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Marketing and Promoting Your Online Short Story

Completing the final draft of a short story is always satisfying. Having your story accepted for online publication is exciting! But will anyone, besides close family and friends, read it?

No, if you sit back and do nothing.

Yes, if you’re willing to work at marketing.

Time is of the Essence Part 1

As soon as your story is accepted and you have a publication date, start marketing. Create a poster advertising the story and include a “tease” that will spark interest. The poster for my CDP story, "Finding Moufette," contained the line, “The story of a cat lost on Christmas Eve”. I shared this information in:

  1. social media posts: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin

  2. emails to everyone on my personal email list

  3. all the groups I belong to or am affiliated with: writers’ group, poetry group, exercise group, choir etc.

  4. my Christmas cards (because "Finding Moufette" is a seasonal story)

  5. my community (I gave small posters out to anyone I knew - downtown, fitness centre, social events etc.)

In the past, with print publications, I have also contacted my local press. With "Finding Moufette," Because of the short turnaround from acceptance to publication, and the fact our main local newspaper was suddenly closed, it wasn’t possible. You could, however, submit a listing to community news online or in print and send in a poster. Better still, have someone interview you and publish an article about writing your story. Include any other published writing as well as new writing you are working on.

Time is of the Essence Part 2

Everyone I talked to or contacted was interested in reading my story and most said they would. But would they? Everyone is busy, no matter what time of year and especially at Christmas. Several Facebook friends asked me to post the information again closer to the publication date. I did this on social media and, as well, created a second flyer that contained a short excerpt, which I gave out to most of the same people. Everyone thanked me for reminding them.

Time is of the Essence Part 3

Once the story was online, several people who read it wanted to send a comment to the publisher. Because of this, I sent the publisher’s contact information to everyone who had said they would read the story. This definitely paid off, and some of the comments received are posted online.

What’s next?

Now that the excitement and busyness of the holidays are past, I’m already thinking about next year. I’m incorporating a Moufette poster on my website with a link to this article and have publication information listed in the signature that goes out with every email I send. If the opportunity to read my story, at our local library or radio station, turns up in December 2018, I will do it.

Once your story is out there, you never know what might happen or who might be interested. Keep writing and keep marketing.

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