Wednesday 7 June 2023

A Glimmer of Uncommon Fairy Tales edited by Elizabeth Klein


In this article, editor Elizabeth Klein tells why she chose to compile this anthology, and how she went about it. 

Over the years, I’ve submitted to dozens of anthologies and have enjoyed adding my stories to the many diverse voices on the mainstream reading platforms, along with the increased visibility anthologies afford. Initially, A Glimmer of Uncommon Fairy Tales began with a germ of an idea—I wanted to create an anthology of uncommon fairy tales and not just the run-of-the-mill ones. Amazon and Goodreads have a glut of those. But there are literally hundreds of amazing fairy tales yet to be adapted and rewritten. That became the anthology’s theme and purpose.

Then I hunted around for an appropriate cover, one professionally created and not too expensive. The one I finally chose was not custom-made, but I loved it the moment I saw it, so I purchased it many months before I was ready to send out invitations to authors. 

I began by identifying my target audience (YA) and made a long list of authors from Facebook mainly whom I believed would like to submit a text to the anthology. I then tailored my promotional efforts accordingly and created a graphic ad which was uploaded on fantasy genre sites on Facebook, my own website, Buzz Words and in my newsletter. I also sent out personal invitations to notable authors, hoping to draw more experienced, famous authors into the project. Generally, I like to have about 10 writers to join in an anthology.

When authors replied, I’d either place a tick beside their names if they showed interest in the project or crossed them off. When anyone showed interest, I sent them style guidelines to make the stories more uniform and easily editable and formattable, as well as the minimum and maximum word length for stories and a due date. Since I was working with other authors, I asked them to share the cost of the cover and worked out AUD and USD conversions and sent that out too.

After a while, stories started to come into my email box for editing. This process took the longest and, to be honest, it was the most stressful, having to collaborate with authors who often didn’t like scenes deleted or altered. I also had to formulate a rejection letter template since I had to let about five writers go. 

After the initial editing and formatting processes were completed, I allowed each author time to review an unpublished version of the book to catch last minute typos or problematic issues, or where their stories could be tightened and polished before the publishing stage. I also sent a copy to a reliable reader in the USA to locate any noticeable issues with the book. A fresh set of eyes can make a world of difference. Once he returned the book, I amended the errors he picked up. The other writers also helped and found a few to fix up. 

The next stage, and one of the most exciting, was publishing the book on Amazon, first as an eBook and then as a hardcopy. For the hardcopy, I needed to create a killer blurb, which goes a long way to hook potential readers. This text may be small, but it carries a lot of significance and is part of the marketing golden ratio. Plus, it sells the book. Discoverability is, at this stage, the word of the day.

Once the eBook version was live, I collaborated with contributing authors to leverage their platforms and networks to amplify the anthology's exposure. A large part of the book’s promotional strategy was using social media. In July last year, there were over 4.6 million active social media users. There isn’t a general rule or a single platform that does wonders for every author. Ultimately, it all comes down to the platform they feel most comfortable with using because only there can they be authentic and creative. For me, that will be Facebook and my newsletter. Other contributors may, hopefully, use Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Goodreads, blogging, Tweets and Scribophile, as well as live appearances at events just to name a few.

I’m also considering partnering with bookstores, libraries, and literary events for in-person promotions, such as readings, signings, and panel discussions. The marketing list is endless.

It’s certainly challenging working alongside so many authors, but at the same time, each person has brought a fresh set of marketing ideas and a different sphere of influence—not to mention a unique set of skills and writing abilities. This kind of compilation not only celebrates creativity but is also a valuable experience for all involved. So, while it’s a lot to juggle in the production phase, the marketing part should yield some great results for us all.

If you would like to buy a copy of the book, go to


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