Top Secret Anthology Project

Well, OK, it’s not really a Top Secret anthology project, although I am keeping some of the details under wraps for now. The origin of the project stems from how I tend to think about things:

You can wait for good things to happen or you can make them happen.

Now, I’ve been involved in the creation of several “friends & family” anthologies through my primary writing group. They’re fun projects, and several of us have managed to build our book production skills up to a professional level doing them. But…well…the content is a little more problematic—anybody in the group who submits a story gets in, regardless of their skill level. And that doesn’t really make for a marketable anthology, at least not at the level that starts paying bills.

If that sounds like I’m coming down on those group anthology projects, I’m not. They’re excellent projects, teaching folks to write to a deadline, sign a real contract (at least for the next one), produce a professional-calber project, etc. But writing is a business, and business requires the capability to evaluate activities in a practical and critical manner…these projects aren’t going to make me money (although the gaining of new skills has definitely been a benefit).

My thought process went like this…

What if I put together my own anthology? If I could get good stories, then I’d have an anthology that might really be marketable. Well, I didn’t have a private relationship with lots of good authors, but I did know a few that were reliable. OK, so let’s make it an anthology of longer stories, maybe 10K – 20K words. So, five stories would make a solid anthology.

I picked four writers immediately (three other authors plus myself), and they were all amenable to the project when I laid out for them exactly how it was going to be run. That left me with one slot to fill, for which I put out a moderately open Call for Stories on the theme of Fantastic Defenders:

Looking for novelettes or short novellas in a fantasy setting featuring heroes defending against the forces of evil. Examples range from a royal bodyguard defending an infant princess against a well-organized assassination attempt to an aged bureaucrat defending an empire using only his wits. No elfie-welfie fiction.

The target publication date for the anthology is May 5, 2017, just in time for Balticon. The anthology will be available in ebook, trade paperback and audio. It will be published by Tannhauser Press.

I’ll post more details as the project continues…

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