Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Strange Thing About Short Stories...

Happy Hump Day

Yeah, I've missed a few every one so far in 2018...but it seemed like I should have some grand re-opening plan when I started posting again and I couldn't come up with one, so I just kept putting it off.

I actually joined Procrastinators Anonymous but they kept postponing the meetings.

But I did something recently that may be of interest to anyone who writes short stories, so I decided to share this.

I'd never been much into short stories - writing them or reading them - until my local writers group started doing public readings at local bookstores a few years back. We'd pick a theme and everyone would write a about thousand words and ten of the stories would be selected for the author to read aloud to whoever happened to come. I started doing pieces to read and discovered I liked short stories - writing them and reading/listening to them.

Several years passed before I found my short groove, mostly writing stories for anthologies since I was used to writing to a theme, and in 2017 I had seven stories published in various anthologies. I knew there wasn't any money to speak of in being part of an anthology but there was another downside I wasn't expecting. Invisibility.

Someone would hear I had a short story in an anthology and they'd ask, "Can I find it on Amazon?" Well, yes...and no. Most anthology listings on Amazon only include the name of the editor(s) and maybe a few of the authors. All the contributing authors' names are listed in the details but not in Amazon's author know, the thing people can search on. I'm published in nine books currently available on Amazon but if you try searching there for LD Masterson, there are no matches.

Then someone told me about Amazon Author Central. Authors with published work available on Amazon can set up an author page gathering all their work in one place, complete with a picture and a bio and links to blogs, websites, social media, etc. Cool, huh? So I set one up. The Author Central support people verified that I was actually in the books I wanted to include and, bingo, I had an author page. Now I'd be searchable on Amazon, right? Nope. The nice support people failed to mention that having a page doesn't add you to "the list". If I had a book published under my name that was available on Amazon, I'd be on the list and someone could find that book, click on my name and find my author page from there but otherwise, I still don't exist.

The only thing Amazon does offer is a direct link URL to my author page that I can add to my email signature, my blog (there it is at the top of the right sidebar) and other social media, my business cards, etc.  But when someone asks, "Can I find you on Amazon?", the best I can do is tell them, "Sure. It's" and hope they have a good memory.

It's a little thing but downright frustrating, you know?

On a more cheery note, I had a short story included in the June 4 issue of Kings River Life Magazine.  That won't be on Amazon but you can read it here:

And since a hump day post has to have a funny, here's one that seems appropriate...

Good ol' Snoopy.

 And, of course, we need an "aw"...

Come on, you know you said it. 

That's it for today. Now I wait to see if anyone still stops by here. If you do, please say hi. It'll make my day.

Bonus Funny for Today:

Blog posts aren't the only thing I procrastinate on.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey LD!
Glad you set up an Amazon author page. That was the best way to go.
Since none of my novels are very long to begin with, I found short stories easier.

Carol Kilgore said...

Welcome back! The author page is a great way to begin. Good for you. I've had work in five anthologies, so I totally get being invisible. Sigh. I think - but don't know for sure or any details, so you need to research - that you can self-publish a short story on Amazon and it will show up on the list. Good luck, and keep writing!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Welcome back. You definitely need an author page on Amazon. And even though all of the books will show up there, list them, too.

That kitty is so cute!

Donna K. Weaver said...

That IS frustrating, but I'm glad you've found a bit of a workaround.

Thanks for the laughs, as always.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

HI!!! Welcome back. Boyohboy, you've been some kinda busy, haven't you? Congrats on being part of so many anthologies... even if you do feel invisible, which I totally get. Me, too.

Good job! You found the perfect Snoopy cartoon to accompany your post.

Keep on writing those short stories. Maybe you could publish your own book... filled with the stories that have been included in those anthologies. With YOUR name as the byline. (heh-heh... I wrote "buyline" first time, but caught it...)

Crystal Collier said...

Cute kitty. =) I always believed short story credits were basically to get you in the door with larger publishers. Granted, the market has changed since I made that determination, so who knows anymore.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, blogger at Handbags, Books...Whatever said...

I've been writing short stories for a long time and have actually made more money off them than books. Sometimes, I feel ADD when writing longer; so short suits my style best.

DL Hammons said...

Good info that I had no idea about. Thanks for sharing. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi LD - interesting how life can be so frustrating ... I guess you need to redo your business cards and put that link on their ... and add it to each and every email ... et al. Ways round things ... painful ...

Loved the Peanuts - good old boy!! and Procrastination ... too easy - cheers Hilary

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! Next Monday it is :)
Congrats on all those short stories! So frustrating about the listings tho!

LD Masterson said...

Alex - Thanks. Short stories can be a lot of fun.

Carol - Hi. I've not tried self publishing but I think you're right, that might be the way to break the invisibility cloak.

Diane - Well, it's definitely better than walking around with a list of titles to hand people. Yeah, I love that kitten.

Donna - You're very welcome. Thanks for coming by.

Susan F.S. - Thanks! And, believe it or not, that Snoopy was in our Sunday paper a couple months ago and I figured I had to save it for something. (Love "buyline". lol)

Crystal - Well, that's what I had in mind with my first couple but so far I'm having some moderate success with the short stories and none with the bigger stuff, so who knows?

Vicki - Really, I need to know your secret.

DL - Thanks for coming by.

Hilary - Naturally, I had a bazillion business cards printed before I got the author page. But I'm adding it to everything online.

Jemi - Thanks on the short stories, but about next Monday...

Maggie King said...

I've had stories in 3 anthologies and each of us adds her/his author photo to Amazon's page for the anthology; each photo includes a link to our Amazon author page. See our page for 50 Shades of Cabernet here:

I don't remember the steps we took to do this but it wasn't difficult.

I also like the cat and the cartoon!

Julie Flanders said...

Great to see you posting again!! And congratulations on the latest short story. Off to read it as soon as I finish this comment!
I always love the Snoopy writer cartoons - so cute. :)

LD Masterson said...

Maggie - I'll check into that. Thanks.

Julie - Thank you. (I have several Snoopy writer cartoons on the wall above my desk. Perfect for attitude adjustment when needed.)

Stephen Tremp said...

Linda, I've missed your humor and groaners. May the come back!

LD Masterson said...

Thank you, Stephen.

Claire A. Murray said...

Thanks for the tips and the funnies. By the way, I'd read your short in KLR the other day and loved it.

Stephen Tremp said...

I think 100 years from now The Peanuts will still be very much relevant.

mshatch said...

I have an author page on Amazon and just updated it. Good to see you again!