When writing a short stories book, how many stories should I put in it considering each one would be around 1500-2000 words? Also, is it advisable to sell each short story as a separate book and maybe price it at a bare minimum of .99?
I agree with the bundling idea. With so many novel length books out there for free or $.99, it's hard to sell short stories for that price. Any ads you run on a $.99 won't make money either because you have no wiggle room with the low royalty you earn and the relatively high base cost of an ad click. If you are trying to make money, novels in a series are a much better choice. Then, if your series becomes popular, you can sell side story shorts that readers might pick up, or you can use those as freebies to lure people into your series. But you need novels for that.
For short stories, I'd try selling them to magazines. You'd probably earn more money that way. Or get them in anthologies with other authors or create your own.
A 1,500-2,000 word story is only three or four pages in a print book, which doesn't allow much time to develop plot or characters. I can't speak for erotica, which seems to have its own rules, but in other genres, I'd advise making each story at least 5,000 words and bundle at least four of them together.
Raunak Agarwal wrote:
Ohh, so how many such stories should I put together to give it even a remote chance of selling?
My first book on KDP was a collection of stories that totaled around 50K words. The stories were related by a common theme or setting; some sort of connection is essential if you publish a collection. It still sells a few copies today, but not nearly as many as it did 4 years ago. However, the market is a lot different now.
As others have said, a novel-length collection is reasonable. Anything less than that is a difficult proposition, unless it's erotica.
I've got shorts running from 2,000 to 11,000 words. I sell the shorter ones for $0.99, the longer ones for $2.99. None of the shorter ones have broken $500, and I'm not sure they ever will. Most of their earnings now are on KU, which puts about 9-10 cents in my pocket per read. The longer works still sell, but not well enough to buy that retirement home on the coast of France.
Once I have 60-70k words in combined shorts, I'll put them in a single volume and price that at $2.99 as well.
I've got other shorts in anthologies, and once they revert back to me, I'll put them up as well.
The main reason I published the shorts is to have a bigger footprint in Amazon. They give more folks a chance to find me.
It would probably be best for everyone to put them all in one place. 20K-50K words in length, priced cheap (99c). Put the best (in your situation, probably the longest) story first. Only include stories that are similar in theme (romance, mystery, etc) Call it a 'short story collection'. Give it a cover that doesn't look like dirty laundry. If the collection doesn't sell within six months, hit the unpublish button. Do not make a print version.
I have two Anthologies, under the pen-name Natasja Rose.
Your short stories should be a bare minimum of 1000 words, and you should have at least ten. Any book shorter than 10,000 words isn't worth the cost of printing.
There is essentially no cost of printing for an eBook. I have shorts that have been published which are in the 2,000-word range, and they have made me money. They are not paperbacks (just as one of my monster anthologies isn't in paperback because it is too large given CreateSpace and IS' requirements), but I make most of my revenue from eBooks, anyway.
I try to keep my shortest length in a short story around 4,000 words. I get reviews on them that say they were too short and they wanted more content. Yet one of them has almost made $200. So it's not impossible to write one and make money off it, but it has to be something that people are interested in reading. It was an erotica piece, and you can get away with short stories there.
Because I have been getting complaints, I've been trying to make my short stories a little less short. People appreciate content. So bundling is certainly better than leaving them too low.
I just got my science fiction short story placed in an anthology which has a total of 11 short stories. I'd say that's a good number to have in a collection or anthology because it gives the book enough pages to make it seem worth the money for buyers.
.99 is far too much for the equivalent of half a chapter. I'm writing three shorts for a new book, but my target for each story is 20k words, and I will probably price it at $2.99. Save your shorts as practice until you have enough to assemble a proper collection of at least 20k to 25k words.