Question for You: Self-Publishing Plunge

I’ve been debating for a while now about e-pubbing some of my short stories. They’re good reads in themselves, I’d love to share ‘em with you and I think it could be a fun experiment…but I’m still on the fence for one main reason.

I thought I’d throw the question out to you and see what insights you can share.
Here’s the deal:
  • I write fantasy. That’s what all of my longer, more serious work is. However, all my short stories are contemporary “snippets of life” or, in at least one case, a thriller. Do I risk anything by publishing short work that’s not in my main genre?
Do any of you have experience in this? Any pitfalls to avoid?


  1. I have no experience in doing this, but I'll be happy to share some ideas. Have you considered self-pubbing under a pseudonym? That way you can separate this work from the work you want to be known for under your real name. Another thought to consider: there are a number of agents that are happy to look at self-pubbing projects as part of your writing career. The right agent could not only help get your fantasy novel to a publisher, but could also advise with your short stories--perhaps even connect you to a reputable e-publisher, help proof and edit the stories, etc.

    I hope that helps, Nicole. :)

  2. I can't say whether or not there would be pitfalls. You won't really know until after the fact.

    Personally, though, I say go for it. Readers don't get as confused as publishers would like us to think when it comes to genres. Many authors are writing in different genres and publishing them (self, small, and traditional). Since the stories are unrelated to your novels, then there is no reason you couldn't self-pub a collection and find an agent/publisher with the other.

    It is best to take the time to get them edited and find good cover art. Either way you go, putting the best product you can is best. :)

  3. "Do I risk anything by publishing short work that’s not in my main genre?"

    I think the risks are pretty small, especially if you're clear on the genre when listing them. You can always take them down if the effect seems to be negative.

    "Any pitfalls to avoid?"

    Just make sure that this 'side' project doesn't cannibalize the time spent on the works that mean the most to you. It can be easy to waste a lot of time trying to move a few more copies, obsessing about reactions, etc.

  4. I've been considering something similar, as a means maybe of getting my name out there a bit. I think my main issue would be something Hektor mentioned: the promotion issue, which I have no experience of, taking up a lot of time. It could be fun, though, and you can look at it as an adventure, and a chance to learn a bit more about the business.

  5. Self publishing is the way to go if you're writing for a niche market (let's say you're writing a book about white roses and how to care for them). WHen you're writing mainstream fiction--like a fantasy novel, it'll be harder to self publish since marketing and promoting will take up a lot of your time. Having a traditional publisher back you up is still best bec. they take care of majority of the marketing side and leave you time to write.


  6. I have actually wondered the same thing so I have learned a lot reading the others' comments. Good luck!

  7. Thanks for the great advice, guys. You confirmed a lot of what I was already thinking, so that's good!

  8. I'm with Cherie on this. Putting out the best product you can will probably help you in the future, even if it's a different genre.


  9. I think it's definitely better to get your writing out there than to not. And short stories, along with all of the social media avenues, is a great way to do that. Short stories are a way to experiment with voice and style, so I don't think they need to be in your typical genre either. I've got a list of websites that publish short stories if you're interested. Can't wait to read some. :)

  10. Some great advice here. I say, just go for it and see what comes. One short story won't hurt and you'll learn so much from the experience. Good luck! x