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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG: tell me what you think about short stories!


This is a monthly event started by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh and organized by the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Click here to find out more about the group and sign up for the next event.

Wow! I usually have my monthly IWSG post ready way ahead of time, but this time it almost slipped out of my mind. So, let me share my newest insecurities: the release date of my next book, Immunity, just got bumped up from April 7 to February 23! Eek, that's less than 3 weeks away! So, yeah, I'm excited, thrilled and veeeeery nervous. The requests for ARCs have been coming in steadily, another reason to be excited and nervous all at the same time.

In terms of marketing, I've been pondering a lot about short stories. I have quite a few I want to push out, and I believe they make a great marketing tool. I don't want to ever give away my full-length novels for free, but I could do that with the shorts and gain a few more readers. The real question, for me, is: is it best to release each short story separately or all together in a short anthology?

Releasing them one at the time may bring in more bucks, but it's also a lot more work in terms of covers to make, formatting, and promotion. Also, I wonder: would people get annoyed at me for putting out so much scattered stuff? Also, if they don't like the one story, I get a bad review, but if I have a collection and they don't like one but appreciate the rest, I might still get a nice review.

What do you guys think? How do you feel about short stories?



24 comments:

  1. I like anthologies. I like short stories, but I love a series of short stories best in a collection. I think you should try it. I may bring you new reader, but may also teach about the thing and genres you enjoy writing in.
    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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    1. Hi Juneta, I published the short story collection and sent it to you guys in the email subscription, I hope you'll enjoy it! I think you already read two of them ...

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    2. I did, so far I love everything you write, so proud of you too and how far I have gotten to watch you come, since you first decided to self-publish. Cheering You on.
      Hugs
      Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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  2. I don't read short works, as a rule, but I might--to try a new author--if it was free.

    Fwiw, a question was recently posed in a private reader/author group about serials (releasing a story in roughly 5,000-word bits). The collective reader and author-as-reader response was very negative.

    The two big complaints were not wanting to wait for more of the story and cost. The first one doesn't apply to short stories, but the second one does. I think you'd be smart to make it free or include it in a discounted or free anthology.

    Great post!
    IWSG #143 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. I'm not sure about permafree, but I am planning on using the free day promotion with this one and see what happens... I resist to make my full length novels free, so this one would be a good one to have exactly for that.

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  3. I don't read too many anthologies, but I do read short stories from venues like Daily Science Fiction and Every Day Fiction. Have you ever thought of submitting to a venue like that? It's a great way to get your name out there. I try to get a few short stories published every year for that reason.

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    1. I seem to remember that they wanted shorter stories, though, mine are 5,000-10,000 ... thanks for your comment!

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  4. I've heard releasing a lot of stories in a short period of time is best. Look into what Christine suggested. And will gladly help you spread the word in three weeks!

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  5. I've seen anthologies where a person reviews the individual stories, so that could work. I like short stories together or separate. You could always release them individually then bundle them later.

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  6. WOW! That move up on your book is a big one! My feeling on short stories is maybe offer up one or two on your website for free so people can get a taste, then maybe a collection. I don't tend to be willing to pay the 99 cent minimum for anything shorter than about 50 pages, though it is possible I am the exception.

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    1. bundled together, my 3 stories reach 90 pages, so we'll see ...

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  7. Three weeks? That's insanity! I hope you still feel like you own a head. I like free reads, but getting traffic to them is the trouble. A forum like Wattpad might be a good ground to use, or like Christine said. Decisions, decisions... Good luck!

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    1. yeah, that's the other thing, so I would do the free promotion and advertise on the usual sites to drive traffic, but I'd rather do it that way than do permafree

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  8. I love writing shorts. The only ones I've published were in anthologies and I haven't made much on them. To me they were a way to learn the business. Hope yours do well whatever you choose. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette


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    1. you can release them on your own after the time stated on your contract from the anthologies, if so you wish Thanks Anna!

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  9. I have a friend I think is quite clever about writing stuff, and a few years ago she recommended putting out individual short stories for $.99 each, then bundling them later on down the road into collections for $2.99. Her theory is that the more you have out there for people to happen upon, the more readers you will garner for your novels. Whether she's right or not, I don't know.

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    1. thanks Shannon, it does make sense ...

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  10. If they are going to be free, I'd say release them individually or in small sets, perhaps one a month. That will keep your name out there for a while and rack up your author credits.

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  11. I don't read many short stories, but the advice you've been given sound good--esp. L. Diane's (above). Name recognition is so important.

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  12. As a person who has published short stories, they work best in a collection or bundled together. Plus, it will save you on time.

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  13. I really enjoy short stories, whether they're separate or bundled up in an anthology. It sounds like you're leaning toward the anthology idea, so I'd say follow your instinct on this!

    And wow, how exciting about your release date being moved up! I can see how that'd be nerve-racking, too, though. Will keep my fingers crossed that all your worries will be for nothing!

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