Why short stories? I love short stories.
The Most Dangerous Game, Lenigan vs. the Ants, The Illustrated Man, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; these were some of my first favorite stories and they didn’t have to be long to make their impact felt.
I’ve always loved short stories and now I write them. I have a couple of reasons:
1 – Not every story takes long to tell. Just ask someone about their day. See? They took way too long. I think some authors struggle to fill space in their stories just to have space. A story should take only as many words as it needs to tell. I can only make so many jokes about the Tooth Fairy.
2 – Like I said, I love them. They’re fun, they’re satisfying and they’re quick. Once I feel good about a topic for the Dumb White Husbands series and have the plot mapped out in my head, it takes only a couple of days to write. It’s still more satisfying to finish writing a novel, but the feeling of finishing any story is encouraging.
3 – But, the biggest reason I write them is marketing. Whatever you write is going to be your best ad. But look at what I write – post-apocalyptic comedies. It’s a niche genre. So niche I believe there are only a couple of books in it. I had to broaden my appeal. A short story is a great introduction to new readers. It’s as cheap as Amazon will let it be and doesn’t ask for a lot of time from the reader.
Many readers of the Dumb White Husband series have gone on to read my novels and enjoyed them. The short stories are my best marketing tool. Why? They don’t find me under sci-fi or comedy. They find me under shorts stories and parenting and family. Genres that are less niche. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I earn money from this form of advertising versus paying for placement.
I owe a lot to the Dumb White Husband. Most of all, I owe it a bunch of readers that never would have found me otherwise.