Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It's today, guys. Today is the day. The big announcement I've been alluding to for months is finally here, finally ready, finally open to the public. I feel giddy and nervous like it's the first day of third grade and I'm wearing a new jumper and matching headband. Here goes.

We're writing a book. As in you and me. We're writing a book together. Starting today, Kristina Horner and I are accepting submissions of internet-centered short stories, the best of which the two of us will edit and compile into a real, tangible book that we're calling Less Than Three: Stories about Love, Like, and the Internet. The book is slated to be published in the summer of 2012, and we want you in on it.

All the information (and the submissions page!) is available on our fancy, sparkling website. We'll be advertising the project to our youtube channels and twitter feeds over the course of the next week, but it was important to both of us that we give our devoted blog readers a bit of a head-start advantage. So many of you are writers-- awesome ones, too!-- and you've always shown us so much more loyalty and support than we've done anything to deserve, so naturally, you were the ones we had in mind when we conceived this idea. I hope a bunch of you are interested, because I am seriously flailing with excitement at the prospect of reading your work. And flail-typing is hard.

You have until the end of January to submit, which will hopefully avoid conflicts with NaNoWriMo and final exams. Until then, I'll be anxiously awaiting your submissions and singing the words "WE'RE WRITING A FREAKING BOOK!" over and over again to the tunes of various pop songs. It's on, guys. Let's go.


Kat Welch said...

What a great project! I'm excited to see how it goes.

Ben Cracknell said...


Michelle Potter said...

Congrats! This is super exciting. I can't wait!

Jordan said...

Wow! This is incredible! I can't wait to read everything.

Nicci Weasley said...

Oooh, that's exciting!!
So awesome. I can't wait to see the result. Such a great idea.
I wish I could write something to submit, but I don't think I can write anything other than blog posts and lab reports.
But I know there are some really good writers in this community, so it can only turn out well! :D

Scumbag Sam said...

Exciting stuff, looks really cool, so I might just have to submit something. This is such a cool project idea!

Anonymous said...

this is so cool. i am so pumped.

Bryce said...

Aaaaaaaaand my life has meaning.

Stefan said...

very exciting! I always thing there should be more internet centric stories. Sadly I am not much of a writer but I'm happy to pre-order!

Stefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

This is incredible news! I'm so excited for you!

caliowin said...

Fantastic idea :) Excited for this. :)

JJC1138 said...

I'm not wild about the "give us exclusive rights to your story in return for no money, and you can't even post your story on your blog" part of the deal.

If you want to do it as a non-profit thing that's totally cool, but I think you should say up front if you're going to donate any proceeds to charity or something like that. At the moment I think it's a bit too close to "hey, write a book for us, and we'll keep the money. kthxbai!"

Holly said...

Awesome! After seeing your tweet before I went to bed last night that the announcement was "hours away", it must've been playing on my mind because I woke at 3am with a Christmas-morning-ish excitement to find out what it was, and then I fell back into a dream that you and Kristina had written a tv show about two kids- Buzby and Norah- growing up in suburban America. (This seemed less creepy when it wasn't written down)
But this is also great!

Eva said...

I am getting so excited about this! Also great that you guys thought of the people doing NaNoWriMo, I'll have enough time when I'm done with that to start working on a new story!
You guys really made my day today, just so you know! ;)

Mimi said...

Wow, how exciting! I'm sure you'll have a great book by the end of it :)

triciamacmillan said...

Is there a reason why submitters don't receive compensation? Also, it doesn't say on the website: are submitters given credit for their work in the book?

Anna said...

Aaahhhh so cool! :D

Olivia said...

So exciting! Congratulations! Good luck!

Bridget said...

Haha, this sounds so awesome! I'm not a writer in any sense of the word so I just be a cheerleader for this project-- an awesome cheerleader!

Anonymous said... don't see any ethical problem with this at all? You're going to be raking in the profit from other people's work and won't pay them a cent? What is this, I don't even........I would never have thought that you'd sink this low...

EJ said...

This project sounds incredible. I'm extremely excited about this, both because I know you two are going to do an amazing job putting this together, and because I think I might actually submit something!

