The best way to Promote Brief Tales for Cash and Have Extra Enjoyable
Have you ever pondered the age-old philosophical question: when a tree falls into the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make noise?
People have discussed the question from every angle, but the point that always sounds at home to me is that there has to be someone who perceives the sound to make sense of it. In a way, I can relate this to how I feel about most types of writing.
Writing is communication. It requires a giver and a receiver. A writer and a reader. While there is much to be said for the value of private writing – keeping a journal and diary, therapeutic venting on paper, and the like – the essence of writing should be shared.
So you write and then send it on.
The core of the letter should be divided. Write and then send your letter on.
The fear of getting your writing published
Exposing your work, your art, the product of your blood, sweat and tears is scary. In the real world, however, this fear has no basis in reality.
Nobody is going to come to your house and shoot you if they don't like your fictional story. In all honesty, nobody is going to care much about it. If your story doesn't appeal to a reader, she forgets about it and moves on.
As writers, we are caught up in our own creations and give them a far greater share of time and attention than anyone else ever. Especially when we're just starting out and don't have a large following. And that can be good.
I remember Joanna Penn saying how liberating it is that you can make all sorts of mistakes early in your career and no one will notice. It's a great time to learn how to make mistakes and grow while virtually no one is looking. Even if it feels like you're stepping out of the house completely naked.
The Submission Secret: Editors Are People
In 2018 I was invited to take part in a very special authors' workshop. Over the course of a week, a group of six editors from different publications met with 45 authors who had written short stories for them.
We'd all read all of the stories submitted – that's 270 stories. Every day we gathered in the conference room – morning, noon, and evening – to listen to the editors fully discussing the stories as they compiled issues of their magazines. A humbling yet exhilarating experience.
Usually the only feedback we writers get from an editor after we submit a story is yes or no. That was so much more than that. Of the six stories I wrote, I sold two, but the real purpose of the workshop was to teach us that what an editor thinks about a story is just that – what an editor thinks of a story.
I cannot recall a single story during this workshop that was popular or not popular with the editors. It was evident that individual tastes, circumstances, timing, and other factors came into play.
And that's how it is when you send in a story. Don't take rejection personally or think that this is the end. My mentor once submitted a story fifty-six times before it was accepted.
The rejection of your letter is not personal. It's not the end of your career either. Go ahead, keep submitting and most importantly keep writing.
2 Ways To Make Money By Publishing Short Stories
There are two different ways to publish short stories, make money, and share your writing with the world: the traditional route by submitting to magazines and indie publishing. The best part? You can use both routes at the same time and sometimes even for the same story!
First send the traditional way
Contracts and terms for traditional short game markets are generally cheap for writers at all levels and are a great way to start your story's journey to publication.
Short magazine magazines have been around for a long time, during the pulp era and through to the penny dreadfuls of the 19th century. Take reasonable steps to ensure that the market you are submitting to is legitimate and always carefully review the contract. A good introduction to understanding contracts is Kristine Kathryn Rusch's book "Closing The Deal … On Your Terms".
It is important to manage expectations and not rush. Send out the story and accept that it may take a long time to get a response. If the answer is a rejection, send it to another market and post it there until it sells.
Do not worry. Don't be obsessed. Just keep writing and submitting more stories and remember that it takes much longer for a magazine to buy a story than it does to decline one. Exercise patience.
Not sure how to submit a short story to a literary magazine? Read our complete guide here, from writing your first word to final publication.
Next, try indie publishing
The great thing about intellectual property and copyright is that you own a magical bakery that you can eat your cake at too. After you publish the story through a traditional market and the rights go back to you, publish it again.
You can follow the publication as a reprint or in overseas markets, or you can publish it yourself and offer it for sale on a variety of platforms and in different formats. The more books you publish, the better your findability and the more readers you will find.
If you've been busy buying your story in the traditional markets for a year or two without selling it, it may be time to start releasing indie releases. You can post short stories as singles, compile them into collections, or use them as magnet magnets to build your email list. Or all three. The magic cake can be cut an unlimited number of times as long as you don't sign your rights.
