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Lynn Crain: The Joy of Collaboration
Monday, March 6th, 2017

Every once in a while, as a writer, you run across a group of people that you just know are special. I know quite a few such women and am fortunate enough to collaborate with many of them in things like critique groups, writing events and the occasional anthology. Now every group has their specific things like a critique group may have a deadline to get your story submitted whereas a submission for an anthology will be different.

It occurred to me during my last such effort with the Sin City Romance Writers, that each of those groups, especially those doing anthology projects have a few things in common. Here are six important factors needed for a successful anthology collaboration.

  1. Describe the Project ~ When being part of an anthology, you want to know just what you’re getting into before you join. Here are some good questions to ask:
    1. What is required?
    2. How are the writers assigned their portions? Do they just submit a story or are they given a specific task?
    3. What are the critique criteria?
    4. How is the editor chosen?
    5. Who does the formatting?
  1. Set realistic deadlines ~ This is very important when one is trying to put together an anthology as opposed to a boxed set. Boxed sets are where the stories are already done while anthology stories are normally something new the author has written. Thus more time is normally needed to do a regular anthology. Here’s a list of some of the deadlines normally needed during an anthology project:
    1. Submission date ~ when the authors need to submit their story.
    2. Editing date ~ when the stories be edited.
    3. Formatting date ~ when the stories be formatted for ebook and print book versions.
    4. Pre-order Date ~ when the anthology will be available for pre-order on all the big venues.
    5. Release date ~ when the book is set for release.
  1. Specify Ownership ~ Early on in the process, all the participants need to decide just who owns the work. Chances are the stories will be still be owned by their authors but the publishing house, and in most cases the group itself, will ‘own’ or rather ‘lease’ the rights for a certain period of time. Even if you are a group of friends, it is always a great idea to have a contract in place to make sure everyone follows the same set of rules. Also, contracts vary from publishing houses, so make sure you understand just what you are signing.
  1. Money ~ It all comes down to money and frankly, it doesn’t matter if you make a little or a lot. You still need to decide just how you’re going to allocate the income and deal with the expenses. If this is publishing house, you will know from your contract just what the royalty rate will be. Most expenditures on your part will be for marketing.

In a group situation, you may have decided to put this in the contract as well. Normally, the income is divided equally. In our case, we had a marketing clause that outlined just how much money each of us would put into the marketing pool.

  1. Marketing ~ This is one of the hardest parts when doing an anthology. Sometimes, by the time people get to this phase, the thrill is gone and they aren’t pushing as much as they should be. Still, for our group, we put our minds together and came up with a marketing plan that worked for us all. It did require that we put money into the plan and then do whatever we could on our own as extra. The very fact that we sat down and planned it all out is what makes it work. There was tones of discussion on just what had worked for people and what hadn’t.
  1. Reward yourselves ~ Once it’s all over and things are done, reward yourselves with a group dinner where you can plan your next anthology.

Hopefully, I’ve simplified the whole collaboration thing a little for those of you thinking about doing an anthology with a group of writer friends. One thing to remember, writing is a business and even if you are friends, you need to approach it that way.

Now you tell me if we did okay on our project, Decades of Love!

Decades of Love

Love hits the jackpot in these six seductive tales, each set in a different decade in the hottest, wildest, most sinful of cities – Las Vegas.  In Elizabeth Spaur’s Miss Atomic Bomb, a beauty pageant brings a cowboy and city girl together.  A desperate singer finds new hope with a not-so-jaded casino owner in B.A. McIntosh’s Home at Last.  In Lynn Crain’s, Hooked on a Feeling,  two Vietnam vets get a second chance at love while facing enemies at home.  A rodeo star falls hard for a showgirl in Diane Deeds’s Total Eclipse of the Heart.  In Kay Phoenix’s An Unexpected Knight, a hero on a mighty steed captures the heroine’s heart. A good girl learns that being bad can be very, very good in Tami Cowden’s It Happened One Vegas Night.   Mobsters and G-men, cowboys and showgirls, singers and dancers, and even a knight in shining armor  all find that Sin City is not just a place to have fun – but  also a great place to fall in love.

It Happened One Vegas Night by Tami Cowden

Jorja Knox has been a good girl all her life, but all she has to show for it is a cheating fiancé. Now she wants to try being bad. But when you work for the FBI, being bad just isn’t done.  So her brother’s Las Vegas wedding seems the perfect time to take a walk on the wild side. After all, like the commercials say, what happens in Vegas ….

Las Vegas lawyer Tony Santori has always walked a very straight line, steering clear of his uncle’s mob connections. But being a good boy in Sin City loses its appeal when a drop-dead gorgeous blond “tourist” from Denver decides he is her Vegas fantasy. The last time the FBI tried to get to his family through him, he was left heart-broken. This time, he’s spotted the bluff. This time, he’ll be the one who wins.

