In a recent writers’ group meeting, we talked about short stories and novellas.
Several authors in the group regularly write and publish short fiction. Most published just one story a month, but several published more. The most prolific author published eight short stories each month (!), while publishing a new novel every six months.
But… do short stories sell?
Short stories sell (but novels sell more)
Although the authors reported that novels sell much better than short stories, you’ll make often more money per page with your short fiction than with your novels.
They also suggested that:
- Writing short stories helps you to write better novels—you’ll learn some useful tactics to help with your longer fiction;
- Short stories and novellas help you to sell your novels…
The short fiction authors shared some great tips. I found these two tips useful, and you may too.
1. Build better visibility (and make more sales) when you earn “bestseller” status in a tiny genre
Want to become a “bestseller?” You may have noticed that some books have a little bestseller tag that Amazon puts onto them. At times, they’re in obscure genres, and you get a “huh?” reaction.
The reason these novels are bestsellers is because the authors have lucked into an obscure category (or sub-sub category) with few titles, and the books are bestsellers in that category.
So to become a bestseller quickly, it helps to investigate niche categories. With luck, one of your short stories may fit into a category with minimal competition. Alternatively, if you’ve found a sub-sub category you like, you can write a short story which will fit into the category, and you could be on your way to bestseller status.
Found a sub-sub-category you like? Got a short story? Brilliant. All you need to do is get your short story into the category.
Email Amazon. Not sure how to do that?
From an excellent article on Kindlepreneur:
There is a special way in which you can contact Amazon and not only get them to include your book for whatever category you want, but you can get them to add you to 10 categories.
(Read the article to see how it’s done.)
If you’ve chosen the right category, and are making sales of your short story, before too long you’ll be a “bestseller”, and that has benefits. You can now promote your bestselling title, and Amazon will help too, by giving your story a boost. That boost can help your entire publishing catalogue, so that you make sales of your other titles too.
2. Publish frequently to sell more: yes, it really works
When you publish something new to Amazon, Amazon gives you visibility in its listings, and that’s good promotion, for free.
So, if you want to make book sales, and see your sales increase, it’s very helpful to publish more, by writing and publishing short stories.
A short story of 5,000 words can make more money than a 60,000 word novel
Are you happy with your self-publishing sales?
If you aren’t, there’s an answer. Savvy authors use short fiction (short stories and novellas) to generate sales and income quickly.
Explore Your Short Fiction Formula: The Easiest-Ever Writing Process (Workshop) now. You’ll be glad you did.
Love time travel romances and the Regency era?More info →
Today, you can make money writing short fiction. Readers love short stories, because they can read a story in minutes, rather than devoting hours to reading a novel.More info →