Many people don’t know that they can make money by writing short stories.
It’s a shame because it’s not hard to do. There are sites where authors publish their short stories for money. The possibilities are endless!
Your best bet is to find a site that matches your writing style and then see how you can make money from it. It’s not unusual for new authors to develop a relationship with their readers by posting free stories, giving them the chance to get acquainted with their style before buying anything.
Those who are patient can reap the benefits later on by earning money from their short stories.
Keep working on your craft daily if you want to make this a reality. There is always room for improvement in writing!
It’s important to remember that some sites won’t accept your work unless you have a few reviews and ratings from other sites, so start slowly and make friends.
Links to the site are provided below, and also some pointers on how you can go about making money off short stories!
If you have a passion for writing or reading, then there’s no reason why earning money shouldn’t be possible. Don’t be afraid to do something different and share your writing with the world!
Short stories are written works of about 500 words to 20,000 words. They often contain an exciting narrative with a brief description of a character.
How to Sell Short Stories for Money
Popular Short Story Genre
Short stories are usually fiction, and they can include any of the following:
- Science fiction (also known as Sci-fi or sci-fi)
Science-fiction and fantasy are the most popular short stories. It is possible to make money selling short stories, both fiction and nonfiction.
What are short stories?
Before we begin the article, it is essential to understand what short stories are.
A short story has three main elements: plot, characters, and theme. The plot of a short story contains conflict that drives the action forward while also revealing character development throughout the story and showcasing themes such as love, hate, or betrayal.
Short stories typically have fewer words than a novel, but the words used in a short story are selected carefully to make up an excellent read.
How Do I Make Money from Selling Short Stories?
There are many sites where you can sell short stories. Some websites allow writers to host their short stories on the site without any cost or format restrictions. You get paid royalties for your hard work.
How much can you get paid for a short story?
Getting published in a magazine is not an overnight get rich scheme.
You can have your story published if you are a good writer, but you may not get paid immediately. Patience is required in a writing career.
Building up your audience or followers is an excellent way to start making money.
Who is buying short stories?
What publishers are buying short stories?
Newspapers, magazines, and blogs are always searching for great writers.
Here are some places to sell short stories:
Kindle Books and Ebooks
If you’re looking for a new way to sell short stories for money, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing might be a perfect choice- thanks to its service called Kindle Books to self-publish.
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) offers authors a service to self-publish Kindle eBooks.
You can also make changes to an ebook at any time without worrying about the cost of reprinting each copy. All you have to do is change the file and upload it as needed.
KDP is great to begin selling short stories for money.
Podcasts and radio shows
Audiences enjoy stories whether they listen to them online, in person, or on the radio. Podcasts are top-rated because they are accessible on phones and can be heard at any time or place.
Blogs and Magazines
If you want to make money from your short stories, one of the best ways is by selling them to online magazines, news sites, or blogs. These are the best places to look for short story opportunities.
Submit your short stories for publication to small niche publishing companies, magazines, and more prominent publications, accepting submissions year-round.
How much money can I make from selling my short stories?
Most sites will pay you based on your story’s popularity. As a new author, you must choose the site carefully and create content in the way that they like- this enables you to make more money.
Some sites will offer up to $50 for each story posted by their authors. Competition is fierce, but if you play your cards right- and create good content- then you can earn a lot of money soon.
Most sites will take about 40% of the profits for themselves and give the rest to their authors. Before publication, check each site about the fee it charges.
Short story contest
The amount of money paid to write short stories is dependent on the magazine, publisher, or contest you enter. You won’t get rich overnight, but you can start from here.
Magazines offer varying rates for each submission. Publications will either buy a whole story or pay you by the word count.
Entering a short story contest is an excellent way to display your writing skills. If you are lucky, you may even get published as well.
The short story contests often require payment for submission. However, if you win the contest, you get to not only publish your work but make money as well.
Some publications that offer short story contests include:
- Masters Review: Short Story Award for New Writers
- Gemini Magazine: Flash Fiction Contest
- Aesthetica: Creative Writing Award
- Black Warrior Review: Writing Contests
Even if the contest has an entry fee, don’t let that discourage you.
Where can I submit short stories for money?
We have researched and gathered a list of sites that pay you for your short stories.
There are many different websites to submit your short stories to, some prominent publications and others small.
It is best to use a publishing site that suits your writing style.
Here is a list of three online platforms where you can find opportunities to publish your short stories.
These are services that display requests from publishers looking for short story writers.
These online platforms allow you to sign up and sell your short stories to make money.