I'm also wondering whether you guys will need any help with this project, just with anything random that's involved. If you do, I'd like to volunteer.

Sean said...

To anyone complaining about ethics, this is no different than the editorial section of a newspaper or the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" franchise. This basically just looks like a "Chicken soup for the nerdfighter's soul."

And i'm really excited.

owlinalarkworld said...

ajdgvlsdhougsdgdsjfds KEEN.

Anna said...

The Chicken Soup franchise pays their contributors. As for newspaper editorials, I've never seen creative non-fiction published in newspapers, but if it is done somewhere, I'm almost certain the contributor gets paid SOMETHING then too.

I hope the people who contribute to the proposed book understand that they'll never be able to publish their story again, and no traditional publisher would ever touch it. This project seems like a way to take advantage of people who are too young or too inexperienced to know better.

Jeremy C. said...

Am I the only one who noticed that the rules go from "7" to "9" on the "About" page of the website?

Maggie said...

Im so excited for this project! i dont have very much confidence in my writing, but maybe i'll be able to pluck up the courage between now and january to submit something!

PJ Scott-Blankenship said...

As far as ethics go, Anna and anyone else who cares to start bitching, do you know how much it costs to make a book? Kristina and Hayley are doing everything out of pocket with no idea how well the book will sell, if at all. Not to mention this is a cornerstone, Hayley and Kristina would love to be in a situation where they could promise their readers money out the whazoo-but they aren't and they can't. If this book does well it can only mean good things to those involved, and the fact that they know what they're getting themselves into is more than fair.

People with submissions are losing the chance to publish their story elsewhere, but the story in question is from a prompt specifically designed for this book, not to mention it is hard to get published! This at least gives you a foothole. Boohoo, you lose royalties on something that doesn't exist, Hayley and Kristina could lose a good deal of money and even have their reputations tarnished.

That's strictly ethically speaking, of course.

CeliaAnn said...

OH MY GOD! THAT IS SO FREAKING EXCITING! THIS IS ONE OF THOSE TIMES THAT DESERVES THE INVENTION OF SUPER CAPS! Wow. What a great idea! I hope I can come up with something at least semi-good to submit.

Jude Rosenberg said...

Woah! I'm definitely getting started now! This is such an amazing idea!

Anna said...

PJ Scott-Blankenship, that's like saying CDs cost a lot to make, and arent guaranteed to sell well, so DFTBA Records shouldn't pay their artists any royalties.

Anonymous said...

So as I said to Kristina, all over this bad boy.

I did want to speak to this though in a kind way, not attacking:
"that's like saying CDs cost a lot to make, and arent guaranteed to sell well, so DFTBA Records shouldn't pay their artists any royalties."
- DFTBA records started selling CDs they definitely knew were going to sell, so that's the difference and it's a big fundamental one.
- Obviously no one's being forced to submit their story and there are going to be younger people doing it but they need parental permission and any parent who signs a waiver will, I imagine, make it perfectly clear what's involve in waiving these rights. So it's not exactly hardcore creative exploitation. In fact I don't see it as exploitation at all, I see it as a great opportunity (and this is coming from someone who has been writing stories all her life and who takes writing as a career extremely seriously) to have a piece of work edited, published and read by a great audience, but above all, it's like any other creative writing exercise and really pushes you to work within a rubric. As PJ said, it's a very specific topic, it's not like they're saying "submit a story involving a character who breathes".
- I don't know if I have another dashy thing, but basically what I wanted to say was that this looks like great fun, will be something I definitely will do my best to submit to and I don't think there's any shady behaviour going on whatsoever -- it's fair enough if someone decides that they don't agree with not getting royalties or whatever, but they don't have to submit anything and anyone who does submit something has openly accepted this because there's literally no way of reading the rules and not understanding them... I think it's kind of patronising to suggest otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Whoah, that was like seven times longer than I intended it to be. Sorry!

kira902k said...

I just screamed.
Out loud.

