The Whole is Greater is a semi-regular feature on the blog where I ask the editors of anthologies to tell us about their experience working on an anthology. Today’s features Charles Barouch, whom I met on G+. He wanted to talk about Invasion, which features quite a few members of my G+ circles. Charles, take it away!
In March of 2013 I put up a post on Google+ saying: I need 14
coconspirators to put together an anthology based on a single theme:
Invasion. We will fire-sale it for $2.99. No one will make any money but
we’ll put out a book we’ll be proud of.
In September of 2013,
the book was complete; written, edited, layer out, filled with 15 pieces
of original art, had a cover and was on Kobo, Nook, and Kindle. Six
months from suggestion to product. The stories are top notch. Fifteen
great writers. The art is from Aaron Wood and Juan Ochoa.
the profits — after Kobo, B&N, and Amazon take their cuts but
before any other expenses — go to the creative talent.
I picked Invasion because I had just written an Invasion story which was
published by PerehelionSF. Writing my story reminded me of how many
ways that theme could be spun, so the idea was fresh.
If I had to pick my “surprise” moment in publishing it, I’d say “Invasion
of Ideas” and “The Worms Crawl” in both changed my expectations.
Very few people can do funny SF. With “Invasion of Ideas”, Jeremy gave me a story that really
worked. It made it in with a minimum of edits. I didn’t expect a funny
The story with “Worms” is the opposite. I was agonizing over a story that
wasn’t going to make he cut. Editors cut things, but this was intended
to be community driven, and it was the very first time these people were
working with me as an editor. As I struggled with my options, the
author came to me and said “I can do better. Let me give you a different
story.” That, to me is the essence of community. She came to me. What
she delivered was manifestly better.
I love my team, but at the end of the day, the book has to stand up and
speak on its own. People who don’t know us have to like it for itself.
We have turned people down. We have made choices that I still revisit.
These amazing, creative, crazy authors and artist and support staff have
made it a great experience.
With book two (Theme-thology: Day I Died) coming out on January 11th, 2014 — and three more volumes already in the pipeline — it is an experience I look forward to having over and over again.
For all you readers out there: this is a tasting menu. Nearly every
author in this book has other works. Spend the $2.99 and find some new
favorite authors to read. I certainly found some new favorites from
working on this book.