Sunday, January 19, 2014

Marketing Individual Short Stories

I never knew there was a market for short stories to sell individually on Kindle and Smashwords, but apparently several authors make a decent living from doing just that. Offering short stories for a limited time also helps people lead people to your novels.

I decided to hop on the short story train since I already had several. These were included in a short story collection I self-published a few years ago, but all needed major polishing. So I took the book off the market and began to rework them, with the help of my many friends at Scribophile.

I couldn't invest a ton of money on covers, but I found a gentleman on Fivrr from Switzerland who does brilliant work. He has all positive reviews, and I could see why. So I gave him a chance and was very happy with both of the covers he created for me.

I uploaded both books to Smashwords for free for now. I will probably keep the Falconry listed as my "Freebie" to draw people in and get them interested in my other books, Dryad's Tale will eventually be 99 cents. I have been told by other writers as long as you are upfront about word count, most customers are fine with paying 99 cents for a short story.

In 19 days, I've had 80 downloads of The Falconry. I've had 43 of Dryad's Tale in three days. I'm hoping these people will take time to leave reviews! I have also sold one copy of my novella, The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby, as a result of someone enjoying The Falconry. I'm hoping for more to come!
While Gallery Cat offers a list of sites to market your free Kindle books, ( most of these places only accept book-length submissions, books with several star ratings, or books only available from Kindle with Amazon. You can also check out, which offers free and paid services for authors looking for markets. I am still searching for places to market my free Smashword short stories, and would love to hear suggestions. As I find good places I will come back and revise this blog post.  

Some Tips:
1. Only publish your best work. Get several people to beta-read your short story, ideally people who don't know you and aren't worried about hurting your feelings. Much better to get honest feedback before you publish and when you can still fix things! Scribophile is the best place I have found, a huge critique forum of beginner and professional writers who work hard to support each other. Can't recommend it enough.
2. Follow the Smashwords guideline for format uploads so your story looks good in e-reader form. It can look perfect in Word and look terrible on Kindle. Smashwords has a whole manual on uploading, and they provide an awesome template you can cut and paste your story into. I promise, it will save you hours.
3. Choose a compelling cover. If you don't have graphic design experience, get someone else to design it for you. If you don't have a big budget, give someone at Fiverr a chance. I've been happy so far.
4. Spread the word. Let friends and family know through Twitter, Facebook and e-mail. Make sure people know they can download the Kindle app for free for their smartphone or computer, even if they don't have an e-reader.
5. Include links to your novels, website and other short stories at the end of your books. If people like one story, they will probably want more. Make it easy for them to access your other word.

I would love to hear your experience publishing Kindle short stories and any other comments you have.

You can download my two short stories for FREE from my author page at Smashwords. Let me know what you think!


No comments:

Post a Comment