This is way too exciting. Like, I'm so freaking happy for both you and Kristina.
And I'm also nervously excited about the project for myself. Because this could be an amazing opportunity for me. If I'm smart...I should definitely write a submission.
And I WANT to.
I just really hope I have the motivation to actually set aside time to write this.

Ok. OK. I will.


(also your colalb channel with kristina! I am beyond excited for that. you have no idea. three of the funniest youtubers, all giving advice, WEEKLY...omg.)

<3 this is awesome.

PJ Scott-Blankenship said...

Anna, it's not the same. Miss Rosianna already summed up the majority of what I was going to say, but comparing DFTBA records to Kristina and Hayley is a little ridiculous, you're comparing a company to two friends doing something that neither of them have done before.

Brass tax: if people feel used or exploited they certainly don't have to submit anything.

Anonymous said...

This is the part where my excitement turns into stress, because my wanting to be a part of this is so immense, and waiting for inspiration to strike usually takes months.

Miranda said...

ohmygodohmygodohmygod you made my dreams come true!
Miranda <3

Stacie said...

That is awesome! Hopefully I can think of something good enough to submit! ;D

Marie said...

I am soooo excited about this! Definitely going to submit something.

JJC1138 said...

@PJ: It's true that Hayley and Kristina are risking time/money/reputation on the project, but that's the case for any publisher putting out any book, and it doesn't justify a deal where the publisher keeps 100% of the profit. Writing is valuable! If there's money being made then the writers should be getting some of it!

I assume that the reason there are no royalties for contributors is that Hayley and Kristina expect there will be little or no profit. But what if the book's a hit and sells ten times as many copies as expected? I think it's best to think about that now rather than having to deal with it later. I'd suggest either saying any profit goes to charity, or just decide a publisher/contributor split of profits now. If you want to downplay the contributors' expectations and say that after the expenses are paid you don't expect much profit to go around and they should primarily take part for the fun and résumé potential then that's fine, of course.

Anyway, sorry if my earlier comment looked snarky. I honestly meant it constructively, but I could have done a better job of conveying that.

Ashley Unscripted said...

Soooooooo exited.

sterff1face said...

I like it! Definitely not what I expected, but that's not a bad thing. :D

Kara said...


I have absolutely no idea what to write, but I'd love to submit something! Even if it's terrible, I can force you to read my words for a while (okay, I won't actually submit something if it's truly terrible, unless I decide you really need a laugh.) But, cool! Cool cool!

I have one question: will you and Kristina be submitting stories? Because I love all of this online community, but you two are the ones (well, along with Rosi) that I most want to see published... The only book I have with your name on it is RED, and I think it's about time you gave us another story. I don't mean to sound demanding, though. I'm overjoyed that you're going to be picking and compiling and editing the most awesome stories submitted and already I can't wait for this book's publication.

Awesome! :D

PJ Scott-Blankenship said...

Basically Hayley's been saying that the whole point of this book is to show off the talent of the community, people without fanbases and without the ability to have thousands of people read their blog. When the hell did it become about money? Was there anything said about how much money they're expecting to rake in?

Actually, Hayley said elsewhere: " All of the publishing and distribution expenses are coming out-of-pocket from Kristina and myself, and this project will be our full-time job for the year, which means we’ll be losing money for a project that could likely not result in much profit to begin with. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to provide an opportunity to people whose work might be less likely to get published due to a lack of fan base, and trying to give them a stepping stone to other career moves. In books such as this, it’s pretty standard for the compensation to come in the form of publicity rather than money— I’ve had work published in a similar book, for which I also did not receive royalties. Basically, we can’t legally promise royalties because we absolutely can’t guarantee any money will be made from the book. It’s a big experiment."

You have a lot of "what if"s, and it's not healthy nor is it constructive to stifle a project's creativity by giving it delusions of grandeur. Hayley's said basically what you expected, don't expect anything and just hope that at the very least you get chosen, and then you can use it for resume fodder.

So, that's pretty much the final say, all nice and legalized. No promises of anything, those are the rules of the playground. Sorry that at where they are right now they can't promise more, but if it's too harsh for anyone by all means; they can sit this one out.

