It’s a tremendous time to be a short story writer. That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned since Little Fiction launched over a couple of weeks ago.
The idea for Little Fiction started around this time last year with a simple thought: wouldn’t it be great to have a place where you could get compelling, well-written (and free) short stories for your eReader.
At the same time, I was reading about the death of the short story - there were less places for writers to submit their work with magazines dying and publishers trying to figure how to save themselves. I began to realize that as good as the site could be for readers, it could be something even greater for writers. And it seems I’m not the only one who had that thought. Or maybe I just didn’t realize how many others had already taken notice. Either way, it seems a lot has changed in a year and it’s a great time to be a short story writer.
One look at the long and growing list of online literature over at The (just-launched) Letter Punch is an indication of this resurgence.
The short story is real again. And it has the potential to be bigger than ever. It’s a great way to discover new writers, and in the day and age when anyone can self-publish and put their stuff straight into the world’s biggest ebook retailers, a short story can be an invaluable gateway for both readers and writers. It’s also a perfect format for today’s active lifestyles (and yes, that is indeed a nod to Polvo). The short story is bite size. It’s an mp3. It’s not the full album.
I’ve always been a fan of short stories. I love the glimpse into another life, another reality. I love the way a good one leaves you wanting more. It’s the literary equivalent to the little pink spoon at Baskin Robbins. It’s just a taste.
And I hope you’re enjoying the sampling as much as I am.
What is Little Fiction? In the simplest term, it’s a short story website. In lengthier terms, it’s a publisher of eBook short stories.
What’s so special about Little Fiction? Hopefully it’ll be the quality of writers and readers we attract. We like to think of Little Fiction as more of a record label than a publisher. Meaning that most people don’t follow publishing companies. They follow authors. But in the world of music, people are as loyal to their favourite labels as they are to their favourite bands. It all comes down to trust and taste.
How does it work for writers? Writers submit their stories, we pick the ones we like best – generally speaking, the ones that intrigue us or move us or challenge us or make us laugh – and we publish them in a eBook. Along the way, we’ll offer some editing advice, design a cover for the story and promote both the eBook and the author. It costs authors nothing and they retain all rights to their work.
What’s the catch? We give the eBooks away as free downloads. So there’s no money to be made. At least not yet. Let’s see where this thing goes.
How does Little Fiction make money? Right now, it doesn’t. But who knows what the future holds. Actually, we know one thing it holds, or doesn’t hold – we don’t plan on selling ad space. We have some other ideas for generating revenue (for both the site and the authors we publish) but we’ll get in to those when the time is right.
What do you publish? Fiction, obviously. We don’t really care about the genre and we don’t have a certain standard for length or content. It’s subjective, to be honest. If we like your story, we’ll publish it. But let’s not confuse that with your story being good or not. It’s not about that. Who are we to say what’s good or not. It’s just what we like.
Is there anything you won’t publish? We don’t publish children’s stories, or anything that has been previously published. And we prefer not to publish chapters of novels. It would have to be pretty special for us to do that.
How does it work for readers? All of our short stories will be available as free PDFs that can be downloaded right from the site. We’re also working on iPhone/iPad app, and possibly a few other ways to get our content out there, but those aren’t close to being ready yet.
Why free? Because it’s hard to down free. It’s a great, no-risk way for readers to discover new writers, and it’s an equally great opportunity for writers to reach a new audience.
Do I need an eReader to be able to read your stories? Nope. You can read them right in your browser, or you can download them to read in Adobe Acrobat, or wherever you typically read PDFs.
Why PDF? Why not ePub? While we like the slickness of ePubs, we really don’t like their lack of control when it comes to design. Call us old-fashioned, but we think design matters. And that words on a screen, just like words on a page, deserve some nice typesetting.
Why short stories? It allows us to give things away. We wouldn’t even attempt that with a full-length novel. But just as importantly, we love short stories. They’re a great and somewhat lost art form. And we think they have a natural place in this fast-moving world of ours.
Who’s behind Little Fiction? Mostly, me. Troy Palmer. I’ve self-published a book of short stories and spent most of my career/life writing. You can expect to see some of my work on here from time to time.