12 Guidelines You Need to Compile a #Fiction #Charity #Anthology

You're not Alone : Macmillan Cancer Support
You’re Not Alone: Charity Anthology

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Formatting rules: Set basic rules for contributors. Font style, size, no page numbering/borders. Keep the text justified. Initially, format for kindle.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?

Macmillan Cancer support: Charity Anthology
You’re Not Alone: Book Cover

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 D Moore, editor You're not Alone
Ian D Moore

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.


Macmillan Cancer Support
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.

Is anyone you know affected by this disease? Would you like to lend a hand to Macmillan Cancer Support? Would you take part in the Thunderclap Campaign?

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.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !


Add Yours
  1. violafury

    I would definitely buy such a book. I have several friends who have had cancers that they either had beaten, or by the time they passed on, the cancer itself was secondary. I worked in a tertiary care facility, and there was a man who had an frontal lobe astrocytoma, a brain tumor. The man was a pediatrician and he flew in to Ann Arbor from his little town for 25 years for either treatment or some type of follow-up. He continued with his practice. He was still doing so when I left college Right now, I have a young friend, a young woman who is going through her 3rd battle with pharyngeal cancer at age 27. This time was close, because she was caught up in her business and her new husband and she didn’t really pay attention to the warning signs. They caught it at stage 3, and it responded right away. She’s ahead of schedule and expects her surgery to be moved up to late August from September. She and husband are moving into their new house in October.

    A last example; when I was homeless, one of my first and best friends, was a man there who was in stage 4 bowel cancer. He had a colostomy bag and for awhile. He did everything he was supposed to do, plus he drank, which I don’t think he was supposed to do, but he used to say, “Mary, I’m gonna beat this thing.” He did, and finally they patched him back up and he moved back to PA. Cancer is such a difficult thing to deal with because, first off there are so many different kinds and there are so many ways we deal with the “C” word. As long as we are walking this earth, and when we first wake up, all we are given is this moment. But, in that moment, if I can make someone feel better who is stricken with cancer, I’m in their corner. There are so very many success stories. Like my friend. She’s going to be fine; she has to be so she and her kids can give me grief for the next 30 years. She’s the closest thing I have to a daughter and she’s strong. But, strength doesn’t just come from within. This is a wonderful idea! I would buy and read this book! I also feel the more we know about and can support cancer research, the quicker we turn it into a “manageable”, if not cureable illness. As long as one draws breath, there is always hope! Thanks!

      • Ian D. Moore

        We have a book page dedicated to the anthology and as a place where people can come to tell us about their fight with cancer. I’d like to get the public involved and perhaps even pick the ‘theme’ of the 2016 anthology we have planned. Please visit our page, come and say hello and add it to your favourites as there will be author giveaways following the release of You’re Not Alone on 11th July. For facebook, please visit http://www.facebook.com/yourenotalone2015

      • violafury

        Thank you, Ian. So much of what cancer patients deal with; hard, cold numbers, T-cell counts, and odds are tangibles. What so many people – and doctors – often fail to consider, are the intangibles, the fight in the person, the prayers that are sent for the afflicted. These truly count in whether or not a person survives or, if the quality of their time on this earth is good or not. I believe in the unseen and it matters to every one of us; every soul. If we send healing thoughts, I think that counts. Conversely, if someone is against you, and I was in a situation where my spouse wanted me to die, so I left ASAP, that counts, too. Harmful thoughts count just as much as good ones.

        I am a learned woman and I come from an educated family. I count scientists and psychologists among my relatives and although I am a professional musician, I am also a computer engineer, so I understand maths and their perfection that reflect a higher power. We are all tapped into this, for good or ill. I choose to use whatever meager source I can call upon for good. I’m happy and humbled to be included in this endeavour. Thank you, Ian and Damyanti. This is wonderful! Mary, aka ViolaFury

  2. Susan Scott

    Fantastic effort for a noble cause Ian. And thank you to Damyanti for bringing this to our attention. I’ll definitely spread the word by sharing on social media. Good luck –

  3. D.G.Kaye

    What a wonderful idea to put together an anthology for such a prominent cause. I’m sorry for Ian’s loss. I’ve lost so many myself to the dreaded disease. And thanks for sharing this great info about putting together an anthology. I shall add it to my TBR.

