I’ve always been fascinated by writing from a very young age. I spent my childhood journaling. When I finally went to university, I realized that people were actually earning from writing. And some even hated writing but did it for the money anyway.
I began my research and realized there were so many possibilities of earning online. And five years down the line, I’ve no regrets.
So, trust me when I say I’m your best shot at helping you figure out how to turn your love for writing stories into a business.
I know that’s a bold statement to make.
But if you follow my tips in this article, you’ll have covered pretty much everything you need to know on how to earn money writing fiction online.
How Much Do Fictions Authors Make?
Just like any other profession, every fiction writer earns differently from the other fiction writer.
Some fiction writers are starving artists, while others make a healthy full-time income.
According to a study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average fiction writer earns $61,820 per year. If you’d like to get more in-depth on how much fiction writers make, check out this medium blog post.
Now that we’ve established that it’s possible to make a decent income from fiction writing, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of making it happen.
8 Steps on How to Make Money Writing Fiction
If you love writing, then the biggest issue is how to earn money from writing short stories. Here are proven steps that will help you shift from a hobby writer to a paid writer.
As a hobby writer, chances are you only write when you feel like. Well, if you want to earn money writing fiction online, you’ll need to be more committed. Above all, you need to develop a business mindset. This is now a job, and you have to show up whether you feel like it or not.
Chances of your first short story doing so great are always almost zero. And no, I’m not saying this to discourage you. I’m just saying you have to try out different stories to see what your audience loves.
For beginners, I recommend writing at least one hour every day (if possible, at the same time) because writing more helps you improve
Writing every day allows you to write more stories and improve your fiction writing skills (more tips on this later on the article).
2. Become an Avid Reader
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll still say it anyway, “All best sellers are avid readers.” Reading improves your imagination and teaches you how to plot your stories like successful writers. In addition, reading more allows you to learn more vocabulary to write fiction.
If those two are not reason enough to read a lot, see these 10 benefits of reading books as a fiction writer.
3. Avoid Editing as You Write
There are so many reasons why it’s critical to avoid editing until you’re done with your book. One – it derails you – and may even make you lose the course for your story. And secondly, you’re likely to skip the mistakes because you’re the one who wrote the story.
If you’re serious about earning money writing fiction online, consider hiring an editor. If you’re just getting started and don’t have the funds, make good use of a premium Grammarly. Also, if you decide to edit your fiction writing, do it at least after three days of writing. And ask a few friends to read your book before submission, in case you missed something.
4. Don’t Be Scared to Explore
If you want to sell short stories for money, chances are you’ll scroll through the best-selling stories and try to come up with something similar.
This applies to non-fiction writing, but not so much in fiction writing. Dig deep into your stash, get an idea of that fiction topic that you’ve always wanted to write about, and give it a chance. Or that fiction topic you’ve always wanted to read about, but you can’t seem to find any published book talking about it. Go ahead and focus your story in that direction.
Did you know that you can also make money by playing Discord? Check out this article
5. Create Fiction Story Series
Just like people binge-watch on Netflix Series, readers also like to follow book series. This is the best way to earn money writing fiction online because you get to retain your readers.
That said, breaking your 100,000 pages book into 2-50,000 page books, doesn’t count as a series because readers invest more in big books.
Above all, your series has to have a flow and leave the readers wanting to know more to go ahead and buy the next series.
6. Create a Portfolio
Every article that discusses tips on how to earn money by writing short stories recommends an online portfolio, and this is for a reason.
Having a portfolio allows your new readers to explore through your stories. It also increases the chances of other writers coming across your work,which could lead to healthy networking.
Your portfolio also comes in handy when you’re pitching your ideas to get a writing job online.
7. Increase Your Social Media Presence
To earn money from writing fiction online, you have to make good use of social media. Find the platform that your readers hang out and create a community. Interact with them, answer your questions, and ask for their suggestions.
That’s how you create a loyal customer base.
8. Market Yourself
As a self-published author, chances are no one knows about your work. And that’s okay. Luckily, there are so many affordable ways to market yourself. Make an effort to learn marketing strategies or find a marketing specialist to do it for you.
Remember, regardless of how great your story may be, no one will buy it unless they know it exists.
5 Websites that Pay You to Write Short Stories
We’ve discussed how to create a business from your fiction writing passion. But now we get to discuss the exciting part that brought you here in the first place. And that’s a list of websites that pay you to write short stories.
So, let’s get started.
Agni is interested in personal stories told in an exciting way to encourage readers to read to the end. This is because they believe the best stories are the ones that people haven’t heard before. And they can only be personal experiences.
They have a very strict policy of submission deadlines. They only consider stories they receive between September 1st and May 31st. Therefore, ensure you observe the timeline if you want to be featured on the magazine.
They pay $10 per printed page and $20 per page for poetry. If you’re published, they send you two copies of your work, four copies for your family, and a free subscription to their site.
