More on promotional options
Published: December 1, 2007
|Author's submission service handles the headaches, for a price|
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett wrote about some promotional options for book publicity in the February 2008 issue of The Writer. Here is some information from her on a service that markets short stories.
Marketing short stories, as many readers of The Writer can attest, can be rough. Rejection letters are the worst. Writer's Relief, Inc., an author's submission service, takes away the pain and does it for you. One caveat: It can empty your bank account, if you let it. One more caveat: Most short-story markets pay little, if anything.
Still, while it was expensive, author Sophia Dembling found the service worthwhile when she used it in the 1990s. "I placed three or four stories--everything I sent out," Dembling says, "and one small publication nominated a story for a Pushcart Prize.
"When I send out a story myself, it goes out full of hopes and dreams and the rejections can be, if not crushing, deeply disappointing. But when I didn't even know where a story was going, the rejections didn't sting at all. Even though I was spending money on something that didn't make money, it also didn't take time away from my moneymaking. As a newbie to trying to publish short stories, it streamlined the whole endeavor."
While Writer's Relief removed the angst from sending her work out, it was costly, according to Marrie Stone. "Given the amount of money they charge," she says, "it's difficult to justify--$290 per short story to send to roughly 25 or 30 places. It's good, though, to have a hard deadline and a financial incentive to meet it. And it's nice not to have to think about which journals to target. But I got the impression they weren't thinking strategically about which journals to target, either. They relied entirely on their database."
At its Web site, the service says it "assists writers of poems, short stories, essays, and book manuscripts in getting their work published. The majority of our clients are published authors, and we screen each individual's writing to be certain that we are submitting quality work. ... We provide much-needed services for serious writers who are hard-pressed to find time to write, given the amount of paperwork and time needed to prepare manuscripts and research markets."
Cost: $50-$75 per hour; you'll be quoted the total cost, once they review your story
Web: Writer's Relief