Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy, y'all.  Okay, got the Texas cliche stuff out of the way.

I write short stories.  I've even managed to sell a few traditionally many years ago.  They are also naughty little things.  ;D

I joined the KDP family of Illustrious Indie Writers intent on selling my naughty little stories one at a time, for 99 cents each.  But since joining Kindleboards, I've clicked on a lot of the cover links and noticed a LOT of you are publishing collections of 2, 5 or more for 99 cents.  A few charge more for collections.

Do collections of stories sell better?  I'm not adverse to just selling collections, because I can't afford more than one cover every month or two right now.  Doing collections means I can get more of my stories out to the public.  I am starting to question my strategy of 1 at a time.

I can't imagine selling 5 or more in a collection for 99 cents.  I worked hard writing those stories.  It's kind of shocking, really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,548 Posts
My true paranormal story of 5000 words sells at $0.99

I also have a collection of 5 short stories for $0.99

The true story is outselling the others at the moment which I expected anyway.

I personally wouldn't put any more than five shorts in one book.  ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
StephenLivingston said:
I have a collection of twelve short stories available at $4.99 and from this collection I have released four singles priced at 99 cents each.
Stephen,
How are the sales in comparison? I don't mean numbers, but does the collection outsell the single? about the same?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mel Comley said:
My true paranormal story of 5000 words sells at $0.99

I also have a collection of 5 short stories for $0.99

The true story is outselling the others at the moment which I expected anyway.

I personally wouldn't put any more than five shorts in one book. ;)
That's very interesting, Mel. I was beginning to think collections sell much better because of all the collections I see vs singles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
I have 3 books with 5 short stories each at 99 cents. I'm going to be releasing a 3 pack later this week for 2.49.

Yes, they sell. I also use them as teasers on my blog's free story page and I'm working on a series of Youtube readings of them. People seem to like them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Okay, my take on the shorts vs collections.  I read Dean Wesley Smith's blog.  I like his thoughts and ideas in this area.  He writes and e-pubs short stories at 99 cents.  Then when he has five published, he collects them in a collection of 5 for $2.99 (giving the buyer a "discount" option for 5 at price of 3).  When he has 5 more published, he makes another collection of 5, then combines the two collection into a collection of 10 (Giving a 'discount' of 10 for the price of 5).  On paper it seems like a win-win for everyone, depending on what the reader wants to buy.

I have 2 short stories out.  Not selling that remarkable.  Not enough to generate a check every month.  Since I'm cash poor, so can't afford many covers, I was thinking about just doing collections.  But collections of 5 or of 10?  I've been writing a long time, and have published short stories traditionally and via small press.  I have quite a collection of Fantasy short stories (which don't seem to sell very well).  I've heard rumbling that readers don't particularly like getting just a single short story, they want the max possible for their 99 cents.  But I also find it hard to price a collection at 99 cents.  It just seems insulting to all the work I put into those stories.

So I'm a bit torn at the moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
769 Posts
They have only been published for two months at the moment so not really long enough to know for sure which format is better sales-wise but thus far the collection and the singles are getting similar sales numbers.  This makes the collection more profitable because it qualifies for the 70% royalty rate while the singles only return 35%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, everyone.  It's looking like the collection approach is best.  I am trying to learn to photoshop covers, but so far I'm not good enough to release of my covers.  LOL  Once I get better, I may start releasing my singles with personally covers, but keep using professionals for the collections.  I'm not sure how long it will take to earn back my cover price for the 1st single short story I published this week.

Thanks again.  You've been very helpful and generous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
768 Posts
John Waylon said:
I can't imagine selling 5 or more in a collection for 99 cents. I worked hard writing those stories. It's kind of shocking, really.
I would recommend focusing more on word and page count than # of stories.

Many of my short stories are flash fiction under 700 words. I've seen others selling drabbles (exactly 100 word stories). I don't see selling one of these at a time for $0.99 being a very good deal for the reader, no matter how much time spent writing. So options with the smaller pieces are to use them as promotional pieces, contest submissions and/or sell them in collections only.

I've seen some folks selling single short stories as low as 3,000 words and not getting flamed (as much) in their Amazon reviews for being too short. I think that's around the smallest size--3,000 words--a single short story can sell for $0.99 without irritating readers.

Just be very, very certain you make it clear (very clear) that it's a single short story somewhere on the sales page, X words and X pages before readers buy it or be prepared for complaints and negative low star reviews. Some will be irritated no matter how upfront you are that it's a single short story because they are seeing a bunch of novels at $0.99 and how dare you try to sell them something short for the same price?

As a reader, I'd pay more than $0.99 for an awesome single 3,000 word short story. Heck, I've bought magazines for $5+ to read one short story by a favorite author but these days I could be in the minority :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Todd Russell said:
I would recommend focusing more on word and page count than # of stories.

Many of my short stories are flash fiction under 700 words. I've seen others selling drabbles (exactly 100 word stories). I don't see selling one of these at a time for $0.99 being a very good deal for the reader, no matter how much time spent writing. So options with the smaller pieces are to use them as promotional pieces, contest submissions and/or sell them in collections only.

