Publishing 2 Short Stories a Week Gets You Pulp Speed With Benefits.
It’s too easy to do nothing. Modern life is that way – to keep you inactive.
(But the prolific authors make more income. It’s also easier and more profitable to work for yourself, so… I write.)
Early this I woke wanting to do something. Write, publish, edit, anything. And I had this idea I wanted to record before I forgot it.
As it was very early, I didn’t want to turn on lights and wake the rest of the house. Even the dog was asleep nearby.
Fiddled with a phablet and various apps. No real progress.
After awhile, some lights came on in another part of his old house. Now I could get up and type this.
Oh – that thought? Publish two short stories per week.
Simple, right? That famous Spanish author Cellado did that. (In America, it would be for 90% of the purchase price.) For the indie publisher, this means coming up with a cover and all the meta-data, and pushing it out to three aggregators, recording the audio and editing that, and posting it to a blog and/or podcast as an article/podcast. You want to publish everywhere in all formats possible.
The key solution is to get into a rhythm of production. A regular system you can use.
I have about three books I’m working on. And some home improvements, farm work that all has to get done. And stacks of books to read, another small stack to approve for distribution. Tons of work.
My approach has been to follow my intuition. .
That intution says today I need to focus on and finish the one project I’ve been working on for months, the one which lays out my approach for the next year in writing. But meanwhile, figure out this mini-publishing system to publish 2 stories a week.
As I write this, that big book has changed once again with all the testing.
The idea before this was to write 3K words a day and edit it, meaning three proofs. Daily. That would take the entire day. So I’d spend no time on promotion or other business activities.
The new idea: let’s publish two short stories per week.
What would that take?
Having two good ideas and fleshing them out. Editing those through three proofs (self-edit, line-edit, out-loud-edit) and then publishing, which means getting a cover and meta-data.
You could have a cover as a slush-pile container. Later, pull these finished stories out and compile them into collections. Each would have their own cover and meta-data, to push out to book outlets.
(Update: publish two stories per week, and compile a magazine for paid subscribers each month. Pad it out with classic public domain stories if you want.)
However, that’s more like a Wattpad approach, which isn’t paid. You want to post these stories out to the real world where people pay for things.
One idea for covers is to go to Pixabay, pick out a nice image, and then put a title on it for that story. Use the most popular ones, regardless of whether they fit. Or, better, pick out a cover and write a story for it.
Either/or. Get inspired or get inspired. Matters not. Write into the dark, either way.
Which goes backward to having a muse ready at your call. (See “How to Train Your Inspiration.”)
And that means you need the ability to write in any story structure at will.
But you get both by sitting down and writing in that story structure daily. Regardless. Keep your stacks of notes about titles and story ideas, or write to a cover. (I like that idea – the Pixabay series.) Everyday, write and edit a story which says something. Stop somewhere after 2500 words (or better, 8K words for a paperback) or when the story runs out its time. Don’t pad. Let the story set its own length. (In the now-linked example below, it was short of 2500 words. So I wrote a flash fiction. Still short. Included an excerpt from an upcoming book by that author, finally taking it over the edge.)
Afterwards, crank out a synopsis for it that becomes a buy-now description. Post it everywhere it fits. Post your audio as well on a one-off basis (without a lot of hassles.) Podcast would be fine, if you had a template. (No body does that right now. You’d want a publisher where you could use a Dropbox or GoogleDrive link somehow where you could upload and let go. Post the cover with it, and description, etc. Current standard is all sFTP, which doesn’t want to work on the machines I have.)
So that means research on somewhere who would publish your audio like you can self-publish your own indie books. I haven’t found it yet. You can set your audio up as a podcast, and then ask for donations. The sheer mass of story-telling would then build your audience after a fashion. Your voice in their ear would build a personal relation with them. Every podcast would tell them to donate and where they could buy the audio without ads.
Here’s an idea: I might post audio to CDBaby for download as MP3’s.
The model has you able to post and sell individual stories. Get paid for it. In all formats. One story at a time.
What is so hard with that? This is back to the days of pulp fiction without even the magazine to support you. It’s pulp speed with benefits.
The above outlines everything.
I’ll end this now to get back to the research. Prove its workability or not.
But there’s the thrown gauntlet. 2 stories per week, and the devil take the hindmost.
Luck to us all.
(PS. from one Pixabay image, the first line: “On the day after the Apocalypse, I had to dance...”)
(Update: Now published as original fiction – see link above.)
(PPS. Now, if I turned around and recorded this blog post, it would be about 1000 words, or maybe a 4 minute recording. So this applies to non-fiction, too. Drop it into a podcast audio template in Audacity, and you’d be hearing my voice tell you this…
The real breakthrough on this is to put your primary emphasis on publishing. Not just words. Words need editing, need recording.
Think prolific. Think in terms of published works. Two books a week make you prolific. And stretch out publishing to “only” one per week, so you can get ahead and still encourage your fans to keep following your work. Write a shorter work, or serial for one. Publish it to all possible outlets, in all formats. Write another, publish it everywhere as well. Collect these up when you have enough to make a print version and create a new audiobook for that collection as well. Monthly, create a magazine for your sponsors and members. It will be digital, in print, and in audio. For that month, you’ve created 8 new works that are published or pre-scheduled. You’ve also made at least the magazine for a collection, but might also have produced two more collections of 4 stories each. 11 ebooks, 3 print books, 14 audiobooks. Your income should be looking up…
Also published on Medium.