Befuddled by ebook marketing? Many new (and established) authors find marketing a challenge. In some cases, authors hate marketing. So, they don’t do it… and their sales tank.
I’ve been helping a couple of authors to develop their self-publishing careers using a very simple strategy: short stories.
Ebook marketing the easy way: write short stories
One of the easiest ways to sell your novels is via short stories. They take little time, and you can write them while you’re writing your novels. As you publish your stories, you not only build interest and anticipation for your next novel, but also for all your other novels too.
The biggest benefit of this strategy is that it’s low pressure, so it’s fun. You just need to do what you’re doing already: write and publish.
Let’s look at the kinds of short stories you can write.
- Prequels (what were your characters doing before a novel started?), and sequels (what happens to the characters after a novel ends?)
- Character back stories (imagine events in your characters’ lives which you don’t cover in a novel)
- Character development (drop a novel’s character or characters into a new, very short, story)
Make connections for the best results
Important: be sure to connect your stories to your novels — relate them in some way.
As you can see from the list of ideas above, your stories need to be related/ connected in some way to your novels. If readers enjoy your stories, they can read more: in the related novel (or indeed, novels.)
Currently the holiday season is in full swing. Check out what authors are doing on Amazon — bestselling authors are using this strategy. They publish a novella, or a series of short stories, which are related to their novels.
In effect, your short stories are advertisements for your novels.
Vital: build a list
Before you start writing your short stories, take the time to develop a reader’s mailing list. Include a link to your list in every ebook you publish.
In 2015, the Kindle store has become more crowded than ever. If you write short stories, you’re building your Amazon catalogue. This means that your readers have more opportunities to find you.
Your mailing list ensures that once readers have found you, you can let them know when you publish future ebooks.
Another benefit of writing short stories: you get to know your characters — and you write better novels
Consider your favorite novels. Do you remember the novel itself? Or do you remember the characters? Of course you remember the characters, rather than the plot of the novel.
I know that many writers struggle with their plots, and with character development. Writing short stories about your characters helps you to get to know them, and the more you get to know your characters, the easier it is to build exciting plots.
Now let’s consider short story collections.
Should you sell your short stories individually, or sell collections?
Writers ask me this question whenever I recommend that they sell short stories as a form of promotion for their novels.
Why not do both? You can sell your short stories individually at first, and then collect them into collections when you have 5 to 10 of them.
Here’s another tip.
Turn your short story collections into print books
Do you use Createspace? Writers have found that creating a print version of their books helps to promote the ebook version. Sometimes you’ll find that a reader will buy both the ebook version and a print version of your book as well.
Short stories sell your novels. If you got a spare hour or two, go ahead and write a short story – it can be the most useful form of promotion you undertake.
Kindle Short Fiction Domination: Today’s Blueprint For Writing Success And Income (4-week class)
Want to write short fiction and build a successful career? For the first time in decades, it’s possible to write short stories and make a great income. Each week, for four weeks, you receive a new lesson, in PDF format, via a download link sent to your email inbox.
As we move through the class, you’re not only writing your own short stories, you’re also discovering the Kindle short fiction BLUEPRINT… What to publish, and when, so that your Amazon income steadily increases. Join us. 🙂
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