Lulu Short Story Contest Tips

Wow.

In the 10 days since we launched the Lulu Short Story Contest, we’ve received hundreds upon hundreds of submissions, authors are helping each other out more than ever on our social networks, and authors are finding just how easy it is to publish an eBook of their very own.

Based on the whopping 150+ comments on the original contest announcement blog – we’ve noticed that a lot of you have some of the same questions about the contest, so here are some helpful tips to consider as you get closer to submitting your own story.

600 Word Max: We know it might be a challenge, but it is definitely possible to submit a short story that is 600 words or less.  Facebook fan Jason Johnson puts it best:  “I agree that 600 words is short, but I also think that’s the point.  What can you tell in 600 words that still makes it interesting to your readers.” Oh, and the 600 word count does not include the title and copyright material.

Use the Template: I love that people are looking for ways to spice up their entry – be it with pictures, a table of contents, etc.  But avoid straying from the template we’ve provided.  We’ve done most of the work for you formatting-wise and designed the template to pass through eBook validation as smoothly as possible so you can be sure your story can be distributed to places like the iBookstore.

Multiple Submissions: Yes please! You are certainly allowed to submit more than one short story, so keep em coming.  600 words not enough to contain all that remarkable creativity? Then write and submit as many new short stories as you want.  Several people have submitted more than one already.  We’ve even had one guy ask if he could send in 400 separate stories.  No matter how many you give us, submitting more than one will increase your chances at winning.

Submitting Your Story: Submitting your story is just a matter of visiting this link to Survey Monkey and filling in the 5 questions.  The most important part is providing us with a link to your work.  Once you finish publishing, you can click the “My Lulu” tab.  Here you’ll see a list of your projects, including your new eBook short story.  Click the “view/buy” button next to your work’s title.  Copy the web address of your story’s product page and paste it into question 4 on Survey Monkey.  This will help us track submissions and is how you get your 20% off coupon for participating.

Pricing: Once you get to the pricing step in the publishing wizard.  You will be able to set your price to anything you want – even free.  The default price is set at $1.24, which is the minimum for making revenue off your story.  If you’d like to give your eBook Short Story away, simply enter $0.00 as your price.

We’re excited to see so much activity going on with this contest and definitely plan to do more in the future.  There is still plenty of time left in the month though, so send us your short story today.  Good luck and thanks for playing.

Want even more short story writing tips?  Check out this handy article from Fiction Factor.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Gentlemen,
    This contest has its importance; for, a genuine writer should be to adapt his style to any format.
    Congratulations,
    Antoine Archange Raphael

  2. Deobra

    I’m reading about formattng the short story for epub conversion. I’ve hit the part where it says, ‘An NCX with multiple chapters is required to distribute your eBook to our retail distribution partners.’ How do we do that with a short story? Or better question – what did I miss?
    Thanks much! Deb

  3. greg smith

    i entered my short story into the contest last week. i filled out the surveymonkey and created my story with isbn. but i havent heard anything yet and my story is not on nook.bom nor the ibookstore. did i do something wrong?

    http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/the-beauty-reaper/18669510

  4. AJ

    Deobra,

    You didn’t miss anything. The NCX is another term for table of contents which we actually recommend against. Our team of specialists will help get your eBook where it needs to be for distro. You should be fine though.

    Jill,

    650 is ok. I won’t tell :)

  5. I used the template you provided and my story was rejected for both the iBookstore and B&N and of course there’s no reason given. Thoughts, advice? I can read the epub just fine on my iphone… Is this a pricing issue? The book is priced at $0.00.

    And I second Deb’s comment about the TOC. Can Lulu’s team of specialists really get around IBookstore and Nook’s standards?

    Out of curiosity–anybody else having issues getting this short piece into the distribution channels?

  6. Delaine M. Gibson

    The short story contest blog from AJ was THE most helpful information I received when I submitted my question about the product page. Step by step for those of us not so familiar with the Lulu.com site. Thank you!

  7. My short story was submitted this weekend. Please feel free to check it out here.

    http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/escape-based-on-a-true-story/18701045

    I hope everyone likes my story. I have to say I have ever entered a contest before, but needed the small break from writing my novel. I found that 600 words is really challenging to tell a compelling story, but it is a excellent study in making sure your story is “effective”. Far too many writers these days want to tie up their readers with long, boring descriptions of things that simply are not relevant to their story. A good example of a collection of short stories that give readers only the “essence” of what is needed to make a compelling story should read “Fugue State” by Brian Evenson. I especially like the story about the ex-wives.

    Anyway, thank you for holding this contest. Best of luck to everyone.

    CW Alexander

  8. Lana

    I submitted my entry to the competition… how do I know for sure I am in the contest? Will I receive an email or anything like that?

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