The Power of Anthologies
What is an anthology? You probably know it as a series of short stories, usually with a common theme, in one neat little package. That is the reader’s perspective. From over here in Marketing Land, an anthology is a beautiful bit of promotional genius. Here’s why: Even before the self-publishing boom that turned out a lot of… let’s say unfinished, books, readers had favorite authors. What is worse than finishing your favorite author’s most recent book? Waiting for the next one! Anthologies allow readers to find authors who are similar to their favorites and give them something to read while they wait, possibly even finding a new favorite author. This is awesome for readers and authors alike.
Being in an anthology or boxset is great way to gain readers and exposure, as long you stick to the genre. You don’t want to add your epic fantasy to a romance anthology. Hopefully, that would never even be an option, but I have seen stranger things in this new publishing world.
Here are the three main benefits to having a story in an anthology.
- Exposure: If you are in a box set with a more popular author, you will be very likely to gain readership from that one publication. And with new readers come new sales. As long as you retain the rights to your stories and characters, you can use anthologies as tiny little promotional tools to show readers your voice and the world you created. You might also discover a new world and character that spawns full-length fiction down the road.
- It’s easier: If you are not the one putting it together, all you have to do is make sure your piece is polished and will leave the best impression with readers. The cover, formatting and distribution will be left to the people who are creating it.
- You get experience and can even make friends: If you are submitting your piece and not communicating a whole lot with the other authors, you might not get this benefit. You can always look up the others, and you should do some research on them anyway. You need to make sure your name isn’t being associated with people who provide less than finished work, or promote something you don’t support. If you buy copies and give them to people you know or maybe use them in a giveaway, you are helping not only yourself, but the other authors as well. Find out if the other authors are planning to do the same thing, and suggest it if they aren’t. Suggest making a Facebook group so you can help each other out. Authors supporting other authors is a huge part of the indie publishing boom, and one of the best things to come of it.
So there you have it, three reasons to take part in an anthology, or even start one of your own!