Just drop me a line at [email protected] or sign yourself up automatically by sending mail to [email protected] with a subject line that says subscribe, and I'll start sending you my monthly newsletter. The newsletter will consist mainly of an original short story written by me. I've restricted send access to the list, so your inbox won't be clogged with more than one email per month. You can stop getting it whenever you want, and the newsletter is free.
"Free? Right. I know what 'free' means on the internet. Your stories will be free so long as I first pay you ten bucks a month, right?"
Actually, no. I do in fact mean that I'm not going to charge you anything for them (though your ISP may charge for connect time, of course).
"Oh, I see. You're going to sell my name to stalkers.com or spamers.r.us."
Absolutely not. I hate spam as much, if not more, than you do. I'm not at all interested in making money in that fashion. Besides, happy members of my mailing list are far more valuable to me than angry ones. And you'd have every right to be angry if I sold your name to someone.
"Ah ha. Caught you! You said we're valuable to you. So what dirty, underhanded scheme are you concocting to wring money out of us?"
I'll level with you. I am interested in making money, but not by advertising or selling lists, etc. The way I want to make money is to sell my novels. It is my hope that if you read my short stories, you'll become so enamored with my writing that when the newsletter or web site mentions that a new novel is available, you'll rush out and buy it.
"So, you're not getting anything for your stories? Then they must not be worth anything."
Well, I'm not really qualified to judge the quality of my stories. I like them, but I'm not the important one here. Still, here's a little secret. No one makes any money selling short stories. With only a few exceptions, most of the professional magazines pay 3 to 5 cents per word. Figure the average short is 5000 words and you get between $150 and $250 per story. To make $25,000 a year, you'd have to sell a hundred. No one does that.
So, why do we write short stories? Two reasons, really. For one, we like the medium. There are things you can do in a short story that you just can't do in a novel. But, more importantly, we write shorts to help market our novels. I'm no different, regardless of how little I'm paid for mine.
Realize, though, that if my stories aren't very good, then you're not going to want to run out and buy my novels. If they're bad, I'll get nothing from them. It's only worthwhile for me to send them to you if I feel there's some chance that you'll enjoy them. And, of course, there's no obligation on your part. If, after reading some number of stories, you don't want to buy a novel it's my fault for not writing better stories.
So jump right in. The water's warm, and I strained the last of the piranha out of the pool just last week.
Michael P. Calligaro
Page Last Modified 15 September 1997
Copyright Michael P. Calligaro