All right. How do I know when to epublish vs. when to keep submitting a short story to a market?
(Novels are a discussion for another day, especially because I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it at the moment.)
First, you have to do what makes you comfortable. This is my process, one that I’m comfortable with, and one that fits my requirements.
- I write a story a week and epublish a story a week (not necessarily the same story).
- I am attempting to become a professional-level writer who makes a living from my writing.
- I write in several genres, including some that don’t really have a big market for short stories, like middle grade.
My sorting process:
- Did I write the story specifically for an epublishing project? Yes – epublish.
- Did I write the story specifically for a market (like a themed anthology)? Yes – send to that market.
- Is the story in a genre that I normally market to? Yes – send to professional-level markets in that genre. No – epublish, or if I’m feeling very adventurous, send to a pro market in that genre.
- Has the story been rejected by all the pro markets? Yes – send to semi-pro markets that I like or would be proud to be published in or that I think sound cool.
- Has the story been rejected by all the paying markets I want to submit to in my genre? Yes – epublish. No, but I’m tired of sending it out – epublish.
- Have the initial publication rights on a published story expired? Yes – epublish.
- Do I desperately need a story to epublish this week but nothing meets the criteria? Pick something that’s been to all the pro markets that I like, and epublish.
There you have it 🙂
I just thought of something I should add. Notice how this process doesn’t require you to say, “Is this story any good?” anywhere in that process? You don’t get to decide who likes your story and who doesn’t; your readers do. I’ve had stories published that I was like, “Well, THIS will never see the light of day if I don’t put it up,” and other stories that I think are the BOMB that no editor seems to want. Let the people paying you money decide what they like.