In this episode, I talk about my plans regarding publishing my various short stories. Enjoy!
Welcome to Empty Pages, which chronicles my journey from first draft to published manuscript and beyond. I’m your host, Ian MacTire.
Welcome back, return listeners! If this is your first time listening, welcome! I hope you find these episodes to be useful. In my previous episode, I said I would possibly talk about the short story I submitted for possible inclusion in a horror podcast either in this episode or the one after. I found out that the date for announcing the winner was extended, and so as of the time of recording this, I still have no idea if I won or not. I should hopefully know by next episode, but for now, we’ll stick a pin in this and come back to it once I know one way or another. I’m very excited about my entry, but if it doesn’t get chosen, I will submit it elsewhere and see what happens there. Cross our fingers!
For this episode, I am going to talk about my plans for my short stories. As of this recording, I have almost put the finishing touches on a short story called “The Basement” that I will be publishing exclusively on my website, ianmactire.com . Keep an eye out on my twitter and Instagram accounts, as well as my website, for the announcement of it going live some time this month. It might even be live by the time this episode is released.
If you’re someone who prefers audio over reading, never fear, I got you baby birds. At some point I plan to release an audiobook version of it, but with it being the holidays, I can’t guarantee that it will be completed in time. So if you see the announcement for the written version, but not the audio, please be patient, I’ll get it out as quickly as possible. Regardless of whether you read it or listen to it, please feel free to reach out to me and let me know what you think.
With my short stories, I plan to do a combination of trying to get them published in traditional anthologies and publishing them straight to my website. With publishing, it’s a bit tricky. Every story I choose to publish on my website is considered “published”. When submitting a short story for consideration for publication, some companies want stories that have never been published anywhere, while other places are ok with reprints. This in and of itself isn’t really an issue to me. I get why a company would want to publish only stories that have never been seen anywhere else, because it gives them the potential of being the one who “discovered” a future best selling author.
This is all something I need to keep in mind as I go forward, as I work towards my own goals as a writer. One of my plans is to eventually self-publish an anthology filled with my own stories. This anthology will also include another two or three that have never been published anywhere, just to make it worthwhile should you choose to purchase a copy. Thus, it will a balancing act between trying to achieve my aims of being published traditionally, while also trying to establish my bonafides as a writer.
There’s also the matter of winning awards. While winning any awards for my writing would be the bees knees, it’s not my main goal. My main goal is to write the best stories I can and release them into the world for people to enjoy. I’m not gonna lie though, as a part of me thinks getting an award for it would be a pretty cool way of showing the haters how wrong they were. Suck it haters! The more logical part of me likes to remind me that there are plenty of good writers who wrote really good stories that people loved who never won an award. Point taken. However, in order to potentially win awards, you have to have your story submitted, usually by the publisher or editor. To my knowledge, you can’t submit your story yourself, though I could be wrong. If I am, feel free to let me know. So, I’m hedging my bets, just in case.
My more focused aim, though, is to ensure that all my stories are as top notch as possible, and any story I publish on my website will be of the same quality as the ones I submit for traditional publication. Which ones I choose to submit and which I choose to self publish will depend largely on the reasons for their existence. For example, the horror podcast had a theme and a set of requirements, and so the story I submitted to them was written with those in mind for that specific reason. Another example I have is another short story I’m slowly working on that I will be submitting to a themed anthology submission request. I happen to know that this company does not accept reprints, so it would make zero sense for me to publish it to my own website. Meanwhile, “The Basement” was one I had been inspired to write while taking the “Writing Effective Horror” course I spoke about in the previous episode, and was not written for anything specific, but one I’d totally be willing to submit to any anthologies for consideration.
I guess what I’m saying is ultimately this: every short story I get published is going to be one I’m extremely proud of, regardless of where it gets published. My website will not be where substandard short stories go to die. If it’s substandard, I will edit the shit out of it until it becomes polished and worthy of your time, and then and only then will it see the light of day.
As a new aspiring writer, I want to be sure I’m leveraging every opportunity to build an engaged readership. Selling a bajillion copies and becoming a filthy rich author is certainly appealing to me, sure. I would love to be able to quit my day job and spend my time focused squarely on my writing. I think all writers want that. But I would also like a dedicated readership that eagerly looks forward to each new release. That would be the best reward I could think of, as that means my writing is resonating with people.
As for my novels, I’m still working on my first one and I am nowhere near a place where I can begin to think about publishing, but I can safely say I will never be publishing a novel to my website. There is one caveat though: As a fan of the old serialized pulp stories by authors like HP Lovecraft, Robert E Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and others, I have been toying with the idea of creating a serialized pulp style story that I publish to my website, similar to how it was done back in the early twentieth century, and then eventually collecting them in one volume. That’s a huge undertaking and will require an amazing amount of work to pull off successfully, so we’ll see how that goes.
For now, stay classy and keep writing those stories!
This has been another episode of Empty Pages. If you enjoyed what you heard and want more of it, you can follow me at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts from. Please leave me a review, as that really helps me out, and if you do, you might find your review featured in a future episode. You can find me at ianmactire.com, as well as on Twitter and Instagram as @ianmactire. Until next time, I’m Ian and this is Empty Pages. Stay classy and write those stories!
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