Can you write short stories? If you can, you can make money — yes, you can, for the first time in decades. If you had asked me even five years ago whether you could make money writing short stories, I would have laughed. Amazon’s Kindle changed all that.
Consider this: you can make money JUST by writing short stories — without a day job to subsidize your writing. Moreover, you don’t even need to be a particularly brilliant writer to sell your short stories, you just need to write them.
A short story is by definition short. As I said in this article, Write Kindle Short Stories: 5 Quick Tips | Angela Booth’s Fab Freelance Writing Blog, a short story can have a very simple structure:
“Get to the point, but not too quickly
A common story structure is: setup (introduce your character), introduction of big problem, conflict and obstacles, climax (all is lost), resolution (story ending, ideally coming full circle, and referring to something that happened in the beginning of your story.)”
Even if you don’t want to make a career of writing short fiction for the Kindle, writing short stories can profitable.
Write and sell short stories for fun and profit
* Convert trash into treasure
If you have a couple of novels collecting dust on your hard drive, why not turn them into short stories?
I recently helped Helga, one of my coaching students, to do this. She turned a partially completed novel into five short stories. And then — the irony — she turned one of the stories into a novel. This was huge fun for her. And the results surprised her. 🙂
I’m always telling my students that nothing you write is ever wasted, and this was a perfect example.
* Turn a couple of hours into an ebook
Got an idea? Often, when you’re writing, you get a strong idea, and wish you could write it. Now you can sell short Kindle fiction, go ahead and write. You’ll have another ebook for sale on the Kindle bookstore, which will draw new readers to your full-length novels.
Another student, Jerry, spent a weekend writing an erotic short story. He published it under a pen name. That short story’s outsold everything else he’s written, by a wide margin. Now he’s writing more erotica. If he hadn’t gone with his gut and published the story, he wouldn’t have opened up an entire new arena for his writing.
* Test an idea
When Lena plotted a new series of fantasy novels, she lost confidence. Writing fantasy was a complete departure for her, so she was using a pen name. She worried that no one would be interested in her new series. I suggested that she test the waters by writing three short stories set in the world she was creating.
Lena’s stories are selling. They’re whetting readers’ appetite for her novels. And Lena now has a lot more confidence.
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