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Thread: What's a common word count for "short stories"?

  1. #1

    What's a common word count for "short stories"?

    For various reasons I've decided to mold some stuff I have into a short story (because it didn't quite fit with the full-length book I was working on) and self-pubbing it on Amazon/Kindle for something cheap like $2.99. Anyway, I was just wondering what a good target would be for word count of a short story that you might pick up like this?

  2. #2
    I'm behaving. SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
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    I'm not trying to be discouraging, but I think an unknown writer would have a very hard time selling a short story on Amazon for $2.99.

    You might consider writing a novella. The typical wood count varies somewhat by genre, but just say somewhere between 15 and 35k.



  3. #3
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    In general, flash fiction is <1000 words, a short story is 1000 - 7500 words, a novelette or 'long short story' is 7500 to 17,500, and a novella is 17,500 to 40,000.

    A standard short story (4000 - 7000 words) by a Big Name Author generally sells on ebook sites for 99 cents, while novellas tend to be more in the $2.99 range.

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    That hairy-handed gent
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    Before you do anything like this, go research standard publications. Every one will express a word count preference. And, as has been said, you're not going to sell any short for $2.99 per hit on Amazon/Kindle. Just not.

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    Fearsome Dragon Mod AW Moderator jvc's Avatar
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    It would be best for you to take a look through the short stories on Amazon for their word counts and prices. As others have said, selling a short story, whether or not you're actually a famous writer, for $2.99 is a bit high. Well, way too high actually.
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    Superpowers: Making babies, writing MeganJoWrites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    In general, flash fiction is <1000 words, a short story is 1000 - 7500 words, a novelette or 'long short story' is 7500 to 17,500, and a novella is 17,500 to 40,000.

    A standard short story (4000 - 7000 words) by a Big Name Author generally sells on ebook sites for 99 cents, while novellas tend to be more in the $2.99 range.
    All of this.

    I think a novella by an unknown/unestablished writer should be 99 cents. I just read a novella by a romance author who is well-known and signed by a publisher and that was 99 cents.
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    "We're all mad here" - Cheshire Cat Silver-Midnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    In general, flash fiction is <1000 words, a short story is 1000 - 7500 words, a novelette or 'long short story' is 7500 to 17,500, and a novella is 17,500 to 40,000.

    A standard short story (4000 - 7000 words) by a Big Name Author generally sells on ebook sites for 99 cents, while novellas tend to be more in the $2.99 range.
    I agree with this.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW WriterBN's Avatar
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    I have a collection of short stories (around 50K words total) that I plan to price at 2.99. I'm also writing an individual short story, to use as a promo for the book. That will be at $0.99--I may consider doing a free promo through Kindle Select.

    In general, I think it would be tough to sell a single short story at $2.99.

  9. #9
    figuring it all out Luprec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WriterBN View Post
    I have a collection of short stories (around 50K words total) that I plan to price at 2.99.
    WriterBN, I would love to know how that goes!

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    has no socks JulianneQJohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    In general, flash fiction is <1000 words, a short story is 1000 - 7500 words, a novelette or 'long short story' is 7500 to 17,500, and a novella is 17,500 to 40,000.

    A standard short story (4000 - 7000 words) by a Big Name Author generally sells on ebook sites for 99 cents, while novellas tend to be more in the $2.99 range.
    Agreed. This matches the information that I've seen.

    I've also seen quite a few blogs where unknown authors where selling entire novels in ebook form for 99 cents, just to try to get their name out. It's a very competative market. It's not enough to simply put it on Amazon. One has to be prepared to market and promote the story themselves, or the readers may never see it.
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  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW WriterBN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luprec View Post
    WriterBN, I would love to know how that goes!
    I'll let you know--currently waiting for the paperback proof copy to arrive. I want to release the e-book and paperback at the same time.

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