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Old 02-08-2013, 08:15 AM   #1
Aj Johnson
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Cool Short Story/ SS collection on KDP?

Sorry if this was talked about else where. I spent the majority of the night researching and reading up on some of the expereinces people have had here on AW, and was wondering if this outlet would work for short stories, or perhaps a collection of short stories? Has anyone had any experience selling them on Amazon KDP or Smashwords and what not?

I only have one novel first draft written, and even though I may have it ready for E-publishing in the next couple of months or so, I'm not quite ready to let go of my first novel (my baby) that easily without giving the traditional way a chance first...But I would like to experiment a little with some of my other works, namely some of my earlier stuff I wrote in highschool.

Thanks, any advice on the subject is also welcome of course.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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Aj, read some of the self-publishing diary threads in this room. Several of our members have tried this very thing.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aj Johnson View Post
I spent the majority of the night researching and reading up on some of the expereinces people have had here on AW, and was wondering if this outlet would work for short stories, or perhaps a collection of short stories? Has anyone had any experience selling them on Amazon KDP or Smashwords and what not?
I do exactly that. Both individual stories and a collection. I write short fiction exclusively.

Short fiction is not as popular as novels. The typical experience seem to be that you sell one here and there. If you have a bunch of random stories you average 1-5 a month, and some will sell zero so you tend to need some volume of work available. The returns mean you need to keep your expenses low which means you have to carefully consider how to get the necessary editing and how to afford a cover.

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But I would like to experiment a little with some of my other works, namely some of my earlier stuff I wrote in highschool.
Are you sure stuff you wrote in highschool would have the quality you'd want associated with your name?

(I started with the first story I had published. Even that has some rough writing, but it was out there so it seemed like a good break point. My stuff is reprints of stuff I've previously sold to magazines and anthologies. So I've already made my money on them and self-pub is just gravy. I recommend this route if there's a healthy magazine market in your genre because you get a sort of filter on which stories are working, and you get an editor's eyes at no additional cost leaving just the cover to worry about, and you've already made money on it so negligible sales don't hurt much.)
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:45 AM   #4
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Are you sure stuff you wrote in high school would have the quality you'd want associated with your name?
Exactly what I was thinking. As a reader, I only give a new writer one shot. This is all writers, self-published and those published by the major mojos.

If your story is weak, I won't come back for anything else you've written.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:46 AM   #5
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I'm trying this as I type--selling a collection of short stories. It's a very small market (literary fiction, and Indian literary fiction at that) but I'll see how it goes.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:14 AM   #6
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Ya, I know what you all are saying about if I were sure that it'd be stuff I'd like to publish, being that I wrote in in highschool. But I'm not talking about pubbing right this second. I'd like to thoroughly go through it all a few times before I even attempted. I had an awesome thing going for me when I was writing these short stories back then, and had since lost my mojo with this certain type of story telling. During and soon after highschool I was working on a collection of short stories/novellas about "twisted" love stories. Love stories that aren't exactly fit to be labeled in the romance section. Love stories that are more suspense, thriller, and horror type sub genres.

It's just something I'd like to revisit soon, and perhaps get some feed back on when the time is right. Thanks for all the thoughts and advice. I've only been here for about a month now and I've already learned so much.

AJ
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnneGlynn View Post
Exactly what I was thinking. As a reader, I only give a new writer one shot. This is all writers, self-published and those published by the major mojos.

If your story is weak, I won't come back for anything else you've written.
This really hit home for me, I too am the same way. I'm the same way. Perhaps I'm not quite ready to publish within the near future like I thought, but I'm really hoping to try and get myself out there by the end of this year to early or summer of next. My dream was to have the label "Debut best selling book", and come out with guns blazing, but I'm realizing now that, thats a once in a life time type of success.

Looks like I'm going to have to start small and build my reader base like everyone else. I'm just trying to figure out what MY best approach would be...whether it be trying to publish short stories in magazines, or through amazon, or what...
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:30 AM   #8
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So far I've had a fairly good run with short stories. Their primary value, however, is less make loads of money and more advertise yourself. If I had a redo, I would publish a major work first--not necessarily a novel, just something important to you--and then publish a handful of short stories linking back to the work you want to promote. Offer them for free or for cheap. If they like your short, they will click through to your primary work, and odds of a sale go up.

All that said...self publishing is hard. However much you think it's hard, it's harder than that. You want to be successful, you start at zero and build up from there. If you think you got a shot at trade publishing, take the shot. If you succeed you got your dream. If you fail, you'll know you need more refining for either trade or self pub.

You should not try self publishing if you are not ready to fail. Do everything to plan against it, but be ready to take that hit. IF you don't think you can, do anything and everything else you can think of. If you can take that hit and keep going...well, I can't say "you can succeed" Because I haven't hit that point yet. But I sold one book last July, I sold 45 books last month, and I've sold over 160 so far. I don't know what's going to happen next, but I'm starting to get a little hopeful.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by christwriter View Post
So far I've had a fairly good run with short stories. Their primary value, however, is less make loads of money and more advertise yourself. If I had a redo, I would publish a major work first--not necessarily a novel, just something important to you--and then publish a handful of short stories linking back to the work you want to promote. Offer them for free or for cheap. If they like your short, they will click through to your primary work, and odds of a sale go up.

All that said...self publishing is hard. However much you think it's hard, it's harder than that. You want to be successful, you start at zero and build up from there. If you think you got a shot at trade publishing, take the shot. If you succeed you got your dream. If you fail, you'll know you need more refining for either trade or self pub.

You should not try self publishing if you are not ready to fail. Do everything to plan against it, but be ready to take that hit. IF you don't think you can, do anything and everything else you can think of. If you can take that hit and keep going...well, I can't say "you can succeed" Because I haven't hit that point yet. But I sold one book last July, I sold 45 books last month, and I've sold over 160 so far. I don't know what's going to happen next, but I'm starting to get a little hopeful.
Thanks for this, it's a lot to consider.

I guess I'm just getting excited and amped up to share my stories with the world. Congrats on getting that much, hope the sales keep ramping up.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:35 AM   #10
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Thanks for this, it's a lot to consider.

I guess I'm just getting excited and amped up to share my stories with the world. Congrats on getting that much, hope the sales keep ramping up.
Well...be excited. Just learn how to be just as excited about two or three (or five or six) readers as you are by the idea of two or three thousand.

That way, if you only get two or three, you're still happy, and if you get two or three thousand your head can explode from the giddiness.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:37 PM   #11
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Well...be excited. Just learn how to be just as excited about two or three (or five or six) readers as you are by the idea of two or three thousand.

That way, if you only get two or three, you're still happy, and if you get two or three thousand your head can explode from the giddiness.

or two to three.......MILLION...Bahahahaha...Muhahahaha heh
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:58 AM   #12
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Christwriters points are excellent. I agree about shorter works being great as an introduction to your work or as a teaser for a linked, longer piece of work.

I have some short stories up under another name, and though sales are low, they do sell.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:30 AM   #13
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Why don't you just try to see if you can get those short stories in a magazine?

Yeah, you might not get published in them but you might just get some good rejection letters. I've learned a lot from rejection letters. The editor might comment and give you a objective opinion that can improve your story. Then if that doesn't work, you can bundle them up as a short story collection. I would assume after revising and editing so many times for publication that, even if they weren't accepted, they would be polished enough to try to sell on amazon.
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