If you’re interested in making some extra spare time income from writing then you’ll probably do much better taking a look at writing short stories than novels.

Here’s why: Page for page, word for word, you’ll probably make a lot more from writing a short story than a novel. On top of that, that there’s a lot less work involved. If your story fails to find a buyer, you won’t have lost much time. (Unlike if you spend five years writing a novel which you then find nobody wants to publish!)

Make Money Writing & Selling Short Stories

Plotting for a short story is also much simpler too. You don’t need the complex character portraits and twists and turns that you get in a novel. Although like most fiction a short story should ideally end with a twist in the tale. When starting on your short story your reader shouldn’t be able to guess instantly how it is going to end.

Whatever your short story is about work out your story line first. Make sure there is enough mileage in the plot to fill the given length of the story without padding – or without having to cut things short in the last few paragraphs. Balance your plot throughout the story.

Short stories based on a real life story turned into fiction can be a good place to start. In other words, write about something that happened to you and embellish it a little. If you like, change a few names to protect the innocent!

Don’t use chapters in a short story. If you can, go for lots of short paragraphs to keep things moving along.

How long should a short story be? Well, there are short stories from as little as 1,000 words to as much as 10,000 words. Be guided by the stories the buyer you have in mind has already published.

Caution! When writing short stories beware of vanity publishers. There are a few companies out there who offer to publish your stories, perhaps as an anthology, whether individually or with other writers, if you pay them an initial fee. Chances are you won’t make money from this and will most probably lose it.

Finding a market for your short stories: Although there’s a fair bit of demand for short stories there tend to be a couple of areas which are more interested in short stories than others:

* Women’s magazines. Though not every women’s magazine publishes fiction so always check before you send anything. These tend to be romantic fiction short stories. (Note there’s a difference between romantic and erotic so always check exactly what sort of stories the magazine publishes.)

* Children’s short stories. This is probably one of the best areas of demand. So many angles have been covered that there is always interest in something new – or something traditional with a new twist.

Remember different buyers are interested in stories for different age groups. Twelve year olds won’t be interested in the same kind of short story as five year olds.

* Mystery, horror and crime. Demand for these types of stories mostly comes from the USA. (Just as with any other type of writing there’s nothing to stop you writing for buyers abroad. They’re often delighted to get a different perspective from a foreign writer.)

* Kindle publishing. It’s well worth looking at publishing your own short stories yourself on Amazon’s Kindle system.

Here’s an article you might find useful if you’re interested in Kindle publishing: Profit From Publishing Fiction On Kindle.