The New Paradigm of anthologies with Watson and Holmes publisher Brandon Perlow

March 9, 2017

Brandon Perlow is an interesting cat. I met him soon after he raised over $20,000 on Kickstarter for the Eisner-nominated Watson and Holmes, and we’ve been friends ever since, feeding each other advice on publishing and Kickstarter. I’ve learned a ton from him over the years, and I’m so glad he came on to talk about Kickstarter and anthologies. Considering we are currently running a comic book anthology Kickstarter this is perfect synergy with our current campaign.

In fact, he prepared a list of the top five things he learned from working on an anthology project and how to make them success. Here is his list:

1) The tighter the theme and subject are, the better. For instance, having an anthology dedicated to Watson and Holmes is better than having a broad anthology based on a group of people, or an anthology with no theme at all, like Our First Anthology.

2) Vary up the creators. It’s good to have creators who are well known and ones that are up and coming. You never know what up and coming creators will one day be massive stars, and the well-known creators help boost up the immediate sales and professionalism of your book.

3) The quality of the stories is what matters. You want the work to be of good quality. Anthologies are a great place for creators to show something different, but just make sure the art and stories are very high all around.

4) Size matters. Sometimes bigger is better. but not always. Try to have as many good stories as possible. That’s what people will remember. Don’t fill the anthology with junk just to make it bigger for the sake of size.

5) Packaging is important. At the end of the day the reader is what matters. If you don’t have something awesome then nobody will buy it, so make sure to make the packaging something readers will want.

He also got some bonus insights from noted Sherlock Holmes author Lyndsay Faye, who has contributed to many anthologies.

Obviously quality consistency is my biggest issue, but I also like variety when it comes to both style and length. Solid editing with a strong eye for plot is also key, because a lot of anthologies let authors get away with things that the editor of a book wouldn’t — plot holes, language problems, etc. And I want them ordered well, with an arc that makes sense from start to finish.

I hope this helps you plan your next anthology. Brandon mentioned a previous episode of my show with Tim Powers, which you can find here.

If you liked this episode, please head on over and tell Brandon thank you at @bperlownps on Twitter. If you like this show, head on over to iTunes and rate, review, and subscribe today. It only takes 30 seconds and it helps more than you could ever know. All you have to do is click here to be redirected.

And most importantly, we are currently running a Kickstarter campaign for our anthology, Monsters and Other Scary Shit. It’s a 224-page monster anthology about monsters. Check it out by clicking here and get your copy today!


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