Publishing: How to Syndicate Paying Fiction on Medium
After some months working at this, and finding no real answers, but a lot of restrictive dead ends, here is my conclusion:
Publish as syndication from what you already published, or before you hit “submit.” You can publish stories too short to get above Amazon’s arbitrary 2500 word limit. Normally, you’d make a collection of them and publish to KDP that way. But you might as well put them onto Medium when you like they way they wrapped up. Factually, the trick is to publish to Amazon first (via Direct2Digital) and then split out the individual pieces to publish on Medium (and Wattpad.)
Medium is really like a high-class, paying version of Wattpad. Build an audience, all that.
“Publications”: There are subsets within Medium called “publications.” What publications are is a dedicated group of Medium readers, organized in some fashion. If they don’t take your book, then just make it live and carry on. The idea here is to get into a special audience who go there first for their fiction. I may try this with some later. The one fiction publication in the top 100 Medium publications is CreativeCafe (https://thecreative.cafe/your-story-matters-d675e86b9680) and they allow one new story per day. There is apparently a slight editorial review and want it as draft – they are always looking for fresh stuff. There are some others, but they get more and more restrictive as they go.
Tricks and Strategies: The first trick is to simply get your tags right when you publish. Pick the two or three best-fitting genres, plus the pen name/author name, plus serial/flash fiction/short story/series novel, – and that covers about everything.
The other key strategy is to convert your profile into your publishing imprint, as well as your logo. You’ll still use the same login, but now you aren’t a single person – you’re a publishing powerhouse!
Of course you link to your books2read book page and author page. And include your Instafreebie page for giveaways.
Monetizing Medium: Put some up for free and the rest paid. Like the first few installments of a book as free, until you really hook the reader. Those links above are services for the reader – don’t say “Buy this book” but rather, “More stories by [pen name].” And “Free book giveaways by [Pen Name].”
Syndicating Stories: Like Wattpad, keep to a schedule. Friday nights are best for publishing on Wattpad.
Which means for me, that I’d simply post to Wattpad and then post to Medium.
If it’s Friday, it’s syndication day.
Strategies: This is separate process from your non-fiction writing. You post that when you post to your blog (and boy do I have a backlog of drafts.) The solution is to post daily to Medium until you catch up. Once per day. Most people can’t deal with a firehose of data coming at them, no matter how well edited. Let them pick and choose. Meanwhile, put one story out of those seven up as free and the rest as paid. KISS. And any new non-fiction, you take the extra step of publishing it to Medium as paid or free, depending on how rare and valuable the content is.
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Funny how this is so short. But that’s how simple this platform is, as far as fiction.
Update: Finally found that key reference I assembled a month ago and couldn’t find: Building an Audience With Avid Readers
Update 2: An interesting idea of how to tag your Medium articles – you can become a “Top Writer” by judicious use of the appropriate tags:
Tags are assigned at the point of publication. Five tag slots available, but which ones should be used? Judicious use of tags can get your story listed, or even list you as a Top writer.
There is also another next to useless list of promotion actions: https://medium.com/personal-growth/how-to-get-started-as-a-fiction-writer-on-medium-25704047d23c
1. Write a Great Story
Obvious. Every next story should be better than any before it. Try new things, perfect them as you go. Work from your strong suits.
2. Don’t Just Write Fiction
Publish your non-fiction as well, as you can often get noticed as a non-fiction writer first.
3. Join a Publication
Nope – check out their restrictions and you’ll find you have to publish first and preferably only on them. Means you don’t show up on the rest of Medium.
4. Market Your Stories
Also pretty obvious. More like you want to drive traffic to Medium to get your stories read. Medium then drives them to your books. Because you post in serials and series, with links to the published book. Same as Wattpad.
5. Promote Your Stories on Social Media
Skip this. Social media is mostly for itself. Doesn’t really sell books. You’re better off using FB ads to sell your own books. Organic reach is down below 10% on most of them, and more than half the followers are fakes/bots. Don’t waste your time.
6. Network with Other Fiction Writers
Maybe. How much time do you want to spend away from your writing? Of course you can always tell your list that you have free samples online. But that would then be a possible way to convert your freebie-seeking subscribers to paid ones – as they get an ad to buy with every serial installment.
7. Tag Your Work as Fiction
Key tags are: Short Story, Fiction, Humor, Love, Relationships, Writing – see link above this one.
Update 3: Here’s a link to test your tags for followers: https://mediumtags.com/
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Also published on Medium.