1. mclanier235
    Offline

    mclanier235 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia

    E-Publishing Short Fiction

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by mclanier235, Sep 14, 2012.

    When it comes to short stories and novelettes... Even novellas... Do you think, with the declining market for short fiction in print and the rise in popularity of e-readers and the ease in which you can publish your work through Amazon, etc...

    Is it a good idea to self-publish these works? Everything I have read from established authors, writing courses, etc. seems to point out that being a published short story author does not help you get your novel published. In fact, in many cases, unless the editor of Y magazine happens to like X magazine, having publications in different short fiction markets doesn't really help your chances of getting other short fiction published.

    What's your thoughts? Has anyone had any success doing this?
     
  2. JamesOliv
    Offline

    JamesOliv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    New York
    I am not going to turn this into a self-publishing is good discussion.

    My opinion on the matter is that self-publishing is an option and one that should be carefully considered. In general, I prefer to post my short stories for free rather then publish them in an anthology. Why? Because I just launched my website and generated 1,000 hits the first month without spending money on promotion. A fraction of those visitors seem to have read the story (only be for the moment) on my site. Now, as I check google analytics, it appears 20-30 people per week seem to be spending a lot of timeon the story pages (which I take to mean they are reading the story). I get to promote just my story and it is a lot easier for me to drive traffic to my website and hope a few of those people stick around and like what they see.

    In an anthology, my story is one of many. If the story before mine turns off a reader, they may put the whole book down and never look at my work.

    But, I like to do both. I just received an offer for a small anthology which will be published in December. I think getting short stories published helps me feel less like the eccentric guy who slaps stories on his personal website and calls it a day.

    I have no desire to impress a publisher. I have no desire to walk around on pins and needles worrying that what I do might somehow get me on the publishers poopoo list. That doesn't mean I walk around thinking off ways to annoy publishers, but if i find a way to put my story "out there" and that method will actually result in people looking at my work, I am all for it.

    My job is to write and write I shall. I won't publish with a vanity press (which lands you on a publishers poopoo list) because I feel doing so would be a bad business decision.

    I am trying to build a brand. To do that, people need to be familiar with me and be fans of my work. Some people go all web based (post it on your website), some go all ebook and some go all print publication (within this category, some go all self-published, some only publish in anthologies and some only publish in literary journals). I like to dabble in them all. But I like to dabble wisely.

    I don't do any of those things unless I lay out a plan of action and am confident that I can execute them to my satisfaction. I'm a business guy, I like plans and well thought out execution.

    Have I had success? That depends on your view. People are reading the current story I have posted. I have received some positive feedback. That, to me, is a positive sign. But it is also the very beginning of a pretty comprehensive plan that will take me years to fully execute. I have made very little money writing. But, if I can build a fanbase, I'm OK with that. I would much rather have people enjoy my work for free than ignore it for a fee.

    Should you self-publish? That's your decision. but like any other decision, you should carefully evaluate your goals. If your only goal is to "wow" a publisher, I think you need to re-evaluate your goals. Focus on writing. Focus on improving. Focus on feedback. You will never impress a publisher with your promotional efforts if your writing isn't up to scratch.
     
  3. mclanier235
    Offline

    mclanier235 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    I am actually trying to do something similar, James. I've started a small website where I talk about writing, my progress, the things I personally struggle with, etc. I'm thinking about writing some shorter fiction to post for free so readers can get a sample of my work, but anything longer than a short story I am seriously thinking about publishing on Amazon or other electronic format.

    That doesn't mean, by any means, I am rushing to publish my work as soon as I get done typing "The End". I have a thorough writing and revision process to all my work, utilizing my writing partner and beta readers to help me gauge when my work is at a level that I think warrants publishing. This doesn't mean it will be good to other people, but it's how I do my work.

    Thanks for your input. It's good to hear someone doing something similar and having some success with it. Readership is success. Feedback is success. Keep it up, brother. =)
     
  4. JamesOliv
    Offline

    JamesOliv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks for sharing!

    Also, to clarify with my posted short stories. I make them available on kindle even when they are posted on my website for free (my short stories tend to be around 10,000 words). I do this because ot everyone wants to read stories on the website.

    My beta readers tire easily, so I have my work professionally edited prior to any posting. That's my personal preference.

    But to the OP's question, this kind of illustrates how many different directions you can take a self-published short story.
     
  5. Edward M. Grant
    Offline

    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Canada
    Simple answer: yes, but submit to paying markets first.

    Unless it really takes off as a self-published short you'll probably sell 1-10 copies a month, whereas a paying market might pay a few hundred dollars if they accept it. So spending a few months sending it out is probably worthwhile.
     
  6. DefinitelyMaybe
    Offline

    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    227
    Location:
    Leicester, UK
    I've just read a self-published short story, which was free on Amazon. After the end of the story, the author had placed the first chapter of his debut novel. Clearly he was using free distribution of his short story as advertising for his novel.
     
  7. Danvok
    Offline

    Danvok Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Sounds like a good idea.
     

Share This Page