We all want that shiny new book with our own byline on the cover. Believe me, you never get tired of that. But while you’re working on your bestseller, consider trying for publication in an anthology. Anthologies collect works by different writers in one volume. While the fees are usually modest, and you probably won’t collect royalties, it’s still a great way to get published. Books last a lot longer than magazines, newspapers, or online publications. Somebody else handles the nitty-gritty details of publication, along with most of the sales and distribution, and you have the company of other writers. You may be invited to do readings with the other authors and to help with publicity in your neighborhood. And it provides an impressive credit on your resume.
One of my stories for which I’ve been seeking a market for years fit perfectly into the upcoming book, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. Editors Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger are part of the HerStories Project, which specializes in anthologies by women writers. If you click on http://selz.co/1qL5i1k, you can get a discount and receive your copy two weeks before the official mid-September publication date. If you need it, my discount code is EX2014SL. Yes, I’m doing my part for pre-publicity. But this is going to be a great book.
Other anthologies I have appeared in include Humor for a Boomer’s Heart,Writer’s Digest Handbook of Making Money Freelance Writing, A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer’sand A Cup of Comfort for a Better World. Unfortunately, the Cup of Comfort Series is no longer publishing new books, and the humor and freelance books were one-shot deals. But there are other anthologies to shoot for. The most famous is the Chicken Soup series, which is always looking for essays. Find topics and guidelines here. At pw.org, you can find a listing for a men’s anthology and several others. The deadline has passed, but earlier this year, writers were invited to submit stories for an anthology about rejection. For more possibilities, check your favorite writing sites and publications or do a search for “Calls for submissions + anthologies.”
Some anthologies such as the The Best American Essays 2013 and the The Pushcart Prize XXXVIII: Best of the Small Presses 2014 anthologies contain previously published works submitted by the editors of literary journals and other publications. But there are always some anthologies seeking direct submissions from writers like us. Keep your eyes open, write a piece that fits, and submit.
Now go write.