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Pato L.
06-19-2012, 02:24 AM
I've been reading a lot about the submission of novels and short stories, but I haven't found much info in this topic: is it feasible for an unpublished author to submit to both agents and publishers a collection of short stories?I usually read about people submitting a novel for "book printing", and a single short story for "magazine printing". I have written several short stories, and I'm wondering if sending those away together is like a big faux pas that will tattoo SLUSH on my forehead.
I'd love to hear your input on both US and UK markets... thanks!

rainsmom
06-19-2012, 03:10 AM
I don't know about the UK, but in the US it's very, very, very difficult to get a short story collection published because they sell horribly. The few that are published are generally by people who have their stories published by The New Yorker or other major market and thus have an audience. It's almost unknown for an unpublished author to sell a short story collection.

Undercover
06-19-2012, 03:35 AM
I would agree with Rainsmom. Plus there are not a lot of agents that accept short story collections. Your best bet is to get them published seperately in print and online magazines and build up your writing creditionals. You may also want to expand on some of the stories perhaps for novella length to submit to e-publishers.

When there's a will, there's a way.

Susan Littlefield
06-19-2012, 07:52 AM
My friend published a fabulous collection of short stories that were all reprints, all closely related, and all on the same subject matter. However, she had a difficult time getting a publisher, but finally found someone who was open to her kind of work. She's been successful and is now working on a novel.

That said, Rainsmom and Undercover are right.

Pato L.
06-19-2012, 08:30 AM
Thanks, guys. I'm unsure about submitting my stories separately to zines, etc, 'cos it seems like a lot of effort with little chances of financial return, specially while living in S. America. I've been trying my hand at writing a novel, so maybe that'll be the way to strike a publishing deal.

quicklime
06-20-2012, 09:33 PM
Thanks, guys. I'm unsure about submitting my stories separately to zines, etc, 'cos it seems like a lot of effort with little chances of financial return, specially while living in S. America. I've been trying my hand at writing a novel, so maybe that'll be the way to strike a publishing deal.


Pato,

there is a major flaw in your logic: if you wanted a financial return, this is like building a career out of the lottery. And if you're seeking shortcuts, well, you are competing against thousands of folks willing to do all the work.

Just saying the odds are bad already; allowing yourself to be lazy or looking for ways to circumvent the system make them plummet even further. If you want to sell a book of shorts, you have to give an agent, then an editor, a reason to believe they have a decent chance of making money....short collections sell poorly, and shorts by nobodies sell worse. The publication route gives them a reason to believe you've proven yourself, and your stories, and you may even have folks who would recognize you. Without that, you're nothing but risk for them....

Unimportant
06-20-2012, 11:26 PM
Thanks, guys. I'm unsure about submitting my stories separately to zines, etc, 'cos it seems like a lot of effort with little chances of financial return, specially while living in S. America. I've been trying my hand at writing a novel, so maybe that'll be the way to strike a publishing deal.

If you're looking at it sheerly on odds (talent and luck aside), then -- no. You can spend a year writing a novel (100K words) or spend that same year writing twenty short stories (each 5000 words). There are more short story markets than there are book publishers that you can submit to. So you're more likely to make a short story sale than a book sale. Yes, books earn more, but you're looking at something like a 1:500 chance of selling a short story for $300 versus a 1:10,000 chance of selling your novel for $3000.

But, realistically, unless you are already an established writer or you can write in a specialist non-fiction area or you're phenomenally talented and lucky, planning to make money off writing is, as the above poster said, about like having 'winning the lotto' as your business plan.