Publishing Anthologies, How it Works.

So first off, Before I continue with my post I have an announcement…and a reminder. The Announcement is that there was so many wonderful stories submitted for Nightmare Whispers that Cyn and I had to split it into two volumes, and still have the unfortunate task of rejecting some very wonderful pieces. The reminder is that the deadline for both Nightmare Whispers and Fae Dreams is fast approaching. Which is part of why I am doing this post.
Ok, we have all done this…Submitted our writing and then the wait…it is us sitting there wondering what the publisher is doing. How hard is it to just read the submission and send out an email saying Yes or no? What is taking them so long? Well I plan on explaining that here. Each anthology we plan starting with a Title, a theme, and a rough publication date. We will use Fae Dreams as an example. It will be released on October first. We set a date for the Call for submissions deadline : August 31st. That gives us a month to get it edited, organized, and published. That is not a lot of time.

During the time between the idea being had and the announcement of the Call for Submissions I usually work on the Cover design. I personally like to give the Cover Reveal with the Call so that the one’s who are submitting can gather inspiration from the design. That is really just an aesthetic choice. After the Call goes out, but after the submissions start, Cyn and I read what comes in. We decide whether it is a good fit. Our decision is based on three factors…1. Does it fit the theme of the anthology? This is such a hard one because people see differing things as fitting a theme…and we have perhaps a view for the anthology that may not fit the piece we were sent. 2. is the piece any good? this is not always as obvious as you might think. Some pieces can be made better with editing…some cannot. If the plot is not there, or the characters fall flat…or the piece is a giant run-on sentence…well it may be out of mine and Cyndi’s ability to edit. And the last factor is simple, Does it fit with everything else? Most of the time, if it is yes to the first two, it will fit. However, in the Case of Nightmare Whispers, It was tricky. I believe we solved that when we split it.

Nightmare Whispers will be released, both volumes, On October 31. We feel that gives the authors time. We will announce who is in it, and what volume they will be in on Thursday the tenth. We have a Slack channel and a messenger group for the authors to communicate should there be need. Cyndi will take half, and I will of course take the other half. We will “edit” the stories. I put the word edit in parenthesis because in truth we do a suggested edits. We tell the author where we think they should adjust their writing. Then we return the file to the authors and give them a deadline. It is expected that they edit the story themselves and return it to us by the deadline. For NW we will likely have the deadline as October 1st. Then I will take the stories and organize them and format the anthology for publication. I always do the format as it is a part of the process that requires a specific amount of fighting with it. Desktop publishing is not an easy task. We upload the file to Draft2digital, and if needed Amazon. We always set it up at least two weeks to a month ahead so that we can offer a pre-order while we attend to the details. During the pre-order we send out a pdf to the authors involved and ask them to look over the book. This allows for them to catch errors that may have escaped editing and formatting. After all we want our anthologies to be the best we are able to produce. We design, and encourage the authors to do the same. some promo images to promote the book.

Many publishers don’t have the authors to do promos because it makes the promotion images all unique. They want a streamlined promotion. We think that the input from the authors make our promotion more organic, and more real.

We have our Slack set up, and We will be sending a permission to the authors for the Anthology that they are in…but you are welcome to join us in Slack if you are interested. Here is the Invite. There is some rooms for brainstorming and general discussion. The authors will be added to private rooms for discussion of the anthology that they are in. We debated about opening up a Discord server…but decided that slack is more professional. There is an ability to chat, but it allows for a more work based enviroment.

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