A Collection of Short Stories in Indonesia Rare Sold, Why?

A collection of short stories (Indonesia: Kumpulan cerpen – Kumcer) that were booked, literacy practices since the time when horses bit iron. However, during that time, his behavior was the same: it never sold as a commodity. What’s wrong?

“Rarely sells” is certainly relative. This is certainly related to the category of book sales behavior by publishers, which classifies three: fast moving, moderate, and slow moving.

The first category, sold well in a year 3,000 copies. The second category, breaking even, namely capital (X) versus money in (Y) in the calculation of bank interest rates is equivalent to selling 1,500 copies / year. The third category, sold under 1,500 copies/year.

Kumcer never moved up forever. It remained in the no-safe zone, never selling above 1,500 copies/year.

The short stories booked, even if they are hundreds of pages thick, are still short stories. It has never been called a novel. Because the story is loose, even though it is sorted out by theme. The story is not complete. The events are singular, in contrast to the novel.

Kumcer is less marketable. This is related to Indonesian consumer behavior: prefer to read once sitting, because if continued then it will lose the mood. That is why, short stories are called “newspaper literature”.

However, short stories that have been published before if recorded are “better” than new short stories altogether. This is related to a kind of “accreditation”, because short stories that have been published, usually have been selected by field editors and undergo an editing process.

Since the time of A.A. Navis, “the fall of our surau”; The short stories scattered everywhere, have already been booked. This is a kumcer published in 1956. There are 10 short stories in it. In the 1980s, the kumcer Orang Bloomington (Budi Darma) and a  (Seribu Kunang-kunang di Manhattan (Thousand Fireflies in Manhattan) Umar Kayam were published which had become a byword. Including No Loving Flowers: A Collection of Short Stories by Kuntowijoyo.

The discussion about kumcer was still exciting in the 1990s with the publication of Kompas’s Selected Short Story kumcer. Namely the publication of short stories that have been published daily which is more than half a century old. Although supported by the country’s largest store outlet, kumcer books still have not moved from books with the “slow moving” category.

However, what feels quite phenomenal, is the work of Leila S. Chudori, 9 from Nadira. Following Because We Don’t Know Farida Susanty’s Work.

Interestingly, there was a kumcer that was reissued and then changed its title. Usually, the title kumcer takes the title of one of the short stories that are considered the best and representative. Or, a digest strung together in three to five words that reflect all the story.
For example, kumcer was reissued and retitled: Bukavu (Helvy Tiana Rosa) became Juragan Haji, Another Man in a Piece of Letter (Budi Darma) previously titled Kritik Adinan, Lips in Pipot (Hamsad Rangkuti) was retitled to Will You Erase His Lip Marks on My Lips with Your Lips.

A new era, a new medium. Media convergence is like filling each other, not negating each other. The digital generation is increasingly creative in packaging stories to become more pithy, as well as selling as commodities. Creative short stories by Cari Aku di Cantik (Wa Ode Wulan Ratna), A Piece of Twilight for My Girlfriend (Seno Gumira Ajidarma), Milana: Women Waiting for Dusk (Bernard Coal), Rectoverso (Dee Lestari), or They Say, I am a Monkey! (Djenar Maesa Ayu).

Short stories are not shortened novels. But a short story can be developed into a novel. Depth and only the surface characterize it. Because of this, many people feel dissatisfied with short stories, and then satisfy themselves through novels.

In that case, kumcer can never sell well as a commodity. The number of fingers next to is reprinted. In contrast to novels that from the industry side can enrich the publisher as well as the author. Saman (Ayu Utami) novel for example. First published in 1999, the novel is reprinted 5 times a year. Since its publication, it has been reprinted dozens of times.

Novels, in contrast to short stories, have an industry-bandwagon side. Novels can be translated into soap operas or movies. The industry value is limitless! The author signs a chapter of the Publishing Agreement that mentions the existence of that side of the industry. Moreover, in the era of creative economy, writing novels can be a profession.

But short stories have limited space for movement because of their characteristics. If in the book business two ways increase turnover: from increasing the number of goods or increasing sales. For kumcer, it is musykil to increase sales. Only one creative way: publishing a new kumcer!

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Masri Sareb Putra
Articles: 729

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