Flash fiction has an opportunity to present itself as a solid form of income for writers.
For many years flash fiction has played a side role in story telling, mainly because publishing houses preferred novels as they make more money from them. Yet it is not a stretch to say that flash fiction and short stories is the preferred story length for writers.
Writing a novel is a significant undertaking for a writer and the odds of earning from the novel is minimal. So, the writer makes a massive investment in time and resources producing artwork that is highly unlikely to earn any money, let alone an income.
And since publishing houses resist publishing short stories and flash fiction, earning a full time income from them is highly unlikely.
With the advent of online websites dedicated to flash fiction, with the massive growth of mobile phone usage, and and significant desire of readers for material that takes under 5 minutes to read, the ground is ripe for reaping an income from short fiction.
Novels will always be there, but flash fiction has a fantastic opportunity to become a valued member of literature for modern writers.
While the investment in time is still needed from the writer, the ability to earn money from each story written is improving for less work.
Consider the idea that a novel can take 800 hours to write and 1 hour for a flash fiction piece.
Consider a series of novels is required to gain traction from an author and typically it takes 5 novels to reach a place of being noticed by readers. That is 4000 hours of work.
Now consider it takes one hour to write a flash fiction piece. You will need about ten stories to produce a salable ebook. That is about 10 hours work. Five books is 50 hours.
Now consider that the novel and the flash fiction book sell for about the same money.
For the writer, other than many prefer the shorter format anyway, which makes more sense?
For the reader, who wants short reads that can be fully consumed on a phone, which kind of book will they be willing to buy?
If you are considering a career writing fiction, your timing is about as perfect as it ever will be because the stars have aligned for flash fiction story writers.
The only real obstacle is getting large publishing houses to see the opportunity and buy your work, finding a large enough flash fiction site that is going big time and sell to them, start your own flash fiction publishing website (NibbleReads is my example for a flash fiction publishing site) or become an author who specializes in flash fiction and promote yourself to the world.
Regardless of your preferred path, the niche is still small and is wide open for new players to do extremely well in the coming ten years.