© by Gerald So | geraldso.blogspot.com | 6:28 A.M.
As it has seemingly become easier for writers to sell their work directly to the public, a frequent topic of Short Mystery Fiction Society discussion is, "How can writers make more sales?"
Several writers and publishers chimed in with soberingly-low sales figures. I replied, citing Lawrence Block's observation from his writing manuals that novelists need one premise per book while short story writers need as many ideas as they have stories. I write short stories and poetry because my mind is suited to many ideas and many ways of expressing them. I'd prefer to sell them all in print for as much money as possible, but I'm not against electronic form.
Ultimately I sell stories electronically as well as in print because I see no reason not to do so. I do question novelists who sell their books in electronic form for low prices as I think this devalues fiction-for-sale as a whole. I can see the short-term gain for popular authors, but in the long run, it seems to be hurting the market.
There will always be readers who dismiss short stories as inferior to novels. In their eyes, 99-cent stories or collections can't compete with 99-cent novels. I can't say I write for readers in that sense. I write to see how well I can present in words the images and worlds in my mind, and I try to reach just one person who can see them as I do.