How To Publish A Short Story: Long-Term Benefits
Yes, your story is not yet a book, but not a blank paper also. Writing stories can help to boost your skills and help to overcome your “writer’s block”.
Publishing your stories is a good idea for receiving some feedback from your readers. Actually, you find out practically who your readers are and what do they like. Respectively, you will be able to correct your strategy to make it more effective.
Of course, you may have a lot of questions, but the answers are ready.
Prepare your story for publishing
When you think about publishing your story, consider these options:
- If you have your story, then search for some perfect places to publish it; or look for some places where you would like to publish your future story and write it specifically for these resources.
In any case, your way from writing to publishing your story will include the following steps:
1. Prepare yourself
It is highly recommended to form in your mind a clear vision of what you want to write. You should be aware of your target audience and the purpose of your writing. These things will determine your style and tone of writing. It will be very easy for you afterward to push the overall publication process and reach the results.
Moreover, it is always easy to notice the existence of your clear vision. Consequently, your writing and submission process can be easier. And you can gain more chances to be noticed.
2. Plan your story in details
The easiest way here is to choose some platform for publishing and write your story. As it will be tailored to this platform, you will have more chances to be accepted. An alternative option is to write on your own, but in this case, you should double your efforts.
Brainstorm your ideas and simply write them on a separate paper. Don’t care very much about any form at this point. Your main goal here is to develop as many juicy ideas as you can. Even a single word or a phrase can help you here.
Afterward, structure and range your ideas, develop the main line of your story. And you are ready for the next stage.
3. Write a couple of drafts
Well, don’t become upset if you fail to make your story good from your first attempt. Many skilled writers have a number of drafts before making the final version.
It is desired to write your first draft in one sitting, simply looking at your ideas. Don’t care very much about your structure and forms again. The main goal here is to make a raw draft to polish it further.
When you have your first concentrate of ideas, look at it carefully, and pay special attention to your structure. Amend it to create a skeleton of your future story. Then, just shorten, condense, and rewrite the separate phrases and sentences of your story. And here is your second draft.
Finally, polish your story a little bit to make sure your text is flowing. Checking your readability, grammar, and spelling are very important at this point. And your short story is ready now.
4. Feedbacks and edits
You get accustomed to your text and sometimes may omit important points that can make your story not so good as it can be. Choose among your acquaintances a couple of competent reviewers to request their feedback. When you have such – edit your story to make it better.
When your story is ready, you should find some good places to publish it. Like from the next list.
Worthy spots to publish your story
How to choose
The best option to publish your story always depends on your target audience and goals. Being aware of your target audience, preferences, and style will increase your chances of meeting such requirements.
You should also bring clarity to your writing, so you could identify your goal, what do you want to say in this story.
Suggestions for you
Here are some options for publishing your story:
1. Your social media account/blog
Posting your stories in social media is one of the best options for a beginner. This way, you can see people who are interested in your stories and get your understanding of your target audience. Another advantage is that you may look for various literary groups to share your stories and receive some feedback from more experienced writers.
To get more, you can also create your blog. If you start your writing, perhaps this is another good option. This can be a kind of independent project where you can feel as confident as anywhere else.
Among advantages of your blog are great flexibility, the absence of any approvals, and the opportunities to edit your content at any time.
2. Your website
Your website can be a more solid resource for publishing. Additionally, to all advantages that blogs have, your personal website also provides more opportunities to promote you. For instance, you may easily appear in a Google search. Your website is also a place where you can create your email list and make your releases.
It can also greatly expand your target audience and reach simply those people who use social networks rarely or have refused from them.
3. Resources for self-publishing
You may avoid any efforts concerning the website/ blog administration simply by looking for the self-publishing resources. For instance, Draft2Digital and Amazon enable you to publish your short story on many online retailers and libraries. You can even make this story available for printing via these resources. Another significant bonus is your opportunity to receive your royalties per sold copy.
