There is a saying that sometimes you need to get your feet wet before you jump in the water.
Many writers who want to publish a book, take their first step by writing one chapter in a compilation of stories called an anthology.
What is an Anthology?
An anthology book is a collection of short fiction, poetry or nonfiction works (or excerpts) by a variety of authors. Typically, the book is organized around a particular subject, theme, writing style or genre.
One of the most successful anthology book series has been the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.
Each book in the series is a collection of inspirational stories targeted at various markets such as pet lovers, cancer patients, nurses, new moms, runners, gardeners—the list is exhaustive.
Participation in an anthology can be by invitation for free, for pay (share of royalties or flat fee) or pay to participate, meaning that authors pay to be included in the book. In the business arena, paid anthologies are common since authors use the opportunity to promote themselves. Some projects also require authors to purchase a certain number of books either in addition to any fee or in lieu of a fee.
Authors are provided with a list of guidelines for writing and submitting drafts for their segments of the book.
The compiler or publisher bears the costs of producing the book to include editing, graphic design, layout, proofing, publishing, printing, marketing, and distribution, and retains the right to reject any author’s submission or participation in the project.
4 Benefits of Being Part of an Anthology
Less effort: Self-publishing or getting published by a regular publishing house can be quite a project! An anthology only requires authors to submit a segment and leave those details to the editor and publisher. This allows authors to concentrate on creating their best work.
Less cost: Depending on the nature of the anthology agreement, a writer can purchase books instead of a fee or pay a small participation fee which is a fraction of the cost of self-publishing. The compiler of the anthology picks up the tab for editing, design, cover design, proofreading, distribution, and launch.
In good company: Some anthologies gather top authors and experts. So, being included with recognized writers can afford less famous writers the benefit of being considered on par with them.
Today’s business card. Being able to say, “I’m one of the authors of _____” can carry a lot of weight for writers who are seeking additional writing opportunities. The book becomes a great business card! It says that someone of note considered them and their work worthy to be included.
The contacts you make can lead to a larger marketing pool. The other authors are going to market the anthology to their readers. This essentially means you get free marketing to a different audience simply because your work is compiled in the same place. It also means you might be able to market a little less than you do for your singular works because several people will be sharing this information. (No need to overdo the marketing and make readers tired of the promo.)
Here are some recent Anthology Projects we managed.
Managing Director, Publish and Promote