Anthology books have been gaining in popularity ever since the success of Jack Canfield’s “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. An anthology book contains many short stories, all contributed by different authors.
If you’re like me and prefer short, impactful, to-the-point stories then this type of book is great to read, but if you’re thinking about participating as a writer in an anthology, there are a few things to consider before taking the plunge.
- Leverage – You guys know me by now. I’m all about leveraging anything and everything, where possible. With this kind of book model, there is a HUGE opportunity to leverage each other’s subscriber lists and credibility.
- Lets you dip your toe in the water of writing a book – Because you’re limited to specific number of words, there is less effort and time required on your part.
- You’re one author among many – This type of book does not position you as an expert. On the contrary, it amplifies you as one of many rather than unique and can give the perception that you’re a small-time player who doesn’t have the ability to stand out as an expert in your own right.
- Someone else produces it – Having an expert to navigate the process of publishing the book is a definite advantage considering all the moving parts involved in the publishing process. After all, you still have a business to run, so participating in an anthology project means someone else is doing all the heavy lifting.
- Little or no creative and production choices – The downside to this however is that contributing authors have little or no input to the finished product, the cover, the order of chapters, the marketing efforts, or the pricing.
- A word of advice here….Be sure to check out the producing author’s other work to get a sense of their commitment and standards. The last thing you want to do is get tied up in a book project where you have little control over the finished project and it comes out making you look like an an amateur. It’s your brand and reputation on line so do some homework before committing.
- Cost – It won’t cost you anything to get published (sometimes) – Some people who produce anthology books will do so without asking for any financial commitment. In this case, their goal is to leverage your list to build theirs and to fill pages within the book.
However, most anthology producers will charge between $7k and $10K with the promise of making you a best selling author. They interview you, publish the book, and give you a few print copies. The catch – YOUR name is not on the by-line, meaning anyone searching your name or business will not find it on Amazon, Google or anywhere else. You will be buried deep between the covers of the book and you’ll be paying thousands of dollars for this. The goal of these anthology projects are only filling pages and creating revenue for the producer.
- You receive NO royalties. Although some anthology books are produced with the intent of donating all the net proceeds to a charitable organization, it’s rare that an author ever verifies this is actually happening.
Get a few people together whose work you respect, and create your own anthology book! Let me be clear here – when I say a few, I mean less 5 or less. Depending on the goal of your book, select potential authors who have complementary businesses rather than competitive services.
Using this strategy you will be able to successfully:
- Maintain control over who participates
- Leverage outstanding, premium content
- Leverage subscriber lists and list building opportunities
- Maintain creative control
- Maintain financial control
- SHINE A SPOTLIGHT on your business and/or services, rather than being lost among many other authors