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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have several WIP, and have toyed with the idea of writing a short story, just to throw something different in the mix - and drive myself nuts with more work to do, of course!  :)

Any thoughts on which genres short stories sell best in? I have several ideas floating around, but I'm not sure which one would be most worth my time. :)

Thanks!
 

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lily_m_klein said:
Any thoughts on which genres short stories sell best in? I have several ideas floating around, but I'm not sure which one would be most worth my time. :)
Hmm ... being the author of exactly one short story at this point - in the humor genre - I'd have to weigh in and say ...

I have no idea. ;D

It seems to me that a well written short story (or other length of course) will find an audience - eventually. Some genres might attract more initial attention - depending on the flavor of the month - so to speak.

I hear (read?) vampires and paranormal are extremely hot right now - but thrillers and espionage seem to be doing alright as well. I'd say pick something you are comfortable with and have fun!! Increasing that virtual shelf space will only serve as a positive thing when it comes to your other future works!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Raymond! One of my ideas was a paranormal romance, so maybe I'll work on that one first :)
 

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Warning: the below post discusses short fiction in an overall arc, not just self-publishing.

I've not written a lot of short fiction, but what I have written has done all right. I'd forgotten that I have a couple of unsold pieces, so I need to get off my butt with those here soon ::)

I write chiefly SF&F shorts. However, I've written a couple of literary pieces assuming I'd never sell them. One in particular was only 600 words and I sold for nearly $70 earlier this year. Even I was surprised about that this year.

I have a few friends who write romance/erotica shorts for smaller epublishers and are doing very well with that. Likewise, I have one friend (acquaintance?) who has done good with the SF/F pro markets and the higher paying Canadian markets (which are rarely "pro" payers, but who are well respected in the field).

I don't know anyone who is writing mystery or thriller shorts.

If you're looking to self-publish them, write whatever one you want. If you are looking at going through anthologies, write one that can fit within the themes. If you are looking at submitting to magazines, write what is buying bought.
 

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Fantasy and science fiction shorts have strong dedicated markets. As do literary shorts, though not as strong or easy to publish with.

As an Editor of a short story magazine, I'd like make myself available for you to bounce ideas off of if you'd like. Nothing I enjoy more than helping out authors. :)
 

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- Urban Fantasy
- Anything with a Vampire in it.
- Erotica and Romance.

For example, under a Pseudonym I published 4 Erotic shorts I had lying around ( btwn 3-7k words each). I just started and in about 2 weeks, I've sold roughly 30 copies. No promotion or anything. From what I hear, this isn't unusual.

People love escapism :).
 

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I would guess that erotica, paranormal and romance shorts sell best.

But whatever you like to read is always the best choice; otherwise, it may not sell well if your heart isn't in it or it comes off sounding awkward/generic.
 

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Alain Gomez said:
Write what you enjoy. It's painfully obvious when it's forced.
This is key, isn't it?

Why not just write a story and instead of restricting yourself by genre, limit the word count. See what you get.

If you don't like it, you can write another, and another, and another, and then bundle them in a collection called Stories I Don't Like, sell it for $3.99, and viola.
 

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The kind of short story that gets a good reaction is the story which has a positive ending, particularly when the better side of human nature triumphs despite the odds against it. Many readers enjoy seeing characters like themselves overcoming everyday problems with an unexpected twist to them. They do not usually like stories which sadden them, or which make fun of others. Laughing WITH the character is fine, but never at him. Avoid religion. Take it from me, even with the best intentions you're bound to annoy someone if you don't. 
 

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For me, short stories (and in particular, flash fiction) sometimes work because they don't have a genre. Smaller stories are an interesting way of tackling that stuff that's a little unquantifiable and wouldn't really fit, or even work, in a longer piece.
 
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