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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I made a short story perma free and put the first few chapters of a novel in the back but the novel was only available on kindle and the short story was on multiple platforms?
 

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since all i own is a kindle, the fact that the novel is only available on kindle wouldn't bother me.

but, i hate shorts that are padded with excerpts from other works. even free shorts. however, as long as your are extremely clear that this a short story and give an approximate length of just the short, you might escape reader wrath.  or not.  no matter what you do, someone won't read your blurb and will think they are getting 100 pages of one work and not 20 of one work and 80 of another (or whatever your real numbers are).
 

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Yes.

Everything you do can make people angry. Don't you know?  :D

You might want to do just a short excerpt, 250 words of the other work. It's all about proportion, I think. If the file's 50% preview, people get angry. I don't personally, because I don't look at the indicator at all if the book is good. Whatchagonnado.

Most authors I know are really honest types. However, consumers are constantly being horsetraded by big companies who don't care, and so customers/readers are wary of anything that feels underhanded.
 

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As long as you make it clear how long the story is in the blurb, and maybe mention that it contains an excerpt from a novel, people shouldn't have any reason to get mad. But as Dalya says, they will anyway. ;D
People have a tendency to feel swindled by obvious marketing, even when it's done via something they've gotten for free (don't we all get annoyed at those darn youtube ads interrupting videos we're not paying a dime for?). That's not to say it's necessarily a bad thing or that it won't help your sales, but you're likely to get a few snotty reviews no matter what.
 

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purplesmurf said:
If I made a short story perma free and put the first few chapters of a novel in the back but the novel was only available on kindle and the short story was on multiple platforms?
Good way to get yourself lots of one star pissed off ratings.
 

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Prevent the drama. Make it available for everyone. Chances are if people have something to call you out for, then someone will do it.
 

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This is completely unrelated, but a little related, I've been wondering how you go about making a book perma free.

With that being said, depending on where you are publishing the book you might not be able to mention Amazon in the back per the terms and conditions of other retailers. 
 

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purplesmurf said:
If I made a short story perma free and put the first few chapters of a novel in the back but the novel was only available on kindle and the short story was on multiple platforms?
It'd make me absolutely furious if I'd gotten the short story in a non-kindle version.

It reminds me of the years that I'd get regular phone calls asking me to subscribe to a newspaper, and, since I wanted to, I'd agree. The catch: they didn't deliver to where I lived.
 
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You have two problems that will earn you a load of one star reviews:

1. If I download a short story on Smashwords or BN or Sony that is 4,000, and then it has 20,000 words of a novel excerpt in it, many people will feel like you artificially inflated the size of the book. It won't matter if you put the word count in your description. Particularly with FREE BOOKS. People don't read the descriptions of free things as carefully as they should. They are going to see FREE and see the file size and think they are getting something substantial. And when they start reading and realize that the story ends at location 48 or 300 locations, they will feel ripped off.

2. Let's say you go to your local supermarket and someone offers you a free sample of a new type of chocolate cookie. The cookie is AMAZING! When you ask about availability, the person tells you, "Oh, um, we don't sell this cookie in THIS STORE. You have to go across town and buy it somewhere else." How ticked off are you going to be?

There is also this little thing about professional courtesy. Don't use other retailers as a showroom for Amazon. Because if I am Sony or Apple or BN or another vendor, eventually I just stop working with indies who pull stunts like this. You are essentially using someone else's store to try to drive traffic to Amazon. How would you feel if you paid for a booth at a book fair or convention, and then someone stood in front of your booth handing out free samples that directed people to another author? You would probably think that was a pretty obnoxious, crappy thing to do.

 

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Not sure how mad it would make readers since most have kindles anway or at least can use the app or cloud reader, but why?  What would be the point of not offering it on other platforms?
 

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A solution might be (if the novel is in select) to schedule a release date for other platforms and include that.  Ie: The excerpt is taken from "Really Great Book" Which Will be available for Nook, Sony etc.  June 2013.
 

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One time I bought a light fixture from a national chain of hardware stores. The fixture hung by these nice, satin-nickel chains. Reading through the instructions at home, I found that chain pliers were recommended for stretching and then closing the chains on the fixture's attachments.

This was a little annoying, since that wasn't printed in the box's "tools needed" disclaimer, but I didn't think it would be the end of the world. The next time I went into the store, I asked them where they sold the chain pliers.

They didn't.

Flabbergasted, I even checked the website from within the store, alongside one of their people. It wasn't available on their website, either.

So here's a national chain selling a nationally-known brand of fixtures, and they don't stock one of the key implements required to install it. Here's the key point: I had to go to a small competitor's website to find what I needed, which I should have never had to do.

I was so upset I went over the store manager's head and straight to corporate about it.

The moral of the story here is: don't tease me with pretty lights and then tell me you don't sell a tool necessary to install them.

Don't include ANY of the novel as a sample. Just don't. Sell what you're going to sell, and bold short story on the product page. Make your blurb small and punchy, which will also help them see "short story". In the "About the Author" page in the back of your book, invite the readers to check out your other works (which you should make available on every platform you can) -- preferably with a link to the product listings pages on your own website, where you have links to each book's products pages on the various websites. And throw the UK readers some help and give them product links, too (or, if you're really feeling ambitious, even more location-specific sites).

Just curious: why wouldn't the novel be available on other platforms yet, since the short story is the only item that went perma-free?
 

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KM Logan said:
A solution might be (if the novel is in select) to schedule a release date for other platforms and include that. Ie: The excerpt is taken from "Really Great Book" Which Will be available for Nook, Sony etc. June 2013.
That's not a bad idea. They probably won't remember come the release date, but I can definitely imagine it diffusing some potential anger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
KM Logan said:
A solution might be (if the novel is in select) to schedule a release date for other platforms and include that. Ie: The excerpt is taken from "Really Great Book" Which Will be available for Nook, Sony etc. June 2013.
Interesting idea. The novel is currently in select which is why it's not available across more platforms, and i'm interested in making the short story perma free which is why it would then be available across multiple platforms but not the novel.
 

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I think you should go ahead and do it.  People will find reasons to get mad at just about anything.  Also, if the book is on Kindle (I assume it will only be on Kindle as it's part of Kindle Select??) and you plan to do some freebie promos then readers who like the excerpt can either pony up the dough and buy it now or keep an eye out for a gratis download at some forthcoming date.
 

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I publish the KillFiles for free and I have two instances in the description where I mention that the KillFiles contain teasers from the novels in the series. If people get mad because they didn't read the blurb, I can't help that. The KillFiles cost the same amount to publish as the paid novels, so to offer them for free as loss leaders means I have to use them to promote the paid work and gain more exposure. So people get a free short story, with a teaser chapter of the first book in the series.

However, every retailer that sells the KillFiles also sells the Novels, so that's different from the OP's question.
 

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purplesmurf said:
Interesting idea. The novel is currently in select which is why it's not available across more platforms, and i'm interested in making the short story perma free which is why it would then be available across multiple platforms but not the novel.
Would this not be a violation of the Select exclusivity agreement, in that anything in Select is not allowed to be available, even in part, anywhere else?
 
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