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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a number of published short stories that I am considering reprinting on the kindle.  Does anyone have any experience of putting out SF/Fantasy shorts as .99c stories or would it be better to put them out as an anthology?


Thanks

Mike
 

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This is just the sole opinion of me...

And boy will sound like a jackass considering my first book release was three stories... haha...

But I prefer work to be stand alone.  Meaning if you have stories, I would sell them one by one at $0.99.  I'm most apt to buy each one, enjoy them, review them, etc. then to buy an anthology.  Why?  I don't know, I just don't like LONG antho's.  I'm good up until maybe four stories... like how Stephen King will take four novellas and slap them together, I can handle that.  After that, bye-bye.

AND also, from a marketing standpoint... let's say you have 10 stories.  I'd get, say, 7 of them out for $0.99 each... THEN you can put them all together and offer the collect of 7 published plus a bonus extra 3 for $4.99 or something.  I wouldn't sell myself short on a huge antho of stories for $0.99.

BUT also this is assuming these stories are SUPER short... I'd say anything 5,000 words and over would be okay to sell for $0.99. 

OR, OR (sorry to ramble - ideas popping in my brain) - if the stories are very short, think of a clever name like The Mike's Shorts Collection... and then put four stories per book and sell it for $0.99.  Then when you have them all out, put them together as a big antho to sell for more (but it'll still be cheaper than buying them all seperate) and then you could hit the paperback market too.

Okay, I'll shut up now!  ;D

-jb 8)
 

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Back in April I put out a collection of erotica. Sales were good for the first few days then fell off. Last month I decided to put out the stories individually to see how that works.

The result -- the collection sold four copies last month at $2.99 (about $8 total); the individual stories sold 32 copies combined at 99c a pop (about $11 total). I think the lesson here is -- do both.
 

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That's a really interesting idea, to do both. I'm putting out a collection of short zombie stories related to the world I created in my trad pubbed "Living With the Dead" series (which is out under my Jesse Petersen name) in August. I hadn't really thought about doing them both individually and as a collection. It's an idea with merit, though, I'll have to think on it...

BTW, I lurk mostly but I love how helpful this board is!
 

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STOHara said:
Back in April I put out a collection of erotica. Sales were good for the first few days then fell off. Last month I decided to put out the stories individually to see how that works.

The result -- the collection sold eight copies last month at $2.99 (about $8 total); the individual stories sold 32 copies combined at 99c a pop (about $11 total). I think the lesson here is -- do both.
Hmmm...that's interesting data! Thanks for posting this information!
 

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I think it really depends upon genre, so I'll just speak to the two genres I write and read in short fiction form: SF and F.

I read a lot of anthologies and author collections in these two genres. Generally, they are theme-based and that's how I prefer them. There are some collections that aren't theme-based and that's ok if I really like the author, but for an unknown-to-me author or a collection of several authors, I want a theme (i.e. the anthology "Bad Ass Faeries" is a good example...you know what that anthology is about just by the title ;) ).

ETA: I also like the idea of individual stories being available. Right now, I have 1 self-published short story, and I have a short and a novella out through a publisher. I have shorts out in anthologies and in magazines. Eventually, I'll probably bundle like-stories together. Right now, though, I don't have the opportunity to write more shorts so this works best for me as an author.

As a reader, I buy both individual shorts AND collections.
 

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Joe Konrath ran a story a while back about this very topic, and his recommendation was to do it all. If you have twelve short stories or novellas, release each of them at .99. Then combine three groups of four at 2.99, so basically you would have three different anthologies. Bargain hunters will like the idea of getting four for the price of three. Then take it one step further and combine all three anthologies into a single omnibus collection at 4.99 or 5.99. This would be an even bigger bargain for your readers. Some won't want a larger collection, but you have made it easier for those who do!
 

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I've done both. Carousel and The Golden Rose are stand-alone short stories. However, Black Widow & Other Tales (obviously) is an anthology. My anthology has sold better than the stand-alones at 99 cents.

However, I will be releasing more stand-alones this summer. And, possibly 2 anthologies this fall. ;)
(providing that is that I actually find TIME! LOL)
 

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Eventually, I plan to do both. I'm reconsidering a few things in regards to price and story length. At first I was going to price based on story length standards of short-story, novelette, novella, novel (short), and novel (long). Although, I still plan to use story length for the most part, I think anything less than 7,500 words I will use for submissions and give 10,000 words a little more thought about self-publishing or submitting depending on the market conditions.

The packages will be of four .99 cent stories or two or three 1.99 stories. For instance four separate stories at .99 will cost the reader 3.96 and earn the author 1.40 but when combined as a pack and sold for 2.99 the reader will pay less (saves .97) and the author will make more (2.10). Another thing I plan to do is have the stories grouped into similar packages. For instance they may be different adventures of the same character, different time periods in the same setting, or maybe even different viewpoints of the same event.
 