Be professional – provide a great cover and retail copy. Make sure you include the correct front and back covers in your book – magnet reader offer, "also by" page, website info, etc. And remember that every sale represents someone giving their hard earned money for yours Work spends. Honor that.
5 ways to make your submissions fun
A big key to being successful in short story marketing is that it is fun. There are several ways to do this, and I'll suggest a few here.
1. Run the race
My mentor, Dean Wesley Smith, has been a professional writer for decades. In the early days of his career, he produced a writer's magazine called The Report. One of the magazine's most popular features was "The Race," where writers competed with one another in a friendly and motivational challenge to complete and buy most of the stories.
The authors were awarded one point for every story submitted to an editor. If the story was rejected, you would lose the point until you passed the story back on to another editor. If you sold the story, you lost the point and had to write more stories and shop to keep going in the race.
Gather a group of author friends and create your own version of the race. Use a service like Duotrope or The Submission Grinder to track submissions and find new markets.
Make it fun and it will help you move forward in your writing career.
2. Run the race indie style
If you publish yourself you can customize the rules of the race. Dean suggests earning one point for getting a book out in electronic format, another point for printing (even for short story singles), and another point for audio. The points remain valid as long as the book is available on the market.
Challenge yourself to compile and publish an annual collection of short stories – everything you've written during the year. Later you can pull stories from these collections to create additional collections based on theme, character, series, and so on. Think of the magical bakery – slice, slice, slice.
Set yourself a point goal, post it on your writing computer, and go. Added bonus: readers will enjoy following you on your fun challenges, and it gives you a pre-made blog post, email, and newsletter theme for your audience.
3. Submit a game
Fiction writers are entertainers, and to paraphrase Robert Frost: "No fun with the author, no fun with the reader." It really pays off to make the writing process entertaining.
I recently got an interesting email from Derek Doepker about why people stopped. A big part of the answer is dopamine. A surge in dopamine will help you move on, overcome obstacles and stick with a task, and dopamine production is stimulated by things like humor, happy music, and play.
He cites a short YouTube video about the neurosciences of fun and games and how it can help you regain strength through a stamina breakdown.
4. Collaborate with other authors
Work with fellow writers to create a fun, challenging, and motivating anthology project. The writing practice is a great place to help you achieve this and meet other writers to work with. I know a few examples of this and have enjoyed attending some of them.
Last March, I published one such project, And Then There Were Nine, with writers I met here at The Write Practice and elsewhere. It was fun putting together and providing an asset that any contributor can use to promote their own writing.
BundleRabbit is a great way to make the collaboration process easier. You take care of the bookkeeping and the distribution of the proceeds between the contributors. Be warned, however – expect coffee money, not new car money.
Anthologies like these arise from communities of writers who work together. Looking for a writing community? We'd love you to join our, The Write Practice Pro!
5. Focus on writing and learning
Don't worry about how your books are selling. You won't be selling much until you have a track record and the inventory to secure it.
The best thing you can do to promote yourself and improve your findability is to write and publish more books. Focus on that and improve your craft so you can tell the best stories possible.
Don't chase marketing fads that cost time and money. They break your focus and make writing a pleasure. Once you have a decent backlist, it can be worth investing in ads and promotions. However, if you are writing for the money, you are making the wrong entrance.
Remember what you are here for and make sure it is fun!
Be brave and have fun
Submitting always feels risky. But remember: your writing is meant to be read. When sending it in honor of an audience, you will find that reaching out to readers can be one of the most rewarding parts of your writing career.
How do you keep writing fun? Are you ready for the race? Tell us about it in the comments.
Let's put together an anthology project. Come up with a topic, genre guidelines, a title, and a list of imaginary or real contributors. Then write the foreword or introduction to the book. What do you want readers to know about the stories you are recording? Which tone do you want to set?
Write for fifteen minutes. When you're done, post your foreword in the comments and give your co-authors feedback!
Any day she can send readers to the edge of their seats tingling with tension and biting their fingernails on the knob is a good day for Joslyn. Get their latest thriller, Steadman & # 39; s Blind, an explosive read that will have you flipping through to the end. No Break: 14 Tales of Chilling Suspense, Joslyn's newest collection of Short Suspense, is available for free at joslynchase.com.