What I learned while editing a short story anthology (via @herodfel)

Disclaimer: I talk to Simon online and we've even met in meatspace to confirm we're both humans and not alien infiltrator units (unless we're both alien infiltrator units). Simon is publishing a short story of mine in the anthology he talks about in this post ('Suspended in Dusk') so I've been at the author's end of some of his exciting journey. I've also beta read some of Simon's work (I am notoriously merciless in this role) and he still talks to me, which is a good sign.

In this blog post Simon talks about his experience of putting together this 'anthology-that-almost-wasn't'. He's done an amazing job, and he's learned everything pretty much the hard way.

I've listed his points, including his original incorrect numbering at time of publication (just so Simon knows he can still make mistakes *coughs*)

  • 1. Aim High
  • 2. Connect. Network. Reach out.
  • 3. Be gracious, and don't be an ass
  • 4. Do your best work
  • 4. Roll with the punches
  • 5. Persevere
  • 6. Party

These sound like things that can be applied across the board in doing projects, of course, but Simon shows how they apply in this particular case. Take an excerpt from step 4 (ha ha), ie. 'Roll with the punches'):

When I started the Suspended in Dusk project, I originally intended to co-edit it with Nerine Dorman, who is one of the editors at Dark Continents Publishing.  Nerine and Dark Continents were sadly unable to continue with the project and it all looked like it was done and dusted.  By this point, however, I had already taken submissions from around 60 authors and was in the process of shortlisting and finalising the Table of Contents.  I won’t lie.. this was crushing for me. Projects not going ahead are relatively common in the publishing industry.. but I felt like I’d come so far. Not only was I heavily emotionally invested in the project, I didn’t want to let all the authors down. Nor did I want the embarassment of going back to many of the well known industry veterans and saying “hey, sorry, [show's] off!”.

Read his open and honest post-mortem here: http://simondewar.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/what-i-learned-while-editing-a-short-story-anthology/