Money · October 26, 2022

How To Make Money Writing Short Stories

How To Make Money Writing Short Stories – Short stories are creatively satisfying, but they can also bring in multiple streams of income through various intellectual property licensing options. In today’s show, award-winning short story writer, Douglas Smith explains how you can make money from short story writing.

In the introduction, I talk about the implications of Disney buying 21st Century Fox’s intellectual property assets and what it means for creators. Plus, the Harry Potter bot story.

How To Make Money Writing Short Stories

How To Make Money Writing Short Stories

I reveal my beloved romance pen-name, Penny Appleton, and how rewarding it has been to co-write with my mother. Plus, an update on what to expect as a new author name with very little marketing impact.

Win $10k In The Vocal Science Fiction Short Story Writing Contest. Make Money From Your Writing.

Map of Shadows, the first in my Mapwalker Dark Fantasy series, is now available in eBook and in print. Here’s A Video Of Me Dramatically Reading The Blurb That Will Make You Smile

Also, if you need help sorting out your author forum, check out my series of tutorials on building your author website, setting it up with the Author Pro theme, and setting up your email list: /authorwebsite

This podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie writers.

Douglas Smith is a multi-award winning Canadian author of novels, short stories and non-fiction, described by Library Journal as one of the most original authors of Canadian speculative fiction. He is also the author of Playing the Short Game: How to Market and Sell Short Fiction.

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You can listen on your favorite podcast app, read the notes and link below. The highlights are here and the full transcript below.

Douglas is a multi-award winning Canadian author of novels, short stories and non-fiction, described by Library Journal as one of the most original authors of Canadian speculative fiction. He is also the author of “Playing the Short Game: How to Market and Sell Short Fiction,” which we’re talking about today, very exciting.

Doug, tell us a little more about yourself and your writing journey, a little history if you’d like.

How To Make Money Writing Short Stories

Douglas: Yes, sure. So I guess, appropriately enough, I started with short story writing. I started in the late 1990s. I think I spent a lot of months writing, trying to write my first short story. I joined a writing group, which is really an incentive for me to get through to the final draft.

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I sent my first short story. I think in January of next year. And I sold it after about a year. That year was just like writing, writing, writing and submitting, which is one of the messages in my book. But then I started getting more sales.

I started getting personal disapproval, which sounds strange, but it’s actually a form of validation for early writers. It feels great that someone actually sends you something personal. And I think what I found when I started writing was the key to just getting that response, that recognition.

I focused on the short story for probably the first 10 years. And I’ve found that my stories keep getting longer and longer and longer. And I wondered if my subconscious was trying to tell me that maybe it was time to move on to a novel. About the 10 year mark, I actually published over the next two years.

I published three collections. One was in French. We can talk about it later, foreign language for short story. And I started my first novel. And now I will work in short fiction. I am focusing very well. My new words are going to novels. And I have a novel. And I’m about two-thirds of “The Way Through Urban Fantasy Trilogy”.

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Douglas: Sure. I’m not sure how common these terms are. But in speculative fiction, certainly for prizes, things like Hugo and Nebula, et cetera. Most awards follow these guidelines.

A short story is 7,500 words or maybe 7,500 words and less. But anyway, that’s the limit of a short story.

If you’re among that, and I think it’s 17,500 words. It’s called a novelette. And this is where I found most of my stories coming to an end.

How To Make Money Writing Short Stories

And the longer the story… we can talk about that later as well. The longer the story, the more difficult it is to sell. And there are very clear business reasons for editors for that.

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And then a novel goes from 17,500 words to 40,000 words. So technically, a novel was over 40,000 words. But most publishers, traditional or small press, are not going to publish anything less. It varies, whether it’s YA or middle-range. But for adult fiction, you need to have at least 80,000 to sell.

Joanna: It’s funny that you say that because it’s one of them. I wrote my most recent novel, “Map of Shadows”. I thought I might hand it over to a traditional publisher because it’s a new genre to me. And then it came down to 60,000. And for me, it’s about normal, because I write really short. And then I was like, “I can’t be bothered to add 20,000.” you know what? I have just submitted.

Dean Wesley Smith, whom we both know, also writes about 60,000, I think. So it’s interesting how it changes. Coming back to you in short fiction, why did you or did you pay so much attention to short fiction?

Douglas: I started out when I was introduced to speculative fiction. As a child, I read many short stories. I thought, as a reader, this was a great way to discover new authors, anthologies. It used to be so many annual compilations of the best ever… space stories or certain service can be read. whatever it may be.

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I love that a writer can tell the whole story in so few words. But it’s a great way to find new writers as you read a history and go “Oh, that’s fantastic.” And you followed his other work.

As a writer, I guess, one of the reasons I started with short fiction is, I think, when you start out, you’re not sure you can write. You’re not sure you’re ever going to sell anything you write. So for me, it was a good way to test the waters.

This is a great way to learn your craft. And if you’ve written short stories for many years, that doesn’t mean you have everything in your writer’s toolbox to become a novel writer, but you do have a lot of essential tools. So it’s a good way to learn the craft of imagination, a point of view, and pacing, and dialogue, and setting, just so many.

How To Make Money Writing Short Stories

I wanted to try to be a writer in such a way that I could test the waters of your discovery of whether you are writing at a publishable level fast enough as a short story writer, because, let’s say we Let’s use the 80,000-word novel again. If you write 80,000 words, that’s probably 16 to 20 short story pieces you can write.

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So you can try many different styles and narrative structures and formats and different perspectives and multiple points of view, et cetera. There are many different things you can try in 16 to 20 short stories as you experiment with the forms of storytelling.

In a novel, you are stuck with whatever narrative structure you choose for that particular novel. So I think you can learn to write much faster, if you are writing short story than novel you need to have basic core abilities.

And the other advantage is that as soon as you finish the story, you send it to the market. And you start getting feedback. And if it’s rejection, rejection, rejection, rejection, you probably need to keep writing. You haven’t developed your art enough, although we can talk more about that, you know what a fair number of rejections are later.

But like I said, I had my first sale in a year when I started writing. And I was getting personal disapproval. This is a form of feedback. Rejection is a form of feedback, especially when they start to focus a bit more and actually comment on the story, the way to get into fiction writing.

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Joanna: Yes, absolutely. But you are not just a short story writer. You are a multi-award winning short story writer. And I wanted to start honing in on the craft.

Do you notice what it is just literally, many words or experiences or do you think there are certain types of stories that win prizes?

Douglas: Wow. This is difficult. The only non-fiction book I’ve written is quite consciously on the commercial side, not the creative side. I think teaching creative writing is very difficult. I struggle to answer this.

How To Make Money Writing Short Stories

I don’t think you should try

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