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  • Writer's pictureGerald C. Anderson, Sr.

Ways Short Stories Can Earn You Money

Short stories can help you earn money in several ways. The digital age has created a new interest in short 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.

Recently, I was at an event. I set out my books to sell as normal. When potential customers arrived, most gravitated to my novella, The Ride Along first, which was the shortest of all my books. After seeing this reaction, I researched shorter reads. What I found was people enjoy shorter reads because:

  • They are easier to read (in terms of time);

  • They often have fewer pages

  • Contain more emotion

  • The plot develops quicker and;

  • Frankly, readers get a sense of accomplishment because they can finish more of them in a shorter timeframe.

For you the author, here are some reasons writing shorter books can help make you money:

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 decide 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’ve 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, they will donate the profits 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 doesn’t 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 reputable.

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 you interested in writing when things might otherwise seem like a lot of hard work. If you’re 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 inspire a director or producer. Short stories with powerful 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 is worth paying attention to.

Writing short stories can be fun. I've recently released my first compilation of short stories entitled Creative Inspirations. If you have a moment read The Beach for free!

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