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May 2016

Letter to Authors Confirming Change to Free Content

Yesterday we sent the following letter to 118 authors, all of whom have backed pennyshorts’ move to free content. Four authors elected to withdraw their stories… we’re sorry to see them go, but they know they’d be welcome back.

Dear Authors

Thank you so much to all of you for sticking with us, and for backing the changes to pennyshorts.  It means a lot and believe me, we’ll be fighting your corner to increase your readership and making sure that your frantic scribbling and late night tippety tapping is financially rewarded.
The new free website is now ready (a couple of days late thanks to computer issues – thank you Apple), so please spread the word.  We want as many hits as possible.  All users will need to log in to the site so we can keep track of the downloads, but we’ve made it very easy:  they can do so on the site itself, or via facebook, google or twitter.
The Author’s Pot currently stands at £783, and this will grow, from adverts, donations, grants, competitions, e-books, live events, writer’s workshops and merchandising. All other money-spinning ideas are very welcome – we ain’t proud.
The pot will be split between authors on a pro-rata basis depending on how many times their story(ies) has been downloaded. Authors will be paid annually (first pay date will be 3rd May 2017) provided they have accrued a threshold amount of £25.
The Author’s Pot does NOT include amounts that have accrued to authors whose stories were downloaded in the past year. This money has been allocated separately to the relevant authors and will go towards their £25 threshold.  Congrats to the authors of our most popular downloads in the last year:
The Duke – Victoria Pougatch (20)
You Are What You Don’t Eat – Sally Basmajian (20)
The Last of Salinger – Tom Ray (17)
Gone Fishing – KB Carle (17)
Doing Time – Sinead McCabe (16)
All The Time In The World – Julie Dawn (13)
Vagabundo – Tom Perrin (12)
And So It Was – James McLoughlin (12)
Motherhood – Poppy Akers (12)
Also huge congrats to Heidi James, Louisa Adjoa Parker and Edward McDermott, whose stories were cherrypicked from pennyshorts for the Fresh Ink Anthology. This is exactly what pennyshorts was set up for: to get new readers for our authors and to get our short stories out there.
The pennyshorts app will be ready in a couple of month’s time, and we will shortly be adding audiofiles to our offering, which will greatly increase our readership.  We will be sending out guidance on this in the next couple of weeks. Many of you have expressed interest in reading your own stories – this is fabulous as long as you are reasonably expressive and that the recording is clear.  Don’t panic if you don’t fancy doing it – we’re assembling a stable of quality readers, some of whom are gifted amateurs, including (ahem) Yours Truly and others who are professional actors.
We hope this email will encourage you all to go mad and frantically download each others’ stories.  The best way to improve your short story writing is to read as many of them as possible.
Please get in touch if you have any questions, comments, ideas or if you just feel like a chat.