This platform is for science fiction writers. They only accept up to 6 poem submissions and 4 articles per person. But they’re so many ways to earn in Analog because they accept fact stories as well.
The site pays:
● $1 per poem line
●’8-10 cents per word for fiction stories of up to 20k words
● 6 cents per word for fiction stories between 40k and 80k words
● 9 cents per word for fact stories
● $125 per black and white cover art
● $1200 for colored covered art.
3. The Sun
The platform only publishes stories that are below 7000 words. They accept personal stories, poetry, cultural and political stories. Their compensation is very attractive as they pay up to $2000 per story and $250 per poem.
4. One Story
This is a non-profit that accepts submissions from writers of all backgrounds. They consider submissions sent from September 3rd to November 14th and from January 5th to May 31st.
If you have a teenager interested in having their stories published online, you can have their stories published in the teen section.
One story accepts stories between 3000 words and 8000 words and pays $500 per submission.
This is an award-winning platform that focuses on science and fiction stories. The magazine is interested in English stories that are easy to read on-screen. If you’re writing stories for Clarkesworld, it’s best to avoid long paragraphs and sentences. Also, ensure your work is audio friendly.
Short stories should be between 10,000 – 22,000 words, and non-fiction stories should be 2500 words.
The website pays 10 cents per word.
Fiction Blogs that Make Money
Another great way to earn money from writing fiction online is by creating your blog. But are there existing blogs that are making money? Well, you bet.
Here are a few examples:
The website publishes blog posts on science fiction, the universe, and other related subjects.
Tor.com publishes at least 13 posts per day. It has a huge social media following: 104K followers on Facebook and 92.2 k followers on Twitter.
The blog was founded by award-winning author Randy, also known as ‘the Snowflake Guy.” He was branded as the snowflake guy after his snowflake method of writing a novel went viral.
The website doesn’t make money from publishing fiction stories, but it’s still worth mentioning because it’s in the fiction niche.
It teaches upcoming fiction writers and novelists how to navigate through the struggles of writing and publishing fiction.
Flash Fiction Online is an online magazine that publishes short fiction stories of up to 1000 words and below.
They post at least six posts a month, and they also accept publications from upcoming fiction writers.
Flash Fiction Online also reviews famous fiction stories such as Star Wars. Therefore, this is a great platform to learn how to write fiction from.
If you want to boost your creative juices, then this should be your go-to blog. The platform publishes thriller stories, mysteries, and pulp. Most importantly, the writers are vetted by the team, so all stories are top-notch.
They also do reviews and recent news of the fiction world.
The platform has all kinds of fiction stories, including fantasy, comics, books, games, superheroes, sci-fi, and TV shows.
You can also learn about fiction writing and getting updates about the industry on Fiction Horizon.
How to Write Better Fiction (Tips to Write Effectively)
You’ve got to be pretty good at writing to earn money writing fiction online. There are so many opportunities and
websites to publish short stories, but the competition is equally high.
Here are a few tips on how to write better fiction and be above the competition.
1.Begin with the Story You Love Most & Stick to It
As a creative, you’re likely to have multiple ideas in your head at a go. And somehow, the new stories always seem more exciting than what you’re currently reading.
This only leads to several incomplete projects, which can’t bring you income. Focus on the story you love most and finish it before you move on to the next project.
2. Avoid Filler and Fluff
Your readers don’t need to know about the supporting parts of the story. They only need to see the tip the iceberg. Cut off any unnecessary details of your story; otherwise, you stand a chance of overwhelming your readers.
3. Write Simple Sentences
I know you want to show off your vocabulary. But there is a time and place for everything. Your readers won’t enjoy your story if they need to read with a dictionary beside them to understand what you mean. Use short sentences and be precise. However, if you’re writing for a certain group that understands certain jargon, by all means use your audienience’s language.
4. Set Milestones
A short fiction book needs approximately 80,000 words, which can be somewhat intimidating.
Set short deadlines, and before you even realize it, you’ll be on your fifth story.
For instance, if you commit to only 2000 words a day, you’ll only need 40 days to complete a short story.
Writing in bits ensures you don’t suffer a burnout.
5. Read More on Character Development
Learn tips on how to develop your characters. They should have a background that motivates their actions and goals. Practice how to reveal their actions and create suspense for your readers.
Final Thoughts on Earning Money From Fiction Stories
In conclusion, there are endless opportunities for earning money from writing fiction. You only need the right information on where to begin and the steps to follow.
Don’t wait for too long to get started.
Write that piece you have in mind. It doesn’t have to be perfect and pitch it to one of the websites discussed on this blog post.
We hope you now have all the tips you need to start your fiction writing business. And if this seems hard, you can check out other ideas in our blog such as how to make money with a truck.
If you have any questions on how to earn money from fiction online, ask away in the comment section and I’ll get back to you.
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