Thursday, December 12, 2013

Creating Anthologies - Writers Reveal - December 2013

It's time for another Writer's Reveal! This month, my topic was sent to me by Emily Morgan from Emily Morgan Writes. The topic she sent was: "What is the hardest thing about coordinating the release of an anthology of stories by different writers?"

There are a lot of things that go into putting together an anthology with stories written by many different people. Some of them are fun and many of them are time-consuming, and a few things are really frustrating.

I create anthologies using Word. Word can be a very frustrating program to use. When I cut and paste people's stories from their documents into my own, often times, there is hidden code within their text that  cannot be seen by my naked eye, and although everything will look perfectly fine on the page, when I go to publish it, either on Kindle or in print, suddenly, everything in that part of the anthology goes haywire. It will often take me much more time than is healthy for me to find what tiny bit of code is causing the problem.

And Word comes up with some random problems. Something that might work fine in a print file will be off-center in a Kindle file for no apparent reason. Again, it means hunting up tiny bits of code that are causing the problem and fixing it. Have I mentioned that I am not someone who knows much more about html than how to center something using it?

Another issue I have to work around is the fact that most of the authors in my anthology are from different countries. I have authors from Australia, the USA and the United Kingdom writing for the anthologies, and I have to work out whether I am seeing a genuine spelling error or a difference in languages. English changes depending on which country a person is from who is speaking or writing it. I solved this problem when I publsihed "Teapot Tales: A Collection of Unique Fairy Tales" by publishing two versions of it, one with US spellings and one with UK spellings. (I live in the UK, but was born and raised in the US. I hope I got all of the UK spellings correct, and no one has complained about them, so I will assume I did.)  For other anthologies, I have left each individual story with the spelling it was meant to have by the author (and I often have to recheck where each author is from to make sure, again, that it is correct for his or her country and not, instead, a spelling error on his or her part).

Proofreading is tedious, but necessary when creating an anthology (or any publsihed work), and I do it many, many times before the anthology gets published.

However, although I have mentioned some of the difficult things about creating anthologies, I also have to mention how much I love doing it. There is something so wonderful about holding the finished product in my hand, hearing from readers how much they loved the stories, and collaborating with other authors to create something so incredibly timeless.

I also have to mention how fantastic all of the contributing authors have been, as well as the contributing illustrators and cover artists.

Below are some of the places where the anthologies I have created and edited can be bought.

"Teapot Tales: A Collection of Unique Fairy Tales"

"Jingle Bells: Tales of Holiday Spirit from around the World"

"SuperHERo Tales: A Collection of Female Superhero Stories"

Here are the other authors joining in with Writer's Reveal this month:


Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me said...

My goodness Becky your mind must be as sharp as a tack to do all this! I'm not sure I could do it. Thanks for your insights! Have a Merry Christmas!

Unknown said...

Wow, looks like a lot of work goes into putting together an anthology! I don't know if I'd be able to pull it off. At least you enjoy doing it! Great post, and excellent work!