    • Ian D. Moore

      Thankyou DJ for the kind words. It is my hope that readers take inspiration from this as much as fellow writers do. The readers to be brought into the miniature worlds/scenes of the short stories and the writers to be given the basis of an idea to atsrt their own anthology perhaps. While it is hard work and many thousands of hours to produce something of quality, that first glance at the end result really is satisfying – I hope firstly that you enjoy the stories therein and finally that you’ll leave a review of what you find 🙂

  4. Ian D. Moore

    One in Four of us will be touched by cancer in our lives, That’s a pretty scary figure. At it’s worst point, we can only hope for family and dignity to be present. Macmillan Cancer Nurses offer that dignity, to the patient and to those around them. What would we do without them? I asked myself ‘What can I do?’ and from there, came the anthology and a whole lot of people willing to stand and fight against a foe that has affected millions around the world. It doesn’t care what race, what sex, or indeed what age people are. It has no national or international boundaries. I believe it’s time we gave it some boundaries, time we helped those who help those who really need it to keep doing that. The support grows daily for our cause but what can you do now? You could follow our campaign here https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/28028-you-re-not-alone and help us get this message of hope around the world, so that it can benefit generations to come and send out the message ‘You’re Not Alone’

    • Damyanti

      Thanks for your comment, Ian and the link to your Thunderclap. I hope more and more friends of Daily (w)rite join the Thunderclap above: it is a simple concept– you sign up your social media for a one-time message to be sent out into the world– if enough people do it, a message becomes viral and spreads even further. Let’s make cancer support go viral!

  5. Birgit

    I never would have thought of something like this but what a wonderful way to help a charity. My dad died from Cancer so I understand the pain that goes on in the family. Great tips

    • Ian D. Moore

      Birgit this project has been a learning curve for all involved. To the best of my knowledge, Macmillan have never done it before either so we have hope that we’ll be breaking new ground for the future. Sylva Fae there is already heading up a venture for a children’s charity anthology and I’m sure there will be more that begin because of this. A a voice for the whole team involved, the support of bloggers such as yourself, facebookers and even word of mouth about what we have done, is greatly appreciated.

  6. Sylva Fae

    Thank you Damyanti for all your support of our project. And thank you to everyone who has reblogged, shared, commented and pre-ordered the book. It makes me feel so happy to know how many lovely people there are out there.

    • Damyanti

      No thanks needed, Sylva. I’m only trying to do my bit to fight this disease in whatever small way I can. I hope the book sells a load of copies and Macmillan Cancer support receives a lot of funds.

  7. lexacain

    I’m so impressed with Ian’s tips and the fact he’s using his knowledge for an anthology to support a cancer charity. We need more people like him in the world!

    • Ian D. Moore

      Thankyou lexacain. The anthology is the product of an international band of indie writers, the credit goes equally to them. I was fortunate to have so much talent in one place with numerous outside volunteers, all doing their bit for free and for the cause which is really quite overwhelming. It has reaffirmed the existence of compassion in this world – people giving because they can – to help those now and into the future. I hope it inspires other indie anthology teams to try this for a cause, and I hope that we raise a lot of money for Macmillan in the process.

    • Damyanti

      Julia, I hope so too. Ian and his friends are doing a fantastic job for a genuine cause. Thanks for stopping by, and your comment.

      • Julia Lund

        It’s nice to touch base with you again. My writing energies tend to be spent mostly on my new novel at the moment. I really hope yours is shaping up to make you happy.

  8. Peter Nena

    Supporting such a cause is noble, and is one of the greatest things writers can do with their talents. I wish you all the best with the book. I hope it helps.

    We did an anthology early this year for the ‘Forget-Me-Not’ charity in support of homeless ex-servicemen and those suffering from PTSD. All the royalties from the sale of the book, excluding those that go to Amazon and other retailers, are being donated to the “Forget-Me-Not” charity, details of which can be found at their website: http://www.exmodltd.org
    The book is found here: http://www.amazon.com/Not-What-Thought-other-surprises-ebook/dp/B00VG5J72U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435041657&sr=8-1&keywords=not+what+you+thought+and+other+surprises

  9. Michelle Stanley

    I admire you for writing this book and wish you lots of success in sales that will go to this worthy charity. I lost my mother to cancer so know from experience how painful and traumatic it can be for the entire family.

  10. Ian D. Moore

    Reblogged this on Ian D. Moore's Blog Page and commented:
    I don’t envy anyone coming into contact with cancer in any way, it is a traumatic experience wherever it goes. We, as a group of writers want to do what we can to help fight this disease on every level. This anthology has seen sweat and tears, it has demanded dedication, concentration and indeed, frustration at times. While I don’t envy anyone being the one who has to decide things, I’d do it again in a heartbeat if we can provide just one extra Macmillan Nurse to help someone through. I’d like to thank Damyanti who didn’t know me until this came about and yet, her willingness to give up her time and effort in the support of this cause has been admirable. I’d also like to thank each and every one of the authors, editors, artists and designers who made this possible. There are some very special people who put this together – doing what they do to help other special people, those we hold dear. You’re Not alone.

    • Ian D. Moore

      Thankyou Alex. It is released on 11th July in both formats. It has been a learning curve but very therapeutic. I admire anyone who gives it a go.