I think some of you have published short stories individually on Kindle. I know other authors have done so (Konrath?).  It raises some questions for me.  Is 0.99 too much to charge?  My stories run 8,000 to 10,000 words.  I assume that Amazon will not pay 70 % on this, since they have a cut-off price of 2.99.  And that is too much to charge.

 

Have any of you experience with this?

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Hi Ingrid: I don't think it's too much. If memory services Al Guthrie has released a couple novellas not much longer than 10,000 words and sold well in the UK on Amazon at a bit more than 99 cents each.

 

Generally speaking, though, short stories don't sell as well as novels in ebook form, at least based on the internet talk amongst authors I've encountered.

Thanks, Eric.  I'm aware of the problem with short stories not selling as well.  I have a collection that has yet to find a publisher, in spite of the fact that I also have fans who want more short stories. I'm going to self-publish the collection soon.  The idea of putting other stories up has come to me as a way to get them out there until such a time when they can be collected.  I'm not at all quick with short stories.

I sell my Maynard Soloman short story series for 99 cents through my publisher. There are three so far. That makes all the difference with short stories. A standalone short is better off being part of a collection. A series can hold its own, though.

 

Of course, novels are still king. But you've got to stay relevant, give readers new material. Since it takes me more than a year to complete a novel, this short story series is how I keep my name out there.

Yes, very good point. My stories all fit into the Akitada canon.  In other words, the novels and the stories share a protagonist, and the protagonist has a life.  I just don't want people to get mad, thinking I'm overcharging.  So, Ben, do I assume your publisher doesn't get 70 % from Amazon?  I've been told that Amazon only pays 70 % on publications priced at 2.99 or above.

You wouldn't be overcharging. Amazon won't sell anything below 99 cents. It's that or free.

 

You're right about the royalty. At .99 to 2.98, it's the 35% royalty. Amazon keeps the majority 65% of the sale.

That's the going price for the majority of writers and their short stories.
Thanks, BR.  Seems reasonable.

I published one Kindle short story in May, and I haven´t sold much, but I didn´t expect to do so anyway. Instead I dumped the Smashwords price recently, and Thursday Amazon followed suit.

 

Result: nearly 6,000 people have downloaded "Heather Farm" for free in three days. One 5-star review, and a small trickle of other books sold. No, I won´t get rich, but I am trying to pave the way for a novel I´m putting out there in August. Next step is a new short story, first for 99 cents, later for free (featuring the same protag as the novel).

 

But if you want to earn money on stories, I think you´ll have to publish an anthology (as Benjamin suggests).

 

Dorte H.

That is a major concern.  However, there is also such a thing as cheapening your work.  It makes more sense to set a low price only for a certain time.
Michael Bracken had an interesting post on his blog a few months ago.  You can read it here.  It's about the sobering reality with Kindle sales.  I don't think the short story collections tend to sell anywhere near as well as the novels, in general.  I also think the most critical component of sales on Amazon is Amazon reviews.

I took a look.  It's hard to know what to make of it.  He runs the gamut with genre.  How well established is he?  Does he have novels published?  I think you do need to have name-recognition or some past achievements in order to get decent sales.

 

I do agree about Amazon reviews.

I'm wondering the same thing at the moment. I'm thinking of self-publishing a flash-fiction short, but I'd happily give it away free as it is intended to serve as a prologue to the novel I have on sale through Amazon. Minimum price is 0.99, so 35% royalties. The issue I have is that it will be free on smashwords. So, in good conscience, I'm 'fleshing out' the version intended for amazon and expanding it to justify the difference. Kind of a deluxe version, if you will.

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