Pinterest/Interest

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Writer's Brave New World

Today's world of e-publishing gives writers a chance to publish all forms of fiction and a place to publish them. The number of publications before e-publishing that accepted short stories and short novels were few and far between. Now, there's a place for almost anything a writer wants to do. To my way of thinking, this is a tremendous improvement over the pre-e-publishing world. Until recently, there was little point in writing short stories, because so few magazines wanted them, and the few who did want them were extremely selective. Your story had to fit their orientation. Today, your short story can fit your orientation, and possibly a lot of readers' orientations as well.

RaShelle Workman wrote a post on her blog Rashelle Workman "the-novelette-and-novella-rule" about the advantages of writing novelettes and novellas. Basically, they're short (novelette 7.5k-17.5k words, novella 17.5k-40k words). Like novels, they have a plot arch or character arch, but they are fast-paced, with little back story and few or no subplots. And, according to her, characters should be drawn vividly.

Recently, I've turned primarily to writing short stories. I hope to write about forty to fifty of them this year, and self-publish them in several e-books. There's always the possibility that one or two of these stories will turn into novelettes or novellas. I'm open to any possibility. I'm no longer tied to the old model of querying literary agents, who query publishers, and then publish as a novel or possibly a collection of short stories if you're a NY Times bestselling novelist. I write what I want to write and self-publish it in the best format possible.

I know several other writers who are writing and self-publishing short novels as e-books. I've seen single short stories self-published as stand alone e-books. It's a new world of publishing. You have the choice of following the old model or the new or some blend of the two. The key is to write as much as you can and put it out there, and to do it as professionally as possible. We no longer have to wait and follow a tortuously slow publishing process.

To me, this is the writer's Brave New World.

14 comments:

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I agree. The brave new world of publishing has many opportunities. However, one downside I've come to understand is that it takes money to get noticed and that's where the traditional publishers have it in spades.

Richard Hughes said...

If you have a lot of money to spend on advertising, I'm sure it can only help. But I know of a number of self-pubbed authors who are doing well through the social networking avenue, and they had little or no money when they started. But, yes, getting your books noticed is vital, and that is not easy. But it is do-able.

Paula R C Readman said...

I'm so glad you have found an outlet for your work, Richard I wish you lots of luck.

Richard Hughes said...

Thank you, Paula.

Julia Hones said...

You are right, Richard. There are more outlets for our work now. It's good that you are so active in your writing life. This is a good year.

Elise Fallson said...

I can't wait to get to this step in my writing journey. I know it's going to be difficult and require a lot of work, but the possibilities are exciting.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My novels are almost short enough to qualify according to RaShelle's guidelines! Not brave enough to do anything on my own though, as my publisher does so much for me.

Richard Hughes said...

Julia, thank you.

Elise, I'm probably not much further along than you.

Alex, you have a publisher, so you don't need to self-publish. But if you write something your publisher isn't interested in, then you're on your own with that work. Self-publishing it might be the answer.

Misha Gericke said...

All the best with your writing and self-publishing endeavors.

It's so true what you're saying. E-publishing is truly opening the publishing world up for writers.

Richard Hughes said...

Thank you, Misha. It is a brave new world. Not an easy one I'm finding, but a good one.

Tanya Reimer said...

It gives us control back. I like control.

Richard Hughes said...

Hi, Tanya. I agree.

Jon said...

I've always prefered the old method of publishing but lately it's become far too tedious and restrictive. Today there are many new opportunities for writers to experiment with.
I've never tried e-publishing, but you've given enough positive reasons to look into it.

Richard Hughes said...

Jon, there's a learning curve to e-publishing, but it's not a very steep curve.

Juliana, thanks for commenting. Congratulations on landing an agent.