Literary Libraries
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Literary Libraries

How to Publish an Anthology at Your Library

Book pages folded into heart.
Photo by Aung Soe Min on Unsplash

Choose a Theme

The most successful, cohesive anthologies revolved around a theme that is important to your writers and readers. You can publish a literary anthology or poems, short stories, or comics in a specific genre. You can also create a local history anthology and pull together local ghost stories, interviews with older community members, or recipes that feature a local delicacy. Nelson Public Library in Victoria, British Columbia published a cookbook of recipes created by local chefs.

Compile the Works

To find works for your anthology, you can hold open submissions or commission new works, or you can gather existing works from your archive or the public domain. Libraries Publish explains how to hold open submissions and gives reviews of free and paid submissions management software such as Submittable.

  • Who can submit
  • How to submit
  • The deadline
  • The permissions the writer is granting you
  • The payment for published work if any
  • An anticipated publication date

Write the Introduction

Write an introduction to your anthology to set the stage for the following works. Some anthologies have an introduction written by the anthology editor and a foreword written by someone else to help endorse the book. For example, if you publish an anthology of poems, you may have your city of state’s poet laureate write a foreword to briefly explain the importance of poetry and get readers excited to read the anthology.

Produce the Anthology

The exact steps you take to produce your anthology will depend on whether you plan to create a print book, and ebook, or both. It will also depend on how you plan to distribute your book. For example, you may take different steps to distribute your book for free on your library site than you would to distribute it for payment on Kindle.

Distribute and Promote the Anthology

Before your book is officially published, start promoting it inside and outside the library. Create flyers, displays, and bookmarks to notify patrons of the upcoming anthology. Post information on the book your library’s website and social media. Write pre and post publication press release, and send them to local news outlets. Use MailChimp of a similar email marketing services to market to patrons, and send personalized emails to contributors to keep them aware of the book’s pub date. Plan a book launch event, such as a reception for contributors. Every year, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania throws a Teen Media Awards event for contributors to the library’s teen creative writing anthology.



A free resource for public, academic, school, and special libraries engaged in creative publishing projects including books, magazines, blogs, and writing contests.

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