I was browsing around the book-blogosphere this morning and I ran across a couple of reviews of anthologies that started out something like this: “I’m not a fan of anthologies…” and contained phrases like this: “I rarely ever like every story in an anthology…”. I see this time and time again and I’m positive we have many reviews with similar wording for anthologies here at Fiction Vixen. In fact I know I’ve said the same thing many times.
I assume the purpose of an anthology featuring multiple authors is to entice readers with stories by authors they’ve enjoyed in the past and introduce them to authors that are new to them. But in all honesty I can’t think of an anthology I’ve ever purchased. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure all the anthologies I’ve read have been given to me for review. I like novellas so I’m not sure why I don’t buy anthologies. If I’m correct in my thinking on the purpose of anthologies then they have been effective though, since I have discovered new-to-me authors and purchased other works by them after having sampled their work in this format.
Why don’t some readers like anthologies? In reading reviews and evesdropping on twitter here are some of the reasons I’ve been able to gather from readers:
- The stories are short and therefore not fully developed.
- Never like all the stories in the anthology.
- If the stories are part of a series they don’t read and they might not understand setting/arc etc.
- Don’t want to spend money on the book if the anthology includes an author’s work they know they don’t like.
My questions for you today are:
Do you read anthologies? Why or why not?
Do you purchase anthologies or only read them if given to you for review or by a friend?
Have you discovered new-to-you authors and purchased their books after reading an anthology?
If you like anthologies, what is your all-time favorite?
If you don’t like anthologies, would you still buy one if your favorite author was a contributor? What would tempt you to purchase an anthology?