Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Why I like writing for anthologies

If anyone is paying attention, it seems of late (perhaps the last year or two, even), that all of my work has been self published. There is truth to this. But that does not mean I've given up on traditional publishing. I've just been so busy catching up with the indie publishing market.

I do send out a short story here and there to editors, though I've not sent out a novel in a good long while. As for literary agents, I don't feel the need for one.

All that being said, I've found more personal pleasure in working with anthology editors. For the most part, I no longer have to send out short stories "over the transom." I hear about an anthology, or often enough are contacted by the editor of an anthology, and am asked if I would like to submit a story. This is a nice feeling. My stories are not automatically accepted based upon my name, of course, but so far I've not had a story turned down.

Right now I have two stories scheduled to appear in anthologies sometime in the next six months or so, with the possibility of a third. I'd tell more, but the editors haven't gone public with their anthologies yet, so I'll keep the details to myself.

I have found that I quite enjoy writing short stories for the anthology market, more so than I ever did for the magazine market. I've thought about why this is, and I've come up with three reasons.

1.) There's the acceptance I mentioned above. No, not automatic acceptance of my stories, but acceptance of me as a writer. I don't have to go begging to an editor, hoping, hoping, hoping they will take time to look at my story. With anthology editors, especially those with whom I already have some kind of relationship, I know my story is going to be read. If it's going to be read, I feel fairly confident the story will be included in the anthology.

2.) I find anthologies something of a challenge, mainly because anthologies tend to be themed. And I mean this as a good thing. Such a challenge gets my mind working, gets me to thinking of possibilities, perhaps more so than when I'm working on my own material.

3.) One of the things I really like about anthologies, and a reason I think they are becoming more popular, is that they last forever (at least seemingly so). With the magazine market, your story gets read for a month and then is discarded, more or less. With anthologies, your story can be around for years, decades even. I like that. Not only is it nice for the writer's ego, but it's a semi-permanent way to market oneself.

5 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Some of the stuff I've written for anthologies has been the best material I've done. At least I feel so. I think that's because the anthologies challenge me to break out of my more standard thought patterns as to what kind of story I want to write.

Ty Johnston said...

Charles, about the "best material I've done," I'm right with you. I feel the best short stories I've written were for anthologies, though unfortunately one of the anthologies fell through.

But I still got the story out of it. :-)

David J. West said...

I hear that, I've been letting my novel plans sit by the wayside a bit too much as I get jazzed for different antho's.

I think a big reason for that is how much I loved the S&S fantasy collections growing up and how now I want to be in those type of collections and reach that same audience.

Ty Johnston said...

David, I agree. I'd like to see more S&S anthos out there. Maybe they are there and I'm missing them. Since RBE has undergone change, I've lost touch with that market.

David J. West said...

That's the problem - you haven't missed them.

There are a couple coming up, Swords & Mythos (but it might be more PC than I would like - dunno yet) and Thunder on the Battlefield, I'm also preparing something for Pulp Empires, The Barbarian Coast, but those are the only ones I can think of coming up, they are too far and few between...
or they die like
Roar of the Crowd, Through Blood and Iron, etc