Monday, February 25, 2013

The benefits of writing and publishing a short story.

Many authors are struggling with sales on their debut novel. The problem is that there is only one piece of work under their name and readers are reluctant to spend money on a "newbie" especially when they can't get a proper sample of their work.

You may say, "That's what excerpts and kindle samples are for!" Well, while excerpts and kindle samples do help, they don't tell the reader about your writing style and how you can write a full story. They want to read something from beginning to end. This gives them a true sense of who you are as a story-teller, not just who you are as a writer.

Writing and publishing a short story is a great way to get your work into the hands of readers, especially if you price it at $.99 or give it away for free. You get an added bonus in the story is a companion to your novel. The same goes for long stories and novellas.

A short story about the characters in your novel will add interest to the novel itself. Once someone reads and like the short story, they are bound to want to read the novel. It's a good idea to try to make it a story that can be read either before or after the novel, since people who have read and liked the novel won't want to miss out on any important story lines that involve the characters they fell in love with.

Once you write this short story, be sure to put in the blurb for your book at the end. Here is my format for short stories:

Table of Contents
Title/Copyright Page
About the Author
About Obsidian: Mystic Stones Series (Insert blurb and link to the book on Amazon--or where ever--here)

And that is that. I've only published to Amazon so far and I tend to run the KDP free promo days one or two days at a time. After I run these, I usually see at least a few sales for my novel. The rest of the time they are at $.99 and I see a few sales each week. Eventually, I plan to publish to Smashwords, but I haven't had the time yet.

Here is a list of  the short stories I've published and the ones to come!

Oomph! (horror)
Journey in an Unknown Land (speculative fiction)
Falling Leaves, Falling Leaves: The Book of Life, Falling Leaves: A Seed of Hope and Falling Leaves: The Complete Three Story Collection (speculative fiction)

Ruby: A Mystic Stones Jewel (Companion to Obsidian - Coming Soon!)
Vibe (A 9 Story Series - Coming Soon!)

The more quality work you have out there, the better! Some one could fall in love with one of your short stories and decide to pick up your novel. Give it a try and you might be surprised!

See you tomorrow when we talk about the best $40 I ever spent on writing, and the program that will help you write and publish that short story I mentioned--Scrivener!