Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo

Short story collections


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Maranda83

Maranda83

    MarandaMilligan

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 45 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, self-published
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 05 January 2017 - 01:16 PM

I have been writing short stories and would like to put them together into one collection book. Anyone know the average word count for a short story collection?

Thanks!!



#2 mwsinclair

mwsinclair

    Elephant with a trunk full of novels

  • Group Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,554 posts
  • Literary Status:published, unagented, media
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Journalist covering U.S. nonprofits, foundations, and life in general. President and Chief Elephant Officer of Elephant's Bookshelf Press, LLC. Since establishing the company in 2012, we have published ten books, including short stories by several AQC writers and debut novels by AQC authors A.T. O'Connor (aka Cat Woods), "ScubaSteve" Carman, and R.S. Mellette. Heading into 2016, we're aiming to publish at least two books, including the second Mellette novel and an anthology. In 2015, I saw a few memoir/nonfiction pieces published in Red Fez. I expect to do more of that in 2016 and beyond, while also looking to add freelance editing and writing clients.

Posted 05 January 2017 - 02:15 PM

Is this something you would want to self-publish or something you're hoping will attract an agent? Anthologies can be a very difficult sell, and it might make more sense to target stories to specific magazines or journals and/or contests. If you get published in one of them, you're more likely to capture the eye of an agent that way than by self-publishing.

 

None of my answer addresses your question, but I'm basically asking what are your goals? The size of an anthology can matter (mine typically have run between 120 and 170 pages -- about 25k-35k words on average), but marketing them to an audience is what will make the difference between seeing sales and hearing crickets.



#3 Maranda83

Maranda83

    MarandaMilligan

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 45 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, self-published
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 05 January 2017 - 05:29 PM

I'm not sure if it would be better to self publish but I wouldn't mind entering some into contests. Currently I have 5 short stories, in different genre's, and different styles, each running around 2100 words. I also have a few books I'm querying for, a Wedding Planning guide, a Baby shower cook book and planning guide and a YA fantasy series. I realize my genre's jump around and finding an agent that would rep all of them is probably not possible, so I am also asking advice. I would like an agent for the full books but at this point entering into short story contests may be best. (if I can find them)

Thank you!



#4 mwsinclair

mwsinclair

    Elephant with a trunk full of novels

  • Group Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,554 posts
  • Literary Status:published, unagented, media
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Journalist covering U.S. nonprofits, foundations, and life in general. President and Chief Elephant Officer of Elephant's Bookshelf Press, LLC. Since establishing the company in 2012, we have published ten books, including short stories by several AQC writers and debut novels by AQC authors A.T. O'Connor (aka Cat Woods), "ScubaSteve" Carman, and R.S. Mellette. Heading into 2016, we're aiming to publish at least two books, including the second Mellette novel and an anthology. In 2015, I saw a few memoir/nonfiction pieces published in Red Fez. I expect to do more of that in 2016 and beyond, while also looking to add freelance editing and writing clients.

Posted 06 January 2017 - 01:12 PM

From my perspective, I'd say query the book that's most ready for prime time. While you're waiting for the responses from agents, look into the contests. Keep things manageable. Too many books out seeking agents at once will drive you batty, even if you're organized and tracking things well.



#5 julialynn

julialynn

    Julia Lynn Rubin

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, agented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 12 January 2017 - 01:02 AM

On average, based on my observations, story collections tend to have at least eight mid-length stories, some with as many as twenty or more, sometimes with varied lengths. 

 

It all completely depends on the publisher, the author, and the collection. 

 

Short story collections are typically offered to famous authors, authors who have established themselves in the short story market and whose stories have a compelling overall theme/arc that can be marketed, or authors who have already published a novel and whose readership might appreciate a collection. Like mwsinclair said, they are a hard sell on their own, especially for an unknown or emerging writer.

 

Most agents will not represent you for your stories alone. It happens, but usually only with big-name authors/writers who will earn them a significant amount of money from sales to anthologies and publications.

 

I suggest sending your stories out to journals/magazines first that are reputable (Poets & Writers has an excellent database) and that you think might be a good fit, and trying to get some publishing credits first.


YA Author of BURRO HILLS (Diversion Books, 18) ♔ 

 

http://www.julialynnrubin.com

follow me on Twitter





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users