Valuable Tool for Selling Professional Short Fiction

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I picked up Playing the Short Game by Douglas Smith and I’ve already read it twice. Despite the fact that there’s a vast number of books on writing, I’ve not really found many on selling short fiction in modern markets. What this book offers is a valuable resource on the methods of publishing short fiction at the professional level in modern markets as well as information on licensing and relicensing your works, cover letter creation, and how to leverage your short fiction career into a novel career. Douglas Smith has an encouraging and conversational tone that I enjoyed and as one of the more prolific modern short fiction authors out there, his experience is invaluable.

One of the most important things this book taught me was to not sell myself short. Many times I’ll polish up a short story and be rather proud of it and sell it to a semi-pro magazine. Now there’s nothing wrong with semi-pro magazines and I have sold things to these venues before, but I never really try to give the ‘big dogs’ of the industry a chance. I often feel like I shouldn’t even try because who gets into those magazines anyway, right? Well, this book really has shown me how writing short fiction in today’s world is a numbers game more than anything else, that is, writing quality stories and getting as many out in front of editors as possible. It sounds like obvious advice, yet I really hadn’t been following it too well. Often times I would send something out and wait for it instead of immediately beginning work on another piece. My mindset has shifted quite a bit and now I am aiming high from here on out. By the end of the year, I want to place a story in a professionally paying science fiction or fantasy magazine. It’s worth a shot.

Check out Douglas Smith’s Playing the Short Game if you have an interest in writing and selling short fiction at the professional level. This is a book that I’ll have close to my writing desk for a long time.

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New Magazine Publication

I woke up this morning with a nice acceptance email from the people over at Empyreome Magazine. I’m excited to appear again in their Weekly Flash series sometime in mid-May. This is an exciting sale for me because this will be my first fantasy story I’ve placed in a magazine. It’s a pretty dark story called ‘Sins of the Blood’ that’s just over 1,000 words and I’m excited to share it with you when it is published. Thanks for following along!

Update – March 2017

Happy Monday,

I’ve just changed up the look of the site. I’m looking for a more simplistic and streamlined look with easy access to my titles on the ‘Home’ page. I hope you’ll give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

I just got an acceptance yesterday. My flash fiction story Breakfast Alone will be reprinted in a future Digital Fiction Pub Quickfic anthology. I’ve got another story, ‘Starlight’, set to appear in a future anthology with them as well and I’m excited to see all the flash fiction that is collected for these. I’ll keep you posted when they publish, presumably later this year.

You may or may not have heard, but Storm Witch, the second title in my short story series The Exiled Crown is now available. I hope you will consider checking it out.

So far this year I’ve written 7/20 of my short story goal. I’ve got 5 stories out to pro markets presently and I’m working on the 3rd story in The Exiled Crown as well as a themed short story collection of all new stories…details to come.

Thanks for following along,

-ESF

Storm Witch – Out Today

IIIf you’re looking for a short Grimdark read on your lunch break, commute to work, or even if the grim darkness helps you sleep at night, Storm Witch is out today. It’s the second tale in my ongoing series The Exiled Crown. It can be read independently from Forsaken, but some of the elements from the second story are present in that first tale. Storm Witch is about Ayla and her companion Brim taking a contract to kill a witch who has cursed a city with winter in the midst of summer and rescue a princess to get paid some much-needed gold. It’s double the length of Forsaken, around 4,000 words. I hope you’ll check it out and, as always, if you’d like a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review on Goodreads, feel free to contact me. Have a grim and dark day!

-ESF

Only .99 at all Amazon markets.

Storm Witch:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Forsaken:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Forsaken is in Audio

Hello,
I’m excited to announce that Forsaken, the first story in The Exiled Crown, is now available in audio! It has been narrated by the talented Charlie Boswell and can be had on Audible for 3.95, Amazon for 3.46, and Itunes shortly!

Here are some links:
Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fant…

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VW91RGJ

 

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Forsaken (The Exiled Crown #1)

the-1If you’re a fan of short fiction, be it fantasy short stories or episodic fiction, I am excited to say that my new story Forsaken is available today on Amazon. Forsaken is the first tale in The Exiled Crown series, a short fiction series I have several future stories planned for. I hope you’ll give Forsaken a try and I look forward to seeing how this format is recieved. Forsaken comes in at just over 2,100 words and it’s my first attempt at selling my short fiction independantly rather than through the usual short fiction venues. Forsaken is available at the following links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VW91RGJ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06VW91RGJ

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06VW91RGJ

 

You Are Not George RR Martin: how to get published in the grimdark era of fantasy

A pretty good overview of the work it takes to get published in today’s market.

