Anthologies & Collections
Interested in producing a collection of your works in a single volume? Or perhaps you’re joining forces with other authors to create a multi-author anthology. Either way, we can format your work into a professional and fully functional e-book.
Tips to get you started
If this is the first time you’ve packaged a multi-book volume, here are some tips based on our experience to help your planning.
- An anthology or collection needs its own unique title. This title can be utilitarian, such as The XYZ Series 1-4, or it can be original and unrelated to the books within the volume.
- Whatever your title, that title must appear on the cover art for the anthology or collection.
- 3-D cover art is wildly popular, but be aware that Apple will not feature it on their site. Because of this, Smashwords now also requires 2-D (a flat image of the front cover) both on their store and embedded within the file. Other retailers seem to allow 3-D renderings on their stores and/or within the ebook file. Bottom line: if you want to use 3-D art but you also want to distribute to Apple directly or use Smashwords for premium distribution, you will also need to get a 2-D version of your cover art.
- Copyright: each book or story within the volume is covered by any pre-existing copyright it has from prior publication. There is no need to copyright the entire anthology or collection, unless it contains new, never-before-published material. In this case, the stories within that had pre-existing copyrights should still recognize their original copyright, and the copyright of the entire volume will really only cover the new material. We help customize a single copyright page recognizing the copyrights and any necessary previous publishing history of the books within the volume.
- ISBN: if you are using an ISBN, you will need a unique one for this volume because it is a unique product in the marketplace. It’s not necessary to include the ISBNs of the individual books/stories within the volume.
- If each book within the volume will feature its original cover art, it’s common courtesy to recognize the cover artist. We generally include cover artist names as part of the copyright page.
- For a single-author collection, we recommend stripping extraneous or repeated front and end matter from each individual book within the collection. Consider one copyright page, plus one overall dedication, one book list, one acknowledgments, one reader letter and one about the author. Of course, if you want all the individual contents of each book within the collection, we’ll keep them.
- For a multi-author anthology, we require that there be ONE point person who acts as “publisher” in communicating with us during the formatting process. This point person should gather the individual books and put them in one file in the order they will appear. We strongly recommend that each book within an anthology have similar front /end matter for consistency. We suggest simplifying as much as possible: title page (with cover), dedication, body of book, other books by author, author bio with web and social media links.
- In any anthology or collection, we suggest a title page for the volume followed by a page of brief descriptions of all the included books/stories. This way, when someone downloads a sample of the ebook, they get the descriptions of all the included books. We can follow that page with a standard Table of Contents page that lists the titles and links to the starting point of each book.
- In addition to a physical Table of Contents, we will create NCX navigation that works with all the major ebook reader devices and most apps and software. We can navigate to book titles and even the individual chapters within your book.
- We will format the entire volume consistently, matching up scene break styles, chapter headings and indents across all the books within the volume.
- Please allow up to 14 days for formatting anthologies or collections with word counts over 250,000 words. The larger the file size, the longer the processing time for every change we make to the file on our computers. Also, be sure every book in the volume is fully edited and ready for formatting.
- For more tips, check out David Gaughran’s advice in Thinking Inside the Box: Building Audience with Bundles.
What to provide
If you’d like us to format your anthology or collection into .epub and .mobi formats and/or into a Smashwords .doc format, please send us the following:
- Your complete book file, including front and end matter in a single Word-compatible file format, preferably .doc or .docx. We can piece together your book from multiple documents for an additional fee.
- Your cover art, measuring at least 1400 pixels wide in either a .jpg or .png file format. Color images should be in RGB color format, and for uploading to Apple, images should be high-resolution (300 dpi). We will resize this and embed it within your book file.
- If you wish to include additional images within the book, send .jpg or .png files for each. These should measure at least 200×300 pixels or larger. We’ll resize accordingly (we can make things smaller, but not larger, so when in doubt, send the largest image you have). You may embed these images within your book file or simply note in the file where you’d like them included.
- A completed Metadata Form. This is a form we provide you that collects all the pertinent details we need to embed as part of your book file and/or use to build your book sales page on iBooks. Need a blank metadata form?
Download current Metadata Form
When you have everything ready, simply contact us using the Contact Us page to get delivery instructions.
A note about Smashwords formatting:
When formatting a .doc for the Smashwords “meat grinder,” we experience some limitations with the Table of Contents and the NCX navigation. The “meat grinder” cannot handle multiple TOC references to a Chapter 1. Therefore, with most anthologies or collections, we will only include the book titles within the Table of Contents for a Smashwords .doc.
If we are providing you with a Smashwords-specific .epub file, we can include links to all chapters within all books.