1. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Has Anyone Published a Short Story on Amazon?

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by peachalulu, May 26, 2013.

    Just wondering if anyone has gone ahead and published a short story on Amazon? If you have
    how was the experience? Did you get a lot of downloads - and were these mainly friends?

    I'm curious about the process and seriously considering it. I have a couple of magazines I could send
    my stories too, but a lot of magazines have specific story requirements that a good many of my pieces
    don't contain.

    I want to explore all options.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    No, but I know someone who published 3 short stories with a Canadian e-publisher site, one that was ~5,000 words. The site publishes stories as short as a few thousand words. I doubt they sell well, his hasn't but I've not read his and don't know the quality. I just can't see the public ready to pay for 5,000 words. I looked at under 6,000 word story intros on the site and I found them interesting but the idea they weren't longer meant I wasn't going to purchase them.

    His other stories were 20–30,000 words. I think we'll be seeing more stories of that length from e-publishers. Did I recently see Amazon saying they were going to market them, or is that a false memory?
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    No idea. I just started looking into this myself. I've heard of a few writers who have done it and are pleased with the results although I can
    never get a straight answer on the 'how many downloads' question. Lol.

    It's not like I'm thinking hey, score, I'll sell a million! but if a magazine is only willing to pay a couple hundred for a story ifthey accept
    it then money is not really an issue. Building a fanbase or an image would be more an issue, but if I'm not locked into a genre then publishing one
    story in say one genre magazine won't do me a heap of good. That's why I'm checking out Amazon.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Here's a related GoodReads blog piece:

    THE PROS OF PUBLISHING SHORT STORIES ON AMAZON
    And here's another interesting blog: 10 Lessons From Publishing the #1 Bestselling Short Story on Amazon
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Thanks Ginger! :) I'll check these out.
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think a lot of writers release short stories - esp free short stories - in order to pique the reader's interest in their work. For example, if you have a novel, you may want to release a prequel short story for free to entice the same readers to go on and buy the actual novel. As long as your pricing of the short stories matches the length (so don't go charging £3.99 or something for a 30-paged 'book'), I don't see any harm in it at all.

    And of course, since it'll be self-publishing, what's to stop you from publishing a short story collection and selling that as a full book?

    I think it could be a very good way of creating a platform/image for yourself.
     
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  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That was what I suggested to my friend, instead of fee for a short story, give it away as advertising.

    BTW, Amazon lets you offer your work free for a month, one at a time I believe but I don't know the rules. So you have multiple reads for sell and you rotate from the list, one free as a monthly promo. I think it's a great idea.
     
  8. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    I have several short stories/novelettes on the major e-book sites from $0.99 to $2.99, and between them they sell a few copies a month (I think I peaked at a couple of dozen in January). I also created print on demand versions of some through Createspace for my own book shelf and they sell now and again.

    But I would definitely say to send them out to magazines first if you think they might sell there. In most cases one pro sale will pay more than a couple of years of sales on Amazon, and your story will be put in front of thousands of potential readers who may remember your name and want more.
     
  9. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I have two shorts (around 20k each) and two novellas (40k) out, but my experience is that novels sell better. Having said that there is a writing publishing to make money scheme out there that works on this. Can't remember whose it is, but in essence the idea is that if you can write a short a week and publish it, then you can sell in volume even if most of them only sell a handful a month. Consider that a short of 5k might be one twentieth of a novel (less in my case normally) so can you sell twenty times more novels to equal the twenty shorts?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why not just collect some short stories and publish a book of them? It'll give the reader more bang for his buck, and the only drawback for you is that you'll have to wait until you have enough that's print-worthy.

    I have 13-14 short stories (3k - 11k words) that are thematically connected, that I want to work on next. Also, I have a nice collection of non-fiction essays, also thematically connected, which I might self publish because it's not something I want to waste time looking for a publisher for.

    I think the bottom line for self-publishing is - expect to earn nothing. People don't like to pay for art, especially if it's freelance, ie. not attached to a commercial name, they part with their money with a lot more difficulty. If you go to self-publish, your main motivation should be wanting to share it with others, not profit, because there will be none (or let's say that chances are minuscule regardless of the quality).
     
