Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Alfie Dog Limited

Another wonderful interview today, this time with British author Rosemary J. Kind, founder of Alfie Dog Limited, a great new site for downloading short stories for your ereader.               

Tell us how Alfie Dog Limited began.
The company began a year before the short story project. I wanted to publish one of my own books and decided to set up a company. Then I started thinking about short stories and how the markets for good stories are drying up. There are also some brilliant stories out there that were published in magazines a while ago and which are languishing in the author’s proverbial drawers. In a moment of inspiration I decided I wanted to bring those stories to the world and give readers a wider choice of quality short stories.

Why ‘Alfie Dog’?
Alfie is my pride and joy. He is my inspiration and the one who keeps me writing through thick and thin. He’s an Entlebucher Mountain Dog and started writing his blog the day he moved to live with me over six years ago. He’s only ever missed one day and that was because I was in hospital and he couldn’t find the passwords. He’s always by my side when I’m working and chips in every now and then.

Photo courtesy of Red Jester Photography

How is it going so far?
It’s amazing. I launched for submissions in February and hoped that by our grand opening in May we would have had 100 stories from 25 authors to offer to the readers. We started with an amazing 63 authors and 175 stories, drawn from every inhabited continent on the globe. After just two months we have accepted over 400 stories from over 100 authors and have real depth in all the genres we carry. Reading the ‘Authors’ page is like reading a ‘who’s who?’ of the short story writing world, with those who have published literally hundreds of stories in magazines at one end, through to new budding writers at the other. The common factor is that they are all writing in English and they are all of a very high standard.

Is it like Amazon where anyone can upload a book, or do you vet the stories first?
No, absolutely not like Amazon. We want to make sure that the story the reader buys is worth every penny they spend. Every submission is read. If it is not good enough, it is not accepted. If it needs work to be good enough, we send it back for revisions. We also edit for punctuation, spelling, grammar and present work in a consistent high quality format. We want the Alfie Dog brand to be synonymous with a good read, every time.

Is it possible to get the stories in any e-reader format or are they just for Kindle?
We offer three formats for every story; mobi is for the Kindle, epub is for most other e-readers and pdf makes it possible to either print the story or read it on a larger screen. We are at the tentative stages of looking at offering stories in audio format, but that is a little way down the line.

How easy is it for a reader to find the sort of story they like?
We have aimed to make it as easy as possible. All stories are broken into genre, so that if you want an ‘action’ or a ‘feel good’ story you can go straight to them. We also have all stories accessible by author so you can see everything written by each individual. There is also a search facility. If you want a story about Halloween you can use the search box to see what comes up.

Can you give us some idea of the variety you have?
We cover all genres except erotica and graphic violence. The site is as family friendly as possible. If a story contains ‘adult content’ we will tell you before you make your selection. We have stories written for everyone from 1 to 101 and for the differing tastes of both men and women. Whatever mood you are in we will have a story to match or to lift you up if that’s what you need. I have to keep a box of tissues handy when reviewing stories for the happy as well as the sad. I also have to get used to a cacophony of barking when I laugh out loud. We do have a particularly good humour section. We also have some great ‘General’ and ‘Literary’ stories if you want to go away with something to think about.

What sort of price do you charge and what payment options do you have?
Pricing is easy. Anything up to 5,000 words is just 39p (that’s sterling but using Paypal you simply pay in your own currency equivalent). From 5,000 to 10,000 words is 49p and 10,000 to 15,000 words is 59p.

Can you tell us a little bit about your personal background?
I’ve been compelled to write since childhood, but have written professionally for the last seven years. Before that I worked in industry for twenty years in a range of positions, some media based, in finance and information technology. I’m a qualified accountant with a background in law, but please don’t hold that against me. The need to be creative overwhelmed me and I broke away. I write both fiction and non-fiction as well as now publishing under Alfie Dog.

Have you had any 'interesting' experiences since you started 'Alfie Dog'?
I’ve had some very humbling experiences when I’ve had the opportunity to help writers at the outset of their careers to really develop their skills in telling a story. I will always treasure the emails of thanks I have received for that. At the other extreme I have become so used to editing that whenever anything lands on my desk, be it the electricity bill or a personal letter, I feel the need to go through it with a red pen and correct any mistakes!

If you’re interested in finding out more about Alfie Dog Limited or want to download some great short stories:


Helen Baggott - said...

That was a fascinating insight. I've bought a few stories from the site and they've all been wonderful tales.

It's quick and easy to use and perfect if you just fancy a random story.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like the sort of site we short story writers have been longing for! I'd be interested to know what sort of stories are selling best?