1. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    Short story question

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Myrrdoch, Jun 19, 2017.

    So it looks like short story publishing contracts hold an exclusive license for six months. How common is it for a writer to publish a short story and then later expand that story into a novel? And does that in any way impact publication and distribution of the novel? I did a little research and was unable to come up with a satisfactory answer.
     
  2. Miscellaneous Worker

    Miscellaneous Worker Member

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    I think when a lot of writers expand novels from short stories, they do it before it's published because of the amount of consideration happening before they can find a publisher who will do anything with it.

    Do you have a short story that you plan to expand, or one that's already published?
     
  3. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    Not already published, but since I "finished" my novel I've been writing scattershot. Working on the sequel, working on a cyberpunk novel, a fantasy novel, wrote a couple of short stories I've been shopping to magazines, and I have been collecting story ideas, too. One of them is clicking really well, so I don't know how long it'll be, but I feel like even if I hammer out a short story for submission, there'll still be a lot more story to tell. And I get all nervy about submitting a short story that I might want to expand.
     
  4. Miscellaneous Worker

    Miscellaneous Worker Member

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    I see what you're talking about. If it's a concept that clicks better than other stories you've written, I'm sure you could write more off the original short story if it's published. It's your work, it's not much different than writing a sequel or prequel to a story, because it just means there is more story to tell.

    You could tinker with the story and just see what you can expand out of it now, but if nothing comes to mind now I don't see a problem with publishing it and possibly expanding it in the future, because remember, it is yours.
     
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  5. Dr. Mambo

    Dr. Mambo Contributor Contributor

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    This is an interesting question, and I'd be curious to hear an answer from someone who knows more than I do, but as you note most mags only require a writer to keep the story exclusive for 6 months, sometimes a year. Are you anticipating publishing a short story and turning it into a ready-for-publication-level novel in that time span?
     
  6. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    "Anticipating" is a strong word, but it's possible. Mostly that's dependent on getting a short story published. But I was thinking about maybe sending out some chunks of some of the novels I'm working on as short stories, to see if any mag wants to publish them... and to, y'know, generate some income. I mean, I do write some short work with the express purpose of leaving it alone, but my most recent "short" idea is ballooning.
     
  7. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    As long as you don't sell absolutely all rights to the story (and there are sneaky markets out there that will try to buy those), I don't think it'll impact the publication process itself. To be on the safe side, I'd make sure not to send out the novel until after the exclusivity period was over. That will also give you more time to polish.
     
  8. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    It's been a few years since I've written and had short stories published, but of those published, not all of the contracts were the same.

    Some contracts expected exclusivity for a year before the rights reverted, some included the rights to include in an anthology. Some were nonexclusive, once the story was published. Some asked for archive rights, and some the rights reverted to the writer after a year. And where did those rights extend? World rights, North American rights, English language, the right to convert to audio, print and/or electronic?

    It sounds from your description, Myrrdoch, you would want the rights to revert back to you after a period of time, and the shorter the better. If the publisher holds nonexclusive rights, that should work for you as well. While I have some experience with this sort of thing, I am not a Literary Attorney, and my observations may not reflect legal reality in the scenario you described.

    One thing to look at is your reason or motivation for trying to get the short story version of your story published prior to re-releasing an expanded version as a novel. What is the goal or what do you hope to accomplish? And is it worth the potential entanglements later on?
     
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  9. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    With as much in flux, you might consider just self-publishing as I did "Come, Follow Me." That took an unusual look at Pontius Pilate, and I am thinking there are potential unusual and very personal insights into other new Testament characters as well, Judas, Peter, the sons of Zebedee... just what did their father think when they dropped their fishnets and just walked off the job to follow this new preacher? Could be an anthology. Self-pubbing gives you a lot of flexibility, and you don't give up traditional pubbing for the follow on.
     

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