Continuing the guest post series on Daily (w)rite, today it is my pleasure to introduce to you Ian D Moore, author of Salby Damned, who is here to give us a few tips on how to set up an anthology to support a charitable cause. He speaks from experience, having recently produced the anthology You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology, due out soon.
Take it away, Ian!
In the last few months I’ve helped compile a charity anthology inspired by my mother-in-law who battled cancer for 8 years and finally began to succumb to it. A distressing time for everyone around her, that made me feel pretty useless, not being able to make her better or to help in any way. I began to think about what I could do in order to help. I chose my writing as the means to make a difference, perhaps not to the inevitable passing of a woman I had become so fond of, but certainly to anyone in the future unfortunate enough to have to go through what our family had at that time.
Should you be trying to compile a fiction anthology for a charity of your choice, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Pick the charity you want to support before you go looking for people to help you. My mother-in-law’s cancer prompted me to consider what I could do to make a positive difference. Motivation is a key factor in compiling any anthology.
- There has to be a leader in any group, the creator. They have final say. Form a team to assist you. You’ll need editors, proof-readers, cover designer, formatting wizard and an overall editor-in-chief. Put the essentials in place before you begin.
- Discuss the maximum word count of your stories, based upon maximum word count for the completed work. Remember the cost rises to produce larger works, affecting sale price and profits to the charity.
- Formatting rules: Set basic rules for contributors. Font style, size, no page numbering/borders. Keep the text justified. Initially, format for kindle.
- Stay legal with regard to copyright: It’s important for you, the Project Leader, to do your homework with regards to copyright law and the wishes of the charity. Each submitting author retains copyright for his or her own story. It cannot have been published anywhere else – no exceptions. The Project Leader holds full copyright for the completed, assembled work.
- Liaise with the charity for any rules that they have, such as logo use or content. It took weeks for me to get permission to use both charity logo and the name of the charity to promote You’re Not Alone. Permission MUST be protected.
- Story content: No excessive profanities, scenes of a serious sexual nature, religioun or faction related material or enhanced political agendas within any given entry. Be aware of possible misinterpretation by the reading public.
- Story order: Try to arrange them in an order of readability that will make subtle changes to the mood of the reader – the ultimate critic.
- Once you have your stories, format the whole document. Insert styles menu headings, titles, fonts etc. E-mail your file to your kindle device, using the kindle address – to see how it will look to the reader.
- Cover design: If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to design your own cover. For You’re Not Alone, we had the amazing artist Christine Southworth to draw our cover, and the inestimable expertise of Nico Laeser to digitise the images. Make your cover relevant and striking. Your book cover is the first impression that any reader will see.
- Set up a pre-order on Kindle: You can make changes to the cover and files as you go along. Meanwhile, drum up interest via social media and advertising in order to get sales generated before the launch.
- Approach the bloggers of this world – they can drive sales traffic. If you ask, in most cases they will be happy to help promote any good cause. Worthwhile having a few copies of the finished product to use as giveaways – bought and paid for, of course.
What can you do to help?
Spare a thought for Macmillan Cancer Support: They provide nursing staff to the 1 in 4 of us likely to suffer from some form of cancer in our lives. Help us to raise money and awareness.
You’re Not Alone is available to pre-order on Amazon Kindle here. Available in print via Createspace from 11th July 2015. Every penny of profit made on either purchase will be donated to the charity. Follow us on Facebook, and please help us spread the word on social media by taking a second to join our Thunderclap Campaign.
Ian lives and works in Selby, North Yorkshire. A father/stepfather to four children and full-time truck driver for a national televised haulage firm, his life tends to be pretty busy. To date, he has published Salby Damned. He has taken took time out from writing the sequel to get involved in the creation of You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology in the hope of raising a lot of money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Having lost family members to cancer, I know the suffering that not only the patients, but also their family members go through.
Ian would like to give away a paperback copy of this book to one of the commenters on this post, so please make sure your profile link leads to your contact details.
Not a blogger, but have a comment on cancer, supporting those affected by it, or about editing a Charity Anthology? Head over to the post on Damyanti at Daily Write’s Facebook Page, and join the discussion there.