You want to write short stories, or you’re already writing them. Short fiction is huge fun to write, because by definition, it’s SHORT. You tell your story quickly; there’s no room to waffle on. This can be a challenge, if you’re anything like me. I enjoy waffling on… you can tell, can’t you? 🙂
(If you’re not sure how long short fiction is,we talked about story lengths in this blog post.)
Amazon’s made some changes, and this affects all Kindle Unlimited authors. Now you get paid according to how many pages readers read.
Kindle Unlimited’s changes: now you get paid according to how much readers read
Kindle Unlimited has been a goldmine for short fiction writers; you got paid by Amazon whenever a reader reads 10% of a story. Of course, Amazon realized that this meant that authors were rushing to post short fiction: short stories and novellas.
It made sense. Publish more, get paid more.
So now Amazon’s changing the 10% rule. Amazon says:
“Beginning July 1, 2015, we’ll switch from paying Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) royalties based on qualified borrows, to paying based on the number of pages read. We’re making this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read. Under the new payment method, you’ll be paid for each page individual customers read of your book, the first time they read it.”
What will this mean for you, if you’re publishing fiction? Essentially, nothing at all. You want readers to read — the more readers who enjoy your work, the more of your work they’ll read, and the more ebooks you’ll sell.
Here are a couple of tips which will help you to write fiction which keeps readers reading.
1. Keep readers reading: start in the middle
In a word: ACTION. Skip introductions.
Start your short fiction in the middle of the action, as close to the end of the story as possible. Experienced authors do this instinctively with short fiction. Their goal is to grab readers, and keep them reading.
New authors want to set the scene — they want to introduce the characters, add backstory, and so on. DON’T. I suggested that you kill your backstory in this post: here’s why. Backstory stops your story dead. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing long or short fiction: readers read to find out what happens next.
2. Learn from bestselling authors: skip explanations
New authors want to explain. Please don’t. Readers are smart. They’ll figure it out— and they’ll keep reading so that they do figure it out.
Currently I’m reading Peter Temple’s An Iron Rose. Temple writes amazing crime fiction; he’s a master at setting scene, and creating great characters, with wonderful laugh-out-loud dialogue. He explains little. I’ve had many WTF moments, and I’ve only read half the book.
Those WHAT??? moments keep readers reading.
Remember genre: readers read for emotion
Our two tips: start in the middle of your story, and skip explanations, are essential to keep readers reading.
So is genre.
We’ve discussed genre. Readers read for entertainment. They want an entertainment of a specific kind: they have expectations. Promise readers a suspenseful zombie tale, and that’s what they expect. Promise them a steamy short billionaire romance, and that’s what they expect — and they’ll keep reading, every page.
Pay attention to these tips, and you’ll write short stories — and longer fiction too — that readers love. They’ll read your fiction right to the end, and will beg for more.
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. 🙂
How to profit from your writing: online store.