Pros and Cons of participating in an Anthology

Every now and then we hear of anthologies getting announced by numerous Publication Houses. Some of them are paid and some of them are unpaid anthologies. I have seen so many debates going around the established authors that should we participate in such anthologies or not, so that gave me an idea to come up with Pros and Cons of participating in an anthology.

We’ll start with cons:

  • Sales of Anthologies is almost nil: The idea of mass participation and publishing the best ones was a great one. Earlier the sales of these kind of anthologies were really good as well but now, with the coming of Anthologies by every other publishing house, the credibility and the content of these anthologies have degraded a lot and hence, it reflected over the sales as well.
  • Your near and dears are not going to spend: If you are participating in these anthologies because you think that your friends, colleagues and family will support you on this, you’re wrong. No one will spend 150 to 200 bugs to read 10 pages (1 story) of yours. Rather than that, publish it on a blog or make a collection and publish a short story collection exclusively of yours.
  • Tag of ‘Anthology Writer’: If you’re among those who writes for every another anthology, you’ll be tagged as ‘anthology writer’ and no one will support you when your novel will release because of the same tag.
  • ‘Anthology – Business’: For most of the publishers, anthology is the other name of making quick money. So try to stay away from paid anthologies (do read the pros of the paid anthologies as well).

There are many more cons of participating in anthologies but all are directly or indirectly related to the points mentioned above. Now we’ll talk about the pros, because no-one actually talks about the pros of participating in anthologies.

Pros of participating in anthologies:

  • Helps you to find out the working of the publishing house: This point is for paid anthologies. If you are thinking to go for self publication, it is better to participate in their anthologies first and see the internal structure of the working of the house by investing 3000 to 4000 bucks before investing 40 to 50k for the final novel. I did this with the Gargi Publication. I participated in an anthology and that went really well, so decided to publish ‘Hey Dad! Meet my mom’ with them.
  • Helps you in breaking writer’s block: There are times when you’re unable to write. You are having so many pending novels but are unable to write them down completely. That’s the time to go for anthologies. Participate in some by writing short stories and when you’ll see your name on those marvelous pages, the thirst of completing the novel will automatically rise.
  • Try a new genre: As I said earlier, the distribution of such anthologies is really small. So these are the best platform if you want to experiment with your writing skills.
  • Sharpen your skills: Writing short stories helps in sharpening you skills and if the anthology is based on some theme, then it will even challenge you and hence will provide you a platform where you can fight with yourself which will inturn help in your own good. But do this only with unpaid anthologies.

Summing it up, writing and participating in anthologies can be good as well as bad, so before participating, be clear with the intentions of yours for doing so.

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