To write short stories, or not to write short stories – that is the question.
Some writers naturally jump feet-first into novel writing – like me. Others go straight for the jugular with short stories. And although I consider myself a novel writer, there are many reasons to give short, punchy stories your attention. The short story can be the key to improve your writing, receive critical acclaim and even get published.
Benefits to writing short stories include:
Improving your game: Short stories teach you to be concise, make every word meaningful, get to the point quickly by introducing the plot early and fine-tune editing skills. Click here for more information on how short stories make you a better writer.
Providing readers content quicker and more often: The best way to attract readers and build an audience is to have plenty of free or low-cost content available. Short stories enable you to provide readers a constant stream of content. It’s also away to captivate and attract readers to your other books and build your all-important email list you will use to announce new releases. Click here to learn more about building your audience using book funnels.
Giving readers more of what they want: Time is precious and more and more readers prefer short, quick reads that do not take a massive investment of time. Short stories area great way to draw readers into your story – even on lunch break. Click here to learn how reader habits are changing in the digital age.
Trying new genres: Just as writing short stories is less of a time commitment than writing a full-length novel, the risks involved with writing and self-publishing short stories is much smaller. Short stories are a great way to branch out into other genres without alienating your audience. Who knows what success lies in some uncharted genre? Click here for tips on writing in a new genre.
Making money: There’s money to be made in short stories. On Amazon, short stories are priced between .99 cents to 2.99. Odds are if a reader likes just one of your short stories, they’ll purchase another and even another. All this adds up to a pretty good return on investment, considering short stories require less time to write and publish. Too, write enough short stories, then bundle them into a short story collection. Click here to learn how to make money with short stories.
Building reputation: Submitting short stories to literary journals and magazines is a great way to put your work before industry professionals, including agents, editors, publishers and more. Too, getting your work accepted in top journals gives you a sense of accomplishment and provides that all too needed affirmation of being a “real” writer. Click here for a list of top literary journals to submit your short stories.
Ultimately, there is much to gain going for the short game. If you are interested in improving writing skills, building both audience and author reputation while making money, it makes sense to work short stories into your writing plan today.