The decision to self-publish a short story collection is not an easy one to make. Are you really prepared? Is it worth your time and effort? Is it the right choice for your career? At Self-Publishing Relief, our experts know there are certain signs to watch for that indicate you are ready to self-publish a short story collection.
Signs That Self-Publishing A Collection Of Short Stories Is A Good Choice For You And Your Short Fiction
You have published a number of stories in literary magazines and you’d like to introduce them to another audience. Most U.S. literary journal contracts grant the journal first North American serial rights, which means that the magazine will be the first to publish the work in North America. But after the issue is published, all rights revert to the author. Self-publishing is a great way to make your traditionally published stories available to a different—and possibly wider—readership.
You’ve written a number of stories that haven’t been accepted for publication despite several rounds of submissions. If you feel you’ve exhausted all the possibilities for publishing some of your stories in literary journals even though they are well written, tightly edited and proofread, with strong plots and characters—then you might want to consider self-publishing them as a collection. Keep in mind, however, that literary magazine editors will rarely consider publishing short stories that have already been published anywhere, in any form. So if you self-publish your short stories as a collection, the opportunities to publish those stories individually will decrease.
HINT 1: Don’t give up too soon on the traditional publishing route for your short stories! The submission experts over at our sister company Writer’s Relief recommend that a writer not give up on publishing a short story until it has been seen by at least 100 editors. If researching and making all those submissions seems daunting, consider getting help. Check out Writer’s Relief’s services.
HINT 2: Many writers who self-publish short story collections choose to include a mix of previously published and unpublished work. We recommend this strategy, because having some of the stories published in literary journals will give the whole collection more credibility with potential readers.
You know the harsh reality of success and self-publishing. Some writers dive into the world of self-publishing with lots of enthusiasm—and expectations of becoming the next best-selling author. But realistically, self-published books do not tend to sell in huge numbers. The success of a self-published book often depends on the author’s dedication to marketing and promotion (plus the trendiness of the book release and a big helping of good old-fashioned luck).
You also understand the significant advantages of self-publishing. Despite the challenges of self-publishing your short stories in a collection, there are still many advantages to choosing this path to publication. If you want control over things like cover design, interior layout and arrangement of your stories, and publication date, you are a strong candidate for joining the ranks of self-published authors.
You’ve reserved a healthy budget for publishing and marketing. It is possible to self-publish a collection of stories for free. But to publish your book at a professional level, some financial investment is often necessary. The good news is, there are lots of ways to minimize the cost of self-publishing while maximizing your investment (and not cutting into your precious writing time). To learn more, reach out to Self-Publishing Relief; we have self-publishing assistance plans that can accommodate almost every budget.
One Final Thought Before You Decide To Self-Publish Your Short Story Collection
Before you make that wonderful, final decision to self-publish a book of short stories, there’s only one more thing to consider: What will you do after your book comes out?
Once your book hits the shelves (including the virtual shelves!), it’s time to actively let people know your book is available for purchase.
You might want to consider:
- An author website with a mailing list
- At least one social media platform, preferably more
- A book blog tour or other blogger outreach
- A plan for reaching out to local venues that could help promote your book
The best way to feel confident about your decision to self-publish is to know that you’re also ready to promote your book to your followers, fans, and new readers.
Question: Are you a short story writer? What kinds of stories do you think work best in a short story collection? Share your thoughts!