Last year I was lucky enough to participate in a holiday-themed anthology called A Spirited Season, with my good pals Karen Cantwell and Laura Lucas. We each contributed two stories with a Christmas paranormal theme, packaged 'em up and put 'em on sale. (Side note: A Spirited Season is available on Kindle, Nook and Kobo, and all proceeds go to the Children's Miracle Network.)
So let's say you're a writer, and you want to get some work out there, but you're not sure if you're ready to publish your novel (either indie publishing or traditional publishing). Putting out an anthology is a great way to get yourself some exposure and let readers know who you are. Plus, it's fun!
If you're interested in putting together an anthology, here are a few tips to get you started:
1) Grab some friends. Well, don't literally grab them, but talk to your writing buddies and see who might want to participate. Make sure that your anthology partners are willing to help with the extraneous, administrative functions involved. (More on that in step three.)
2) Pick a theme. One of the challenges of an anthology is the differences in author writing styles. Sometimes a reader falls in love so hard with one particular author's style that it can be jarring to finish one short story and go right into another. Having a theme eases the transition and adds to the fun! For A Spirited Season, my friends and I obviously chose Christmas. While holiday themes are fun and provide a little bit of help with marketing, they do have a limited sales life, as you'll only really be able to push the marketing at a certain time of year. But whatever your theme, make it one you all love and can enjoy writing about.
3) Divide the labor. Okay, in a nutshell, here is a list of non-writing-related tasks that will need to be done to put out your anthology:
- Cover design.
- Conversion to e-book formats.
- Distribution of funds.
4) Write, edit, proofread. Whether you hire a professional editor and proofreader, or trade off and co-edit each other's stories, make sure you're putting out your best work. Short stories give you fewer words with which to impress the reader, so make 'em count!
5) Upload and announce! Once your anthology is available for purchase, let the announcement ring from the highest mountaintop! Nothing is more fun than seeing your work in print, and nothing is more rewarding than hearing from readers who loved it. So, enjoy!
Have you ever participated in an anthology? What was your experience like?