Short stories can help you earn money in a few ways. The digital age has created a new interest in short, sharp fiction, as the internet generation looks for “snackable”, entertaining content to help pass the time when they are waiting for the bus and so on.
1. Building Your Name and Brand
Smartphones and tablets have changed the way we consume content. So, has blogging. If you want to get your name in front of an eager audience, write briefly and consistently and you should soon develop a fan base.
In addition to your blog or site, try other prominent short story sharing sites. Wattpad allows all users to upload their stories and for others to read them for free. Readwave shares “3-minute stories” written by users. Both sites can get you noticed quickly.
If you ever do decide to try to work with a traditional publisher, they will ask about your marketing ideas. A built-in fan base could be just what you need to tip the scales in your favor if you want to sell your novel.
2. Getting Paid Directly
You can publish your work on Amazon through the Kindle Singles program and get paid for your work regularly. Amazon also offers a Short Reads section in which customers can choose content by genre and word count/time it takes to read. They have also created Day One Magazine to showcase short fiction from new authors. Tell your fan base your work is on sale and you could be one of Amazon’s top writers in no time.
3. Anthologies Have Become Popular
The Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books confused publishers at first, but now it is a tried-and-tested business model. Anthologies are easy to create, cheap and can get your name noticed – especially if there are some top writers in your genre contributing. In many cases, the profits will be donated to charity, but you can gain a great deal of prestige. Check out Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Relief to find requests for submissions.
4. Published Is Published
It does not matter if it is only a short story. If you are accepted and printed online or on paper, you are a published author.
5. Contests Can Be Profitable
Entering contests with cash prizes can help you earn money as an author, provided the entry fees are not too high and the contest is a reputable one.
6. Contests Can Add to Your Resume
Winning a prize in a well-known contest can help establish your credibility as a professional writer.
7. Short Stories Are Quick, Easy and Fun
They can help keep your interested in writing when things might otherwise seem like a lot of hard work. If you are suffering from writer’s block on your novel, look for a contest with a stimulating topic and write a great short story for it.
8. Movie Makers Are Always Looking for Good Content
Around 70% of films come from fiction that inspires a director or producer. Short stories with strong characters and a gripping twist in the tale are ideal.
9. Short Stories Build Your List
Your author list at Amazon will grow, and with it, your visibility as a writer worth paying attention to.