I'll say it right up front; with the advent of epublishing I think there's been a rebirth of the short-story. In fact I think in both volume and in quality, ebook publishers are bringing to the reading market some of the best written stories ever seen.
What's more, a number of epublishers are actively seeking out authors who want to write a series using the short-story as its main vehicle for presentation to the reading public. I have no less than three such series going on with Trestle Press.
And I'm happy as a lark about it. Here's one of my newest series. Classic police-procedural detective work.
Eleven stories featuring Turner Hahn and Frank Morales. Only the beginning for these two. Lots more stories coming. Here's the Amazon site for it.
Agreed. I haven't cracked the promotion code yet either.
I think this is where continually putting out new produce will eventually build a following. One thing I would suggest in the meantime, if you have multiple titles up, is to offer one item for free (a loss leader if you will). I did this and ended up boosting my sales a pretty fair amount. This works especially well on Amazon, but I got a nice up-tic on BN.com too.
Fatal Destiny - a Grace deHaviland novel
Thanks, David, and good luck to you also. I'll do a 5-day freebie via Kindle Prime soon, but I did lower the price of one novel from 4.99 to 99 cents. This will only last one month. Lately, there have been warnings from other authors about turning readers off (and getting bad reviews) if the book is too cheap.
Yes, and I agree. I did a .99 short story as a freebie and would only do it one at a time. Like you, except for a promotional giveaway, limited time only, or contest, I don't see myself ever giving a novel away for free or selling it for .99. I believe too much in my work and I worked to hard to give it away.
My pricing structure is pretty firm.
.99 for short stories.
2.99 for novellas and five-shot short story collections, maybe 3.99 for large-size works.
4.99 for full-size anthologies and novels, 5.99 if they are over 110k in length.
But, that's just me. YMMV
Fatal Destiny - a Grace deHaviland novel
I've had some good short story experiences lately.
I'm primarily known (where I'm known at all) as a novelist and as a comic book/graphic novel writer. I haven't published a whole lot of short fiction, partly because I haven't pursued that area, and partly because when I do get story ideas, they tend to be big, sprawling ones. Novels, in other words.
But lately I've been the recipient of various bits of happy news on different short stories.
At the invitation of a producer for Tucson's NPR radio station, KUAZ, I wrote a brand-new short story, "Long Road Home," meant to be read aloud. Friday, Dec. 16, I went to the KUAZ studio on the University of Arizona campus and, with the help of two producers and a tech, recorded the short story. They added music and sound effects, which really enhance the experience. The story has a holiday theme, though it's not a Christmas feel-good story, but more of a Twilight Zone-ish weird tale. It's about love, loss, and longing, all of which can be intensified by the holiday season. The station aired it on Friday, Dec. 23 (that's yesterday, where I live) and will rebroadcast it tonight, as part of their holiday "Arizona Spotlight" show.
The audio version is also online, to be listened to at the NPR website or downloaded as an MP3.
Since some people prefer to read with their eyes, I put the story out as a low-cost e-book. Links to various places (it's cheapest at DriveThruFiction, and available there in ePub, Mobi, and PDF versions) can be found here.
It's been getting some great feedback, mostly on my Facebook page, but also in emails and message boards.
And that isn't all. This past year, the anthology San Diego Noir was released, containing my story "Gold Shield Blues," along with work by Don Winslow, T. Jefferson Parker, Luis Alberto Urrea, Martha Lawrence, and others. Last week, author Robert Lopresti named "Gold Shield Blues" "the best mystery story I read this week." His review is here.
Then, January Magazine and the San Diego Union-Tribune both included San Diego Noir in their year's best lists.
Also this year, I released an e-book collection of short horror fiction, Nine Frights, which is getting some very nice reviews. It contains previously published work (from anthologies including Hellbound Hearts, The Stories in Between, and other books) as well as new work. It's my first collection of short stories, and I'm proud of it.
My next short will be "Black Train" in the anthology Westward Weird. I'm looking forward to the rest of the stories in this one, which goes on sale in February. And as much as I love writing novels, I think I'll try to work more shorts into the mix, going forward.
Brilliant. I like how you capitalized on the NPR opportunity.