Around here we’re all about creativity. I don’t talk much about publishing because:
a, there’s plenty of material online about how to publish/get published and
b, Worrying about the publishing part before the writing part seems like putting the cart before the horse.
However, many of you have come along on the StoryADay May creativity binge a few times now and are starting to wonder “What Next?”
I strongly advocate trying many different things to get your work into the hands of readers, from submitting to traditionally-published magazines, publishing online, and yes, even self-publishing.
This summer and autumn I focused on putting together batches of stories that could be packaged together and sold as ebooks. Then I published them myself.
I’ve never felt more inspired, so I wanted to share the steps with you.
Why Write & Publish A Short Story Collection eBook?
- It imposes deadlines and a finite end to each project
- It can inspired you to finish and polish your stories
- Setting my own them and writing my own ‘themed anthology’ helped me focus on what to do every time I scheduled a writing session.
- Because I was sick of only writing to someone else’s specifications and then spending weeks waiting to hear back to hear that I hadn’t quite hit what they needed [1. I won’t stop submitting to magazines and online publications. I just needed another outlet too!]. I wanted to feel like I was spending more time writing than researching markets.
- To build an audience of readers, not just other writers (much as I love my online writing buddies, we all need readers!).
- To build a track record of publications with reviews and feedback.
Was It A Success?
A resounding success.
My experiment is still a bit of a work in progress as I have only released a few things, and my marketing is designed to produce results over the long haul. But I can tell you that I have never been more inspired or productive in my writing life. Just the thought of taking control, seeking feedback from trusted writing friends, polishing and releasing these stories, has filled me with drive and broken through any number of writing blocks in the past few months.
Because my marketing plan isn’t fully in place yet (and relies on more collections being released over the next year), I’m not going to talk about sales figures yet.
Get The Blueprint – Free!
I am, however, going to share how I got the books out into the world, created mechanisms for gathering reader feedback and began to share my stories with the world.
If you’re already on the StoryADay mailing list you should have received a copy of the lesson I put together, sharing what I did (check your email).
It contains everything from:
- How (And Why) To Write & Polish a Themed Batch Of Stories
- My Timeline For Putting Together An eBook
- Preparing for Publishing (including preparing the text and cover, and what you must include to ensure readers connect with you)
- Working with Amazon to Create A Kindle Edition (including a walk-through of the publishing process)
- Working With Smashwords To Create Other eBook Formats (including technical details and tips on how to use Smashwords to increase your book’s reach)
- What I Did To “Release” The Book (includes how I sought reviews, spread the word and gathered feedback)
- What Next? (Includes tips for ongoing marketing, and planning the next collection)
- Your Turn (A pep-talk on the three most important steps you must take if you’re going to try this)
- Resources (includes links to all the services I use for publication and promotion.
If you’re not on the mailing list you can add yourself now and receive your free copy of my detailed guide to Publishing Your Own Short Story Ebook Collection
6 thoughts on “Publish Your Own Short Story Collection”
Glad it found you when you needed it! Let me know what you do with it,
JUST seeing this but it’s soooo timely for me right now. Thank You!!!
btw, already a subscriber and downloaded pdf to go through later. But felt like poking around your site to read a few short stories for inspiration. 😉
Excellent, I need this badly. Went and put together an anthology, and haven’t had much feedback on it. Maybe this will help me do it right.
Good for you! Keep the faith. Even if people are reading and enjoying, a tiny percentage of them will actually comment (and they might not do so until they see you face to face).
I think the key with this is going to be volume. Keep releasing stuff and the people who enjoy one collection will pick up another. We’re in this for the long haul, right?
And don’t be afraid to flat-out ask for feedback. Most readers have no clue how the bookselling industry works (why should they?). I’ve seen best-selling authors add lines to their newsletters/blogs saying “Hey, because of the way the book industry works it really helps if you review the book/buy it on opening weekend/do this other thing I want you to do”. The msart ones post this many times. It never offends me, as a fan of their work. Why shouldn’t we do that too?!
Go for it! Unless you’re saving stuff for a commercial market you know it’d fit, I’d say it’s a great idea.
Marketing is a whole other learning curve, or course… 🙂 I feel that these ebooks (if professionally done) are great calling cards, even if they never make us rich.
My mother in law (also an author) was talking to me yesterday about doing my own anthology.