The Joy of Reprints

Cats have nine lives, they say. I'm allergic to cats. I had a little kitty named George when I was in first grade, but we didn't keep him long and ended up donating him to a local farm where he could grow fat on all the mice.

This post isn't about cats, though.

Here's a cool thing about writing and selling short stories: when the rights revert to you, the stories can be published elsewhere as reprints. Not every publication accepts stories that have appeared elsewhere (most don't), but there's a plethora of them out there that do. So just like cats, stories also can have nine lives. Or more.

Silly rabbit, for a while I wasn't subbing reprints. Instead, once the rights reverted, I'd only republish the stories on Amazon. But since one purpose of my short fiction is to build an audience for my forthcoming novels and novellas, I've decided this year to start resubbing to more publications that accept reprints. And, like rabbits... You get the idea.

It's a win-win-win situation and a great way to expand your story's audience. Fans of the original publication read the story, then Kindle owners have the opportunity to download and read it, and fans of the reprint zine also have a chance to read it. With some publications, rights revert upon publication; with others, it can take between 30 days to 6 months to a year. (The longest in my experience has been 3 years.) So there will be gaps of time between publication dates, and that works perfectly as I pick up new readers every time a story is published.

For your consideration: my creepy tale "Imaginary Friendships Aren't the Easiest to Break" which first appeared in Liquid Imagination, then in my Unseen Things collection, and most recently at MicroHorror. There's also "You Kill Me" that was first published by Misfit Magazine, appeared in Unseen Things, and is in the current issue of Niteblade. "Mercer's Ghost" was originally published by Big Pulp Magazine, is included in my Soul Smuggler collection, and appeared in the latest issue of Pulp Literature Magazine.

Another option for reprints: post them on Wattpad for a while and pick up some new readers. With so many venues out there, it's a great time to be a writer. And with so many limited attention spans, short stories are a great way to build your audience from every corner of the weband the globe.

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