How to Sell Short Stories for Money and Have More Fun Doing It

Writing, at its heart, is suggested to be shared. Write, and after that send your writing forth.

So you compose, and after that you send it forth.

People have actually debated the question from every angle, however the point that always calls home for me is that there requires to be someone to perceive the noise in order to give it indicating. In a way, I can relate that to how I feel about many kinds of writing.

Composing is communication. While theres a lot to be said for the value of personal writing– journal and journal-keeping, therapeutic ventings on paper, and the like– writing, at its heart, is suggested to be shared.

Have you ever contemplated the olden philosophical question: If a tree falls in no one and the forest is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

The Fear of Publishing Your Writing

If they dont like your fictional story, no one is going to come to your house and shoot you. Honestly, nobody is going to care much. She forgets about it and moves on if your story doesnt get a reader.

As authors, we get caught up in our own productions, providing them a far larger proportion of time and attention than anybody else ever will. Particularly when were starting and do not have much of a following. And that can be a good idea.

I remember Joanna Penn stating how releasing it is that you can make all sorts of oversights in the beginning of your career and no one notices. Its a great time to discover, make mistakes, and grow while practically nobody is looking. When it feels like youre stepping out of the house plain naked, even.

Its frightening exposing your work, your art, the item of your blood, sweat, and tears. In genuine world terms, that fear has no basis in truth.

The Secret of Submitting: Editors Are Human

Everyone had checked out all of the stories submitted– thats 270 stories. Every day we put together in the conference space– midday, night, and early morning– to listen to the editors talk about the stories with no holds disallowed as they assemble issues of their magazines. A embarrassing and yet exciting experience.

Rejection of your writing isnt individual. Its likewise not the end of your career. Keep going, keep submitting, and above all, keep composing.

And thats how it is when you send out in a story. Do not take rejection personally or think thats completion. My coach when submitted a story fifty-six times before it was accepted.

In 2018, I was invited to participate in a really unique authors workshop. Over the course of a week, a panel of 6 editors from numerous publications met forty-five authors who had actually composed short stories for them.

Generally, the only feedback we authors obtain from an editor after submitting a story is yay or nay. This was a lot more than that. Out of the six stories I composed, I offered two, however the genuine point of the workshop was to teach us that what one editor thinks about a story is simply that– what one editor considers a story.

I cant keep in mind a single story throughout that workshop that was generally liked or done not like among the editors. It was evident that private tastes, situations, timing, and other aspects came into play.

2 Routes to Make Money by Publishing Short Stories

There are 2 distinct ways to release short stories, earn money, and share your composing with the world: the traditional route through submission to magazines, and indie publishing. The best part? You can utilize both paths at the exact same time, and sometimes even for the same story!

Submit the Traditional Way

Simply keep composing and submitting more stories and keep in mind that it takes a lot longer for a magazine to purchase a story than to reject one. Practice persistence.

Agreements and conditions for standard brief fiction markets are typically beneficial for authors at all levels and an excellent way to begin your storys journey towards publication.

Not sure how to send a brief story to a literary magazine? Have a look at our total guide, from writing your very first word to last publication,

Its important to manage expectations and not get in a rush. Send out the story out and accept that it might take a very long time prior to you get a response. Send it out to a different market and keep putting it out there up until it sells if the response is a rejection.

Brief fiction publications have actually been around for a very long time, through the pulp period and clear back to the penny dreadfuls of the 1800s. Take affordable precautions to ensure the market you send to is a credible one and constantly examine the contract thoroughly. An excellent guide to help you comprehend agreements is Kristine Kathryn Ruschs book, Closing The Deal … On Your Terms.

Next, Try Indie Publishing

Be professional about it– supply an excellent cover and sales copy. Ensure to consist of the correct front and back matter inside your book– reader magnet deal, “also by” page, site info, and so on. And bear in mind that every sale represents a human being spending their hard-earned cash on your work. Honor that.

You can pursue publication as a reprint or in foreign markets, or you can self-publish and put it up for sale on a multiplicity of platforms and in a variety of formats. The more books you launch, the greater your discoverability and the more readers will find you.

The fantastic aspect of intellectual property and copyright is that it puts you in ownership of a magic bakeshop where you can have your cake and eat it, too. So, after you release the story through a standard market and the rights revert back to you, publish it once again.

If you diligently shopped your story around to the standard markets for a year or two without selling it, then maybe its time to indie release. You can launch brief stories as singles, compile them into collections, or use them as reader magnets to construct your email list.

5 Ways to Keep Your Submissions Fun

A great essential to success in marketing short stories is keeping it fun. There are any number of ways to do this, and Ill suggest a few here.

