Friday, December 31, 2010

A Royal Perspective

My Twitter friend @quickmissive (aka Kristina L. Martin) recently had an article published online (it's great- check it out!). This got me to thinking about publishing short stories and I found a helpful site that lists anthologies accepting submissions.

eChook is one of the sites that is accepting submissions for short stories. And get this: they pay $100!

Let's think about that for a moment.

I could write a short story between 750 - 2000 words and be paid $100.
I could write a novel between 75,000 - 100,000 words and be paid... um...
*does quick check online for typical author royalties*

7.5% on the paperback version, 15% of which goes to an agent (assuming I have one).

Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Eh...huh?

*whips out calculator*

I'm no accountant, but it seems to me that I'd have to sell about 250 copies of my paperback novel (at $6.99 each) in order to make $100 on the book that took me six months to write and another year to edit.

Or I could make $100 on a short story that took me an hour to write.

Hmmm.... Methinks that Kristina may well be on to something here!

What about you? Had any short stories published? Is $100 the norm?


  1. People will pay you to write stuff?!?

    Seriously, I'm not anywhere near that level yet, but good on Ya! Makes perfect sense. & Thanks to Kristina for the link on twitter.

  2. I have no idea about prices. I'm not quite a short story writer, but $100 does sound pretty good...

  3. I got into short story writing a few months ago, and it has positive and negative sides to it.

    The pros: Short stories are much easier to write (well, time-wise if not technique-wise), and they're much easier to sell (no agent required!). They can pay well (depending on the market, you could get several hundred dollars) and of course there is the sweet success of being published in a magazine or anthology or whatever.

    Cons: You probably aren't going to sell every story you write. Like anything writing-related, there's going to be a lot of rejection. Plus, even if you get accepted, a lot of markets either pay only token payment (disappointing amounts of $10 or $25, usually), or nothing at all. Even semi-pro payment is only 1-4 cents a word, which isn't a ton of money unless you're writing a pretty long piece (and usually everyone prefers brevity, like 5k or less).

    Payment is often per word. Pro markets pay 5 cents or more. I recently sold a short story to a pro market that paid 8 cents a word, and I think my total check was around $60 because it was flash fiction and the word count wasn't high.

    So ... I haven't quit my day job, I'll put it that way. There's a limited number of markets for short stories, and a lot of them are extremely choosy, or don't pay you anything. However, if nothing else, you get a publishing credit and you are a legit published author. I don't do it for the money, but what little I can get certainly doesn't hurt.

    Hope this helps! And I'm not trying to be discouraging. I think writing and publishing short stories can be very rewarding emotionally. And it CAN pay quite well, if not very consistently. There are pros and cons to it like everything else about publishing.

  4. I had a great comment on this post from Katie, but it has gotten eaten by blogger somehow (or maybe deleted by Katie?). Anyway, just wanted to acknowledge it, in case Katie was checking. Thanks for your input on short stories! :)


  5. Found it! It was erroneously in a spam folder. Guess I need to check that section (doh!).