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  1. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    Best Ways to Promote Kindle Short Stories?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Jessica_312, Jul 5, 2011.

    Although I am still actively pursuing traditional publication for my full-length novel, I thought I'd experiment and give self-publishing a whirl just for a short story or two (I figure, why not? These particular stories are either going to sit in the computer collecting virtual-dust, or they're going on Amazon just for the heck of it). For anyone else that has self-published via Amazon/Kindle, any useful marketing strategies? So far, the short story has been live for 3 days with zero buys. Tried Twitter and Facebook, no bites from there. Any other useful tips or tricks?

    Thanks! :eek:)
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    How much are you charging for the short story? Seems like it would be difficult to sell them as single stories effectively because there are a lot of novel-length self published Kindle books for $0.99.
     
  3. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    /\ Unfortunately, the least Amazon lets you charge is $0.99, so that's what I had to go with :( I have heard of a few people that had success with their (single) short stories on kindle, but I doubt that's the norm...
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I thought that was the case, but I couldn't remember for sure. I don't know - with some good marketing and a very strong story, it might work, but I think the price point is going to hurt. You can get a month of Time magazine (4 weekly issues) for just $2.99, and like I said there are whole books up there for $0.99.

    Have you considered combining the short stories into a single offering and selling them at that price, rather than just a single story? I know $0.99 is not a lot of money, but to be honest I'd probably never buy a single short story for that price unless I knew the author personally, or else it was an author that I had already read and found so amazing that I just had to have it.

    But maybe someone else has other ideas on marketing strategies. My own Kindle publishing foray is coming soon so I am watching this space.
     
  5. Domino
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    Domino Active Member

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    Would it help if I bought a copy and rated it for you? Sorry if that's a stupid question, I honestly don't know.
     
  6. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    Aw that's a very sweet offer but I don't want you to feel like you have to do that. Heck, I'd be willing to gift it to you if you're willing to review, any bit of critique on Amazon helps get the word out there, IMO.

    Steerpike, I'm thinking about making a short story collection, as well. I do wish they would let me set the price lower for individual short stories, I'd be content with something like $0.49-$0.75. I know there used to be an Amazon Shorts site where you could sell your short story for as low as $0.49, but I think they did away with that?
     
  7. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    With a grand total of one short story on the kindle I may not be the most well informed on this subject. However I can tell you that at least for me, short stories do not seem to sell anywhere as well as novels. (Of course this may have something to do with the fact that I wrote in the blurb that it was a short story and not a novel.) Currently this month (six days old) I've sold 4 copies of my short story and 101 copies of my other novels all up and I expect this trend to continue.

    I do notice when I browse kindle, that many others seem to be less concerned with truth in advertising, and dress up their short stories as novellas and novelettes (if there is such a thing), but the word counts are even poorer then my measly 13,000. I don't know if that fools anyone though, or if it angers readers when they find out.

    The best way I can think of however to sell anything on the kindle, (after tagging, liking, getting reviews etc), is to publish more. Each new book you put out there attracts new readers and pushes sales of other books. For me Thief, my first book, was sitting in the doldrums, selling about a copy a month. After putting out my other two novels, its now selling in double figures which is still not a lot, but ten times what it was selling.

    Cheers.
     
  8. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    From what I have seen, this is the best strategy. Having people you know review and rate your book/short story. By doing this, it pushes it up to different categories such like "best selling" or "most popular" and once you get into those categories, people are more willing to buy something because it's acclaimed as "best" or "popular".

    I'd actually have it be a free short story for a limited time at first to get some hits, and then increase your price once you have reviews and stuff.

    But this is from watching the trends really and drying to decipher how some of these books become "popular best-sellers" (according to price) on amazon when they are in fact pretty poorly written. I haven't published anything on kindle, but as a user, this is the main conclusion I've drawn.
     
  9. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    My understanding is that the best way to promote Kindle short stories is to keep writing.

    The reasons for this are threefold. First and most obviously, having more work up and available for purchase will improve your odds of finding a potential buyer. For many writers, once ten or more works are made available to buy on Kindle, sales experience a short jump.

    Second, having more works available allows a reader (once they've tried and enjoyed one story) to buy other stories they might like. In your case, obviously, this is less of an issue right now, but it's good to remember for a few months from now when you have a couple more stories up and you are starting to see sales trickle in.

    Third, having more work up will show potential readers that you're really serious about the craft. I don't know why this is, but it seems to be true: readers are more likely to choose a book or short story if it's one of many by the author than if it's all alone -- and this is as true in a bookstore as it is on Amazon. I think it's because readers assume you've gotten more writing practice down if there are multiple works available, but it is hard to know for certain.

    Lastly, remember that short stories in general sell less well than books. One figure I've heard from professional authors going indie (or who are exploring indie pub in addition to traditional publishing) is 1-to-5. In other words, if your books are selling 5 per day on average, your short stories will sell 1 or less; if your books are selling 5 per month on average, your stories will sell 1 per month or less. But the market is changing, and it's entirely possible that short stories will become more popular over time as people realize they're the best length to read while commuting via train or bus.

    Best of luck.
     
  10. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think 99c for a short story is an impossible figure to work with on the kindle store. If you don't already have a fan base that is. People simply won't pay 99c for a short story when they can pay the same amount for a full length novel. Many writers are selling their books for the minimum price of 99c to drum up sales and popularity, so 99c novels are very common. How can a short story compete?

    I truly think self-published short stories are a futile endeavour if you have no novels out. So the best way and probably the only effective way to promote your kindle short story is to publish your kindle novel. Now how to promote the novel...that's the question.
     

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