REVIEW: The Business of Short Stories: Writing, Submitting, Publishing, and Marketing

We are nearing the second month of the year, and so far, I’ve been reading many good books. This is one of them.

Somewhere around the past few years working in design, I had a few opportunities to try my hand at making books and magazines, from the writing to the design and formatting of it, and at some point, considered a future in the publishing industry or at least the design part of it. I figured, why not? I enjoy books and I can put what I’ve learned to use. This book tore away my rose-tinted glasses and provided straight up facts that I never knew of.

The Business of Short Stories: Writing, Submitting, Publishing, and Marketing
by Shannon Lawrence

get it here


Whether you’re looking to add short stories to your repertoire as a solo pursuit or in addition to novel writing, The Business of Short Stories covers every aspect from writing to marketing. Learn the dynamics of short story writing, where to focus your editing efforts, how and where to submit, how to handle acceptances and rejections, what to do with reprints, and how to market yourself and your stories online and in person. The information in The Business of Short Stories has been distilled from over a decade of short story publishing experience so you don’t have to learn the hard way. You’ll find information on submission formatting, cover letters, querying a collection, sending proposals to writing events, how to create a website, SEO, social media, and so much more. This is an invaluable resource for short story writers.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

*A review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Oh this book came at such a good time! This is right up my alley. I’ve been interested in learning about the publishing industry, with hopes of potentially working there some day. Although this might’ve been intended for authors, this gives me a good idea of what to expect, and for that, I am very grateful. As the author did in her book, this is a book on the business of short stories, so what is written here may not be the same for novels or self-publishing.

I enjoy reading an author’s introduction. It gives an insight to the sentence structures, pacing and even how much I will enjoy the book. From the start, I knew this was going to be easy to understand, and that’s what made me excited to read it. I was able to finish this in about two weeks, which is difficult for me with non-fiction (that’s why you don’t see a lot of it here, oops). And true to it, the content held my interest from start to finish, and the writing style was a joy to read, direct and with subtle personality.

Separated into 8 parts and covering all the stages from Writing, Submitting, Publishing, and Marketing. It also covers topics like editing and finding a critique group, formatting, contracts, rights, edits, publishing and options other than Amazon, conferences and conventions… many that expands from typical books of this topic.

While explaining, Lawrence provides clear and fitting examples. She even used screenshots from personal experiences, examples of famous thousand-pages novels and also teaches you to identify how to turn it into a short story. I find that extremely useful, since most of the things I used to write spanned way too long to the point where I lost motivation.

As a reviewer, and just a general enjoyer of all things books, it was very educational. There was a section on formatting that places an importance of formatting, both for the sake of the publisher, reader and reviewers. I’ve experienced a fair share of badly formatted book. As much as I tried to remain objective and focus on the content, I really couldn’t.

Aside from that, this book helped me identify how to narrow my genres, write my reviews more clearly, and also made me reflect on short stories that I’ve read. It helped me learn more about the publishing industry, more about what is it like being an author, and I think this will help many first-time short story authors feel less anxious and know what to expect.


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