Marketing Maestro, Joe Konrath, says you should not only sell collections of your short stories on Kindle, but also sell each of the stories in the collection as a separate item. So I thought I’d have a go at putting a short story (a fairly long short story as it happens, nearly 9,000 words) into the Kindle Store to see how much hassle is involved and whether it sells.
I chose my story, The Earth Ship, partly because it’s quite long, and partly because it’s one of my favourites. Putting a story into the Kindle Store using KDP is essentially the same amount of trouble regardless of how long it is. The formatting requirements are the same, you still need a cover, and I gave the book an ISBN (although, strictly, this isn’t necessary, I believe). You also have to ensure the quality – so it needs editing. But this story has been commercially published before (twice) so it only needed a light polish. Then you just have to fill in the KDP forms and hit the go button.
By far and away the biggest problem for me was the cover. I’m no artist and my skills with image editing software are slight. I took a stock image and modified it, found a nice font and stuck the title and my name on the front. Sounds simple, but it took me as long to do that as all the rest of the preparation put together. Yet it seemed way over the top to employ a real graphic designer for a 9,000-word story that will sell for $0.99c. (And to sell at .99c, I had to take a 35% cut of the sale price, not the 70% Amazon is always bragging about.) In fact, I felt a little embarrassed to put a cover on it at all – although not quite so embarrassed as adding copyright messages, dedications, and acknowledgements at the front, and ‘about the author’ marketing stuff at the back. It’s a short story, for heaven’s sake. Still, I thought I should do it properly.
It went up yesterday afternoon and, by golly, it’s already started selling! Selling in America, that is. For some reason, the Good ‘Ol US of A has been immensely supportive of my writing while the UK, Europe and even Australia have mostly ignored it. Maybe people in those places don’t have ebook readers, or Kindles, specifically. Who can say? Anyway, as ever, I’m immensely grateful there’s such a great market across the pond.
Oh, I suppose I should add a link too, just in case. You can find my short story, The Earth Ship, on the Amazon Kindle Store for 99c. And, if you buy it, I really hope you enjoy it.