Creating a Book with Colleagues

by | Dec 19, 2022 | Anthology, Writer's Life

From Idea to Anthology

The idea for the Pen and Keyboard Writers to publish a book began with our leader and President, Jim Martin. As a group, we decided to create an anthology of short stories and poems with “seasons” as our theme.  The stories and poems ranged from a metaphor for life’s passages to a  focus on the actual seasons in the year.  

Challenging Myself

My major goal for participating was to observe and work on the steps I needed on the follow-through of promoting my own books after being published.   

For me, the major challenge in working on the anthology was twofold.  My first challenge was taking the time to provide feedback in a timely manner during the drafting, editing, and finalizing the different writer’s stories and poems during the developmental process. The reward was the unbiased feedback on my own writing. The thrill of seeing the book come together and the diversity of the content around a common theme was both inspiring and intimidating. Our group has some very good writers, and my writing has primarily been professional.  Even my children’s books are based on my professional experience. Changing from a professional writer to a creative writer with a target audience of adults continues to be another challenge for me.

Not Your Usual “Group Project”

The cooperation of the group was exceptional. Each member of the group respected the timeline, which was important to complete the book before the end of the year. As the book came together the strengths of the group membership became apparent. Each member edited and provided feedback.  From my observation those members with strong grammar and content backgrounds in creative writing contributed more than others. 

The organization was important and two of our members worked effectively with each other and the group to pull together the different authors’ contributions and organize them by categories around the subtopics of the four seasons. The last step was complex, and the technology-savvy person in the group took on the responsibility and collaborated with our leader to complete the final formatting and publishing to create the final book.

What’s Next?

The excitement will be when the book is in our hands, and we have our book launch in the early part of 2023. My major goal is to observe the “how to” of promoting the book and participate in the diverse types of strategies used to sell the book. One strategy that we have agreed upon is to submit the book for consideration for book awards.  Another is to have a book signing with press releases in local bookstores.

In summary, a special thank you to Jim Martin and Biruta Harris for managing the different authors’ contributions. Each of the members did a fantastic job reviewing and editing. Carla Guthrie used her grammar expertise to review the final draft of the book – more than once.  Holly Jahangiri, our savvy technology expert, created the cover art and formatted the manuscript for print and ebook, as well as uploading the final files and dealing with the many complex processes of publishing. Jim of course stepped in to make the book easily available to each of us for our first print run.  Jim is managing the book launches with the bookstores and Eva Mahoney is doing the press releases.

A great example of teamwork.

If you are eager to get your very own copy of the anthology, in paperback or ebook, visit to choose a participating retailer near you.

If you are in the Oklahoma City area, keep an eye on this site for announcements concerning book signings and in-person events.


Donna Castle Richardson
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