BEWARE!  All Anthologies are NOT created equal!

In case you have not noticed, one of the latest trends in publishing is the advent of the anthology – a collection of chapters written by different authors on a central theme.  So, let’s begin with the obvious – why be in an anthology?  Well, if you are a business owner, coach, consultant or thought leader, being in an anthology is a way to be known as a bestselling author without having to write an entire book on your own.  So, for the investment of less time and money, you can become known as an author in a short amount of time!

However, it is also true that not all anthologies are created equal!  If there are many people in the book, it is easy for your contribution to get ‘lost in the sauce’ and it might not give you the ‘boost’ to your business that you might have expected.  Results depend on whether or not the publisher takes the time and money to make it a bestseller, and it also depends on what kind of promotion is put behind the book to really get it out into the marketplace.

There is a little-known fact that Amazon will let you register up to 10 authors for any one book.  So, if you are in an anthology with only 10 authors, then each author gets their own page on Amazon and if you Google each individual name, it will pop up that they are a bestselling author. (This does NOT happen with anthologies with more than 10 people!)  It is also true that many publishers charge a very low amount to be in an anthology, which can lead to a ‘shoestring’ budget when it comes to marketing.  I have had participants in a networking group reach out to me and complain that they were in a bestselling anthology, but it did nothing for their business!

Let’s look at the cold, hard facts.  The fewer people there are in an anthology, the better it is for each participant.  If each participant pays a reasonable amount, then there can be a budget for a proper marketing campaign.  And each participant should be given graphics and instructions on how to promote the fact they are now a bestselling author through their own social media.

Next time someone approaches you about being in an anthology, make sure you ask the hard questions, like how many people are in it?  What kind of marketing budget is there?  Will the publisher provide tailored graphics for each participant to use in their social media (along with the appropriate instructions!)  An anthology can be a wonderful way for someone to step into the world of bestselling authors – just be sure you ask the hard questions!