  11. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've seen on amazon and heard about collections of short stories more frequently than single shorts. Many of the collections I've seen have been 99 cents for the book of at least 10 stories. It may be worth publishing a collection more than a single short, since a lot of customers seem to view stories almost as a commodity -- that is, they get mad if the story is too short. Some people will say, well, 99 cents for 10 short stories is a much better deal than 99 cents for one. I would never buy the one that only has one story if I could get ten for the same price. Granted, I don't understand these people at all, but apparently they exist. Come to think of it, I've never really understood the book-buying decision process. I have never once said, "I have nothing to read. Let me see what the bookstore or website sells that I might want to read." I don't look for books. They find me. As the four three-foot high piles of to-read books next to my nightstand can attest.
     
  12. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Because you can sell the shorts individually and in collections.

    Everything I've self-published so far has made a profit, though usually a small one. I'd probably be doing better if I could manage to release something new in less than six months :).
     
  13. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I am aware that it's possible to sell them individually, it was a rhetorical question. :rolleyes:
    When I say "profit" I mean meaningful profit, not a hundred bucks here or there. In any case, anyone can publish whatever they want, but since we are discussing opinions, I prefer to give my readers something substantial. Also I know that longer stuff sells better than short stories when published individually.
     
  14. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    To be fair, a pro magazine sale for a 4,000 word SF short is typically about $200-250. So if you can make that over a few years by self-publishing a story that didn't sell to any, it isn't a bad deal (obviously the big sale up front would be better).

    To make good money from shorts without selling into those pro markets you probably have to write a lot of them, or be in a genre like erotica where they sell well.
     
  15. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I understand what you mean. I suppose I've been a freelance artist for over 5 years now (photography) and even though it's a wonderful feeling to get orders for several thousand Christmas cards, or sell prints, or iPhone cases with your art etc, down the line, when you add it all up, it adds up to less than what used to be my monthly pay after tax. After a while, you realise it's a bit of a wasted effort, great for gathering experience but ultimately, you need to aim higher. At least that's my logic :)
     
  16. nishakaur
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    nishakaur New Member

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    One of my friends has great experience of Publishing a Short Story on Amazon.
     
  17. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    As it's so accessible, why not have a punt? If I ever get around to finishing something more substantial than my usual thing, I'll certainly look into it.
     
  18. Krishan
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    Krishan Active Member

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    As an experiment I did this for a while. I found that people were unwilling to pay for stories shorter than about 3000 words, but that I could make a little money from stories that were a bit longer (around 5000 - 10000 words), priced at $0.99 each.

    The amount of money I earned was very small, but probably still more than what I would have earned by placing the stories in a literary magazine.

    Genre stories sold better than literary ones, which hardly sold at all.
     
  19. Volcre
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    Volcre Member

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    Hi

    As a fledgeling writer, I thought I'd write a few short pieces and self-publish on Amazon. I submitted my first one a few days ago. A short ~8000 words story and priced it at $0.99. Not too interested in the money, just doing it for the experience and I figure what have I got to lose? I'll let you know if anything comes of it. I'm planning to publish short pieces and one-ofs on Amazon while I finish up my novel and try to get it published.
     
  20. Misty'sMess
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    Misty'sMess Member

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    I didn't even know we could do this, blown my mind. Thanks for the heads-up :)
     
  21. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    From some blog and forum posts I've read I believe Amazon have been getting cranky about e-books under 2500 words lately, but most short stories are longer than that anyway.
     
  22. Volcre
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    Volcre Member

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    https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/dashboard
    https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A17W8UM0MMSQX6

    Here you go. Kindle Direct Publishing. If the links don't work just Google it. You use your Amazon account. Just click 'Add New Title' and do a trial run to figure out how it works. Very simple and takes about 12 hours to show up online.

    Good luck :)
     
  23. Juju Bagdasarian
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    Juju Bagdasarian Member

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    Self publishing through amazon doesnt sound bad at all if all else fails, i Checked the links that Volcre posted and i noticed they support many languages and you have a good income not bad not bad at all
     
  24. skyeseven
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    skyeseven New Member

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    I'm with Misty. I had no idea that this could be done. It definitely seems like a great place to test the waters with short stories that either didn't sell elsewhere. I definitely like the idea of piquing the interest of readers with prologues to longer works.

    Something that I thought of while reading this thread is... would this kind of thing be beneficial for new writers to get feedback on their work from consumers? Or would a mess of a story only create a bad reputation for the writer?
     
  25. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Critique groups would probably be better if you just want feedback. If you're worried about bad reputation, you can always use a pen name... but then you may be stuck with it if the stories are successful :).
     

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