Sending short stories to publishers.

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EMC
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Sending short stories to publishers.

Post by EMC » August 3rd, 2010, 3:11 pm

Hi all,
I was wondering what the thinking was on doing the above? Frowned upon? My novel is taking an age to write, and I know that some people have got publishers interested in their work by doing it. Has anyone on here? I've had one story long listed for Fish and the others are currently tied up in competitions - I don't have a massive body of work yet.

Would be very interested to hear peoples thoughts. Thanks in advance!

EMC

Margo
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Re: Sending short stories to publishers.

Post by Margo » August 3rd, 2010, 7:24 pm

Do you mean magazines and e-zines? I'm a big believer in the value of an author trying to make a name in short fiction prior to the novel sale/release. That used to be the standard advice for unknown writers.
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dahosek
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Re: Sending short stories to publishers.

Post by dahosek » August 3rd, 2010, 8:02 pm

Publishing short stories is a very competitive market. For every novel that gets written and sent out on submission, you've got to figure there's a couple hundred stories (at least) going out. I remember reading somewhere that the percentage of novels that are accepted for publication is higher than the percentage of short stories.

You'll want to approach any of the gajillions of publications which publish short stories. See http://www.duotrope.com/ for a starting point.

Book publishers generally are leery of short story collections (conventional wisdom is that they don't sell). Unless you've published at least some of the stories in top-drawer journals, and preferably had your name, if not your story, show up in one of the annual best story collections, you're not likely to get many if any bites on a collection.

Write short stories because you need to, not because you think it'll get you somewhere.

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HillaryJ
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Re: Sending short stories to publishers.

Post by HillaryJ » August 3rd, 2010, 11:21 pm

Short story writing in a nice exercise because it teaches you the value of being concise. That, by itself, can help with novel writing.

I agree that the conventional wisdom used to be that you'd publish short stories then move on to longer works, as if it was a step along the way. They are, however, two very different disciplines.

Publishing short stories will help you to build an audience. It can also help you to develop connections such as with editors and other writers. However, my opinion is that it takes publication in the most prominent publications of your genre for your short story success to be able to at all influence your chances of success in longer formats. So, while I wouldn't count on it helping you if your ultimate goal is novel publication, I think it's a worthwhile pursuit so long as it doesn't distract from your novel writing.
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marilyn peake
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Re: Sending short stories to publishers.

Post by marilyn peake » August 16th, 2010, 11:35 pm

I love writing short stories. I’ve had short stories published in numerous anthologies. Because short stories are written so much more quickly than novels, I've found that having one short story or several short stories published in anthologies that include short stories by a variety of authors is a great way to collect positive reviews and win book award contests. It’s important to make sure that the anthologies are written and edited by qualified people, though.
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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dahosek
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Re: Sending short stories to publishers.

Post by dahosek » August 17th, 2010, 4:14 am

How did you find your anthologies?

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marilyn peake
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Re: Sending short stories to publishers.

Post by marilyn peake » August 17th, 2010, 5:34 pm

Hi, D. A. Hosek,

I was invited to participate in a series of fiction anthologies by a fellow author who decided to put together and edit the series. I also pitched two non-fiction anthologies on the subject of writing to an indie press, and then invited authors whose work I was familiar with to contribute articles after the publisher agreed to publish the books. There are quite a few indie publishers that put out calls for contributions, and that’s a great way to get started with anthologies. Another way is to find authors in authors’ groups who are already successful in indie press and ask them if they’d like to work on an anthology with you. And Duotrope’s Digest http://www.duotrope.com is a great source of all kinds of publications!
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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