Hooked On A Feeling by Lynn Crain

Now that she’s returned home from the Vietnam war, all Reggie Genarro wants to do is forget she’s part of the infamous Vegas Genarro mob family. True, her father had broken the mold by becoming one of Las Vegas’ premier prosecutors, but it doesn’t negate the fact that her name has caused her more problems than it’s worth.

When she finds Michael Vanzetti, an ex-lover from her time in Vietnam, dumped in the trash by her great-uncle Sonny’s goons, she knows it’s time to confront her family ties to the mob instead of ignoring them. This may prove an impossible task as her feelings for Michael may overwhelm her before she can meet with her uncle.

Michael Vanzetti, on undercover assignment from Army Intelligence, is stunned when Reggie Genarro comes to his rescue. She’s all he ever wanted in a woman but he could never prove it to her while they were stationed in Vietnam. She never made it any secret that her family was mob connected. So, he volunteered for the assignment to find out how involved her family was with the Asian drug and weapons trade in hopes of seeing her again.

Total Eclipse of the Heart by Diane Deeds

Cody Hunter, a talented young bull rider, is in Las Vegas in 1986 for his first National Finals Rodeo. Cocky and overconfident from a good year, he is, however, haunted by the death of his best friend by a rank bull. Cody now considers all bulls as demons to be conquered.

Las Vegas showgirl, Sandy Keyes, can dance any position in the Celebrations revue. However, her current move to topless performer isn’t sitting well. She would never consider it, except she needs the extra money to repay her brother’s gambling debts.

Sandy knows nothing about the rodeo, but when she meets Cody, she encounters an exciting world wholly removed from her city life. She especially likes how he treats her like a lady. But she doesn’t need the responsibility for another man who never grew up.

Cody must face his demons, including riding the devil bull, Total Eclipse, in order to win Sandy’s heart. However, this cowboy has a difficult road ahead to convince the city mouse to join him in his country life.

Home At Last by B.A. McIntosh

After four years on her own in foster care and another three searching, Ella Montgomery has finally narrowed the hunt to her little sister’s last known location – Las Vegas. It’s been seven years since she’d last seen Emma, and Ella would do anything it takes to bring her family back together, including moving to Vegas with nothing but a few bucks, a talent for singing and her dreams.

Casino owner Luke McBride’s businesses are wildly successful, yet his personal accomplishments always leave him feeling unsatisfied and empty. Restlessness haunts him until one fateful night a beautiful and mysterious new lounge singer catches his eye.

Luke is determined to get to know the lovely Ella better despite her reticence. His persistence catapults them on a journey that demands they learn to trust each other, or risk heartache.

An Unexpected Knight by Kay Phoenix

Sarah never expected to see Kyle again, let alone to have to work with him.

Kyle became a Knight, not guessing “the one that got away” would be the one he’d rely on each evening.

But, magic can still happen in King Arthur’s arena.

Miss Atomic Bomb 1953 by Elizabeth Spaur

All Lily Genarro wants is a family of her own. If only she wasn’t a pawn in a war between two Chicago Families. Her uncle thinks he’s got a way to save her –make her the next Miss Atomic Bomb. Nobody asked Lily what she wants, so she comes up with a crazy plan to sabotage everybody else’s ideas and do things her way.

Back home from Korea, all Jack McFadden wants is to get back to work on his family’s ranch. He’s too solitary for his mother’s taste. She insists he get off the ranch and back into the world and has just the job to make that happen – escort his little sister when she competes in the Miss Atomic Bomb Pageant.

The last thing Lily and Jack expect to find at this crazy pageant is love. The pageant might be a bomb, but their love is explosive.

Welcome to Sin City!

We’re the Sin City Romance Writers and we welcome you to the wonderful Las Vegas landscape. We hope you love our take on the decades that made Vegas what it is today. We’re a diverse group of authors with many different careers from CPA to lawyer, geologist to graphic artist and even intelligence screening. We have done it all. Each of us have a passion for writing, our families and Las Vegas even though many of us are transplants from other places. We call Vegas home and as everyone knows, home is where the heart is.

While this is our first anthology, it will not be our last. Please connect with us at one of the venues listed below. Learn about us as a group and about us individually. And we promise, what happens in Vegas may just stay here. Or not. Read us and see.

Social Media Links:

Amazon Universal Link
Books2Read Universal Link
Barnes and Noble

3 comments to “Lynn Crain: The Joy of Collaboration”

  1. Debora
    · March 6th, 2017 at 9:41 pm · Link

    You hit all the important details. Love your blurbs, will definitely be adding this to my TBR pile. Thanks for sharing the process 🙂

  2. Diane Deeds
    · March 7th, 2017 at 12:28 am · Link

    Lynn definitely hit the strategic points here. The hardest part for me- the marketing. It’s always the marketing! Sure enjoyed my collaboration with these great ladies!

  3. Marin
    · March 7th, 2017 at 10:02 am · Link

    Great post, Lynn! Definitely helpful information.

Comments are closed.