Saturday, May 3, 2014

Contributing to an Anthology

Wikipedia defines an anthology as: A collection of literary works chosen by the compiler

My question is, is it worth it to contribute to an anthology if the compiler receives royalties as part of their deal (or is the publisher), and their offer to you is a few copies of the book, and/or less than say, $100? Each writer who accepts such deals has his/his own reasons for agreeing to do so. Some say it equates to writing for free, others say in the long run, the contributor benefits. I've done it a couple of times because it felt right at the time, but I'm just curious as to whether or not my Novel Spaces authors and Novel Spaces blog followers have ever done this, or would agree to do it, and why, or why not.

I posted this question on my Facebook page recently for authors to answer, and the replies were very interesting. While I don't think money should always be the focus, the compiler eventually ends up getting paid for the project based on sales, and the contributors do not. Are you fine with this? And I'm directing this to authors, not compilers.

Thanks for your feedback. Write on!


Charles Gramlich said...

I've done it a couple of times in the past and never made a penny from them. I probably wouldn't do it now but this was before self-publishing was an option on Amazon and B&N.

Marissa Monteilh said...

That's true, Charles - I think that a lot of writers could self-pub nowadays vs. giving their story to someone else. Thanks for your feedback!

Liane Spicer said...

I've never contributed to an anthology, but I've had a story published in a journal for zero compensation. While I don't endorse writing for free, I wanted to start building credits for literary fiction, so it worked for me.

Same with anthologies, I think. It's a publishing credit for those who are in the process of building such. I do think it's unethical for the compiler to profit from other people's sweat, though. There should be a royalty arrangement.

Marissa Monteilh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marissa Monteilh said...

I agree, Liane, that there should be some sort of royalty agreement - fair share. Building credits is important, I totally understand that. I appreciate your comments.

Sunny Frazier said...

Things can get very convoluted when it comes to dividing royalties. I've been in three anthologies and bought copies for re-sale, but that's tough too when you only have two stories in the book. Now I basically give them away when I teach short story writing. Never made much money but it did get my name out there in a big way.