This is a database for submitting fiction and nonfiction short stories. By using the tools available, you can track submissions and find markets for your work.
I’ve noticed that many of the results will include non-paying or very low-paying jobs. Make sure you know what you’re signing up for!
I randomly selected a recent activity during my research, and the pay is 1 cent per word. The payment may not be significant, but it’s a great place to begin for new writers.
Duotrope is an established, award-winning resource for writers and artists. We help you save time finding publishers or literary agents for your work.
Duotrope is an online resource to help writers find writing opportunities and publishers for their short stories.
There is a monthly subscription of $5 per month or $50 annually.
Poets & Writers is an online magazine, which pays reasonable rates for stories. They are always searching for good writing.
There’s a search function on their website where you can find one-time requests, longer assignments, and even writing residencies for those that want to focus primarily on their work.
You can also find a lot of useful information about short story contests.
- Genre: Poetry and Short fiction
- Length: Up to 2,500 words
- Payment: $50 per story or poem published via PayPal within 30 days of publication date
I enjoy reading the short stories in this magazine.
Readers Digest is always looking for nonfiction stories. If accepted, the story is published in the magazine or on their website.
- Payment: $100
- Content-Length: 100 words or less
- Genre: Non-fiction
This magazine accepts fiction and nonfiction stories.
For literary fiction, this is the best of the best. It’s been around forever, has a vast circulation.
They take original work from budding authors, but the best part is that if your story gets published, you’ll be part of the few selected.
- Payment: No published rates are available for short stories
- Content-Length: None specified, but it looks like 600 to 10,000 words
- Genre: Fiction or Nonfiction
“Strange Horizons” is an award-winning science fiction magazine started by a volunteer group.
They accept one story from each author every two months, which doesn’t give you much room to make money.
- Payment: 10 cents per word
- Genre: Speculative fiction
- Content-Length: Up to 10,000 words, 5,000 words preferred
Fireside Fiction Company is a magazine specifically for short stories
- Genre: Fiction
- Content-Length: Up to 3,000 words
- Pay: 12.5 cents per word
Vestal Review is an online magazine that publishes flash fiction. They welcome submissions from new authors or well-known writers.
- Genre: Flash fiction
- Content-Length: No longer than 500 words
- Pay: $50 per published story
The BBC short story awards run a yearly contest that pays $20,000 to the winning author. The winning story is broadcast on Radio 4 and published in an anthology by Comma Press.
- Genre: Fiction
- Length: Maximum of 8000 words
- Payment: $20,000
Flash Fiction is for those who like to keep it short.
- Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, horror, and literary fiction
- Lenght: 500-1000 words
- Payment: $60 per story
East of The Web is a website that accepts submissions from all types of writers. It’s free to submit short stories, but they take a 30% cut on any sales.
They’re looking for imaginative, creative science fiction and fantasy short stories.
- Genre: Science fiction
- Length: A least 7,000 words
- Payment: starts at $0.05 per word or a mix of an advance and a royalty
Giganotosaurus is part of the Spicy Crawler group that accepts submissions on all topics and cultural backgrounds.
They are especially interested in stories featuring your own writing voice stories.
- Genre: Science fiction or fantasy
- Payment: $100 per story
- Content Length: 5,000 to 25,000 words
An online magazine that publishes short stories in the sci-fi and fantasy genres.
Clarkesworld Magazine This is a good place known for giving beginners their first breaks in the industry.
- Genre: Science fiction and fantasy
- Length: Up to 1,000 to 22,000 words
- Payment: 10 cents per word
This is an established magazine and a good place for new writers to start. They want fiction with great plots, high-caliber writing, and original ideas.
- Genre: Science fiction
- Length: 1,000-20,000 words
- Payment: 8 – 10 cents per word
Cricket publishes children’s fiction, and nonfiction in age ranges from 6 months and up:
- BABYBUG® for ages six months – 3 years
- LADYBUG® for ages 3 – 6
- SPIDER® for ages 6 – 9
- CRICKET® for ages 9 – 14
If you are passionate about any topic and as talented at writing about it, consider submitting your work to:
- CLICK® Science and Discovery for ages 3 – 7
- ASK® Science and Discovery for ages 7 – 10
- MUSE® Science and Discovery for ages 9 – 14
- COBBLESTONE™ American History for ages 9 – 14
- FACES™ World Cultures and Geography for ages 9 – 14
The payment for Cricket is:
- Pay: up to 25 cents per word
- Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum
Analog science is a fiction magazine that publishes short stories. This publication has both a digital and print magazine.
Analog accepts fact-based articles about subjects that are of both current and future interest. Make sure your submission for factual fiction stories is about 4000 words.
