It’s safe to say that I love anthologies. I enjoy the teamwork a multi-author project creates. The cross-promotion is invaluable and I always glean a lot from the other authors.
1. Be flexible. Invariably, the anthology lead will make a decision that, in your opinion, is less than ideal. Think of an anthology as a commercial for your work. It matters MORE that the anthology gets into the hands of as many people as possible, into as wide a market as possible. Be willing to allow advertising venues or cover art that isn’t quite your cup of tea. Most anthologies are about reaching new customers. Discuss any differences in private messages.
2. Speak up about what matters to you. If you type the words, “I don’t care,” MEAN THEM. I’ve watched whole threads dissolve in indecision because an author’s first comment was “I don’t care” when they DID care. If you care about the outcome of a decision, by all means, voice your opinion, but don’t expect the anthology lead to pick your preference. Keep it drama-free. All the other authors will love you for it.
3. Contracts help. I know it sounds a little harsh. But a contract that delineates release date, exclusivity (or non-exclusivity), length of anthology publication, price point or other important details can be helpful to long-term satisfaction of all involved. The contract puts expectations in black and white. And it might be the first time that the participants really think hard about what’s required when they sign on.
4. Have fun. Be cheerful. Most of the authors already know that best seller status probably isn’t going to happen, but it’s nice to dream a minute before reality checks in with a bad review or lagging sales. Enjoy the process.
More thoughts from Bokerah's collaborators:
From Kimberly A. Rogers: “Compromise is king. Setting realistic goals and also building in enough time to accommodate different schedules.”
From Julie C. Gilbert: “Good communication. Flexibility (don't get attached to things one way). Responsibility (meeting deadlines). Fun (enjoy the journey). Hard work (be willing to help out where you can...you don't have to volunteer to do everything, but if you can do something, offer your services).”
From C.L. Wells: “Looking back, I think it would have been fun to start off with an icebreaker of sorts to help everyone get to know each other a little bit quicker. Some short light activities that not related to the project at hand.”
From Faith Blum: “Be flexible, willing to help wherever you can, and don't be afraid to share unusual ideas.” She adds, “I like C.L. Well's idea, too!”
About their collaborative work, Where Light May Lead
Have you ever participated in an anthology? Any tips to share or questions for my guests?