1. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    e-posting short stories?

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by CraniumInsanium, Aug 24, 2013.

    Does anybody have experience e-publishing short stories? I'm just wondering if only novels sell online (kindle, amazon etc). It looks like several online sites accept anything around the 12k word mark.

    I suppose I'm kind of answering my own question since "sites" seem to accept submissions and my thought process wasn't sure if most authors compose short story collections (think Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Steven King or something similar) before putting the short stories out for publishing. Most short stories I read are about 40 pages or less, so my inexperience causes me to wonder if people would actually pay .99cents or the going rate for so short a book. Heck, I don't even know what the going rate is for a novel.

    I'm absolutely clueless about everything except the fact that I can publish my work on a website, through an e-reader, or by a paper book publisher. I've heard other people mention publishing their own books on their own, don't know if its the same thing.

    Thanks for any input, or re-direction to the proper thread if this has already been posted.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I've seen short stories published by e-publishers. I have no idea how well some do but one person I had a forum discussion with said he wasn't selling much. That's only one anecdote, however, so who knows? I think it's new territory. Probably no one knows.
     
  3. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    hhmm, interesting. Yea, I've seen others "talk" about it, but like I said clueless lol.

    I think I'll hop over to kindle or somewhere, and actually "see" is there's a short story section to get books in. Might find some answers...
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm pretty sure amazon takes them for kindle... check it out...
     
  5. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Amazon have started complaining recently about some stories under 2,500 words, but they'll certainly take shorts beyond that. They also have their own shorts program which I believe gives better royalties than just uploading as an e-book, but you have to submit to that and see if they accept it.
     
  6. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Love to know what you fond out coz kinda wondering the same thing. Put one out at a time or put together ina collection.
     
  7. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Far too many of the sites that "publish" short stories are, in reality, someone like you or I who decided to call themselves a publisher. Their readership, for the most part, is the people who submit the stories, and their friends.

    Let me ask how many such magazines you read now? Because if you don't know much about them, as a reader, can you expect others like yourself to be customers for you?

    As for publishing individual shorts or even collection on Amazon or Smashwords, the first thing to ask is: are your stories written on a professional level? I ask because your potential readers are used to reading what they view as competent writing. And damn few people are going to pay for what they see as writing that's no more skilled than what they might write.

    So ask yourself what makes your stories better than what your reader could produce on their own, and if your writing will keep them turning pages till the plot gets a chance to hook them. If the answer is that you have a ways to go, then get started on upgrading your skills from 1.0 to 2.0 or better. Do that well enough and publishers will pay you to allow them to publish your work.
     
  8. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Tru but to be fair it is also the place to go as a test. See what the paying public think of your work. You could have a story that has been changed and altered thosands of time and might be grest might be bad. But how will u ever know? There is only so many times that u can 'improve' your work. What really there really to lose in trying?
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It isn't a good idea to use Amazon or other such places as a test bed for bad writing. At least not if you're putting your name on the work. That's your reputation, and you only get one first impression. You publish something bad now, a lot of readers won't give your work another shot once it improves. I doubt I would. Beta readers are a better test bed.
     
  10. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    I didnt mean bad writing or throw out the first thing yiu write. But At some point you will be happy with your work and reached an optimum. So life is a gamble. Do u try or have a nice puece of work sat on your com?
     
  11. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Plus its the internet your rep is only as good as the name you use ;p
     
  12. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't publish something unless I thought it was the best I could do at the time. But that doesn't mean it has to be staggeringly brilliant to sell a few hundred copies and not embarrass you.
     
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  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. Unfortunately, the opposing viewpoint doesn't help self-publishing.

    For one take on it, see http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/02/03/slushy-glut-slog-why-the-self-publishing-shit-volcano-is-a-problem/
     
  14. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    But where do u draw the line? Where is the point you can say I will do this. I see on lots of posts where people dont rate twilight and 50 shades...and I dare say that if given to some on here as beta readers they would not say worth publishing. But the authors at some point said "Im doing it" and like it or not they did. People will love. People will hate but you wont know either till u try. At the end who deems work publishable? even the experts pick some we dont agree with. if you done all you can where else can you go?
     
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  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how many people [other than friends and family of the writer] will actually buy e-short stories?
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If the author is well known, quite a few apparently. I think Lee Child has had good luck selling single short stories through Amazon. Joe Hill has also sold short stories through Amazon and B&N and from what I've read they appear to have done well.
     
  17. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    The "public" will never know it exists. Who, in all the world, is seeking a book with your name on the spine? And how will the average reader learn that you have an offering?

