One of the bloggers at WWK, James M. Jackson has written about his experience so far with the Kindle Scout program. His book was nominated and now the book generated sufficient interest that Kindle Press will publish Ant Farm. I hope he will keep us informed about his experiences.
At Left Coast Crime 2015 I met author Jennifer Vandenberg who told me about the way she uses Amazon Kindle for her writing. With her permission I will share the model she uses with her twelve-part short-fiction fantasy-alternate universe detective series Set in Stone. It is an interesting and funny series, which I recommend.
The author said she writes 8,000 word short-stories and publishes them individually on Kindle. She combines four stories into a book, also on Kindle. When she finishes the series readers will be able to buy the entire series in book format or one at a time. A reader could try one story for 99 cents and then decide whether or not to buy the whole kit and caboodle in book form. While each story has a complete story arc, each book will have a story arc and the entire series will have a greater arc.
I think that is an excellent strategy that will serve her well. She has the skill to keep things interesting during each individual story sort of like the old radio dramas that had listeners tuning in each week for the continuing adventures of The Third Man, Gang Busters, The Lone Ranger or whatever hero caught their fancy.
What writing strategies have you tried or heard about?
I think she will have better success binding the shorts together, but I think she should try to have her page count come in at approximately novel length, Warren, to give readers value.
Nothing annoys me more than buying what I think is a full-length book and realizing that it's only 120 pages long. Yes, you can check the number of pages before you download because Amazon lists that information, but sometimes after reading the synopsis, I forget, thinking it's a novel.
Unless you are a well-known author and your short stories complement novels in the series, I don't think short writers get much traffic. At very least, I would hope that her first short in the series was published in an anthology that received some coverage targeted for her audience.
It is a different strategy and could be successful, but I also heard readers at Left Coast Crime complaining bitterly about how that strategy is such a ripoff. You end up paying $12 for a book, and they were boycotting such things and the authors.
Which leads us back to understanding what your readers want and ignoring the other stuff.
Someday, I plan on putting my short stories in an anthology, but not until I have enough to be a complete book. I have considered putting them up first as short stories for only 99 cents. I think some of them may sell, but I don't know.
I'm a bit hesitant to sell the same thing twice on Amazon, unless it were to be clearly marked.
As it is, I have a new publisher, and new covers for my Jesse Damon Crime Novel series. I do worry that someone will buy a copy of something with the new cover & discover they've already read it. The last thing I want is for my readers to feel I am trying to take advantage of them!
I have one short story collection & one longer short story on Amazon, and I regard them as "loss leaders" for anyone who is interested in checking out my work before buy a whole novel.
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