1. Run the Race

Writers got one point for each story sent out to an editor. You lost the point up until you got the story back out to another editor if the story got rejected. If you offered the story, you lost the point and had to write and go shopping out more stories to keep running in the Race.

Assembled a group of writer friends and create your own variation of the Race. Utilize a service like Duotrope or The Submission Grinder to help you track submissions and discover new markets.

My mentor, Dean Wesley Smith, has been a professional author for years. Back in the early days of his profession, he produced a publication for authors called The Report. Among the publications most popular features was “The Race,” in which writers took on each other in a friendly and motivating challenge to shop and finish out the most stories.

Keep it enjoyable and it will help you leap forward in your writing career.

2. Run the Race, Indie design

Set a point goal, post it in view of your composing computer, and go. Included bonus: readers will take pleasure in following you on your fun challenges and it gives you a ready-made topic for blog newsletters, posts, and emails to your readers group.

If youre self-publishing, you can adapt the guidelines of the Race. Dean recommends providing yourself one point for getting a book out in electronic format, another point for print (even narrative singles) and another point for audio. The points remain legitimate as long as the book is available on the marketplace.

Difficulty yourself to put together and publish an annual collection of narratives– all youve composed during the year. Later on, you can pull stories from these collections to form extra collections based on style, character, series, etc. Remember the magic bakery– piece, piece, piece.

3. Make sending a game

I just recently got an interesting e-mail from Derek Doepker about why individuals give up. A huge part of the answer is dopamine. An increase of dopamine assists you press on, overcoming challenges and sticking with a task, and dopamine production is promoted by things like humor, upbeat music, and play.

Fiction writers are performers, and to paraphrase Robert Frost: “No fun in the author, no fun in the reader.” It really pays to keep the composing procedure fun.

He cites a brief YouTube video about the neuroscience of enjoyable and games and how it can assist you power through a dip in endurance.

4. Work together with other authors

Last March, I published such a project, And Then There Were Nine, with authors I satisfied here on The Write Practice and elsewhere. It was enjoyable to put together and offered a possession each contributor can use to promote their own writing.

Join with other writers to create an enjoyable, challenging, and inspiring anthology task. The Write Practice is a terrific location to make this happen and to meet other authors with whom you can work together. I understand of numerous examples of this and Ive delighted in taking part in some.

Anthologies like this are substantiated of communities of authors collaborating together. Looking for a writing community? We d like for you to
join ours, The Write Practice Pro!

BundleRabbit is a great method to make the cooperation procedure simpler. They take care of accounting and splitting the profits in between the contributors. Be cautioned, however– anticipate coffee cash, not new vehicle money.

5. Concentrate on writing and finding out

Dont chase after marketing trends that are time sinks and money pits. Theyll fracture your focus and drain the enjoyable out of composing. Once youve got a good backlist, it can be worthwhile to invest in promotions and advertisements, however if you got into composing for the cash, youre in the incorrect gig.

The finest thing you can do to promote yourself and increase your discoverability is write and release more books. Concentrate on that and honing your craft so you can inform the very best stories possible.

Dont fret about how your books are offering. They wont offer much up until youve got a track record and the inventory to back it up.

Remember what youre in this for and be sure to keep it fun!

Be Bold and Have Fun

Submitting constantly feels risky. Remember: your writing is meant to be checked out. Do it the honor of sending it to an audience, and youll find that connecting with readers might simply be among the most fulfilling parts of your career as an author.

How do you keep the writing enjoyable? Are you ready to run the Race? Inform us about it in the comments.


Write for fifteen minutes. When you are completed, post your Foreword in the remarks and make sure to supply feedback for your fellow authors!

Lets put together an anthology task. Develop a style, genre guidelines, a title, and a list of factors, real or imaginary. Then compose the Foreword or Introduction for the book. What do you desire readers to learn about the stories youre consisting of? What tone do you wish to set?

Joslyn Chase

Simply keep composing and sending more stories and remember that it takes a lot longer for a publication to purchase a story than to reject one. If the story got turned down, you lost the point up until you got the story back out to another editor. If you sold the story, you lost the point and had to go shopping and compose out more stories to keep running in the Race.

All of us had actually read all of the stories submitted– thats 270 stories. Out of the six stories I wrote, I offered two, however the real point of the workshop was to teach us that what one editor thinks about a story is simply that– what one editor believes about a story.

Any day where she can send readers to the edge of their seats, prickling with thriller and chewing their fingernails to the nub, is a good day for Joslyn. Pick up her most current thriller,
Steadmans Blind, an explosive read that will keep you turning pages to the end.
No Rest: 14 Tales of Chilling Suspense, Joslyns newest collection of short suspense, is available for free at

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