I have never contributed to one, but love to read anthologies of short stories, or narratives, essays etc. But as a reader, maybe I can help if you be a bit more specific.
I am in the middle of editing an anthology on motherhood and loss, "Joy, Interrupted"--here are three lessons I have learned so far:
Once you get contributors, keep in contact with them. I found a great way to do this is through http://mailchimp.com where you can create lists and send out important information about deadlines or details about the editing process.
If you are publishing it yourself or want to help your publisher with offering pre-orders of the book, a great way to do this is through Kickstarter.
I am brand new to SW, and I found the links in your comment so helpful. Thank you so much! Have a great day.
In early 2011, I responded to a Call for Submission requesting first person, creative, literary essays about women making “peace with their troubled minds.” It really sparked my interest, as my doctors had recently diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Naturally, at first, I was hesitant. First, I didn’t consider myself a “writer”. I mean, I always kept a journal. I always enjoyed reading. And I used writing as a means of self-expression. But, I didn’t think anyone really cared about what I had to say. Secondly, because I was endeavoring to write for an anthology, I figured there would be tons of “experienced” writers submitting stellar pieces. Why would the editor pick my piece? Finally, I hadn’t told my family about my anxiety. In fact, they knew very, very little about my personal struggles, and I automatically assumed they wouldn’t understand. (By the way, my assumption was RIGHT! LOL!)
The editor responded via email five (5) months after I submitted my entry. I nearly fainted in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store when I received the email. In fact, I replied just to make sure that the approval was meant for my inbox. She confirmed, and my excitement continued to spill over.
At present, the editor is busy editing, as the book is due for release sometime around the Spring of 2013. Meanwhile, I am still coming to grips with the entire experience, the process of feeling validated and gaining more confidence in my voice as an author.
I'm in the process of putting together my first anthology, but I'm learning as I go. It's a project where all of the proceeds will go to charity that I've been working to put together for about 2 years. Contributors have often been slow or inconsistent. People say they will contribute but don't. Or people contribute bits and pieces that clearly are not their best work.
It's all been a big challenge. From all this, I've learned to just move forward without waiting on other people to come through with what they say they will. At this point, I have about a half dozen contributors, and the rest will be my own work. I'm looking to have a total 100-120 pages.
Once it all does finally come together, I have an attorney in place to help me with the parts that would be a concern, like ensuring that each contributor affirms that the work they are contributing is owned by them and not anyone else, as well as making sure that all retain their copyrights. I'm hoping to publish this fall, but I'll be glad to share my experiences then.