Can You Make Money Writing Short Stories?

I’ve been asked: Can I make some money from the little stories that I write? If the answer is yes, what price do you recommend?

The answer is yes. Maybe.

I made a part of my living for many years writing short stories. Of course, that was before e-publishing came along and bricks and mortar publishers went bankrupt all over the place, including the magazines I regularly sold to.

But e-publishing has opened up a new market and if what you write is short stories and you wish to get paid for them, then what you need to do is figure out how to do that. It can be done but it’ll take a bit of thought.

Because — and here’s the problem with selling short stories — since most e-published material is in book form, short stories are sort of ignored. Not completely, but you’ll have to look hard to find them. However, if you do look hard enough, they exist. They cost way less than books because of the shorter word length. They are often gathered into anthologies so the writer of short stories is actually publishing a book, just a book composed of many short stories.

So go online — my go-to online publisher is Amazon when I’m doing research — and look for short stories and check out how short stories are being sold and then copy what they do. You can easily see how popular they are, what’s a good price to charge, and practically everything else about them that you need to know. If you want more information, email the author and ask questions. Most authors are happy to help.

One possibility: novellas are between short stories and novels in length. Actually there are long short stories that could qualify as novellas and novellas are sold as books, not as short stories so the sales and marketing is easier. So if you are okay writing novella length stories — approximately 20,000 to 40,000 words though they can be somewhat shorter or longer — then this might be a comfortable spot to fill.

Good luck to you. I love writing short stories.

How To Start And Run A Craft, Art, Or Specialty Business From Your Home

I’m a writer. But I’m also part of a business selling art and craft at live and online venues, have been for 30+ years and I decided to write a book to pass on what I learned during all those years. It’s not done yet, about 2/3 of the way through, but here’s the back page stuff. I’ll touch back now and then as the book nears publication but here’s what I’m thinking about for the Amazon blurb that tells people what they’ll get. Let me know what you think. Please! Input is priceless!

I ran this post on Facebook and got a good response. One, however, didn’t comment but did leave an ‘angry’ emoji. I wish he’d told me why. I looked up the man who posted the angry emoji and considered asking him what he disliked about my post because any input is valuable, even if it’s negative. Especially if it’s negative. But I remembered that a writer should never, ever respond to a negative review, instead, they should ignore it. So I’m ignoring it but I truly wish I knew what was in his mind!

Anyway, here’s what I posted to Facebook. Let me know what you think. The book isn’t like most such books. Instead, it focuses on melding the person and the business. No long lists of anything though there will be words and phrases to Google if the reader wants to find a list. I did that because lists go out of date so fast that by the time the book will be published, they’d be useless.

Let me know!!

I’m playing around with the cover. Since I won’t have a publisher it’ll be my job to come up with a cover. So what can be hard about that? I suspect a lot!

HOW TO START AND RUN A PROFITABLE CRAFT BUSINESS

by Florence Witkop

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A LIVING SELLING CRAFT/ART/SPECIALTY PRODUCTS

First reason: I’ve ‘been there and done that’ and know a bunch of things I didn’t know when I started in the craft/art/specialties business. Most books on how to sell craft/art/specialties provide good overview but don’t get into the real stuff, the deep down nitty gritty. This book does.

Second reason: I hate books that unnecessarily fill numerous pages with lots of words so readers will think they’re getting their money’s worth. They aren’t. They’re just getting a lot of words. So the second reason I wrote this book is to say a lot in as few words as possible and, being a writer, I know how.

And at the end, I include a smattering of real-life anecdotes. If you are curious about life ‘in the trenches’ of the art/craft/specialty world when the creator is also the seller, here it is. The unvarnished truth.

To self-publish, publish traditionally or go with a hybrid?

What’s the best path? Traditionally published, self-published or a hybrid?

There was a time when writers who self-published were unlikely to be traditionally published later because traditional publishers saw self-publication as a dead end.

No more. Now they see self-publication as a trial run and they will happily publish those self-published authors who have a proven track record of sales, which leaves you free to experiment.

So go for it. Self-publish. Then find a bricks and mortar publisher and be happy that they will help with the marketing. (Though they won’t do it all. You’ll still be obligated to work hard at marketing.)

Or don’t go for it even after your sales show that you are a solid writer because you’ll make a whole lot more per book than if anyone else takes a cut. Of course you’ll also be doing all of the marketing and selling yourself.

So the answer possibly depends on whether you enjoy the marketing aspect of writing or not.

The Legacy Is Live On Amazon

I’m amazed. I sent in the manuscript for The Legacy yesterday and it’s already live on Amazon! Just goes to show you that when I went with Winged Publications, I knew what I was doing. I chose the best and most efficient publisher out there.

Just kidding, I didn’t have a clue they’d be so business-like but I’m glad they are.

Anyway, if you want to know why the ghost of a a witch from colonial times is contacting her modern-day heirs, go to Amazon, get The Legacy, and find out.

Here’s the link: http://www.Amazon.com/dp/B08NF6NWVL

The Legacy

THE LEGACY is finished and ready to go to Winged Publications. It’s been a journey!

First I had to learn about ghosts so as to be reasonably accurate in my portrayal of two of the main characters’ ancestor who just happens to be both a ghost and a witch. So I wrote the novella and then re-wrote it to smooth out the ghostly inconsisties.

Then I realized I’d paid so much attention to ‘ghost’ stuff that I’d neglected the characters themselves. After all, the story is supposed to be about them. So I re-wrote it a second time to give them reasons to exist.

Then I sent my thoughts on a cover to Cynthia at Winged Publications, along with a physical description of the main characters so the characters on the cover would match the characters in the book.

Oops. Got an email back asking if I could change their hair color because she was having cover problems with the hair colors I’d given them. So I went through the book a third time to change hair color. Guess what? It made the story better. The ghost is now a red-head. How’s that for interest? Not the main characters, though. They have brown hair.

Anyway, it’s done and will go to Winged Publications shortly. Whew!

Re-writing. Ugh.

I struggle to get a first draft written but when it’s done, there’s seldom much rewriting to do because every time I sit down to write I first go back over what I wrote the previous day and make any changes that seem appropriate.

Unless I’m writing a new and different kind of story. Then there’s usually more rewriting. Darn.

Like the story I ‘m working on now. THE LEGACY has ghosts and I love the story but in my concern to do ghosts right I neglected some of the most basic story-telling rules.

Like what the heroine is doing in the story. And why. And where she’s going. I was great about the ghosts, just ignored the main character.

Oh well, that’s what rewrites are all about. Good thing I’m way ahead of deadline and that my computer works!

Cat Science

Did you know that scientists actually investigated cats blinking? They thought maybe that’s how cats communicate with people. The result, according to science, is that cats do seem to be with their people more often if the people slow-blink back when the cats slow-blink at them. I’m not sure I believe this study. I’m thinking they maybe used research as an excuse to play with their cats! If so, good for them!

Smoke, the family cat knows how to catnap.