Short stories, traditionally a starting place for many writers looking to make a break into professional publishing, are still an amazing way to stretch your creative talents and expand your readership. In the modern age of digital publishing, they’re a perfect way to balance life, writing, marketing, and creative development while bringing in some extra income.
The more you write, the easier it is for people
to ﬁnd you. There’s more opportunities for
your work to show up in someone’s Amazon
recommendations, more chances for someone
to review something you’ve done and spread
the word that way.
Having several 99-cent stories, maybe some
novellas at $1.99, and your novel at $4.99.
That makes plenty of price points to match up
with any reader’s budget and eliminate excuses
not to buy.
3 Entry Points
Short stories by nature, they’re short!
A new reader can dive right into your
writing style, setting, and characters
without a huge commitment. And once
you’ve got them reading, you can get them
hooked and eager to dig into your longer work.
Short stories give you a practical way to
oﬀer more giveaways of your work. You can
post short stories on your blog to draw new readers,
oﬀer story downloads to newsletter readers
(a great way to build your email list!),
and do Kindle freebies to build your readership.
5 Practicing Your Craft
and Trying New Things
Give a short story a try. Because it’s less of a
commitment than a full novel, you can experiment,
practice, and ﬂing around crazy ideas. Writing
is a process of continual learning and growth,
and even the failed experiments can help you
become a better writer and build better
relationships with your readers.
6 Expanding Worlds
Is there a secondary character in your novel
that you just love, but who barely appears
on the page? Give him his own short story
where you can explore his background,
personality, and life outside nudging the main
characters in your novel! You never know, you
might wind up with a fan favorite and the seed
of a new novel in your series.
7 Pilot New Ideas
Short stories are a good way to dip your toe
into a new genre—or even just a new area
within your genre, like moving from
swords-and-sorcery fantasy to doing some
urban fantasy—without making a huge
Once you’ve written a bunch of short stories,
you can collect them into an anthology. This
links back to points #1 and #2, discoverability and
price points. Including a couple of unpublished,
brand-new stories will encourage readers
to pick up the new collection by adding value
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Short stories can allow you to stretch your
creative muscles, attract new readers, expand into
new markets, and build a loyal fan following.
What’s not to love
about these little gems?
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