Most short story authors write stories because they want their stories to be read. And they want their stories to be read by the masses. It’s a fair expectation from an author that her work is read by thousands and millions. Many authors write us to know how to increase the reads of their stories. Well, the first most answer I can think of is literary superiority of the story.
Nonetheless this alone is not sufficient because of the two obvious reasons – firstly, literary superiority is a subjective measure, varies from one set of readers to another, and secondly, the readers should know that there is something superior available to read. Our article How to Write Short Stories explains the key elements of a short story and few tips to hone your short story writing skill. Additionally, following “easily-doable” tips will help our authors to increase their online reader base. These tips assume that an online reader, who is casually surfing internet, has very short span of time to decide which story to read.
Online readers have almost no time for an unknown, unsolicited content. No matter how good a short story is, if it doesn’t catch, in split-second, attention and interest of a reader, who is looking for some random content in her leisure, it will not be read, at least by that reader.
Therefore, a catchy and interesting excerpt is a must for the short stories published online. Our statistics shows that almost all the stories submitted for our review miss the excerpt from the author. Although our editing staffs add the excerpt, typically they just pick a line or two from the content that may not appeal to the intended readers. As the author of your story, you are the best person to decide for which type of readers you have written the story and what their interests are. A good excerpt is 140-150 characters in length that’s typically shown as preview on our website and also by search engines. Ensure that the excerpt contains the key words and key phrases of your story.