    Post beginner's work on Amazon or Smashwords and all you'll earn is that no one bought it. How in the hell is that going to help you fix the problems? At least if you post a story here you'll get feedback.

    The only way to "improve" your work is to improve your writing. And that's not going to happen if all you do is rearrange the words without adding actual knowledge of how to write.
     
  18. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Who is the world is seeking any NEW authors name anyway? That attitude is the argument against self publishing. Authors don't come out of some factory name ready. There has to be a starting point. And being in the digital age , tags are just as important as names. Tag the key word 'fantasy' etc. and people will be at some point delivered to your work. Its up to the preface then to do the selling. Back when you had to scour the bookshelf a name was an easy reference. But having no name shouldn't be a reason to put anyone off. There are plenty of negative issues facing the new author anyway.

    I started reading at a late age so names meant nothing to me, i was in hospital and saw a honestly bookshelf and picked randomly a Terry Pratchett book.(to be fair I picked a book by its cover) I didn't know him but i enjoyed his book (and paid the 50p) and started buying his work. But if i never picked that first unidentifiable book, I wouldn't have got the collection.

    What is editing if not improving the way you write. Looking at what you did wrong and rectifying and learning. How do you know what knowledge you have to acquire with out the mistakes etc. By all means pass it around to have others look. But all they (after word mechanics etc.) can offer are opinions. So how many time do you pass it around, get critiqued, amend....and repeat? At some point you have to bite the bullet and go for it. One life Live it and have fun. Health & Family are the only things people should take seriously.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks, sp... but i was actually asking about unknown writers, not famous authors... sorry i wasn't specific enough...
     
  20. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Ah. Yes, I'm guessing they're not doing too well with them. Amazon has a program specifically designed to market short stories for Kindle, but they have editors and you have to go through a submissions process to be accepted. If you get into that, you could probably do OK since Amazon is going to promote the work. Short of that, I'd say unless you are already established, don't expect single short stories on Amazon to sell a lot.
     
  21. matwoolf
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    completely unreasonable post deleted
     
  22. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Good, you can see that. But what you don't yet see is that the average self publisher sells, after you remove friends, coworkers, and relatives, only a handful of copies.

    Writing fiction is a profession, just as much as any other. And in our primary schooling we learn virtually none of its tricks and craft. So if you're hoping it's a matter of luck forget it. And if you're hoping it's just something that comes to a lucky few because they're pure of heart, forget it. As in any other profession it's all in te becoming. And f you've taken no steps to learn the basics of writing fiction for the printed word you're only adding to the clutter by self releasing. And I say that as someone who has been published, self published, and owned a manuscript critiquing service. Unless and until you take steps to ground yourself in the basics of presenting a story on the page you are going to be in violation of the unspoken contract between writer and reader: They give us of their time and money and we make that worthwhile by providing quality that matches what they can get from publishers.
     
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  23. Edward M. Grant
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    Don't know, but I sold over 500 copies of one of my shorts last month, and over 150 copies of another one the month before. Most of the others have sold <50 each over the year or two since I published them.

    Not exactly enough to retire to my estate in Hawaii and buy a Ferrari, but enough to make a payment or two on the Civic (I haven't checked exactly how much Amazon owe me).
     
  24. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    I totally agree with you, you can't just throw words at a page, fix the spelling errors and call it a story. I would never advocate first drafts or dysfunctional MS going online. Its takes practice, craft and patience. But sooner or later with all the knowledge, grounding and basics you have to make THAT decision. No one knows how the novel, novella, short story will be received. 50 shades has been said to have nothing but bad writing mistakes but still made it. While other more 'correct' books haven't. Its a floating market where the tide changes daily. And not all the know how will effect that. We (well I) don't know how well some of the guys here write. But I like to think positive and that they do have grounding and understanding of the craft and that they are now at the next stage. We cant let the oooooh is it really good enuff argument get too us too much. Yes use it to push or technique forward but when you are ready then it can be time to jump into the sea of the internet :).
     
  25. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    No you don't. The acquiring editor does. And if the people who make their living by knowing what will and won't sell say you're not there yet you pretty much have your answer.
    Said by whom, people who aren't reading that genre? They don't count. I've read the excerpt on Amazon and she can write in the romance genre style fairly well, certainly on a professional level. Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+. The lady has a background in film and her husband is a screenwriter, so she's knowledgeable in the structure of a story.

    You're right that everyoneone must make their own decisions, but they should be informed decisions, based on professional knowledge, not "I wanna."
     

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