How to sell short stories online

How to Sell Short Stories Online – 5 Steps to Start Earning Reliable Income

Submitting short stories to a literary magazine used to be the only option for writers to make money – and even then, the opportunities were limited.  Now, writers can take control of their careers and monetize short stories on their own terms! By skipping traditional publishing and selling your writing on your own website, you can generate sustainable, reliable income. In this post, we’ll walk through five steps on how to sell short stories online. 

Sell your short stories online!

The easiest way to accept membership payments or one-time charges for digital products like online courses, communities, content libraries, and more — all from your own website!

Get started for free! 5 minutes to set up.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Get creative with how you package your short stories

One of the best parts about selling your work independently is the freedom to get creative with how you package/sell your short stories. Instead of trying to sell individual stories, try bundling them into something valuable that you can charge more for. 

Here are a few ideas:

  • Turn a collection of your short stories into an ebook by grouping your stories by theme, genre, or character.
  • Build a membership where readers pay a recurring fee for access to your story library, behind-the-scenes content, and a members-only forum.
  • Start a paid newsletter where subscribers receive a new story, writing tips, and industry insights each week.
  • Host online writing workshops where you showcase your short stories to other writers and teach them about your writing process. 
Readers sign up for Letter Lore to experience a "story adventure," where they get access to a new chapter each week. Subscriptions are sold for a monthly or lifetime access fee.

Step 2: Add your stories to your website

To sell your short stories online, you’ll need a professional website that showcases your work and makes it easy for readers to pay for your content. With platforms that offer website templates, like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress, creating a beautiful and functional site can be really simple, even if you don’t have any web design experience.

Just be sure your website includes:

  • An “About” page that introduces you as an author and shares your unique writing style and perspective
  • Testimonials or reviews from satisfied readers or industry professionals
  • A clear call-to-action guiding visitors to purchase your stories
  • A page for each of your short stories and other exclusive content. Just make sure the pages have a clear URL structure, like,,, etc. 

Step 3: Lock your pages

Once you have your website set up, you’ll need a way to protect your short stories and ensure only paying readers can access them. This is where MemberSpace comes in. 

MemberSpace is a powerful tool for writers that integrates with your website and allows you to easily control access to your website content.

With MemberSpace, you can:

  • Sell access to your ebooks, a private community for your readers, a newsletter subscription, and more
  • Create subscription plans with different pricing tiers and access levels 
  • Restrict access to specific members-only pages or sections of your website
  • Securely accept payments through the Stripe integration

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a MemberSpace account
  2. Click on the Products tab in the left menu.
  3. Give your product a name.
  4. Under Lock pages, add the URLs of your individual story pages or sections of your website that you want to protect. 
Sell short stories
By adding the URL of each of your chapter pages, MemberSpace will restrict access to them so readers have to sign up and pay you before they can read your work.

Step 4: Set your pricing

With MemberSpace’s Stripe integration, you can easily accept payments for your short stories on your website. Choose between one-time purchases or recurring subscriptions, depending on how you plan to package your short stories. You can also create multiple pricing tiers to offer readers different levels of access to your content.

For example, you might offer:

  •  A basic tier with access to a limited selection of stories and your newsletter
  • A premium tier with unlimited access to your full library, your community forum, and your newsletter
  • A VIP tier with access to your full library of stories, your community forum, your newsletter, and exclusive live streams or workshops.

To set up your pricing, simply navigate to Pricing on the left in your MemberSpace dashboard, create a new plan, and specify the price, and billing frequency. Then go back to your product and make sure to grant access to the pricing plan you created. 

With MemberSpace, you can sell a short story collection for a one-time payment, bundle your stories with other digital products, or sell access to a story subscription or membership community for a recurring fee.

Step 5: Promote your stories!

 Finally, it’s time to get the word out about your work and start selling your short stories online! MemberSpace will provide you with a unique sign-up link that you can add to CTA buttons on your website, as well as email campaigns and social media. Also consider promoting your short story subscription by: 
  • Building an email list and regularly sending updates about new stories, special offers, and behind-the-scenes content
  • Offering free samples or a trial for your story subscription to give readers a taste of what your membership includes (you can set this up with MemberSpace!)
  • Sharing samples of your work on social media 
  • Hosting live streams to share more about your work 

Final Thoughts

Selling your short stories online gives you the freedom to take control of your writing career and build meaningful connections with your readers. Whether you want to sell an ebook with a collection of your stories, create a serial novel subscription, or build a private community for your readers, you can start to monetize your writing in just a few steps. All you need is a website and MemberSpace account to get started! 

Need help selling your short stories?

Connect with our friendly team, weekdays 10am - 6pm ET.

Let's chat!