What are the benefits of getting a short story traditionally published? - Page 2


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Thread: What are the benefits of getting a short story traditionally published?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Chezecaek View Post
    I've put together a collection of fifteen short horror stories and would like to start sending it off to small publishers soon.

    However, I've been thinking it could be worthwhile to get one or more of the stories traditionally published first. I've been told by a small handful of professionals that some if not most of my work is publishable, but I've not gotten any bights from magazines yet. It may be a while before that happens, and I'm eager to get this collection out there. That's why I'm trying to figure out just how beneficial it actually is to get short stories traditionally published, and how long of a wait is justified before I stop sending them out and just focus on the collection.

    I know a few of the benefits are as follows:
    1. Money (it's not very much though so this one is probably the least important, particularly since my financial situation is very stable at the moment).
    2. Exposure. It'd be great to get eyes on my website/Facebook page/whatever before going any further. Does anyone know how much exposure the big genre magazines tend to provide for writers? How much circulation they get, etc.?
    3. SFWA/HWA qualification if I get enough stories published. I don't know much about the benefits of getting involved with these organizations, and I can only join them after three stories published anyway so that's probably not something even worth thinking about at this point.

    What other benefits are there? I know that editors and agents and what have you are always reading these magazines and there's a possibility you could be contacted by one of them if they like your work, but that's an extremely rare occurrence, right?
    Horror and science fiction have a great tradition in the short story market. While not the same as it was in the good old days, the readership tends to be very dedicated and willing to part with a lot of money through word-of-mouth. Blanket statements regarding the sales (or lack thereof) of short fiction based largely on the fact one does not buy them themselves nor see them on the shelves at their local bookstore much is foolish.

    The simplest and quickest ways to get your stories out there is to submit them. Yes it will probably be for small sums at first, perhaps free. This is a buyer's market and you have to build your base. If I were you I would pick a handful of your best stories, polish them up, and submit them to as many places as you can. Do contests. If a legitimate platform of any size wants to publish one and does not demand any extended period of exclusivity for doing so then I would agree. Sure they won't pay much, but you will have publishing credits and activity. Don't be too protective about who publishes your work. Chances are it's not going to make The Paris Review no matter how hard you try, so being overly protective or demanding because "Barney's Tales That Go Boo!" is only offering a few dollars and a limited print run is likely going to lead to you shooting yourself in the foot. Send it, write something else, send that, repeat.

    If you're really interested in getting stories sold "in bulk" another option might be to try and construct a good frame narrative around them to transform them into a novel. This isn't something I would recommend forcing too hard, but if your stories have a common theme or motif running through them it would be a shame to lose that by cannibalizing them into individual units. I actually just finished reading a horror novel called "Penpal" by Dathan Auerbach (google it) which I believe started as a bunch of short stories posted on a Reddit horror board. These were very popular so the author put them together into a single book around which he constructed a frame narrative inspired by the theme of memory -- so each story relates to childhood memories with the stories themselves being flashbacks. It does require modification, naturally, but it can be effective and a "best of both worlds" option if you have the creative ability to pull it off.
    Last edited by luckyscars; August 16th, 2018 at 11:57 AM.

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