1. Admin
    Offline

    Admin Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Minnesota

    Publish a Short Story?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Admin, Aug 14, 2012.

    I submitted a short story I wrote to the fiction editor of the New Yorker. (On the off chance that maybe I'll be a lucky son of a witch for once in my life) Should I wait and see if this one in a gazillion chance comes true, or look into self-publishing on something such as Amazon?
     
  2. Thornesque
    Offline

    Thornesque Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I think it's perfectly reasonable to continue looking into self-publishing options while waiting for a reply. If they decide to publish you, then you can nix all the self-publishing thoughts. If they don't, then you can continue on the path you already started. A friend of mine did the same thing: he'd gotten an e-mail from a legitimate publishing company that was seeing him a lot on Facebook that wanted to read his novel and see if it was something they'd be interested in publishing. While they were going over it, though, he continued setting up for potential self-publishing. The company ended up not being interested in his novel and so he ended up publishing it himself.

    So that's my take on the matter: look into self-publishing. If you don't need it, then oh well. You could always use the information later for another short story, novel or poem.
     
  3. Edward M. Grant
    Offline

    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Canada
    Wait. If nothing else, they won't be happy if they accept it and you've already self-published it.
     
  4. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,535
    You've submitted it now so why not just wait? In the meantime you could always self-publish your OTHER short stories, right? No harm done doing some research, but I'd wait.
     
  5. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Definitely wait. However unlikely an acceptance may seem, I can guarantee they won't want it if you've self-published it in the meantime.
     
  6. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Or (unless the New Yorker doesn't like SimSubs) you could submit to some of the other magazines out there (see Duotrope). My understanding (just from comments I've seen around various forums) is that self-published short stories don't do that well (compared to SP novels).
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    self-publishing is not going to help establish you as a serious writer... in fact, it can actually hurt, since it implies you couldn't sell your work to paying venues... being published in highly-respected magazines/literary journals definitely will...
     
  8. Juganhut
    Offline

    Juganhut Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was thinking of publishing dual short story book. I have two ideas that are very similiar, but I know I cannot go novel length for either. I have seen people sell individual short stories for .99, then the same stories in a combo for like 2.99.
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    that's fine, if all you want to do is get them 'out there' and maybe make a few dollars on them... but it's not going to establish you as a serious writer, nor pay the rent...
     
  10. moscowwoah
    Offline

    moscowwoah Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    www.tylerbigney.com
    You should look into submitting your story to smaller magazines. Self-publishing should be a last resort for your short story. You're not going to strike it rich from writing short stories (unless you're the next Raymond Carver) so you should look into other magazines.

    Paris Review, Three Penny Review, Tin House, and then there's a slew of smaller ones, where you won't make any money, but you'll get free copies of your magazine, see your name in print, and be able to say to people: I'm a published author. Here's proof.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    5,505
    mammamaia, I'm curious about your opinion on something: I've always assumed that self-publishing something will look bad because it suggests that I either tried and failed to sell it, or it looks like I don't understand how publishing works. I tend to assume that publishing a piece on my blog, while it destroys any chance of ever getting that piece or a more polished variant of it published, at least doesn't "look bad" in the same way. Opinion?
     
  12. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    it's the same thing, imo... as an editor [and if i was also an agent], it's a case of: 'amateurs' like to show off in their blogs, while 'pros' and 'serious' writers work hard to get paid for their writing... and as far as i know, that's the pov of most agents and publishers...
     
  13. moscowwoah
    Offline

    moscowwoah Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    www.tylerbigney.com
    Submit to other magazines.
     
  14. JamesOliv
    Offline

    JamesOliv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    New York
    An important question too ask yourself is "Why do I want to self-publish this story?"

    Do you want to self-publish because it wasnt accepted elsewhere? If that's the case, I think you need to try a few more publications. Submitting only to The New Yorker and then giving up on submissions seems a bit overkill. It would fall along the same lines as "If I don't get into Harvard, I'm not going to college at all." If you submit it all around and absolutely no one wants to publish it, maybe you need to have some beta readers take a look over that story. Maybe there is something correctable that is rendering it unpublishable. You will never find that flaw if you self publish. Instead, you are more likely to be one of thousands of self-publishers with no sales or few blog hits.

    If you want to self-publish because you have a story you simply wish to make available (blog, web serial, just posting stuff to get it out there) then why did you submit it to The New Yorker? If I post a story on my website, I write it for the website. I never submit it anywhere. I write it, review it, edit it and then post it. Different things are meant for different audiences and different modes of distribution. At least, that's how I do it.

    If you really want to self-publish, then self-publish. If you want to be published, then pursue publication. Don't do one because the other didn't work out. Lay out the road before you and choose your path.
     
  15. Kat Hawthorne
    Offline

    Kat Hawthorne Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    17
    There are (at least) two major things to consider. First, if you self-publish it, you can kiss the chances of having it published traditionally good-bye. Second - if you self publish... then what? Are you prepared to do the legwork involved in actually selling a few copies? Because if you self publish, you will be completely on your own.

    There are some real benefits with publishing in magazines. First, you will be able to use the magazines already established readership to promote your work, and secondly, you can add the publication to your "writing resume." Are you hoping to write more? A novel, perhaps? More short stories? What are your goals? If you want to publish a novel, DEFINITELY publish in magazines first. It shows agents that there is someone else "in-the-know" who thinks your work is good enough to warrant publication. That stuff is important. Plus you will generate a "following" as people become familiar with your work. It leads to good things.

    Decide what you ultimately want for your writing, and be patient. It will be difficult to market a short story on your own, too. Can you find a few other writers and put together an anthology? Use any resources you have, and don't dismiss using someone else's popularity to promote your work. Writing is equally as much about business as art.

    Good luck!
     
  16. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    I would try a few other literary mags other than The New Yorker before giving up on getting it published. Heck, even if you only start in some small, local lit mag, it'd be a start of sorts. I find it unlikely that you'll just start off getting published in The New Yorker unless you've truly struck some serious literary gold and are lucky enough to get it read.
     
  17. The Degenerate
    Offline

    The Degenerate Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Definitely submit to other markets.
     

Share This Page