This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.
One of the challenges of trying to make a living, or to just bring in a little extra cash, as a fiction writer is to find places where you can sell your stories. Writers are all the time looking for new book publishers or magazines or e-zines or whatever in hopes of finding someplace that might be interested in buying one of your stories for publication.
To help with that search, there are a handful of websites out there that bring together much of the information writers need for selling. Ralan.com is one of the best of such sites.
At Ralan.com you will find lists upon lists of book publishers, magazine publishers, online sites, e-zines and other sites that are looking for short fiction, novels, flash fiction, etc. This site also features listings for fiction writing awards, anthologies, audio books, as well as some humor.
There is also a Market Notes page where you can find out some of the latest news on what’s been happening with some publishers. For example, if you submitted a short story to a publisher a while back and have not heard anything within the appropriate time period, check out the Ralan.com Market Notes, because you might find out what’s going on; perhaps the publisher has closed shop or is backed-up with work or something else.
Speaking of submitting stories, there is also a Response Time page so you can get an idea for how long it takes some publishers to get back to a writer.
The Writing Links page at Ralan.com is quite extensive, as well. Here you will find all kinds of links to publishers, literary agents, blogs, helpful sites … if you can think of it, there’s a good chance it’s on theRalan.com Writing Links page.
There is so much to be found at Ralan.com that you will just have to spend some time perusing the site. Ralanhimself has penned some fiction work, so don’t forget to check that out.
One last thing about Ralan.com: The site has a focus on speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.), but don’t be fooled by that. There are all kinds of links for all kinds of fiction writers to be found here.
As an aside note: Though this article uses common parlance like “sell” or “selling” when referring to what writers do with their stories concerning stories, this is technically incorrect. Writers do not “sell” their stories, whether a short or a novel or something in between. Writers give publishers temporary rights to publish the story, but the story still belongs to the writer. Exceptions to this are the rare cases when a writer signs away all rights in a contract, which is a foolish thing to do. Who is to say your novel or short story won’t become the next big thing? And if you’ve given away all your rights, you won’t make a penny. One other exception is work made for-hire, but often in such instances the writer is writing using characters and worlds which he or she did not create.