1. Daryl
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    Daryl Member

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    short stories vs novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Daryl, Jan 24, 2012.

    i am trying to figure out which does better in terms of sale or garnering more attention in the literary/entertainment world.. a book of short stories or a novel.

    what do you guys think?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Unless you are self-publishing, you're not going to have an easy time getting a publisher to take on a book of short stories you've written. So if you're going the traditional publishing route, the novel is the viable of the two options.
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say definitely a novel. Short stories usually get published only after the writer made his/her name with a successful novel.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Novels get more attention. Back in the old days of Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Rudyard Kipling, you could easily sell short stories. Nowadays, the major markets for short stories are genre magazines, like science-fiction magazines, mystery magazines, horror magazines, and so on. In the USA, the only mainstream publications that regularly publish short stories are The New Yorker, Harper's, and the Atlantic. There are plenty of literary magazines that publish short fiction, but they have small circulations and usually can't pay except in copies of the magazine.

    There are some famous recent writers, some still working today, who have made their reputations as short story writers. Alice Munro, for example. But they're relatively rare. Most publishers are looking for novels, because it seems that most readers are looking for novels.
     
  5. Daryl
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    Daryl Member

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    ok..i appreciate the insight..but if i had a book of short fiction would self publishing make more sense..like just an ebook or is there another option.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If you have short fiction, you could do a few things:

    1) find markets for the individual stories and sell them separately;
    2) self-publish an ebook, for example on Amazon.com; or
    3) sell the stories separately to various markets and THEN combine them and sell them as an ebook on Amazon.com :)
     
  7. Daryl
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    Daryl Member

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    thanks steerpike (thats an awesome name by the way)..lolol.. i wanted to go the self publishing route..i am doing some research on that to see how that would play out
     
  8. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    A well established author, like Stephen King, can get a collection of short stories published, but they still don't sell as well as their novels. They often end up being more successful as movie scripts because they are shorter and easier to adapt to a 90 minute running time. Many of SK's short stories have been made into films - Running Man, Stand by Me, Shawshank Redemption, Sleepwalkers, but these are never the stories that people remember as being by Stephen King because they lack the impact of, say, the Shining, The Stand or The Green Mile.

    If you're not a best selling author, your best bet is submitting your stories to magazines, or self publishing. But don't expect to make a lot of money - my cousin sells short stories to a monthly magazine, and gets £50 a time.
     
  9. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    A well established author, like Stephen King, can get a collection of short stories published, but they still don't sell as well as their novels. They often end up being more successful as movie scripts because they are shorter and easier to adapt to a 90 minute running time. Many of SK's short stories have been made into films - Running Man, Stand by Me, Shawshank Redemption, Sleepwalkers, but these are never the stories that people remember as being by Stephen King because they lack the impact of, say, the Shining, The Stand or The Green Mile.

    If you're not a best selling author, your best bet is submitting your stories to magazines, or self publishing. But don't expect to make a lot of money - my cousin sells short stories to a monthly magazine, and gets £50 a time.
     
  10. Daryl
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    Daryl Member

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    thanks all..:)
     
  11. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    I've got to admit. I do prefer Shorts. I can be alot more descriptive over one particular scene or chapter than I could with a novel.
     
  12. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    If I had a lot of publishable short stories, I would submit them to genre magazines.

    If you're published in magazines and later write a novel, you can mention your previous publications in your query letter. This may help you get a foot in the door. If you self-publish, on the other hand, this won't help your credibility with agents and publishers if you do write that novel.
     

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