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Writing Books/Themed Anthologies


QUESTION: Hi! I read your answer to a person that had a question about a themed anthology book and found it so helpful.  I, too, am researching a themed anthology book, but can't seem to find any examples of contracts we (the creator of the book) give to the authors of the stories.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

ANSWER: Hi, Deanna!

A lot depends on what sort of involvement you're going to have. Will you be:

1.  The editor, who will seek out a publisher once you have the stories?
2.  The publisher, who is buying stories outright?
3.  The publisher, who will pay a royalty interest to the author?
4.  One of the authors who will appear in the book, who is banding together other authors to sell to a publisher?

Being the "creator" doesn't really specify what your role will be when it comes to the business end of paying people and tracking income. :)

Let me know and I'll see what I can do.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: We will be editing and self-publishing through Xulon, CreateSpace, etc (not sure yet) for now most likely, which means the books will be printed as they are ordered.  We are hoping to get picked up by a publisher, but want to start small.  I am not sure between #2 and #3.  We don't have a lot of money to buy the stories outright out of pocket at the moment, so a royalty on sales might be better.  I have started and successfully operated 2 businesses, so accounting doesn't scare me.  I know buying the story outright is what the Chicken Soup crew does, and it does make sense, but cash flow is tight as we get up and going right now.  


Hi, Deanna,

Sorry for the delay in responding. Okay, if you're the editor and the publisher only, you're going to need a general publishing contract. The trick is that either each person who is a contributor will also need to sign with Xulon or CreateSpace, or you'll have to sign as the "editor" and all royalties and such will flow through you. You'll need to prepare statements each quarter or at least semi-annually with the percentage of the total royalties. It's paid as 1099 earnings to the authors. You'll also be responsible for payment of sales tax in the state where you live, since most states have now made online sales taxable.

The agreement needs to cover this. It will also need to cover use of the cover art. If, for example, you're using an artist to create the artwork, you'll need to check their agreement to be sure that individual authors are allowed to use the artwork for promotion. Not every artist allows that.

Here's a good source for a sample agreement for an anthology. Hope it helps!

It's near the bottom of the page. Good luck!


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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