- Genre: Science fiction
- Length: Up to 20,000 words
- Payment: 8 to10 cents per word
This magazine welcomes submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from both new writers and experienced ones.
- Genre: Fiction
- Length: 7,500 up to 20,000 words
- Payment: $450 payment is upon publication
This literary journal welcomes submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from both new and experienced writers.
Translations of any genre are accepted through their online submissions manager.
- Genre: Fiction and non fiction
- Length: Up to 8,000 words
- Payment: $200
The Iowa Review is a literary magazine that publishes short fiction, poetry, and essays.
They recommend reading through an issue of the magazine before you submit your work.
- Genre: Fiction, Poetry and Essays
- Length: Up to 25 pages
- Payment: 8 cents per word
Sell short stories on Amazon
The first place you should sell short stories for money is Amazon Kindle.
This site is perfect because it has millions of readers, and they are always looking for new material to read, which means that your chance of selling a story on this website is relatively high.
The best part about publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program is that you can set your price and sell short stories for money.
The only thing that could deter you from selling a story on Amazon is that they do not pay advances, which means that instead of getting paid beforehand, you will get royalties in smaller amounts after each sale.
Pros of Selling Short Stories On Amazon
Amazon has millions of users, and it is continually growing. That means that your chances to sell a short story on this website are high.
If you write fiction, you can sell many stories on Amazon Kindle if they are well-written and have captivating plots.
- Selling your short story at Amazon makes sense because it reaches a larger audience than other websites.
- Most people spend their time at Amazon Kindle, so this is where you should start selling short stories for money.
- You can set the price of your short story, so it is good to use when you publish at Amazon.
Short stories sold through Amazon present many benefits, including:
- Amazon provides a variety of payout options
- You may make changes to the book after publication.
- You still own your stories.
- Immediate access – no waiting for magazine issues to be published.
Short Story Publishers
Many publishers in the market will pay you a small amount for every short story you sell to them.
The benefit of selling to these publishers, rather than Amazon, is that they usually provide payment in advance, which means you get paid upfront.
This may seem like an advantage, but when you consider that your chance to make money is much higher by selling short stories on Amazon, it makes more sense to sell here.
Freelance writing is a good source of extra income for skilled short story writers.
Sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and blog owners are great places to find freelance writing work.
Tips to succeed in selling short stories online
We’ve learned of places to sell short stories online, and now we need to know the tips to succeed in selling short stories for money.
Write stories with an edge so that one way or another, they evoke strong emotions from readers.
The excitement of reading your story will help it spread like wildfire across the internet and increase your chances of being paid for selling short stories online.
Make sure that your short stories are well-written, have a gripping plot and captivating characters.
Have a great book cover
Your book should look enticing.
When you sell fiction on Amazon or any other website, always put an eye-catching book cover that will make your story stand out from the rest.
Explore different markets
Publishing your short stories on websites like Amazon is an excellent way to make money and consider exploring other markets.
For example, if you are skilled in non fiction writing and have lots of experience, you could sell short stories for money to magazines and journals with a non fiction focus. However, always check the submission guidelines before sending your work.
Different markets will attract different readerships, which increases your chance of selling short stories online.
Research is crucial if you want to succeed in selling short stories online.
If you write fiction, research your target audience before writing and include elements that appeal to them.
Read yourself- what kind of genres do you like? What makes a good story for you? Do some market research to know what people want to read and how they like their stories told.
Always keep track of what is selling online- look at who your competition is on Amazon, see what titles are trending, and find out where you can publish short stories that will catch the readers’ eyes.
Join writing groups
Read about publishing information online to build your knowledge.
Don’t be discouraged if you are not a talented writer or see positive results immediately.
It is essential to get help with writing short stories from talented writers and editors and learn as much as possible while you research on the internet for tips to
Follow the guidelines
To submit short stories for publications, follow the guidelines.
Many publications will not look at your story if you don’t follow the guidelines.
Remember that many publications do not want previously published work.
Improve your writing
You could increase the chances of selling short stories online by improving your writing skills.
Take part in writing contests, join creative writing groups (or start one yourself), read books on improving, and practice every day.
When you follow the submission guidelines, you can make money selling short stories.
More importantly, selling your original ideas to other websites or magazines will help you establish your career as a writer.
The only thing that matters is the ability to write creative and captivating stories that people will enjoy. If you can write great plots, you can sell short stories for money.
Research the market, improve your writing skills, and submit your best work. With hard work, you will start selling short stories for money.
Persistence is the key to success.