Today we’re talking about what you need to consider before you sign up for an anthology. If you haven’t already checked out the episode on understanding publishing contracts, I highly recommend that you do so as well.
Participating in anthologies can be an awesome way to reach new audiences, support great causes, make some extra money, and build your author community. Whether you’re at the beginning of your author journey or you’ve been at it for years, anthologies can be an excellent choice. But, for anyone that’s ever been part of a group project in school, you know that not everything always goes as swimmingly as intended. There’s a lot to take into consideration before you sign your contract. Let’s walk through some things to pay attention to when you’re looking into anthologies to participate in.
Does the organizer have experience?
There’s nothing wrong with signing on for an anthology that’s run by a first time organizer, but you might run into more snags with organizers that are still finding their footing. You might have questions that they’re not prepared to answer.
If there are other participants that are familiar with anthologies that can go a long way to smoothing out the gaps in the organizers knowledge.
Don’t be afraid to ask around about what kind of experience people have had with the organizer so you’re not going in blind and can decide if it’s right for you. The whisper network stretches far, but sometimes you have to specifically ask to get the info that you’re looking for.
Do you understand the terms of the contract? If you don’t, is the organizer willing to clarify and explain the terms?
A reminder that if you haven’t already checked out my episode on understanding publishing contracts, please do so. This is very important info. It will help give you better footing when approaching contracts and I go over everything there that you should be looking for.
If you have questions or need clarification, does your organizer respond with the information you need? Do they take any concerns seriously? Are they willing to discuss and, if needed, amend the contract based on the feedback and concerns of the potential participants? If the organizer is dismissive of your concerns, or they have no idea how to answer your questions, that’s a red flag.
Can you afford the buy-in?
I have seen buy-ins range from zero dollars to over $300. Numbers like that are not attainable for all authors so it’s important to keep that in mind when you are looking at anthologies.
If the anthology has a list of experienced authors with established platforms, then it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to make your money back and more, but if it’s a collective of newbies who are all starting out with no audience, then you may have to work a little bit harder to make that money back.
Like I mentioned in the episode on understanding publishing contracts, it should be clearly laid out what the buy-in money is going to be used for. If that information is not readily available, feel free to request that it be added to the contract prior to signing.
Do you have time to fulfill all your obligations?
Plenty of authors have multiple projects going at once, and if you’re not a ninja-fast writer then you might be committing some mild hubris by signing onto an additional project where people are relying on you to complete things by a certain date.
Everything that you’re expected to provide, from the length of the story, to the editing for it, to individual covers for promotion, to marketing material, promotional obligations, etc. and all the dates for those should be explicitly laid out in the contract.
Some things that you might be expected to do to promote the anthology would be sharing it in your newsletter, creating your own social media posts, participating in release parties or other events, etc. If you don’t have a newsletter or active social media platforms, maybe consider getting those rolling so you’re able to contribute to promotion along with the other participants.
Do the goals of the anthology align with your own goals?
Some anthologies are just to make money, which is always great in an industry that’s hard to make it in, the team effort can be invaluable.
Some anthologies are raising money for charity, which is great for community building but if you’re already strapped for funds that might not be something you can pursue. They can be good for a tax write-off though, so be sure that you get a proof of donation or a split receipt from the organizer depending on what your personal taxes require.
And finally, some anthologies are seeking that sweet, sweet international recognition of getting on a best-seller list, which can be great for your street cred, and also your pocketbook since you have to sell a lot to get on those lists. But you might be faced with a ton more promotional obligations to make that happen.
Make sure you understand what the anthology is trying to do and make sure that it fits with your finances and availability.
Do you already write content that fits the theme of the anthology and can you bring an audience with you?
While it’s not always necessary to have a built-in audience to bring with you, it does help contribute to the success of an anthology if the participants are bringing their readers with them. Some anthologies rely on submissions and in those cases they might select authors that already have an established platform, but it never hurts to pitch yourself anyway. If you’re trying to break into a particular subgenre or start writing with new themes then an anthology can be a great way for you to reach a new audience for that.
A good way to learn if you like doing anthologies is to do them. They’re one of those things that you can’t get a great sense for until you’re in the thick of it, but hopefully if you consider some of the things we talked about today you’ll be able to choose the best one for you and have a positive experience.
That’s all for now. You can find all of my books and platforms in the description below. If you have questions or suggestions for future episodes, please do let me know. And if you’d like early access to these you can join my Patreon where I share them with people as soon as they’re ready to roll. Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you soon for another episode!
First Heat Series – m/f, 3rd person POV
First Heat: https://books2read.com/FirstHeat
First Heat: Second Chances: https://books2read.com/FHSC
First Heat: Tying The Knot: https://books2read.com/FirstHeatTTK
Heat Play Love – m/m/m, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/HeatPlayLove
Conference Confidential – m/f, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/ConferenceConfidential
2021 Omegaverse Collection – contains First Heat, First Heat: Second Chances, Heat Play Love, Conference Confidential, and 2 bonus shorts https://books2read.com/OV2021
Nicky and the Night Owls: Part One – polyamorous (m/f/nb/f/nb/m), multi 1st person POV https://books2read.com/NickyNightOwls
Nicky and the Night Owls: Part Two – polyamorous (m/f/nb/f/nb/m), multi 1st person POV – currently on preorder https://books2read.com/NickyNightOwls2
Knotty or Nice Christmas Anthology – (my story is based on Nicky and the Pack) – https://books2read.com/knotty-or-nice
Salacious Salvation – m/f, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/SalaciousSalvation
Playtime with Professor – m/f, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/PlaytimeWithProfessor
PARANORMAL Into The Depths – f/nb, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/intothedepths
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