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Writing Process & Programs > Short Stories & Collections

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message 1: by R.K. (new)

R.K. Gold | 55 comments So school and work are really eating up a lot of time. I am finding time to write stories but my longer novels that are in the editing process are taking a backseat to school work. Has anyone had success with short stories or collections for furthering their readership/fan base?


message 2: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4333 comments Mod
Since another mod here once dubbed me the King of Indie Short Stories, I'll give your question a whack.

Short answer: Couldn't hurt.

Long answer: I do think a few short stories could be beneficial to any fiction author. It gives you a chance to give readers a "sample" of your work. If you keep the price low and offer them free from time to time, you will see activity on them. If your writing sparks something in the reader, they may come back and pick up other stories or even a novel. They will not guarantee success of any kind, but it couldn't hurt to have a few out there.

The only drawback is that there are fewer people interested in short stories than in longer novels. The most common complaint I hear on my shorts is "I wish this had been longer" or "I wanted more" even when there really wasn't more story to tell.

As for collections? I have had no success with them in any shape or form. That doesn't mean you won't.


message 3: by R.K. (new)

R.K. Gold | 55 comments Thanks for your input! As for keeping them cheap I would keep them for free it would be all about getting people to read them and read more of my work.


message 4: by Hákon (new)

Hákon Gunnarsson | 53 comments I have been mostly writing short stories for a while, and submitting them to anthologies, and literary journals. I've had some success with it, but wether or not they are helping me build a name for myself, I have no idea.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann Wright | 88 comments I have a novel, a collection of short stories, and a single short story published. Strangely the short story has sold more than the other two, even when it's not on promotion. It's a mystery to me why.


message 6: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments If you write shorts then get them out there. I put some out for sale, some on my blog, and some on free platforms. My theory being the more folks who know your name the better...


message 7: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments R.K. wrote: "So school and work are really eating up a lot of time. I am finding time to write stories but my longer novels that are in the editing process are taking a backseat to school work. Has anyone had s..."

I started self-publishing with a collection of short stories. It did much better than I expected, but the market has changed a lot since then. I have two collections now, but I've moved on to writing more commercial fiction. I don't think individual stories would do well, but a lot depends on the genre.


message 8: by R.K. (new)

R.K. Gold | 55 comments Ken wrote: "R.K. wrote: "So school and work are really eating up a lot of time. I am finding time to write stories but my longer novels that are in the editing process are taking a backseat to school work. Has..."

Yeah again I should've added in my original post that this isn't so much looking for income as much as name recognition. I wouldn't charge for the stories or the collection.


message 9: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) From an author standpoint: I've got a couple of short works out there that occasionally go free as publicity. They hardly sell and even at free,I get a modest trickle, but people who grab them seem more likely to review. Whether or not they've led to interest in my longer works is hard to say.

As a reader, I like both short and long fiction for different reasons. I'll freely admit that if I read a short fiction that I like, I'm not as likely to go looking for a full length novel by that author as I am to pick up a next in series, but that's not to say I won't do it. I've found all of my favorite authors in recent years based on their freebies, both long and short.


message 10: by R.K. (new)

R.K. Gold | 55 comments Christina wrote: "From an author standpoint: I've got a couple of short works out there that occasionally go free as publicity. They hardly sell and even at free,I get a modest trickle, but people who grab them seem..."

basically what I'm getting from you is "why not do it?" lol


message 11: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) I'll just say putting out a book, short, long or whatever, can only help, not hurt. ;-)


message 12: by R.K. (new)

R.K. Gold | 55 comments Christina wrote: "I'll just say putting out a book, short, long or whatever, can only help, not hurt. ;-)"

lol you think it can only help? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED jkjkjk


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I noticed that the top selling story collections in my genre which is Australian short stories only had 8 reviews. Which suggests to me that the form is not very popular.


message 14: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Jane wrote: "I noticed that the top selling story collections in my genre which is Australian short stories only had 8 reviews. Which suggests to me that the form is not very popular."

Could be a new book, or it could just be that people who buy that book aren't inclined to review. A better judge of what sells is rank and there are several short stories with high ranks right now.


message 15: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Witz (writerwitz) | 21 comments My writing groups ideas regarding short stories is to offer more than one collection. There are several publishers that put out short story collections every year, many containing stories from some well known authors. Personally, I am a fan of good short stories and having written and published several. It's my belief that they are harder to write than a novel. In a very limited number of words the author has to introduce and develop characters, plots, settings and the story line. As the others have stated, shorts are a great way to introduce readers to new authors at minimal expense. There are also umpteen more contests for short stories than novels, which here again is a great way to get exposure and expand a budding writing career.


message 16: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 21 comments As with others in this thread, my first book was a short story collection. As it was all I had, I promoted it heavily, and sold about 200 copies. I gather that's pretty good. The second collection, released three years later, sold about 70. I have a third collection almost ready to go, and I have zero expectations for it. I've also decided it will be my final collection.

If you have the material, I say go for it, but be realistic about how many you're likely to sell, and take that into account when looking at your cover/editing/etc costs.

With my short fiction, which in general is getting longer with every story I write, I tend to try and get it into anthologies these days. These often still don't sell particularly well, but it can help in reaching new audiences. Depending on the anthologies' publishers, it can also be a first step on the road to a hybrid career and professional recognition.

But there are also a lot of time-wasters out there in small press land, so pick your target publications carefully.


message 17: by Annette (new)

Annette Spratte (lenneaenne) | 7 comments I was crazy enough two write a novel almost 700 pages long. While promoting, I began to realize that people seem to be afraid of long books. So I wrote a short story prequel for readers to get an impression of my style. That's worked pretty well. I think short stories are good as an introduction, but personally I wouldn't read short story collections. Just not my thing, because I'm a fast reader and love to dive deep into a story. I hate it when it's over in the blink of an eye.


message 18: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments R.K. wrote: "Yeah again I should've added in my original post that this isn't so much looking for income as much as name recognition. I wouldn't charge for the stories or the collection.
..."


If you don't want to charge, you're better off publishing your stories on a blog or on a site like Wattpad. KDP (and the other self-publishing channels) are more geared toward making money. In fact, you can't price a book as free on KDP.

But really, if you've done the work of writing the stories and don't want to sell them, why not try submitting them to magazines or literary journals? It seems like a wasted effort to give away your work.


message 19: by R.K. (new)

R.K. Gold | 55 comments I’ve had work published in literary journals in the past but I like seeing the numbers of downloads/views that digital has to offer. As for making it permafree I would just go through pronoun


message 20: by Christine (last edited Oct 07, 2017 04:27PM) (new)

Christine Goodnough (christinev-g) I recently published a mix of short to med length stories and poetry. I knew it wouldn't be a big hit in today's market, but it's what I wanted to do.
I recently submitted one of my short stories to The Drabble, a site that accepts 100-word or "flash" fiction. If you like reading or writing real shorts, you might want to check this out as a place to air your writing.


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