ED MCDONALD

Before last year, I used to want to hear what authors had to say about how they managed to get published, and when I attended events or asked them online, they generally didn’t have much to tell me. To some authors, it seems that getting a publishing deal almost happens by chance – or at least that’s what they’d like you to think. The truth is much different.

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Publishing Update

I have a few publishing announcements to share:

  • My science fiction short story Starlight will appear in Digital Fiction Pub‘s forthcoming QuickFic Anthology #3. This story will also be reprinted in Szortal, a Polish speculative fiction magazine.
  • I have sold a science fiction flash story called The Shadows of Self to the British science fiction and fantasy magazine The Singularity . The story will appear in the forthcoming 5th issue. I discovered this magazine through one of their issues. The issue had a few top tier short fiction authors and some really great stories in their magazine. I am honored to be a part of it.
  • My science fiction flash story called Breakfast Alone will appear in the new speculative fiction quarterly magazine Empyreome. I was excited to discover this magazine on Kickstarter, and I like the vision the editor portrays. I’m interested to see this magazine grow. The story will appear in the magazine’s weekly flash series.

Overall, I am very pleased with where these stories have landed. I will continue to update the Bibliography page with current links and publication info if you want to give any of the stories a read.

I have a few more stories already written and I am working on refining them. I can feel my writing improve with each and every story and I’m excited to see where the next stories will find a home.

Thank you for keeping up with my efforts.

-ESF

The Best Spec-Fic Anthology/Collection Purchases I’ve Made this Year (2016)

With limited time on my hands, I’ve started to read a lot more short fiction anthologies. In the work week, it’s so much easier to squeeze in a short story or flash piece here or there and I’ve found a lot of really strong stories that have resonated deeply with me. Reading short fiction has become more than just ‘research’ for developing my own short fiction craft. I’ve actually really grown fond of the things. These are the best anthologies I’ve read this year and in turn, the ones I recommend you check out for yourselves.

6. Rogues Edited by George R.R. Martin

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There’s an amazing lineup of Fantasy authors here. The stories are a bit of a mixed bunch based on taste, but all of them are well written and polished and based around the same theme of Roguish characters. I have found quite a few favorites in this one. Plus, writing short Fantasy can be incredibly difficult so it was a lot of fun to read it done well.

5. Road Brothers by Mark Lawrence

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Mark Lawrence has been writing short stories for various characters which appear in his Broken Empire series for some time now. Some of them have made appearances elsewhere in other venues while others he has been hinting about for some time. Finally, he has collected them all in one place and if you’ve read the Broken Empire trilogy this is a nice one stop shop for getting a little extra depth on Prince Jorg’s band of brothers.

4. Blackguards Edited by J.M. Martin

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Similarly to Rogues, Blackguards boasts an amazing cast of fantasy authors all coming together on the theme of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues. I found a lot more stories here that I enjoyed than Rogues and each story was well polished in a wonderful collection of fantasy literature that I’m sure I will come back to again and again.

3. Way of the Dead Edited by Marc Gascoigne and Christian Dunn

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I’ve not really been a Warhammer fan in any respect. However, after seeing a story in here by C.L. Werner I decided to give the anthology it hailed from a shot. These stories are dark and very violent. But the writing is on point and the stories very well polished. I’ve started to get a feel for Warhammer and I think I’ll probably give more of it a shot.

2. A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories by Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury is my favorite short fiction author. I’ve read a lot of his stuff online and his stories have been one of the major inspirations for my pursuit of writing short fiction. Bradbury has written so many stories in his life (more than 400) and I’ve not read the majority of them. I decided to start collecting his works and I’ve never been disappointed in a story here. If you’ve not read Bradbury and you like Science Fiction, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

1. Nature Futures 2 Edited by Henry Gee and Colin Sullivan

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I love Nature’s Science fiction imprint. I would go so far to say that it is one of my favorite places to get my science fiction fix. When I learned there were two anthologies I both felt like and idiot for not knowing and quickly purchased. It is an anthology of stories that have appeared on the site, yet there are so many great stories under 1,000 words here that it would make anyone believe in the value of flash fiction.