These collections of stories from various authors are themed very often. Publishing your story in such anthologies is a good chance to be noticed. However, the main drawback here is that you sell your publication rights for a certain period of time. For this reason, you may not republish your story anywhere else until the expiration of such period. Don’t be afraid at this point, as your copyright will be with you in any case. It always remains after you from the moment when you have created your story. After the expiration of such period, you may republish your story anywhere.
5. Literary magazines
These resources look for creative and distinctive writing works. Literary magazines can exist online only or maybe additionally printed. Some of them release copies once per year, other publishes magazines quarterly, but some of them can publish every month.
Similarly, to anthologies, you sell all publication rights for a certain period of time. However, many literary magazines, unfortunately, don’t pay royalties.
This is a great idea for those readers who prefer audio versions. Podcasts accept your story and reproduce it with voice actors and additional sound effects. They are really cool and allow you to monetize your efforts.
Main steps to submit and publish your story
After finishing your story, it is time to publish it. For your convenience, this part covers only publishing in various outer resources. To do this right, make these easy steps:
1. Read all guidelines carefully
Most publishers have their guidelines. Reading and following these guidelines carefully can open any doors for you. Otherwise, your story may be rejected, even if your content is really amazing. Well, if it is really amazing, probably, you can have the second chance. But it is only probably. Practically, ignoring some requirements can annoy editors and take too much time. So, make sure you follow all instructions during your entire writing.
Pay special attention in this case to any formatting requirements. Not even from the point of being accepted faster, but also to make your writing paper look better.
2. Emphasize your deadlines
Make your own schedule and clearly define your deadlines for writing, editing, and submission. Emphasize especially your submission deadline. Your short story should be ready beforehand. Proper work, calmness, and confidence in your content can increase your chances dramatically.
If you miss any publication deadline, you have to wait for another publication window to open.
3. Write your bio
A ready-made bio is compulsory for any writer. Such a bio is usually written from the third-person perspective and limited to one hundred words approximately. Make sure you point out the main features and achievements. And feel free to include any links on social media accounts and websites.
4. Write your summary (an elevator pitch)
This small piece of information, one or two sentences long, should make your future readers interested in your story. Making it catchy and giving the essence of your story will certainly work for this purpose. Even if preparing such a summary is no compulsory, just do this. The existence of such a summary indicates on your professional approach also. Still, it is always better to have your ready-made elevator pitch and not to write it exactly before the submission of your story.
5. Write your cover letter
Your cover letter should always be polite and enthusiastic. Even if you have a couple of sentences, make sure you introduce yourself and your story from the best side. Here are the main points to include:
- salutation (Dear Editor sounds fine, but still try to search for your editor’s name; to find this information, you may use a website of your magazine/platform or LinkedIn).
- your motivation for reaching this magazine/platform from the perspective of how you can benefit it;
- title of your story and its word count;
- summary (your elevator pitch), optionally;
- previous publications, if you have some;
- words of gratefulness for their time and attention;
- your sign.
6. Submit and double-submit
Most magazines/journals require email submission or use forms on their websites. Refer to your guidelines, in this case, to be on the safe side and make everything correctly. For instance, your publisher may require a “blind read,” so you need to reassure your paper has no personal information that can identify you.
Important point here is to proofread your email before its submission a number of times.
Don’t focus on a single publisher. Submit your story to many publishers for increasing your chances this way. Just make sure you adapt your cover letters appropriately. And keep the records of all your submissions.
7. Keep calm and wait productively
Waiting for responses can be pretty much anxious. In any case, you should not email your publishers asking for any updates.
Alternatively, remain calm and make this waiting productive. For instance, you may read various blogs and groups in social networks to enhance your submission strategy. You may also enhance your skills, read some useful books on writing, and practice, of course.
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Well, it is definitely never enough simply to write your stories. You should share such with your readers. Even if you don’t have any extensive financial resources, you still can find a lot of options to publish your story for free and even earn money.
This can be a good start.
So, keep moving and good luck to you.