The Short Story
Years ago you used to be able to buy anthologies of an author's short stories, or perhaps a novella and short stories, sometimes as a "filler" between "Novel a Year" output expected of authors.
You could also buy anthologies of different authors.
Children's books too. I remember the Armada Ghost Books.
Then they seemed to fall out of favour with publishers, and the only people publishing short stories were a couple of science fiction magazines, women's interest magazines (now called womag) and a couple of literary magazines like QWF. Some specialist magazines do exist, but it's not exactly mainstream (except for womag).
Womag tends to be of a certain type, and though it's evolved quite a lot recently and improved IMHO, several magazines have dropped their fiction slot, and the only one which is at all edgy, is Fiction Feast.
Yet lots of people write short stories. People think writing womag is easy, because the stories tend to be fluffy and unchallenging, but it isn't. Writing a story which is short and yet still conveys that emotional impact is quite hard, and artform in its own right. It's a good discipline too, for the verbose such as myself.
With Kindle there are no constraints with word count, unlike magazines which have tight requirements.
But my anthology doesn't sell well, a freind's anthology doesn't sell well, short stories attract vitriolic reviews complaining of their brevity, etc.
So do readers just dislike short stories in general? Or do they feel somehow cheated that the book they bought as an oil painting turns out to be a pen-and-ink sketch? Or have we just forgotten about short stories as an art form in themselves?
Why have publishers stopped issuing anthologies? Is it because of low reader demand, or is it because it takes a lot of work to edit and put an anthology of different stories?
What do people think?