There are now hundreds of online literary magazines and journals, many of them highly respectable venues for poems, essays, and short stories. And while there’s nothing like a dog-eared copy of your favorite novel, today’s online books are flying off the virtual shelves. With online journals, e-publishers, and self-publishing, writers have a greater opportunity to see their work published, and some have found recognition (even from literary agents!) by publishing their work online.
Here are 17 ways online publications and e-publishing can boost your writing career:
1. Literary agents, editors, and industry professionals will Google you if they are interested in your work, and they’ll want to see an online presence.
2. You can create a centralized directory of your work on your author website—a list that is easily accessible to readers. List your publications with links to the appropriate magazines (or to your published writing). This interactive resource will help readers find your work with one click.
3. Your website and/or social media accounts (like Facebook and Twitter) can be used to promote your online work. See 10 Ways To Maximize The Reach Of Your Online Publications for ideas!
4. Most online journals provide a direct link to the writer’s website, bringing fans and new readers to you with one click.
5. Your work is available to a much larger audience online. Print journals have a limited subscriber base, but online journals are not restricted by printing fees and can reach thousands of readers. Anyone with access to the Internet also has access to your work! (Learn more about how to determine the quality and reputation of an online literary journal.)
6. Your work has longevity online. A print magazine quickly becomes out of date, but your short stories will be available in an online magazine’s archives for years.
7. An e-book can also be kept in front of potential readers longer than a print version, since bookstores will rotate their stock to feature new books after a certain period.
8. There are far more online literary magazines and journals than print, giving you greater odds of getting published.
9. Poets can include video or audio components to promote their online work.
10. Authors are usually offered a higher percentage of royalties for e-books, and royalties are often paid more frequently. Note: E-book sales totals may be lower than print book totals, and e-book writers are rarely offered advances.
11. Editors for e-publishing sites are often more willing to take a risk on a new writer because there is little financial investment required to publish the work.
12. E-publishing is more economical and eco-friendly. It’s free to submit to most online journals, saving you money on stamps and paper. And an e-book doesn’t require any paper, so we keep more trees!
13. For writers who are anxious to see their work published, e-publishing offers a faster turnaround time compared to traditional publishing houses.
14. It’s quick and easy to revise or update e-books that have already been published, which is especially important for some nonfiction, self-help, or how-to books that need to stay current.
15. It’s easier to self-publish in e-book format when traditional publishers don’t feel the work would sell well. If e-book sales prove the publisher wrong, they are sometimes willing to pick up the book and sell it in print. (Learn more: After Self-Publishing: How To Find An Agent And A Publisher For Your Self-Published Book.)
16. Authors usually retain more rights when publishing online, while traditional publishers claim as many rights as possible.
17. Sales of print books are shrinking, but e-book sales have jumped dramatically in recent years!
There are now more opportunities for writers to publish their work than ever before thanks to new digital options. At Writer’s Relief, our database offers an up-to-date, comprehensive list of hundreds (and hundreds!) of online literary magazines and print journals. We also feature helpful articles on our website about how to approach both print and online publishers.
And if you’re interested in self-publishing your book, we can help you with both the print and e-book version too!
Take advantage of our research and visit this link for your free guide to the industry. At Writer’s Relief, we have been helping creative writers keep up with changes in the publishing industry since 1994!
QUESTION: Which would you prefer—online or traditional publication credits?