I've seen some folks selling single short stories as low as 3,000 words and not getting flamed (as much) in their Amazon reviews for being too short. I think that's around the smallest size--3,000 words--a single short story to be sold for $0.99 without irritating readers.

Just be very, very certain you make it clear (very clear) that it's a single short story somewhere on the sales page, X words and X pages before readers buy it or be prepared for complaints and negative low star reviews. Some will be irritated no matter how upfront you are that it's a single short story because they are seeing a bunch of novels at $0.99 and how dare you try to sell them something short for the same price?

As a reader, I'd pay more than $0.99 for an awesome single 3,000 word short story. Heck, I've bought magazines for $5+ to read one short story by a favorite author but these days I could be in the minority :(
That is one of my concerns. I have 5 stories 2,500 to 5000 words long each, and I have been given the advice to put them together in a collection and sell them for 99 cents, or else I will receive negative reviews from readers that will accuse me of charging too much for too little. However, I feel that 99 cents doesn't do justice to the amount of work I put into them. I wish Amazon would not allow negative reviews just based on the length of a book if the author has been honest about how long his/her work is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Silver Snakes was due to be published, but the magazine folded. It'd been written in three narrative styles and me and the editor were going to discuss which one to use.  So, after that disaster, and the fact that I haven't sold a story all year, I decided to publish it myself.  This gave me the opportunity to use all 3 versions (and to invite discussion on which was preferred by readers - most seem to agree with my ex about whom it was written).  As having three stories that were essentially the same story together felt like it'd be a bit of a swizz, I put in three other, previously published stories.  I'm generous like that...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,817 Posts
StephenLivingston said:
I have a collection of twelve short stories available at $4.99 and from this collection I have released four singles priced at 99 cents each.
I have done exactly the same. I have 12 not so short thriller shorts at 99c and the compilation at $4.99. I have sold seven in the last 10 days of the compiltion which is equal to 70 sales at 99c.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Todd Russell said:
I would recommend focusing more on word and page count than # of stories.
I write short stories. I have a few ideas for novella and novel length stories, but mostly my ideas are are for the 2.5k to 5k words range. That length seems to be my "natural" story length.

I have enough stories ready to do a collection of 5 or so next month, but nothing too long. I guess the collection method is for me until I can get something longer written.

I have no problem with the collection, it is the 99 cent price point that bothers me. I'm really leaning toward the 2.99 price. But, like so many others, I'll probably experiment with prices, including making some free once I have a few collections and singles up to make it worthwhile.

I have to pay for those covers, after all. At least until I can become proficient enough to make my own (which is very doubtful, since I'd much rather write than practice making covers. It wears me out!)

I played with the calculator some. LOL Nothing dirty, I promise. Five 2500 words stories is 12.5k words in a collection. While five 5000 word stories it 25k. My collection should run around 20k, since really most of my stuff is upper 3k to 4.5k. I think $2.99 is doable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,507 Posts
Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction) is a collection of nine short stories varying in length from 500 words to over 3,000 words. The total word count is approximately 14,500 and it sells very well for .99 cents

I just released another short collection Ghost Plane and Other Disturbing Tales--eleven stories ranging from 100 words to over 3,000 words. The total word count is approximately 15,000 words. It sells for .99 cents, but it's only been out for a week, so time will tell how it sells.

My stories tend to be short, that's why I sell them as a collection. And, as you may note on other threads, some people think .99 cents is still too much for the collections. Personally, I think .99 cents is a bargain, but that's a subjective opinion. ;)

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
I sell my collection of 5 romantic short stories for $2.99 and for .99 each.  (they're 9,000-12,000 words each in length.)    (I like that price point, because if you buy one story at .99, and love it, it still a bargain to buy the collection vs. buying them all individually.)

They've been on the market since June 21, and I've sold 43 copies of the collection on amazon us/uk/B&N, and oddly enough, 43 total of the combined singles. 

I'd be thrilled if the singles only served as promos for the collection, and readers went on to buy the collection instead of the singles. 

I'm going to be putting out themed versions in the future, like Beach Flirts!  Holiday Flirts! and plan to bundle the collections together as well, and sell those, too, maybe 4.99 for two collections?  Maybe I'll also bundle my novella and short story collection as a special.  I just want more options at the 2.99 and above price point, because I need approx 6 sales at .99 to equal the royalty of one 2.99 sale

Anyway, I say put out as many combinations of the stories as you can!  Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
SuzanneTyrpak said:
Looks like a fun collection, Lisa
Thanks Suzanne, I have a lot of fun writing them. I'm hoping ereading devices will help new formats and genres take off, such as short stories! I know I often don't have the time to commit to a novel, so I enjoy reading novellas and short stories, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Am glad to see this topic come up.  I've been thinking about singles versus collections again lately and considered bringing up the subject myself, as the last time I saw a conversation about this on the boards was 6+ months ago.

Thanks to everyone for posting.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top