The Making of an Anthology by Coral Russell

The Making of an Anthology  

by Coral Russell 

I’m part of a horror anthology called Playing with Fire. In fact, I organized it. Did I know what I was doing? Nope. So what made me think I could put together an anthology? I’m crazy that way.

I had written two mediocre, at best, short stories. I was smart enough and lucky enough to find two incredible crit partners who helped me make them into good short stories. Readable short stories. I gave them away. Listed them on a lot of freebie sites.

While they were mediocre, I had entered them into a horror contest and then became disgusted when non-horror books were making it into the top ten. I actually read through about eighty horror books in the contest and realized there were some real gems not making it into the contest.

I realized that a good book alone was not enough to place in the top ten. People who knew how to work the system made it in. There’s a lesson about social media in there somewhere. But that’s another guest post. Long story short, I ended up picking the winner and with Chryse’s help, got it in through a wildcard nomination.

After watching that spectacle unfold, I decided to send out a mass message asking if there was any interest in coming together for a horror anthology. I asked my good writing friend, Chryse Wymer, first because she’s just all around smart and wrote a top-notch short story I loved.

I harassed Chryse into helping me. I was about as newb as it gets and was just starting to grasp editing. I took a stab at the stories on my own and the others hoping that when Chryse looked at them she would be in awe.

Instead when she read them her reaction was, “Uhhhh, we need a lot of work here.”

That was an understatement. So some that weren’t willing to do edits were cut (no hard feelings) and the others rolled up their sleeves and really came through. I learned a bunch and Chryse had a friend that wanted to add his stories.

Bing, bang, boom! We had an anthology after about five months. The authors asked to release it in July 2011 and I’m glad they did because I was able to jump on some cheap promo. We contacted book bloggers for reviews and got them. We asked some writer friends for blurbs. The biggest boost we got was having the book listed with a front cover blurb I wrote for the hugely popular IBC gals and their horror anthology, The Evil Within.

The little anthology that could has seen steady sales. The only real slump was in January (still sold a dozen copies). When I coupled a book promotion with free days, the anthology sold a copy a day for the month of Feb. I’m getting ready to do it again in March. In fact, I’ve sold more books in the first two months of 2012 then all last year (about 6 months).

Was it worth it? YES! Would I do it again? Maybe. It was a TON of work and only because of friends like Chryse stepping up to do some heavy lifting did it ever see the light of day.


About the Author

Coral Russell runs the blog Stop by for the latest in book reviews, news, and resources. You can visit My Stalker Package and stalk her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+
Ms. Russell won the 2003 McCaleb Peace Initiative which produced the non-fiction articles Peace on the Peninsula. All profit from the sale of that eBook go to rebuilding Joplin, MO.
You can also find various articles written by her on Technorati and BlogCritics.
Coral Russell’s eBooks include: Peace on the Peninsula, Playing with Fire, Amador Lockdown, Twelve Worlds, and The DIY Guide to Social Media Marketing and eBook Publishing. Stalk her on her blog at

About the book

Playing with Fire (Anthology of Horror)

Buy on Amazon

Scare easily? Are you often frightened out of your sleep? Does the mere mention of ghosts prickle your skin? These seven authors’ imaginations are fired up by the scariness of the unknown. Find a comfy spot, sit back and enjoy nine tales to tickle your taste for terror.

Susan Evelyn – Best Served
Revenge is sweet, they say. But is Anna going to be able to hold the right ones accountable? 3197 Words

Nomar Knight – Bitten
Rob Compton is unemployed and on the verge of getting a divorce when his pet German Shepherd, Shotgun, comes home intent on having him for lunch. Once bitten, Rob decides to show his wife what ‘death do us part’ really means. 2937 Words

Robynn Gabel – Widows of the Night
Step inside a child’s world that is filled with monsters. In her struggle to search for and figure out what love is she will discover what a monster really is. 3375 words

Anita Flame – Playing with Fire
During what seems to be the end of the world for others, Kalen discovers his has only begun. Appalling secrets unravel his world and force him to fight for his survival. Will Kalen be able to handle the truth? 5285 words

Coral Russell – Devil of a Ghost Tour
Lynn and Lee Hoyt decide a local ghost tour would be a fun date night. In an abandoned hotel on the tour, a demon and his minions have been waiting for just the right couple to come along. Can the ghost hunters, Hector and Marcos, save them before it’s too late? 9751 words

Coral Russell – Key to a Haunting
Allen has lost everything, when his father gives him a downtown building to renovate. Trouble is…it’s haunted. He calls in the Paranormal Posse to help, but can Hector and Marcos learn the truth in time to finally put the dead to rest? 9824 Words


7 responses to “The Making of an Anthology by Coral Russell

  1. Great interview Coral and I think you did a great job on the anthology.

  2. Pingback: Amador Lockdown review | Win With eBooks

  3. I have been considering creating an anthology with the help of other authors for a charity. Thanks for this post! I know I will need ot find someone with strong crit skills to help out if I do go down this road.

  4. Pingback: The Makings of an Anthology by Coral Russell |

  5. Pingback: alchemyofscrawl Blog Update « alchemyofscrawl

  6. Pingback: #ebook #sales for April 2012 « alchemyofscrawl

  7. Apptneraly this is what the esteemed Willis was talkin’ ’bout.

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