Sidsel said...

I just put your website under the filing "AWESOME" on my computer. I am so excited, and I am not often that. I've been wanting to write something that could perhaps be published, gaahhhh, I can't even write what I feel right, which I guess isn't a good wat to start, but alas! Aaaarh! So excited. AWESOME!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, let's not overlook the elephant in the room.

They know that this book is going to sell like hot cakes, because Kristina and Hayley have a huge Youtube following. Plus all the DFTBA people. It'll be a profitable venture and they'll take ALL of the profit. The creators will only get a pat on the back.

They're exploiting young, inexperienced writers and I pity everyone who gets sucked into this scam.

They will earn far more from sales than it will cost to get this published. They know they have a niche market and they're milking it. Economics 101.

It wouldn't be so bad if they were honest about it and pledged the money for a charitable cause, or at least agreed to give some percentage to the writers in case the book sells well. But they don't even mention what would be done with any potential profit. It'll just disappear in their deep pockets.

If Hayley ever wants to be taken seriously as a writer and work with a real, major publisher, she shouldn't be doing this kind of crap.

I'm sick and tired of Youtubers who sell out, exploit their followers to win contests, scam or e-beg, while at the same time pretending to do it all for the fans. I'm disappointed and surprised that Hayley's going down that road too.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sick and tired of Youtubers who sell out, exploit their followers to win contests, scam or e-beg, while at the same time pretending to do it all for the fans. I'm disappointed and surprised that Hayley's going down that road too."

Hey, anonymous too cowardly to post with a name: the people you're describing here are NOT my friends. It's kind of disgusting and insulting that you think that's what Kristina and Hayley are doing. And who said anything about DFTBA's involvement? Your comment just piles on forced conclusion after forced assumption. I genuinely do have never met two more honest people who actually care about creativity, so stop trying to taint these women with your bullshit. No one's making you take part, back off.

Anna said...

1. Yeah, DFTBA expects to make money on everyone they sign, or else they wouldn't sign them. But they still take a calculated risk on their investment, based on their artist's fanbase, involvement in the community, etc. The exact same thing is happening here. You can't say that with Hayley and Kristina's combined fanbases, plus the nerdfighter community at large, this project WON'T be financially successful. I will eat my own hand if John Green doesn't mention this project in a Vlogbrothers video. He's Hayley's mentor, and this kind of thing (outside of the questionable ethics, I would hope) is right up his alley.
2. This isn't just "two friends doing something neither of them have done before," or rather, that still doesn't make them any different from DFTBA Records. You can argue that Alan and Hank were two friends doing something they had never done before when they first started DFTBA Records. This is a case of two friends going into BUSINESS together, something that requires financial and contractual arrangements. They would be stupid or short-sighted not to set up an LLC for Less Than Three Books. My point is that when money is involved, you just can't hand-wave it that way.
3. When I asked Hayley about royalties on Twitter, she responded extremely defensively (calling my questions "negativity and accusations"), only to delete them later. Hmmm, I wonder why.

Ann said...

Rosianna - hi :) I think (though can't be sure!) that what the above anon commenter meant by the DFTBA reference is that the book will probably be plugged by more people than just Hayley and Kristina, such as John and Hank and a bunch of other well-known youtubers who are linked with the concept of DFTBA, rather than the label. Which seems like a fair point, really. That's a large fanbase.

Hayley and Kristina don't seem particularly like the types to exploit their fans, and I think this project sounds like a fun idea :) I agree, though, that they should probably let people know what's going to happen to the money if the book sells well; I mean, it's cool (in my opinion, anyway) if the girls want to recoup their losses, but the idea of them making a profit really isn't compatible with 'doing it for the fans'. Especially when there are already a bunch of short story comps out there with a wide audience which DO offer cash prizes. I mean, it would surely be possible to give entrants some extra info, even if only on a just-in-case, we-can't-promise-any-profits-will-be-made-anyway basis?

