Are you writing strictly for your own pleasure, to impress some anonymous editor, or to share your work with readers?
If you’re like most fiction writers I know, you’ve got a few short stories, or abandoned novel chapters that could be shaped into short stories, lingering on your hard drive.
Let me suggest you take a leap into the digital world and publish those stories yourself on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and the like. (I’ll address submissions to literary journals in a separate post.)
For most of my writing career, anything that smelled like self-publishing was considered the “kiss of death.” After all, if you needed to pay exorbitant prices to a vanity press, you probably didn’t have the talent or mastery of craft to make it in the traditional publishing world. The times they are a-changin.
These days, many successful writers are jumping into indie publishing, either as an addition to or as a replacement for traditional publishing. New writers are launching their short stories via indie publishing in an effort to expose their work to the reading public.
4 Reasons to Digitally Publish Your Short Stories:
- Publish in a day.You can submit a story to journals for months or even years before you get an acceptance and publication date. Once you create a cover, format the text, and write a descriptive blurb, you can have your story available for sale via digital outlets within a few hours.
- Make money now. If you write in genres like sci fi or horror, there are several magazines that will pay for your stories. Literary magazines, on the other hand, rarely pay anything more than a copy or two of the journal itself. For those of us who aren’t independently wealthy, the extra money we can make from publishing and marketing our stories independently, may be worth the effort.
- Build a readership. If you’re working on a novel or story collection, you can start to find readers for your work well before your longer piece is ready. If your work is good, and you give people the opportunity to find it, those same readers will look for your next work. Just don’t make them wait too long.
- Credibility. Sure, publishing in a highly reputable journal builds your credibility as a writer, but sales can do that for you in a much more direct way. Some writers may be in the industry as a hobby or part-time job, but few agents or publishers are. They need to make a living, and if you can demonstrate a successful sales record with your short stories, they’ll give you a serious look when you’re ready to sell your novel or story collection (assuming you don’t decide to indie publish that as well.)
For all those reasons and more, I’ve published my first short story via digital avenues. The Morning Man is published for Kindle, Nook, pdf download and all the other ereader formats. There are more stories to come, including several which I’ll publish under a pen name, since they’re a complete departure from my normal “literary” genre.
Have you self-published? Leave me a comment, and let me know where I can find your work.
Go write something!