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A.R. Williams said:
For instance they may be different adventures of the same character, different time periods in the same setting, or maybe even different viewpoints of the same event.
Yup! As a reader (again, referring to SF&F mostly here), I really like themed collections. I might not pick up your singles because, as individual, they might not appeal to me. Yet, I might change my mind when I see a collection with this kind of set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank You for all the comments - very helpful.

I have a number of short stories that have been published in the likes of Realms of Fantasy, On Spec magazine plus anthologies and the print reprint market seems pretty dead.  Though I did sell a story for reprint to a Swedish/English language textbook a couple of years ago.

I am just unsure how many people will pay .99c for a 4,000 word short story, or even a 2,500 word short; which is why I wondered about putting them in a collection instead.

I guess that providing I can source a suitably cheap cover that there is not much effort to try both ways though...

Many thanks

Mike


 

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mikelewis said:
I have a number of published short stories that I am considering reprinting on the kindle. Does anyone have any experience of putting out SF/Fantasy shorts as .99c stories or would it be better to put them out as an anthology?

Thanks

Mike
Do both. Maximize your sales potential. In my signature, the first four covers are sci-fi standalones. The Eclectic Mix is a collection. I sell WAY more of the stanalones than I do the collection.
 

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Do both.

The more options you give the reader, and the more ways a reader has to find your work, the more sales you will make.

I sell individual shorts at 99c. When I have 5 I will sell the pack for $2.99. When I have 10 I will sell that for $4.99.

Three different ways to buy my stories, and I will have twelve listings on Amazon. Twelve different titles with releases, promotion, and each one cornering another little bit of the internet and stamping my name on it.

Dave
 

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Ideally, indie prices would be a little higher in order to allow the best option -- the both option -- with single stories at .99 or even, if it were possible, .49, and anthologies at 3.99 or so. Right now, you almost have to sell a single and an anthology for about the same price, and I think that messes with perceived value and possibly risks people ending up less satisfied with a standalone option. Click, click, click, click, click, click. The end. Hmmmm.  Bye-bye, .99 -- could have had a regularly sized book for that.  :)

Personally, I love short stories in either setting, but I think an anthology gives an author a chance to work a theme, as well as gives a writer more chances to get it right -- if a couple stories in the collection don't work for the reader, several others might. With a single, if the reader didn't care for that story, they might not select another.
 

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Steven R. Drennon said:
Joe Konrath ran a story a while back about this very topic, and his recommendation was to do it all. If you have twelve short stories or novellas, release each of them at .99. Then combine three groups of four at 2.99, so basically you would have three different anthologies. Bargain hunters will like the idea of getting four for the price of three. Then take it one step further and combine all three anthologies into a single omnibus collection at 4.99 or 5.99. This would be an even bigger bargain for your readers. Some won't want a larger collection, but you have made it easier for those who do!
I am just in the process of doing just what he says, so some lucky person is going to get the lot (12 stories) for 99c in Lunch Break Thrillers until I can get it all together. Should take me a week and I'll be up and running. I did the covers yesterday and formatted one story, so I am on target.

 

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My stories vary in length, from flash fiction to 3,000 plus words. Dating My Vibrator is a collection of nine short stories and it sells well at .99 cents (about 14,000 words total).

I'm about to put out another (short) collection of ten short stories with a different theme (weird), Ghost Plane and other disturbing tales. I'll also charge .99 cents for that collection.

Eventually, I plan to bring out a longer collection.


 

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Krista D. Ball said:
I read a lot of anthologies and author collections in these two genres. Generally, they are theme-based and that's how I prefer them. There are some collections that aren't theme-based and that's ok if I really like the author, but for an unknown-to-me author or a collection of several authors, I want a theme (i.e. the anthology "Bad Ass Faeries" is a good example...you know what that anthology is about just by the title ;) ).
I'm in book three of that anthology series... but sadly there doesn't appear to be a kindle version yet.

Personally I like theme anthologies more than mixed... so I know what I'm in for... it makes up for those cases where I don't know some of the authors.
 

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I'm (slowly) writing a collection of short stories which in the end I aim to release as an anthology.  Given it is a series revolving around the same character it makes sense to me.

In the meantime I'm releasing them in books of 2 stories - the first one is free (thanks to price matching) and the second one is at 0.99.  (There is a third in the works right now.)

When the anthology comes out it will have a couple of bonus stories in it as well for those who have already bough the earlier stories.
 

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Decon said:
I am just in the process of doing just what he says, so some lucky person is going to get the lot (12 stories) for 99c in Lunch Break Thrillers until I can get it all together. Should take me a week and I'll be up and running. I did the covers yesterday and formatted one story, so I am on target.
Wow, Declan! I'm impressed - all those covers. It's taken me weeks and I still can't put one cover together!

I have a fantasy/sf collection out on kindle. It's only 99c for a *lot* of words but then they have all earned their keep already in hard print. I'm just recycling!

deb
 
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