Tale As Old As Time

So.

Any readers who have been following along with my blog will know that my friend and I have issued each other a story challenge, that the deadline was pushed back (twice), and those who are really in-the-know have heard that my short story turned into a novella.

A novella I’m really happy with.

One I think might be kind of…good.

So here I am, having spent quite awhile writing this novella and in rather dire straits financially. This is where you come in, as a reader. I am inclined to submit this story to some literary magazines and see if I can’t get it published for a fee. If I go this route, it will be several months at least before its available to read, and even then it won’t be free. I am also toying with the idea of self-publishing it and selling it at a very low cost, which would necessitate lots of promotion and word-of-mouth to generate sales.

My question is, would you buy something like that? Would you get on PayPal and spend a dollar or two to read a story? Posting two-thirds of the story and charging for the ending seems scammy and likely to make people angry, but how much would you need to see before it was worth the money/trouble to read the rest? Even as I’m writing this it seems silly, I’m not a published writer. Why would someone pay for my story?

Then again, there is the fact that it’s good.

I think I will try submitting while I am at Frogman’s Print Workshops for the next two weeks and can’t possibly obsess over what’s happening or not happening, and if nothing pans out then up on the blog it goes.

What would you do, if you were in my shoes?

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2 responses to “Tale As Old As Time

  1. First of all, having read your Nano draft, I am inclined to believe that your story is indeed good. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Now however comes the question we all wonder about, what to do next?

    I really hate the idea of you having to pay someone to publish your work. You spent a lot of time and creative energy on this story, and for someone to charge YOU to print it seems almost ludicrous. But then, they do (hopefully) have some means to promote it, so I guess that does make some kind of sense.
    Self-promotion is a rough road too though. A lot of writers do this, and I have to admit, not all of their stories are very good. How does one gain credibility in this mess? I don’t know.

    But, you asked, what would I do in your shoes?

    Knowing that your story will stand up to tough readers (I consider myself one of them) is useful, I think, so if I were in your shoes I would assess the kinds of stories in the publication. If I felt my story was good fit, I would probably take that route–if the upfront costs aren’t too exorbitant. I think credibility and amassing a portfolio might be important in this biz.
    I also happen to know that you have one heck of a novel waiting in the wings so building up your published credits might be more important than making a few bucks right now.

    In any case, no matter what you choose, I’d probably pay to read it, if I were given a small taste of a few pages to make sure it’s of interest to me.

    Unless of course you’re interested in a beta reader … ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I guess I was unclear there, I meant submitting it to literary journals that would pay me a fee to publish my work. Between 5 and 10 cents a word. It takes at least a month to hear back from the ones I’ve looked at, and they prefer that you not submit the same piece to multiple journals at the same time. Though I would be out the cost of printing/mailing etc., but that’s not too much. Some I can submit to electronically.
      This was very helpful, I think I will proceed with submitting it.
      Thank you so much for your kind words regarding my novel, it’s such a scary thing to first write it and then share it. I would also love a beta reader for the novella, I’ll send it right over.

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