No co-authors were harmed (hired) while writing this blog post.
Let’s get straight to the point.
One thing that I can definitely state now is that there are countless self-publishing houses in India today. Each day (not really each day, but yes, on a regular basis) I see a publishing house emerging out of nowhere. Additionally, most of them are self-publishers. And what is their favorite hobby? Publishing a Paid Anthology!
The other day I was strolling in my Facebook group to find a dozen promotional posts done by the new self publishing houses. And some of them had the glorious (read terribly created) banners asking for writers to submit their stories to them and they’d publish them in an Anthology! Aww, they are giving the unrecognized writers an opportunity to publish their works! Sweet, right? Probably not.
They had a clause which stated the ‘Selected’ writers would need to pay them some amount to get published. In return the concerned publishing house hadn’t promised anything (except for editing the book which was done by some unknown bestselling(?) author). Not even basic marketing. Now you’d say that ‘Who would be that stupid to fall for their offer? We are grown up and mature writers!’ Well that’s where you go wrong. They published the Anthology with freaking 40 co-authors! And since then, I haven’t heard of the publishing house ever. Neither do I know the writers (ahem, Authors) who were published in that book.
So why do I not recommend participating in Paid Anthologies?
#The publishers show you false dreams.
Wanna be a Published Author? Who doesn’t want to, right? Well, that’s the string that they pull the young writers with.
Their meeting probably goes like this:
P1: Sir, no books to publish, sir…
P1: So what should we do?
P1: Speak, sir…
P2: We can do one thing!
P1: What, sir?
P2: Let’s publish an Anthology! Create a banner from some online site and post in the groups and ask money from the writers. Many writers are idiots anyway…we will get at least a few of them. Select all the entries and boom! We are rich!
P1: What an idea, sir…You are Gawd sir…charan sparsh, sir…
Well, long story short: They show those writers some dreams and get them on board. Promises, promises, promises. And while delivering, nothing.
Paid Anthologies (most of them) will not help you grow as a writer or author.
You read that right. Getting clamored in a pile of other writers that you don’t know can help you with nothing. You cannot get your works read the way you expected it to be read by the readers. Basically, zero growth towards your goal of becoming a renowned author.
Also read: How to Self Publish Books in India?
#Paid Anthologies in India: No one markets the book properly. Not even the publishers.
I have been a part of two anthologies till now. And I can tell that my co-authors didn’t put in the efforts for marketing the book. And after a while (after like two-three posts), even my publishers stopped promoting it. One of those anthologies had 4 sales! Well, all 4 of ’em books were bought by us authors anyway. Bleh.
So yeah, that’s a huge drawback of anthologies. The marketing strategies just don’t work (and the people don’t work as well).
#Here comes the money!
One of the most idiotic things with paid anthologies is that they ask money for publishing your story. So basically the writers who are participating are self-publishing the anthology. That means you are a bunch of new writers collectively giving money to…self publish books? Henh? I wonder why no one has ever raised that point till now.
Never should you pay money for your creativity. You should be paid instead. It’s different when you are self publishing your work. And it’s entirely different when you are self publishing your works in a you-never-knew-how-it-became-a-team team.
#So what is the best way to get published in a Paid Anthology?
There are some publishing houses who follow ethical practices for publishing an anthology. But honestly, they are just a few. I am only against paid anthologies. Traditionally published anthologies could be good, but again, it depends. Don’t fall for these things. Grow strong and publish stronger.
That’s it for today. If you have any queries or feedback, mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and regards,