April Steenburgh is an author, freelance editor and eBook formatter. Her short story ‘How Much Salt’ can be found in ‘The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity’, published by DAW, and she has edited two previous anthologies- ‘Fight Like a Girl’ and ‘What Follows’. She is also the electronic resources and online instruction librarian at a community college in NY. When not engaging in writerly pursuits, she can be found up to her elbows in dirt in her extensive gardens, geocaching, or firespinning. You can find her at http://aprilsteenburgh.com/.
For about nine years I worked in a Borders/Waldenbooks, for a good piece of that time as a store manager. I was lucky in that the company encouraged in store signings- and not just with the big names or NYT Bestsellers. I had the freedom to hold events with local or less known authors that would benefit from the exposure. It was, honestly, my favorite part of the job (closely followed by the book discount). Some people have their rock or movie stars to idolize and get all tongue tied at the thought of being near. Me? Authors.
But, wow did I learn I loved working with authors.
My first sale as an author was to DAW, an anthology called “The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity”. I would never had been brave enough to submit to the anthology had I not been encouraged, had not spent so much time around people devoting so much of their time and energy to the craft. My editors were amazing- tough where they needed to be and encouraging in all the best ways.
I wanted to make anthologies. I wanted to work with authors, other writers who might not think they have what it takes to get published, who might not have an idea of how to get into publishing. So when my long-time, long-distance friend Christy (half jesting, I assume) dropped the idea for the Fight Like a Girl anthology, I ran with it. The support we received was incredible. The book we put together was filled with beautiful pieces by new or not very well known authors. I was able to pay new authors a professional rate for their work. I loved it.
This was going to be a Thing. I could tell.
The second anthology, What Follows , did not do as well via crowdfunding. It did not have the culturally relevant pull that Fight Like a Girl had had, but again- I had some talented authors and some excellent stories. So we put the book together anyway, working on the knowledge the authors would get royalties even if we couldn’t pay them outright for their stories.
That brings us to now. Refusing to get discouraged by the fact What Follows did not fund, I have gathered some familiar faces as well as some new authors for another anthology. Mobbing Midnight is different in that it is multi-genre. I have fantasy stories; I have historical fiction and horror. I have two authors with backgrounds in the biological sciences contributing. The glue holding it all together is crows. And some really talented authors excited to write about crows.
This did become a Thing. I enjoy nothing more than working with authors to put these books together. It is an incredible experience, for everyone involved. It is a lot of hard work as well as a lot of fun, and is 100% worth it. Being able to write checks to the authors when we fund…that moment where I get to send them the final compiled eBook, physical book…I don’t think I can adequately translate the grin that stretches across my face.
I am not a big publishing house. I am not independently wealthy. I am an editor, I am very good with the software needed to create an eBook, and I have an excellent friend who does a phenomenal job creating print layouts and cover designs. These are projects that need the support of the reading community to thrive. We appreciate every backer we get, and love putting together interesting and unique anthologies for them.
E.V. O’Day and Kate Larking are both in the line-up for Mobbing Midnight. You want to read their stories, right? Click here and help make the book happen with Kickstarter! Tight budget? That’s okay; we still love you! Spread the word about the anthology!