So yeah, whilst I'm not accusing Hayley and Kristina, and I'm willing to bet they deserve the benefit of the doubt... I can sorta understand the cynicism, you know? It's reasonable, considering it probably comes from people who (like me) don't know the girls personally, and as such can't be 100% sure of their intentions. It's a little naive of them to be vague about money when other people's work is involved and not expect some backlash, and I just think this stuff needs clarifying. Sorry bout the ramble.

Maybe they have given more details now anyway, but I don't know because none of the links on the website work for me - they just take back to the homepage D: Is it just my computer?!

Ann said...

Just re-read my comment - it sounds way more backhanded and negative than I meant it to :/ I really am excited for this and I do believe you're both well-intentioned - honest!

PJ Scott-Blankenship said...

Oh good Lord, come on.

Huge youtube following does not profits make, again you can't compare Hayley and Kristina to the Green brothers, it's simply unfair.

And having gone grocery shopping with Hayley at least once a week I promise you that her pockets aren't deep.

Hayley and Kristina, and I'm saying this now from a personal standpoint so you're going to have to just trust me or roll your eyes and continue being snarky and/or passive aggressive, honestly are doing this just for the benefit of their readership. The chance that it does well is definitely the hope, and if it does then it can only mean good things.

Anna, as far as an LLC goes the bottom of the website has a copyright notice, so it seems that's already happened. Hayley probably got defensive because calling her unethical is an incredibly douchey thing to do, I know she was upset.

For your hand's sake I hope John mentions the project, but it would be nice to no longer have to argue this. Your original comment said that you hope people realize they can't publish their story again, which if they read the rules they should. Everything's out on the table, and people know what they're doing. You see, to some people, it's not about money.

Jessica Rohan said...

Hi Hayley,

I've read the homepage of your website, but I was wondering if micro/flash/shortshort fiction will be considered for submission as well?

Anna said...

For the record, I never brought ethics into the tweets I mentioned in my last comment.

My first question was: "your rules link goes nowhere. How are you addressing royalties? Or are you just looking to profit off your fans?" and my second question, in response to a rather dodgy answer from Hayley, was "so you're not compensating the people whose stories you're going to use?"

In neither tweet do I accuse Hayley of any unethical behavior--only to clarify her and Kristina's plans. Yes, I made my first comment before reading the rules page on their website, because I had trouble finding their rules page at all at that point--their links are not (or were not, I haven't checked lately) working.

It's great that they disclose that whoever participates in the project waives all of their rights in the process. Look, they can do whatever they want to, nobody can stop them from taking advantage of their audience. That doesn't mean that the rest of us aren't allowed to voice our concerns and disappointment.

PJ Scott-Blankenship said...

"your rules link goes nowhere. How are you addressing royalties? Or are you just looking to profit off your fans?"

What an awful way to put something, absolutely fallacious. They call that the loaded question. I know at the end of the day I can't change your mind, at the end of the day you're going to think that Hayley and Kristina are exploiting the talent of their readers and I'll just have to accept that you'll continue to feel the way you do, despite the fact that your criticism isn't constructive and is totally falling on deaf ears.

Carina Belles said...

What's funny to me is that people seem to be forgetting that Hayley was published in a book JUST LIKE THIS when she was younger, and obviously wasn't paid, because such is the nature of this kind of book. And I'm pretty sure I've seen it sitting in her apartment so I know she's damn proud of it. All she's doing is giving other girls the same opportunity, because THAT'S the kind of person she is.

triciamacmillan said...

While I don't know the girls personally, I do trust their intentions. I believe they really do mean well.

That said, it doesn't necessarily make a whole lot of sense to not provide royalties to writers just because they're uncertain about how the book will sell. They may be investing their own money into the project, but shouldn't that simply be factored into both the cost of the book and the cut of the profits they'll take? Like in the example with DFTBA: this book will be at least as successful as many of the CDs they release, and, if the up-front costs are high, the artist may get a smaller cut - but that doesn't mean they get none at all.

Couldn't there be a system where no one gets paid until expenses related to the book are paid covered, and then writers are given some percentage of the profits? That seems completely fair, doesn't it? It guarantees they don't lose money.

I don't think they're trying to, like, scam us. But I do think the current business plan is a little bit problematic.

triciamacmillan said...

