Out of Points of Publication for Short Stories – What to do, what to do?

It was bound to happen eventually, but yes it looks like two of my short stories have run out of places to submit for publication. There are only finite points of publication for short stories and they are very competitive. It kind of leaves me in a curious predicament of not knowing if they are publishable or not, if they are flawed in anyway and need improvement, if they just aren’t what the point of publications were after or if it was just a matter of someone slightly more skilled than I got in.

They have both seen an editor and received positive feedback, but that doesn’t necessarily constructively help. I think perhaps a publisher’s editor might be a bit harder or rather brutally honest. Which although the editor you hire directly helps immensely, you might not get the same level of feedback. It kind of leaves you asking the same why did this occur and how to make it better for next time questions.

What does running out of points of publication really mean? Well it means going back to the drawing board. So what is my new stratagem for these two science fiction short stories? Well as far as I am aware of I still have a few options open to me, but they all have pro’s and con’s, but here is what comes to my mind.

Option 1. I publish my two short stories on my website here and spread word about it or just give a few extracts.

Pro’s:
+ People get to see my work.
+ I will hopefully have encouraged at least one more person into reading books in general.
+ I’d get satisfaction of someone reading my work
+ There would be greater exposure to my work and I might get commissioned to write something in the future.

Con’s
– I would lose all future ability of my work being properly published.
– I would not be paid for my work.
– It would set a bad precedent for myself and potentially others for not getting paid for their work.
– Someone might steal my work or use its ideas.

Option 2. I compile an anthology of short stories, which these short stories could be apart of. This anthology could then be sent off to bigger publishers.

Pro’s:
+ People get to see my work.
+ Potential to get properly published.
+ I’d get satisfaction of someone reading my work

Con’s
– Cost of time.
– Potential to not be picked up by a publisher.
– Might be hard to fill an anthology if other works get accepted in magazines.

Option 3. I self publish these short stories as part of an anthology or on their own electronically. (Something like on Patreon, Smashwords or Amazon etc.)

Pro’s:
+ People get to see my work.
+ Seems easy enough to organise
+ There would be greater exposure to my work and I might get commissioned to write something in the future.
+ Potential to actually be paid for my work.

Con’s
– I would lose all future ability of my work being properly published.
– Marketing falls on me. Like social media stuff, it takes away from writing time.
– I’m pretty sure I have to give away my rights to my work.
– I don’t get the benefits that a publisher brings to the table.

All three options have their positives and pitfalls. I will probably have to have a hard think on what to do. There are plenty of people who have gone through this before, so I would be interested in hearing thoughts and advice on my strategy ideas or your own experiences when you have run into this sort of wall.

Anyway, back to working on my novel. I shall ponder my current options.

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