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Saturday, February 13, 2021

Book Versus Anthology by Jennifer J. Chow

I just finished going through the first pass pages (a typeset manuscript resembling the finished product) for an upcoming anthology, Midnight Hour (Crooked Lane Books; September 7, 2021). 



I’ve also been polishing up Mimi Lee Cracks the Code, the third book in my Sassy Cat series at the same time. As I toggled between the two tasks, I was made aware of some differences between launching a novel and an anthology. Let me share some of my thoughts . . .

 

Cover:

For my books, the art department usually provides me with their vision, and then I offer suggestions on how to tweak it to match my plot.

 

In an anthology, the cover has to represent so much more than my single story. It has to tie together all the works and appeal to everyone’s tastes. This is no small feat, especially since there are twenty authors in this collection! (On the bright side, we’ve already started an informal discussion in the group about initial art concepts.)

 

Edits:

When I go through edits for my Sassy Cat Mysteries, I know the story inside out. This makes the revision process flow easily.

 

For the anthology, I looked over my own work. However, as requested by the editor, I also went over the other stories, concentrating on minor errors, like typos. It was interesting to see how a single theme resulted in so many unique written creations. It was definitely an honor to read such amazing stories.

 

Dedication and Acknowledgments:  

I enjoy creating the dedication and acknowledgments pages in my books. I’ll usually rotate the people I dedicate to and double-check my list of people to thank, making sure I don’t leave anyone out.

 

For a collaborative project, though, how will we divide this task? It’ll be interesting to see what we end up with.

 

Overall:

I, of course, love launching new Sassy Cat mysteries into the world. There’s a joy to revisiting a close-knit community and bringing my vision to life once more.

 

However, there is something special about a collective effort. I’m excited for the upcoming Midnight Hour because it features newer writers alongside more experienced authors. It also showcases a breadth of stories, in both plot and characters.


Writers: Have you ever been a part of an anthology, and what was your experience like?

Readers: What’s an anthology that has stuck in your mind, and what was its theme?

5 comments:

Tammy Euliano said...

I've been in a few anthologies, but never one where I held any sway :-) Someday I'd like to publish my short stories together in one book...maybe. Congrats on yours!

Jim Jackson said...

Congrats on the new anthology. It's always fun working with other authors on a shared project.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Congrats on the anthology! I was part of Kaye George's Eclipse anthology which was enormous fun.

Jennifer J. Chow said...

@Tammy: A story collection would be great!

@Jim: Thanks, Jim!

@Margaret: The Eclipse anthology sounds exciting!

KM Rockwood said...

I love writing for anthologies! I've had stories in a number of them.