My publisher, markdeniz, was easy. He pretty much introduced me to amandapillar, my co-editor and fled… I mean, backed off and did not micromanage. By that time, he and Amanda had already gone over the original set of stories and left her with the dirty job of negotiating the whole thing with me.
Amanda was a little more difficult but not nearly as bad as she might suppose. I am fairly easy to get along with – until I'm not. Which does not happen that often. We just had to make sure we had the same vision. First, she gave me her professional background and we went over each story and why Morrigan Books would or would not accept the stories. Three categories – yes, no and maybe. Most of the "no" stories I agreed with after careful thought. A couple of the maybe stories I fought for and explained my position on why. In the end, we agreed on the ones to keep and the ones to reject. Amanda was kind enough to take on the task of rejections.
(It was fascinating to get her perspective on why a story was good or not. It was also very interesting to go through the editing process with her as a co-editor and an author. Most anthologies send out your story with a single request for edits. I don't think there were less than three rounds per story – Even Ed's and Jay's. Though, most of that was clarification on unrecognized local terms. But, I digress.)
Next up, we needed to tighten up submission guidelines. Amanda was far more strict on the how's and why's of the apocalypse because she wanted the foundation of the stories to be firm. She did not want anyone to criticize the back-story of the anthology as "implausible" when what was important was what happened next; especially since I wanted to keep one foot in reality. We talked and hammered them into shape. Finally, all of the accepted stories were sent back to their original authors for edits while we invited twenty new authors to participate.
In the meantime, we worked on the cover idea. I told Amanda what I wanted and she tentatively agreed. She handed the task over to wedschilde who did a bang up job on what I wanted. However, Amanda wasn't satisfied and told Reese to "come up with something," her own idea. Darned if there isn't a reason I'm an author and not a graphic artist. I much preferred Reese' idea and so did everyone else. The coolest thing? She incorporated the Grants Pass sign into the cover like I wanted.
Pre-marketing activities. Well, I'm less familiar with this part of it. I know we are advertising it on the web and I believe there will be a book trailer for Grants Pass as well. Mark has discussed his thoughts of unveiling the next four books that Morrigan Books will be releasing at San Deigo Comicon. Also, Mark, Amanda and I have all started setting up reviewers to receive ARCs of the anthology right around the time we open for pre-orders. I suspect that will be in May 2009 or so. I'm looking forward to experiencing that part of this process.
Also, the most interesting thing I've done so far – I emailed the mayor and city council of the city of Grants Pass, Oregon, to let them know about the anthology. While I don't think it will be a "Forks, WA" issue, I thought it would be good for them to know that their little town was about to be put on the international map. They haven't responded to me yet.