When Being In An Anthology Is A Waste of Time by Armand Rosamilia

Today I am excited to present a guest blog by horror author Armand Rosamilia. I’ve read several of his books and he is one talented writer. See what he has to say, then enter for a chance to win his latest story Dying Days 2!

You’re a brand new writer, and you haven’t figured out how to get the ball rolling on that epic 100,000 word novel you’re currently stuck with (chapter two is almost done, though!) and you need something – anything – to make yourself feel better about being a wannabe writer and all the trappings that come with it…
You search Ralan or Duotrope and find a new anthology, with a theme that plays right into your wheelhouse… it doesn’t pay much, but it’s new, they’re only looking for 5,000, and you can write that this week!
Empowered with a sense of ‘I can do this!’ -ism, you take the next two weeks (life got in the way a bit) and write what you feel is your best work to date. It’s also your first finished piece to date, but now that you’ve jumped that writing hurdle you know there will be many more to come. Right?
You submit it and take a break from the Epic Novel. After all, you need to use all your concentration and positive energy toward the short story. And it pays off! After three months you receive an acceptance.
Congratulations, you are now a published writer… actually, call yourself an author! It feels good, you tell everyone about it, your parents buy a copy, your friends and cousins and the guys at work, you tell your mechanic and that weird dude working at the convenience store.
Six months later it comes out, and thanks to all the promotion you’ve done and the dozens of sales you’ve helped garner, it rises to the top of the Amazon lists (oh, and that short story by Scott Nicholson in it might’ve helped as well) and you get your first fan e-mail!
They love the story, they love you, and they want to read everything you ever release! They ask for links to the rest of your work… and that’s when it hits you… work? What work? They read all of your work already.

I’ve been a publisher on and off for twenty years, and see this all too frequently. I’ve released over two dozen anthologies in my career as a publisher and I’m proud to have writers tell me it was their first sale. But what I rarely see is them with a follow-up of a longer work.
The reason you submit and get published in anthologies is simple: to promote your other work. Sure, you get paid (sometimes), most times you get a free or discount copy or five bucks. But what you really gain is a foothold somewhere, a jump-off point to more readers.
I’ve been published in dozens of places, and most of my stories connect in some way with other (longer) pieces. Chances are, if you’re read any of my zombie short stories in an anthology, a quick search will reveal my Dying Days extreme zombie series.
And that’s the point. I can’t tell you how many readers found me in an anthology because it had Scott Nicholson or Joe McKinney in it, an author they liked, but they read my short and searched for more.
As a newbie writer or even one with a bunch of anthology sales, you need to ask yourself: will I be able to build a career one 5,000 word short story at a time only? I don’t think so, but a string of anthology stories that leads a reader to your Epic Novel release will garner you more fans than you think.
Keep writing those shorts, keep submitting them, but get that darn Epic Novel done as well.

Armand Rosamilia

* * * * *

Want to know more about the “Dying Days” series? Want to win free eBooks and maybe print books of them? My contest is simple: e-mail me at armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com with DYING DAYS in the subject line and I’ll enter you into the daily giveaway… also, post a comment here and you get another chance… follow my blog at http://armandrosamilia.com for yet another chance, and friend me on Twitter (@ArmandAuthor) and simply post DYING DAYS to me, and you’ll get another shot… nice and easy, right? If I get enough people joining in the giveaway there will be a print book given away that day!

“Dying Days” series information can be found here: http://armandrosamilia.com/dying-days-series/


14 thoughts on “When Being In An Anthology Is A Waste of Time by Armand Rosamilia

  1. I could swear you were looking right at me when writing this post, Armand…70 plus short works published in various anthos and magazines, I suppose it is about time I wrote that epic novel.

  2. Thank you so much for addressing this issue. I have the novel done but I want to practice, practice, practice and explore all avenues of writing. Thanks again! You gave me a much needed push to get on with the short stories.

  3. Joanie,

    Treat short stories in anthologies and magazines as promotion and nothing more, something to get the reader excited about your work and look at your clipped bio at the end of it and see the title of your book and where to grab it!

    Good luck!


  4. As someone who does have his first novel out for the public, I’ve debated anthologies back and forth in an endless loop. On one hand, I’ve heard exactly what you’re saying. Great promotion to bring people to my novel.

    On the other hand, while I’m working on my next novel, I’ve also heard that a writer doesn’t just want one thing for sale (i.e.- one novel) for readers who want something more. So I ran into the dilemma of whether to submit my shorts to anthologies where I might not hear from them for months, or to just go ahead and self-publish them as other offerings while I’m working on the next novel.

    Ultimately, I’ve opted for the latter, but again, perhaps this is folly. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    Paul D. Dail
    http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

    • There’s no right or wrong answer, which is the fun of all this… but if you want my opinion (and who doesn’t right? lol) having something in an anthology reaches a brand new audience who’s probably never heard of you before, and will look for your first novel… and if it takes six months for the anthology to come out, who cares? You might have novel two written and published by then and have more to sell…


  5. Pingback: Benefits of Writing for Anthologies « The New Authors Fellowship

  6. I wrote my epic novel first, but while I am looking for a publisher I decided to get some stuff out to anthologies. It seemed like a good idea to get some publishing credits. A friend of mine suggested I write a story that is related to the novel, so I have done that as well. Hopefully it’s all leading up to something bigger.

  7. I’ve been doing the anthology thing for a little bit, and still enjoy showing up in print wherever I can, with a few exceptions. That not quite epic is calling with its plea for revisions and completions. I figure it’s time to answer, but I do enjoy working out short stories. Dare I try to do both?

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