Cover of novel The Complex, by Michael Walters

Writing short stories on Patreon

Writing short stories on Patreon

I’m thinking about what people might like to see in a writer’s Patreon, and what would be exciting for me to publish. My favourite Patreon creators are podcasters, and of course they give access to extra podcast episodes. Creating a podcast might be fun, but I am primarily a writer, so my crazy idea (crazy for me, knowing how I usually write stories, i.e. slowly) is to publish a short story a month for the rest of 2022 on Patreon. These stories do not exist yet, so it’s a commitment to publish something once a month that is edited and complete, not just fragments. From nothing to ten stories in ten months.

A book of, say, a dozen short stories might cost a tenner, of which the author would get, after all the other costs are taken out, fifty pence. If it sells a thousand copies, which would be really good going, that’s £500 for more than a year’s work. There is also money from library loans, which could be another £50/year. I received half that for The Complex in 2021.

There is no money in the publishing industry for the vast majority of writers. There is barely enough money for independent publishers to stay in business. Looking at it with a couple of years’ experience now, the model is broken for all but the biggest publishers and the authors those publishers put their marketing muscle behind. There are so many people writing these days, and there is so much ‘content’ (bleurgh), that authors are on their own, in marketing terms. Now I can see why some writers self-publish. Before Salt picked up The Complex, I was sceptical. If anyone can publish, how can I find what’s good? Who are the gatekeepers of quality that I trust?

I suppose I’m talking around the fact that publishing short stories on Patreon is a form of self-publishing, and if I’m going to try this, I want to be clear with myself and whoever subscribes about what I’m aiming for. I need to think carefully about that.

This post was published on Patreon and is duplicated here.

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