If your work is accepted for inclusion in an anthology by one of the major publishers, you will usually receive payment and a free copy of that anthology. If you are accepted by one of the Small Presses (who cannot afford a payment), you will still usually receive a free copy of the anthology.
There is nothing wrong with selling anthologies to contributors as long as those who are in that business do not imply:
- that they accept work 'on merit' or 'in competition with other entries'. It is in their interests to include as much work as possible, whatever its artistic worth, so they can sell more copies of the anthology to the authors whose work is included.
- how finely produced the anthology will be. Many people are disappointed both by the aesthetic quality of these anthologies and by the quality of the work appearing in them.
- that their anthologies are read by any, other than the smallest of readerships. The majority of these anthologies are only read by those who appear in them and their families, and are seldom stocked by book shops or libraries.
- that you can make a saving by buying the anthology at a special pre-publication price. The 'special' price is usually only low in comparison to the 'normal' selling price quoted and few, if any copies, will ever be sold at this 'normal' price.
- that it is anything more than vanity publishing. The writer is, after all, paying the price of the anthology to see his work in print.
Note . . .
Too often claims made in an attempt to persuade clients to buy copies of anthologies are not genuine. In those cases it simply becomes a dishonest attempt to hoodwink gullible members of the public.
However, if you are content to pay the price of an anthology to see a single item in print (for that is what it amounts to - paying for publication) then by all means buy a copy.