get casual listeners. So stories that use the anthropomorphic lense (Or the lense of animals with human-esque intelligence) to tell stories based in our world as opposed to fully furry worlds will have a consideration advantage. Not to say other stories will not be taken, but keep that in mind when picking stories to submit. Submissions will probably open later in the month so keep an eye out!

Well, I’m super behind with everything in the forum but I’m always interested in lending my voice to narration and things; I love reading audiobooks and have done a few online already. I think this is an awesome idea and I’d love to be a part of it however I can. Unfortunately I don’t have anything to submit right now for content >__<

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