Or maybe not even necessarily problematic. Just that there are reasonable questions to be asked about money, and not everyone who asks these questions is being greedy or malicious.

Personally, I just read Kristina's response in her blog comments, and I was satisfied by it. But I think the issue of money can be addressed reasonably by both sides, without anyone getting accusatory or defensive.

Natalie said...

Sounds like a brilliant project. However, I'm confused. If you are editing the work submitted by other people, then you're not writing the book - you're editing the book. If you are contributing some of your own original work, this information has not been made clear. I must admit that I agree with JJC1138 - a lot of credit here is being taken from the authors and given to the editors. The true stars are the contributors.

Danielle said...

This is really exciting!!! Ohmygoodness!

Anonymous said...

Hey, you're just like Miss Skeeter from "The Help". It's a great book/movie if you haven't read/seen it yet.

Anonymous said...

"3. When I asked Hayley about royalties on Twitter, she responded extremely defensively (calling my questions "negativity and accusations"), only to delete them later. Hmmm, I wonder why."

This is so sad. And it seems to be par for the course among many, though not all Youtubers to get all defensive when faced with even the mildest criticism. Hell, you can even get blocked for a harmless, non-offensive pun these days.

Rosianna: When I said DFTBA, I was actually thinking nerdfighters. Sowwy. BTW, anonymity is a wonderful thing. You'll only diss it until you miss it.

"Huge youtube following does not profits make"

Oh really? I don't think you thought about this before you wrote it, guy.

I hope the girls think long (not too long) and hard about this and revise the rules in some meaningful way, because as it is, it looks really bad.

Are they being unfairly accused? Perhaps. But this is a public thing and you can't just naively expect everyone to trust a couple of strangers.

They shouldn't write this off as just the usual "negativity". That's always a poor defense.

"What's funny to me is that people seem to be forgetting that Hayley was published in a book JUST LIKE THIS when she was younger, and obviously wasn't paid, because such is the nature of this kind of book."

This is a type of vanity publishing. Anyone who hopes to become a professional writer some day should stay well away from that shit. It can ruin your name.

"your criticism isn't constructive and is totally falling on deaf ears."

If demanding full disclosure isn't constructive criticism, I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

The first thing "they" tell you when you're starting out as an artist or creator is not to be naïve about exposure. When people promise exposure in the stead of actual pay for your labor and creation, you have to be very, very careful. Because one of two things is going to happen - 1) the book won't do well and you don't end up getting the exposure you were promised or 2) the book does well and somebody else cashes the check.

I'm not making any judgements on the girls' intentions regarding this project. If anything, I'm pretty sure their hearts were in the right place. And I commend you guys for being so honest about it, because no one else who does this kind of stuff is honest. I just want contributors to make an informed decision if they choose to submit.

maggiehanna said...

This is so exciting! Definitely worth all of the teasing you've been doing over Twitter the past few weeks. :-)

As for all of you talking so negatively about this, calm down. I don't know either Hayley or Kristina personally but if they were out to exploit their fans, I think they would be more sketch about this project. Besides, they are new to the industry of writing, editing, and publishing I doubt they will be raking in the millions and if they do, good for them. They aren't stealing your work, you are voluntarily submitting it.

Kathriller said...

This is so very very cool. You and Kristina are rocking the renaissance woman titles. You go, glenn coco.

Sarahalala said...

Hi guys,

Congratulations Hayley and Kristina on such an exciting project!!! I hope (without any pressure intended!) that you girls blog along the way about the editing and self-publishing process, because I find that super interesting.

Stupid question - I can't find the rules anywhere; the links on the website only link back to the homepage. I've seen other people say this in the comments, but tons of other people are quoting the rules, so maybe they found something I didn't?? Help? :)

My two cents about everything else being discussed. I don't see anything ethically wrong with what they are doing at all - especially since this is somewhat modelled off a complilation book that Hayley herself submitted to (without receiving compensation).

