When the prelaunch of our “Publish Fiction In 8 Hours Or Less: Conquer Short Stories” class began a month ago, I set out to write four short stories in four weeks. (BTW, the class has closed.)
I managed to write two because the revision of a novel took longer than I expected. I posted the second story to KDP Select yesterday, and am very pleased with the results.
Readers love short stories
This is the big takeaway, and it continues to surprise me, although it shouldn’t.
Readers love short fiction. Of course, your mileage may vary. A lot depends on genre. Mostly I write romance and cozy mysteries, under a couple of pen names, and for my ghostwriting clients.
So what did I learn?
1. Short stories boost your KDP pages read — instantly
Sales for the pen name under which I wrote the two short stories have been languishing, because I haven’t published anything under that name since 2015.
The first short story kickstarted sales, and Pages Read. Within a couple of hours of the second story going live, it was racking up Pages Read too. Very satisfying.
The prelaunch of our class was a success too. Writers tell me that they’ve gained in confidence, and know they’ll be able to make great use of short stories in their publishing plans going forward.
2. Write in series: it makes it easier to promote your short stories
My aim is to write ten short stories in a series. Depending on how the short stories do, I might write a series of novels set in that world. Time will tell.
Why write in series?
- It’s easier to promote your short stories because readers become familiar with your stories’ world;
- If readers love the world you’ve created, they’ll buy more in the series — your sell-through will go up;
- When readers pay for more stories it means that you can afford to pay for promotion.
This brings us to the BIG lesson.
3. Readers pay for what they like (yes, readers pay for short stories)
My students and I have had great results with this strategy previously. Since it’s been several months since I did a short story push, I wondered whether readers would still respond.
They did. Six hours after publishing the second story, not only did I have Pages Read, I also had a couple of sales.
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