Friday, June 24, 2011

Guest Blogger JC Martin: Compiling an Anthology Part 2

I love you guys so much I couldn't leave you with nothing while I unplugged. Today I'm bringing you the awesome JC Martin! This week is her mini blog tour celebrating the release of Stories for Sendai which comes out next week...

First off, big thanks for Charity for allowing me to hijack her blog for a good cause!

This is part 2 of a post detailing the processes involved in compiling an anthology, and deals with the publication aspects. For part 1 on dealing with submissions and deadlines, check out yesterday’s post on Susan Field’s blog! And do follow the rest of the Blog Tour de Force: check out the schedule here!

OK, so we’ve announced our intention to compile a charity anthology. We’ve received the submissions and selected our favourites. Now what?

Step 5: Decide on Publication Format(s)

Was this going to be an eBook? Or will it be in print? We decided to release the anthology in both formats to widen our reach.

Step 6: Find a Publisher

This was an ongoing mission from the start of the project. We had a couple of options for this: one, to find a publisher willing to do this for free in the name of charity, or two, to go it on our own. In the end, we decided that publishing the anthology via Amazon’s CreateSpace would incur the least overheads.

Step 7: Layout & Formatting

As we were publishing the anthology on our own, we had to sort out the book’s layout and formatting on our own, i.e. the final ‘look’ of the pages. It was a big job, and one my co-editor Michelle Davidson Argyle took on with much aplomb. The good thing is, we had final say in everything: the font, text size, spacing, etc.

Step 8: Copyediting

Now that the compiled entries had started to look more like a whole book, it was time to put on our editing goggles. We read through each and every entry, keeping our eyes out for any typos and errors. As we wanted the contributing author’s individual writing style to shine through, we tried not to impose sweeping changes in sentence and structure, and any suggested edits were discussed with the writers themselves. I find printing everything out and going through it with a red pen helps reduce eye strain from staring at a computer screen all day!

Step 9: Off to the Printers! Publicise, Publicise, Publicise (Again)!

Finally, the anthology is complete! As we wait for release day, it was time to up the ante on publicity: blog tours, contests, plugging it on our blogs, Twitter, Facebook...the whole shebang! After all, the more copies we sell, the more we can help Japan, and the more exposure we can give our contributing authors, who have so generously donated their stories for such an amazing cause!

Speaking of publicity...;)

Don’t forget to buy your copy of Stories for Sendai when it releases on June 30th! If everybody buys a copy on the same day, it’ll help boost the book’s rankings on the Amazon charts, and further increase our exposure! Also, we’re running a contest! Just purchase a copy of the anthology and email us the receipt, and you’ll be entered in a draw for uber-cool prizes, including manuscript or query critiques! Visit the Stories for Sendai site for more details!


  1. Hi JC, hi Charity!

    You've done such an excellent job on the anthology - and in amazing time too! Thank you for the guides as to how you accomplished this - I'll buy on the day to help boost :-)

  2. Congratulations again, JC! A labor of love.

  3. Wow, you guys put so much effort into this. Congratulations!

  4. JC and Michelle have been awesome. I'll do all I can to boost sales on the 30th!

  5. I would buy the anthology the 30th even if I did not have a story in it. It is a noble, grand crusade. How many of those do any of us get to participate in? You did a Herculean job. Bravo! Roland

  6. Wonderful post! It has been an honor to work on this with you, J.C.!

  7. Way cool. I've just been setting up my own tour post, and I'm glad I visited Charity before she unplugs.

    It was a pleasure reading about the process Michelle and JC.


  8. Thanks for the comments, guys! And your support is greatly appreciated! As of release day today, I'm happy to see the sales for the print books going up! :)


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