Try challenging fifty mostly unpublished members of a writers guild by giving them three months to write, revise, and submit from one to three 1500 to 2500 word stories, and commission an artist to design and produce an original cover in time to meet a goal of publishing a 250-300 page anthology within ten months. Do that and the book world will look at you like someone who has sniffed too much print head cleaner.
As past president of the Christian Authors Guild (CAG), that was the challenge I proposed, and it was accepted by more than two-thirds of my fellow writers. In 2003, a book of memoirs, Stepping Stones Across the Stream of Time, was submitted to BookLocker and was an amazing success. The stories ranged from humor to pathos, from romance to mystery and all points in between.
Encouraged, CAG published The Desk in the Attic, a collection of original tales written by the members, who, for the most part, had never even attempted fiction. If anything, the feedback from those who bought the book was even more positive. By the way, from start to finish, the book was produced in eight months.
Now, for the third year in a row, the members and the cover artist have taken the Guild’s unofficial slogan to heart; “Writers must always be writing, and should write what should be published.” The 2005 book, No Small Miracles, is a collection of testimonies dealing with caring, sharing and repairing. The authors have dug into often painful pasts to give witness to how trials and temptations involving both life and death were met with prayer and answered with grace. It is the Guild’s hope and belief that whatever our readers are facing, the telling of these personal experiences in overcoming will be a source of comfort and blessing. One of the miracles not recorded in this 300-page anthology is the start to finish time of only six months.
Of course, none of the above would be possible without the wonderful help and encouragement of Angela and Richard at BookLocker.com. The demand has been equally as daunting to them when they receive an order to publish and deliver an initial order of 500 copies in an impossibly short time.
The guild receives all proceeds and it goes into the main fund, which is used for seed money for future books, guest speakers, seminars, hall rental, refreshments, etc.
As a final word, our Guild encourages all writing groups to consider similar projects. Get a copy of one of the many anthologies on the market or try one of ours listed above. See how the book is put together and accept our challenge to write and publish. After all, that’s what we, as authors, do. If we can be of any help to you, you may contact us at http://www.christianauthorsguild.org/.
How to Compile and Publish an Anthology – 3-part series!
R.T. Byrum, President of the Christian Writers’ Guild, has published three of eight completed Carver Cousins Adventure for young adults, and several career books for Lucent. He writes magazine and Ezine articles, newsletters, radio and TV commercials, and is a composer. R.T. resides in Georgia with his wife, Karen.