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Classroom to ebook: Evolution of writing a Short Story
The Short Story Guest Ranch was written in a short story writing course when I was in college decades ago. It is in the Western genre and some of you have read it and commented on it when it was posted on hubpages. It is also a story within a story. It did not overly impress the professor but he did give it a “B” if I recall correctly. After sending it out to some magazines and collecting a few form letter rejections , I set it aside.
About ten years ago I joined the on line school Writers Village University (WVU) by taking out a lifetime membership. Subsequently while I was taking a course there was a contest for a short short story. The story Guest Ranch was obviously too long for the requirements, so I decided to separate out the story within the story and with a bit of editing, I renamed it “Judge Hatch” and submitted it. It missed coming in first so I didn’t win any money but it got published in the school ezine.
When I joined hubpages I wanted to use the story. I had learned that really long hubs do not work too well so I posted the “Judge Hatch” version. I was then notified that my hub was suspect for not being original. Upon inquiry it apparently didn’t matter that I copied from myself and it was my original work. Too high a percentage of the hub had been used before. The next attempt was to publish the whole story in four parts. I renamed it the “Storyteller.” The robot picked two out of the four as being copied. After awhile I unpublished it. Apparently the robots found my story long ago published in a school ezine. It came back to haunt me on hubpages
With the encouragement of some hubber fans that have wanted me to put my “Carbons Creek” stories in an ebook I eventually decided to look into publishing ebooks. It appears that most people publish their first book and price it as “free.’This brought me to the conclusion that the first book serves the purpose of promotion and getting exposure to the ebook audience. I also wanted to make use of this story. As a result I decided to publish it as my first ebook.
I want to thank hubbers Sophia Angelique and Renold Jay for their advice and help. From them I learned about “Smashwords” which is an ebook publisher.Publishing with them is free but one has to get the formatting just right. It took me awhile to get it all together, but the first book is done and being distributed. A cover was a bit of a challenge. And I got some help on that. I spent half a day driving in the country to find some horses. Wisconsin is not exactly cowboy country. I got a bit of help getting it right but I think it looks fairly good. The book is published under my real name, which is Don Hoglund. There are several places to publish ebooks but I am not familiar enough with them to make recommendations. Kindle sends me emails wanting me to publish with them but I don’t know if it would be an advantage.
Norman Mailer once wrote a book titled Advertisement for Myself. I never read it but I love the title. Now it is time for me to follow that dictum. The next step is promotion and additional ebooks. Hopefully this information might help some of you.
- Smashwords - Guest Ranch - A book by Don Hoglund
Guest Ranch is a short story about a couple visiting a Guest Ranch. They meet a trail guide who is also a storyteller who tells them a tale of the Old West. The husband is in a bad mood over a traffic fine and he is slow to become receptive.
- Fiction Short Story
This is a link to the WVU ezine posting of the story.
© 2011 Don A. Hoglund