NYT Reports That Short Stories Are Selling


Who knew that short stories would become popular again?

Years ago many publishers produced wonderful short story collections. My all-time favorites were the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series. They’re still available in libraries. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a second-hand copy or two.

This article, A Good Fit for Small Screens, Short Stories Are Selling – NYTimes.com, talks about short stories for ereaders:

“Stories are also perfect for the digital age, she added, because readers ‘want to connect and want that connection to be intense and to move on.’ That is, after all, what a short story is all about.”

I know several writers who’ve been noodling around with short stories for years. They’re dusting them off, updating them, and are publishing their collections on the Kindle.

If you’ve got short stories on your hard drive, and want to publish them, here are a couple of ideas:

* Can you find a common theme? The Alfred Hitchcock stories (from memory — it’s been years since I read them) — were a mix of crime and thriller genres.

Try to find a theme. One of my writer friends is writing a collection of new stories with a “mommy at home” theme. These days, women who choose to stay at home while their children are young have many challenges.

Establishing a theme makes good marketing sense. I’m not a short story fan at all. I like LONG novels, the longer the better (I reread Trollope’s Palliser novels every year.) That said, I’d fight my natural antipathy for short stories if you published a Western collection — give me a horse and a cowboy, and I’ll read it, even if it’s a short story collection.

* If you’ve got a couple of stories, but not enough for a collection, get together with a friend. You can publish a short story as a standalone, of course. But if you’re a new writer, without fans, it’s a hard sell.

Ask around. You and several of your friends can compile a selection of stories on a theme, and sell the collection.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.