Someone mentioned earlier about how you actually are paid for Chicken Soup books ... just fyi, people are paid $200 for their successful submissions - coming from a multi-million dollar, super successful, already established franchise. They aren't given any of the profits or anything. Just to clarify.

I know that writing a story is a lot of work, and not to minimize that. BUT - I imagine that Hayley and Kristina are going to spend months of intensive work on the publishing and editing portion of the book. Far more than each individual writer would spend. This will likely involve them turning down other projects for which they would receive income. So to me, I don't see anything wrong with them having the profits from the work (not that they have said outright that they would keep all the profits).

None of this is meant to minimize anything else anyone said, obviously everyone is entitled to their opinions! Hayley and Kristina appear to have been clear (although, again, I can't find the rules) about a very cool project - everyone else can decide for themselves if they want to submit to be a part of it!

Sorrrrrrrry this is so long, I'm so long-winded. :(

Jessica said...

I take my metaphorical hat off to you ma'am. This is absolutely brilliant.

Jessica said...

"Ode to the People Accusing Hayley As A Stingy, Money Stealing Bitch"

Sorry if my writing and rhyming skills aren't very fine,

Hey, but this won't be a waste of your time!

Unusual, but oh so brilliant and witty you are,

To accuse a blogger of stealing people's money, wide and far,

Unique describes you, and how wonderful and lovely you must be!

Please, now read the first letter of each line for me.

skwiggs1983 said...

I went to the website, clicked on the rules, and it took me to the home page. i really want to submit something though.

Katie said...

Holy crap, do you people have to have everything handed to you on a platter? It took me two seconds to click the other tabs on the Less Than Three Books website and find the rules. Also, I think I remember Hayley or Kristina saying that they hope to include their own writing in the book too, so they won't JUST be doing editing, if I'm not mistaken. They're just like the captains of the ship, making sure everything comes together nicely. I'm ashamed of how some people reacted to this idea and immediately blew it off as a money-making venture, or are hesitant about submitting because they won't get monetary credit. DO IT FOR THE ART. DO IT FOR THE LOVE OF WRITING. Not that complicated.

Katie said...


"Edited by Hoover and Horner, the book is slated for release in the summer of 2012, and will be full of original short stories about love—romantic or platonic—that deal in some significant way with the Internet. This opportunity is open to anyone, from anywhere in the world, and the finished product is likely to reach an audience of thousands of people. Submissions will be accepted until January 31, 2012. Simply read over the rules, be creative, and submit your own original story!


1. Write a short story about love—be it platonic or romantic—that deals with the Internet in some significant way. (Maybe the characters discuss Facebook or meet on Skype or write blogs. It’s up to you.)

2. Submit your story to us on our submissions page before January 31, 2012. Make sure to fill out ALL sections of the given form.

3. There is no page minimum or limit for submissions, but a good guideline is between 3 and 12 double-spaced pages, or about 1,000 to 4,000 words.

4. Submissions must be fictional. If you wish to base your story off real life, please change the names of characters who represent actual people.

5. Understand that your story is not guaranteed to be chosen for publication in the book. If it is selected, you will be notified before March, 2012. If not chosen, you maintain the rights to your story and can do with it as you please.

6. If your story is chosen to be included in the book, you will be sent a waiver to sign, forfeiting your own rights to your story (meaning you can’t submit it to a magazine or other contest, nor can you post it on your blog, etc.). You will not receive any monetary royalties from the book, but your inclusion in a published work will look great on a college application or résumé. If you are under the age of 18, a guardian must be able to sign the waiver on your behalf.

7. If your story is chosen, you will work with the editors (mainly Hayley Hoover and Kristina Horner) to revise and fix up your work to prepare it for publication. After the changes are made, you will have the final say as to whether or not you still wish to have your story included in the book.

9. Do not worry about censoring your work. If a certain word or theme doesn’t fit with the tone of rest of the book, that can be addressed in the editing process.

10. Never make “Have fun!” the last item on a list of rules, because that’s cheesy."

Sarahalala said...

