1. kloop
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    kloop New Member

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    Publishing a book of short stories?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by kloop, Dec 29, 2010.

    Is this ideal nowadays to do? I think I write better with shorter stories than novels. When I read over my novels I see much info dump and because it took me so long when I wrote it, one character ends up with 2 different names by the end of the 2nd.

    Should the length of this short story collection be the same word count as a good book length? Some of the short stories are longer than others. It's going to be different genres of short stories as well.

    I'm thinking ahead also because I need to edit and edit these things a few times anyway. Just getting your opinions on these.

    My grandmother does her own books of poetry. She sells them pretty well with others her age group.

    Didn't know if short stories would work the same way maybe?
     
  2. finchgeam
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    finchgeam Member

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    short stories work the same way. Stephen King does it.
    I am going to do it and also make novel sequels based on few of the short stories.
    but i think its supposed to be 40-50 pages.

    I hope this helps
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    From what I've heard, in order to publish a book of your own short stories, you've got to be a known writer already. Otherwise, maybe shoot for a collection from different authors' short stories. Good luck :D
     
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  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Does your grandmother self-publish? And are you looking to self-publish, or are you trying to look for a traditional publisher? I ask this because it's tough to publish a short story collection the traditional way unless you have some type of credentials (i.e. publications in magazines).
     
  5. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mallory is right -publishers are only interested in short stories from popular authors. This is purely for business reasons, unless you are a well known author there is no Market of any consequence for short stories.
    Stephen King has built up loyal fan base, therefore there is an established market for anything with King's name on it ('how to books' included).
    Your best option would be the magazine market.
     
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  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...no... in the us it's virtually impossible for a new and unknown writer to get a short story collection published... you must first make a name for yourself by having your stories published in reputable magazines/journals and impress the literary critics... if you look at the first pages of story collections, you'll see where they've been published already...

    ...generally, yes...

    ...that would only be marketable if you're an award-winning household name... collections by relative newcomers will usually be in the same genre, or be theme-connected...
     
  7. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Actually, I've been hearing more about writers putting short stories up online through Smashworks or Amazon or one of several other e-format online bookstores.

    The idea is thus. If you are a short story writer, you are probably selling your work to magazines or e-zines and making a small amount of money, but then the first publication rights have been sold and it's hard to make any significant money from selling the stories' reprint rights. However, you do have a small number of readers who will buy the magazines, like your story, and do a quick search online to see if you've written anything else.

    These people aren't numerous enough to make it worthwhile for a publisher to publish a collection of your stories. But if you have, say, a website with a couple free stories up, and a link to the online bookstore with your short stories, the random Google search can lead to fans buying a couple short stories or a small collection of shorts (say, 3 to 5 stories in the same genre) for their Kindle / other eReader.

    This won't make you rich by any means. You might sell something like ten stories a month for the first while. But if you keep writing, more readers will notice your work, and if you get published someplace big -- for example, if you're a SF/F writer and you get a story placed in Asimov's -- you might find yourself getting more than a hundred sales a month consistently. (For argument's sake I'm ignoring the potential for really popular stories, which could kick your sales up rather higher.)

    A hundred sales a month isn't much, but it adds up. For someone who intends to keep writing for a while, it makes sense to look at the long-term view, which is that you'll gain a pretty good backlist over time, which will provide a steady (if low) income for the times between sales.

    Now, is this self-publishing? Absolutely. But in my opinion, short stories (after they've been sold once and can't be re-sold except as reprints) are an area that traditional publishing has largely overlooked. I, at least, would rather that my stories make a small income for me instead of getting consigned to the dustbin after they've been sold once, so while I would never recommend self-publishing a novel (that's what professional publishers are for!), I think short stories have a lot of potential as singles or short collections in electronic format.

    Huge caveat: I think the stories you sell this way should have been sold elsewhere first. After all, some people have a hard time judging their own work. If, however, you've sold a short story to a paying market, then you know the story has appeal and is of at least decent quality. (It goes without saying that you must wait for the rights to revert back to you, usually within a year of the story's first being printed, before you put them up to sell.)
     

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