Originally Published on The European Mama By Olga Mecking
Through the process of creating the anthology Dutched Up!Rocking the Clogs, Expat Style!, I have learned some valuable lessons about publishing an anthology that I would love to share with you.[bctt tweet=”7 Things Anthology Self-Publishers Should Know @TheEuropeanMama”]
1) It takes a lot of work and time.
I was aware that writing and editing a book takes plenty of time and effort. What I did not know, however, is how much it takes to actually make it happen: formatting, promotion, conversion to various e-book formats, planning, and finding the best way to publish, just to name a few. I felt that our work began only after we finished reading and selecting our submissions. It took us forever to publish it but we are all the more glad to be done.
2) Planning is important.
If you think that writing a book is just about the writing, you are so wrong. It didn’t only take forever, it also required thinking about things I hadn’t initially spared a thought for – a mistake on my part. The more things you can plan in advance, the better. I know you cannot think of everything that will happen during the publishing process, but you can know for example what the book will be about, chapter ideas, publishing concept and more.
3) I can be a leader!
This one actually surprised me. I don’t like putting myself in the spotlight and I certainly do not revel in having to tell people what to do, when to do it and how to do it, but I rose to the challenge. While some writers sent me their submissions without prodding, others needed a little push. At the beginning, I was annoyed because we are all adults and don’t need to be told what to do. But sometimes, we do and just because I have an idea, doesn’t mean that everyone is supposed to know what the idea actually is. Sometimes people need deadlines, plans and ideas. Sometimes they need you to specifically state what it is that you need so that they can do their best. I think a leader needs to be flexible and adapt to the people he or she is working with.
4) It takes a team
I put this book together, but I certainly wasn’t alone. First, there were the fabulous contributors. There was Nomad Mom Diary and I’m grateful because it was actually her idea, and she actually understood what was needed, researched publishing methods and was always there for my questions. There was Molly and Deepa (and my mom and brother) who edited, edited some more, formatted and performed some serious tech magic on the book to make it really come to life. We needed a cover designer and were joined by Zoe of George with Ears who not only did the lovely cover but also submitted two highly hilarious and well written posts. There were the wonderful endorsers and readers who wrote amazing reviews on Amazon and everyone who bought, read and loved the book.
5) It’s all about taking baby steps.
It always seemed that once we climbed one mountain, there were plenty more to climb. On top of the work related to the book, there were issues we couldn’t have predicted, and I never would have thought that writing a book would have such a learning curve. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, because if I knew from the beginning what we were getting ourselves into, I probably wouldn’t even have considered doing it. Once it became obvious that the book was going to happen, some magic happened, everyone started pitching in and helping out and it just started to roll from there!
6) You will make mistakes
I guess mistakes happen to everyone, but especially to rookies like me. For example, when I asked for submissions, I didn’t have a definite deadline yet, but I realized that people actually need a deadline because they are busy with their day jobs/children/other things. Another mistake was expecting everyone to be as excited about the book as I was. Finally, even after the editing, there were still mistakes! Some of them needed to be fixed immediately, and some are barely visible.
7) Publishing a book feels amazing[bctt tweet=”Publishing a book feels amazing! 7 Things You Should Know When Publishing An Anthology @TheEuropeanMama”]
I’ve always loved books (I don’t call myself a book addict for nothing), but this was the first time I actually saw and experienced a book coming to life, and I was the driving force behind it! It is a fabulous feeling and I’ve learned so much from it. It is a great honor to be responsible for a book and I feel extremely proud of everyone involved for making it happen. Even though it was a long process, it gave me an appetite for more.
Olga Mecking is a Polish woman living in the Netherlands with her German husband and three trilingual children. She is a translator, blogger and writer. The European Mama is a blog about her life abroad, raising children and traveling. Her writings have been published on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and The Huffington Post. When not blogging or thinking about blogging, she can be found reading books, drinking tea or cooking. You can join me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.