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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there!

So a summary of my situation: I published a short story way back in 2016, then last year I published my first novel set in the same universe. The book is available on Amazon for $2.99 while the short story is up for $0.99 (I've tried to change it to free but for some reason it changed back after a few months...) I'm also using this short story as a reader magnet via Bookfunnel.

And here's where I'm stuck: I'm planning to write a total of ten short stories set in that same universe, but I'm not quite sure where to publish them. I'd love to release each of them individually until I've got all 10 and can compile them into one ebook. Now, charging $0.99 for a short story isn't something I'm really comfortable with, and I don't want to go chasing after Amazon for each of those 10 short stories. So one idea would be that I leave that first short story up on Amazon and give the others to my mailing list for free. I also thought about using the next story as my new reader magnet, but does it make sense to offer Volume 2 to completely new readers? Or should I just stick to Volume 1 as a reader magnet and hand out each new short story for free to keep my mailing list invested?

I'm interested to hear some of your opinions/experiences with short stories!  :D
 

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Publish them all wide at 99 cents each.

Give them all away free to your mailing list, but spaced out a month apart or so.

Put them all in a collection when they're done for 2.99-3.99.

At some point when your backlist of novels is bigger, you may want to unpublish the individual shorts.

 
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J. Tanner said:
Publish them all wide at 99 cents each.

Give them all away free to your mailing list, but spaced out a month apart or so.

Put them all in a collection when they're done for 2.99-3.99.

At some point when your backlist of novels is bigger, you may want to unpublish the individual shorts.
This is pretty much what I'm doing, but I'll have them for free on my website. One is up now, and I plan to have eight more by the end of the year. These are WWII very short stories that I'm using to help sell my non-fiction. Hopefully 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
J. Tanner said:
Publish them all wide at 99 cents each.

Give them all away free to your mailing list, but spaced out a month apart or so.

Put them all in a collection when they're done for 2.99-3.99.

At some point when your backlist of novels is bigger, you may want to unpublish the individual shorts.
That's what I had in mind at first, but I've read so many times that as a new author you should give stuff away for free that I was beginning to feel like I couldn't charge 99 cents for a short story... but if I do publish them and then give them to my mailing list for free, my subscribers may feel like they are actually getting something of value. Hopefully ;D
 

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J. Tanner said:
Publish them all wide at 99 cents each.

Give them all away free to your mailing list, but spaced out a month apart or so.

Put them all in a collection when they're done for 2.99-3.99.

At some point when your backlist of novels is bigger, you may want to unpublish the individual shorts.
This is excellent advice, and something I needed to hear as well, as I'm trying to figure out how to balance out short stories with novels in one of my series. Thank you!
 

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sarah_tanzmann said:
That's what I had in mind at first, but I've read so many times that as a new author you should give stuff away for free that I was beginning to feel like I couldn't charge 99 cents for a short story... but if I do publish them and then give them to my mailing list for free, my subscribers may feel like they are actually getting something of value. Hopefully ;D
Sales of short stories at 99 cents will be rare. You should go in expecting that. Demand for them is low. The reason for my recommendation isn't because they're a moneymaker. The reason is that giving them all away for free undermines your ability to use them as list signup incentives and I think that's the most valuable use, particularly in cases where they're tied into the novel in some way.

So then the choice is making them list exclusives--mostly hidden from the world, or having some more items on the shelf that won't sell much. On balance, I think the latter helps you more. And you get a coffee now and then.

You just need a very cheap method of obtaining covers. Learning DIY covers that are good enough if not great really helps here.

And some mix of free to the world and list incentives is fine too. 10 list incentives isn't really better than 8 with the other two free to the world as other entry points to the list. I mix it up like that myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
J. Tanner said:
So then the choice is making them list exclusives--mostly hidden from the world, or having some more items on the shelf that won't sell much. On balance, I think the latter helps you more. And you get a coffee now and then.
That's a great way to look at it, thanks! Time to teach myself DIY covers!
 
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