Katie - when I continuously went to the website, there was no "about" link. Believe me, if there was, I would have clicked on it. I finally figured out that if I opened the website in Chrome instead of Internet Explorer, the links at the top of the page would exist and work for me. Maybe other people who are having trouble can try that too. Anyways, thanks for copying and pasting the rules for me (even though it seems like it was a nuisance/made me feel stupid).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Katie, the tabs just don't appear in IE, which I'm guessing is the source of a lot of the confusion. No real need for the condescension :)

Anonymous said...

Also, just a thought - feel free to shoot me down on this! - but if the main 'reward' for successful entrants is publicity, could there perhaps be an option for them to include a couple of links to their youtube channels/blogs/etc at the end of their stories, next to their names, or something? I'm not sure how possible that is as an idea, but I feel like it's something a lot of people might appreciate.

Cissy said...

I am starting right now!! this sounds like an amazing, wonderful, fun idea.

Ann said...

It feels a little different from some compilation books, because it is not a major face-less company putting it together. It just does not go as well with their personable image.
Also, there is a reason why celebrities always play for charity when they go on game shows. The stars are already receiving publicity from their TV-appearance, it leaves a sour taste when they exploit on their celebrity-status too much.
Imagine if Lady Gaga were to use music that her fans wrote and kept the profits from her sales. Of course there are major differences in the financial circumstances involved with that situation and this one, but many of the principals are still the same. As Hayley and Kristina already have pseudo-celebrity status and owe that much to their fans, it is just seems a little unappreciative for them to try and profit off of their fans with this project as well. And they are trying to profit, because they have stated that they are trying to make this their job.
I do not think that means the girls are coming from a bad place. Honestly, it is sort of the nature of the beast. Having all of these people read their blogs and watch their videos and tell them how great they are (I also think they are really great), perhaps it is hard for them to see this scenario from a different perspective. If you are coming from a good place and believe that you are a good person, you might not realize that something you are doing can still come off in a not so good way.
I can understand the girls wanting to take advantage of the many possibilities they have been given through having such a large audience and fan-base. It seems as though they are looking at this project as being beneficial for everyone involved. And it is to some extent, just not equally beneficial. Their star status is really what makes this sort of hazy in the ethics department though. The fact that no matter how sketchy it really got (even though I do not think they are TRYING to do anything wrong), they would still sell a ton of books and receive a ton of submissions from blindly loyal and enthusiastic fans is just something to consider, as it makes the lines of morality harder to navigate. It would be nice if they laid a more black and white plan out for the profits, and if they considered giving those profits to charity a little more.

Lauren said...

Awesome! I'm so excited!!

Bekah said...

What hypocrites!

This is what I hear from you people seeing this as a bad thing:

"WHAT?! YOU'RE MAKING MONEY OFF THIS?! THAT'S HORRIBLE! YOU'RE A SELLOUT! I'M SO MAD THAT YOU ARE MAKING MONEY! Oh and by the way, can you pay me for this insignificant contribution I did? kthx."


Anonymous said...

heck yes!!! how much does it cost cuz im pre-ordering to the max

KK said...

Hayley, your website frustrates me. When I click on the 'rules' button, it takes me to the homepage. If I click on the 'submit a story' button, my screen goes white.
Is this a bug in the website or is my computer being stupid? I have a bunch of questions, and your website isn't exactly being helpful.

Emma said...

This is such a great project, and I'm so excited to submit my work. Which is probably not a good idea considering I will have Canadian exams and another story to write, but what the heck?

As for the great conversation in the comments, everyone seems to be very focused on the royalties aspect of this conversation, which I'm not as concerned about.

What I am a little hesitant about is giving away my rights to my work. I know very little about the legalities, but is there a way to maintain rights and sign a contract not permitting me to release my work until after publication? Does this require more financial means, and that's why isn't a viable option? I'd love to see Hayley and/or Kristina address this, because it's the one thing making me hesitant to enter.

This is such a great idea by two of my favourite youtubers! Hope to see more information soon.

~Alison said...

So excited about this!!
what do you mean by the 'short' version though..?

Anonymous said...

Can you submit more than one story?

Jo said...

WOOOP, I shall definately get writing as my ambition is to get a story of mine published one day!


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