1. JCKey618

    JCKey618 Member

    Dec 14, 2008
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    Self-Publishing a short story on Kindle after a sell?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by JCKey618, Apr 23, 2012.

    I'm surprised that I'm not finding more of this, and I'm scratching my head as to why, and thought I'd post here to see if there are any glaring negatives that I am missing.

    Basically, The Colored Lens, a small speculative fiction publication, is voting on publishing one of my short stories. It is 10,000 words, they said they really like it, and I think it's really strong. If they accept it, they will have 'exclusive rights' for 3 months. But then what about after that? Since I've already sold first publication rights, most likely no one else will buy it. But, since the exclusivity is only for 3 months, I could put it up for sale.

    Which got me thinking....is there any negative to taking short stories that have been sold and have surpassed their time of exclusivity and self-publishing on Kindle? I have another short story I sold to Fiction365.com and also some other short stories and I think I could put together a nice little 'collection' with the 10k world short story as the 'headliner' (since it'd probably be the biggest), and sell it for $.99 on Amazon. I know the major criticisms against self-publishing, in terms of credibility, not going through a viable filter, etc, etc, but since they'd be stories that have been already read by editors and accepted, I thought maybe it could be best of both worlds.

    And even with pro magazines, they only buy first publication rights, right to anthologize, and exclusivity for like a year, so I'm wondering why more authors don't try to continue selling them independently after that time is up, since the story is obviously good enough to be purchased, is now free to re-use, and most likely won't be taken up by any other magazine.

    Basically, I'm asking if this kind of 'self-publishing' will hurt chances with a potential agent down the line in any way?
  2. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    first of all, what you can do after a sale will be spelled out in the contract you sign with the original publisher, so no one can answer that but you, after you go over the fine print carefully...

    as for short story collections/anthologies, they almost always contain pieces that have been published previously, so there's no down side to that, as long as you cite the publishing details in the front of the book, as you can see done in any short story collection...

    self-publishing short stories won't hurt your chances of getting an agent for a future book, as long as you only mention the paid credits and don't mention the self-pubbed stuff [unless, of course, it sells in the high tens of thousands! ;) ]

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