Scott Roche writes about "Dead Ends" for "The Whole Is Greater"

The Whole is Greater is a semi-regular feature on the blog where I ask the editors of anthologies to tell us about their experience working on an anthology.  Today's features Scott Roche, whom I've had the pleasure of talking with more than once for a podcast interview and back and forth via the internet.  One day, Roche, you will fall into my clutches ... er, we'll meet in person.  When Scott told me that this was to support another charity anthology... well, that's awesome.  And since it benefits the organization running NaNoWriMo, it's timely as well.  

Dead Ends – A Horror Anthology

My first passion as a reader, writer, and movie-goer is horror. As a result of that and my participation in the horror end of the indie publishing arena, I’ve gotten to know a good many writers. Sadly, many of these writers lack the draw that I think they deserve, and they also have audiences that may be unaware of these other talented writers. To resolve this, I set about doing my part and conceived of the idea for Dead Ends. It was to be a charity anthology that would benefit the Office of Letters and Light, theorganization that brought us NaNoWriMo.

As this is a charity anthology, I was only offering a token payment. So at first I only intended to draw from authors that I knew, ones known for writing horror. I was also mainly on the lookout for reprints. I didn’t want anyone to spend time crafting a new story when they weren’t going to be paid pro rates for their efforts. A couple of people, notably Justin Macumber and Ed Lorn, didn’t fall into these categories. Justin has written in a number of genres, mostly hard SF. Ed was an author I had been completely unaware of until I put out calls, and he created a completely new tale just for the anthology. I was pleasantly surprised by their additions to the body of work.

I was also able to find an editor and a creative designer to aid me in creating something that was really polished. Sue Baiman and Scott Pond filled these roles, bringing their talents on board in the interest of benefiting our charity. Their hours of work are evident in the quality of the cover and what’s in between them.

The whole process has been both a positive and a negative experience for me. First, the bad: it simply hasn’t sold as well as I’d hoped. The number one purpose behind Dead Ends was to spread the word about these authors and their awesome stories. In order for that to happen, people need to buy them. Everyone involved has leveraged their web presences to spread the word, but by and large the response has been less than anticipated. On balance, there’s been a lot of good. The stories are great. The responses of the people who’ve read them have met my expectations. And working with all the people involved has been a dream. I’m proud of what we’ve done and the lackluster sales just mean I have to put my shoulder behind this and continue to spread the word.

I want to thank Steve for helping me do that, and I hope you’ll check it out.