Friday, September 16, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things: A Long Awaited Flash

Some time ago - I deliberately decided not to remember - I launched my own short story e-zine. The prime reason for doing so was to create another marketing avenue for my novels. I have tried a plethora of tricks to draw attention to myself, and my work, and to gain followers, but when most of my family and friends have not been able to find the time or the willingness to do it, the results have been unsurprisingly poor.

Square Pegs E-zine was another idea for increasing my exposure. I also, as a veteran of sending stories to various print and online publications, wanted to offer a short story market with a difference. Very simple guidelines which I present in text and video formats, a condition (not a fee) of publication, which is that the writer has to follow me, and a reward for publication (not cash) other than what most markets offer which is 'exposure': a free copy of one of my novels.

I'm very happy with the product, but far less happy with the outcome. I listed with Duotrope who have contacted me twice already to make sure I am still active. I have received three submissions and published one, although the author has still not indicated his preference of which of my novels he would like. (Indicating clearly that he doesn't want any of them - ouch!)

I've put some of my own more 'celebrated' stories in the e-zine: a couple which have been published multiple times since I wrote them.

This morning, I awoke to find a submission to Square Pegs in my inbox, and it made me happy. I like the story. A tight little tale with a sweet touch of irony at the end. I will publish it as soon as the author adheres to all of the submission guidelines, but in the meantime, I will just feel happy about it.

Also happy this week to hear from Forge journal who have accepted my alternate history story The Death of Issac for publication in the October edition. This will be the third time they have published a story of mine.

I'm chipping away, working on staying thankful when sometimes I feel quite the opposite.


  1. Sometimes it's the littlest things which make the difference. Keep plugging along!

  2. Congrats on getting a good new story sub and on getting an acceptance for one of your own! That's great! A wee bit of advice. In my experience I've found that the only way to sell more is not to try to. Instead, focus on doing things for people and making friends online. Also, I've found, having done it a lot over the past few years, that people do not appreciate what they get for free. I do very, very few giveaways now.

    1. Thanks Lexa. Are you serious? (just an expression) That's so sell more by trying not to? I've read and received enough advice over the years to fill a library of books on the subject (slight exaggeration) but this is a new one. I guess I've been doing that sort of thing by blogging, and beta reading and writing book reviews...but. I'm gobsmacked. I need to ponder what you've said. I don't know whether your advice makes me feel better or worse, but I sincerely thank you for it, and for your faithful contributions to Square Pegs.

  3. Congrats on the story acceptance. That is wonderful. Marketing is such a tough thing to do well.