publishing, Stories, Writers Co-op

Anthology Q&A

The Writers’ Co-op has decided to put together an anthology of short stories. To start off, here’s a short list of practical aspects to consider. All comments and suggestions welcome.

How many submissions do we need?

It depends (a) if there’s a maximum word count and (b) how long the anthology itself should be. I’d suggest a maximum word count of 5000, with a small tolerance if it goes above. For a book of 60,000 words, that’s 12 stories. But the book could be longer and the stories shorter, so 12 is a minimum and it could stretch to around 30.

How do we find them?

Invite submissions. It’s not a competition, so won’t be listed on a competition page like the one on Almond Press, which attracts a lot of views. The Book a Break got 75 the first year, 123 the second. Slightly less than a third made it into the anthology. How many submissions will we get by publicising on social media? No idea, but it would be nice to get 40-50. We can also send direct invitations to writers we know and appreciate.

Is there a theme?

The question is still open but there appears to be a majority saying no. And a theme adds virtually nothing to the marketing possibilities. A genre, on the other hand, makes it easier – readers type it as a search word on Amazon. Carl has suggested ‘weird’, which I like. It’s broad enough to allow for a lot of variety, from humour to horror by way of talking cats. Could even be stylistic.

Who will take care of selecting submissions, editing and formatting?

I’m quite happy to do that as it’s what I’ve been doing for the Book a Break, but ideally with someone I can call on for help when needed. Any volunteers?

What’s the calendar?

The Book a Break anthology will be released in September or October. I’d rather it didn’t clash with that, so either before or after, June/July, say, or November/December. But for the moment I’d rather not commit – let’s post submission invitations wherever we can with a deadline, I suggest, of 31st March. Some people might already have pieces ready but for anyone starting from scratch, that seems reasonable. We’ll see what happens.

How do we market it?

We will be creative, tenacious and cooperative! A committee of three or four people would be useful to come up with and implement ideas.

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11 thoughts on “Anthology Q&A

  1. GD Deckard says:

    Here’s my answers, meant mainly as suggestions.

    How many submissions do we need?
    Minimum.

    How do we find them?
    I will invite on social media. My “friends” list is 1900+ members of the writing community.

    Is there a theme?
    Nope. Hate themes. A genre may be necessary, so, OKAY with me. But if the purpose of a genre is to be can be found in word searches on Amazon, then we should use a word readers are likely to use in a search.

    Who will take care of selecting submissions, editing and formatting?
    If you’ll do this, Curtis, I will help with anything you ask of me.

    What’s the calendar?
    31 March is fine with me. That allows for publication within either of the periods that you suggested.

    How do we market it?
    Book Launch on Facebook? The one I participated in pushed the newly released anthology into the top 100 for it’s category on Amazon. I’m willing to set one up. Also happy to serve on the marketing committee.

    🙂
    Let’s make this happen!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. mimispeike says:

    Oh Lord! I have started writing the long missing opening episode (The Hamelin debacle) for book three of Sly, but I will dedicate a portion of my brain to this. I am going to try to create a story without a talking animal in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. atthysgage says:

    I like the “weird” theme suggested by Carl. That could include almost anything, of course, from talking cats to rocket ships. it’ll be up to the editors to decicde if an individual story qualifies. Incidentlally, I don’t want this all to fall on Curtis’ highly qualified shoulders, so, if he’s interested, I’d be glad to assist him with the editorial duties.

    Liked by 3 people

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