WRITERS: When The Going Gets Tough, Sell Short Stories! – by Rachel Carrington

WRITERS: When The Going Gets Tough, Sell Short Stories! – by Rachel Carrington

In the current publishing landscape, authors are jockeying for a position on the bestseller lists, books are less than a dollar, and some authors aren’t making the royalties they once made when the indie-rush first hit. Their talent is still there but the competition for a reader’s eye is fierce. So, it’s not unusual to see authors discussing their lack of sales on social media. After my royalties took a dive, I decided to jump into writing short fiction. And, it’s paid off!

For years, I wrote long tomes, books that sometimes exceeded 120,000 words. I eventually pared that down to 50,000-65,000, and never imagined I could write anything shorter than that, and still have it make sense. Surprisingly, once I decided to challenge myself, I became a fan of shorts.



I’ve written everything from flash fiction to non-fiction essays, which have helped keep the electricity bills paid. I even wrote and sold a complete story told in text messages that was published by Hooked last year. The profit was more than I made in royalties that year and I’ve written several more since then. And, while there have been shorts I haven’t sold, I’ve turned them into blog posts, using them for short fiction just for my followers. Not only do I gain more practice at writing shorts, I also keep my readers interested until my next full-length novel releases.

Writing flash fiction or short stories can be challenging, but it can also be lucrative. Many authors make their living writing shorter stories for literary magazines and, while that may not be your goal, it can open other doors for you, and provide you with the money necessary to keep writing full-time.

So, if you’re frustrated with the amount of royalties you’ve been making, or even if you just want to make some extra cash, consider writing short stories. You don’t have to look very far to find paying freelance markets, and adding another sale to your resume will not only boost your confidence, but will also give you the confidence to write even more.


Rachel Carrington is a multiple award-winning author of over fifty novels, numerous magazine articles, and a fan of discovering new avenues for writing and promoting. You can find her on the web at www.rachelcarrington.com. Follow her on Twitter at @rcarrington and on Instagram @rcarrington2004.




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