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Matthew Carroll

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Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 5:44 PM
 
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Hey,

Thought I should try here first… So a few months ago I published my first short story through KDP select… I gave it away through the promotion for the first two weeks in hopes to get reviews and such… I didn’t do any advertising.

I’m going to be releasing another one next month... I want to release it as an individual as well as package the two stories together and advertise the package (lack of a better word) while the countdown deal is going on…

To be eligible for the countdown deal I have to be enrolled in KDP Select…

Would the individual stories have to be enrolled in KDP select or could I just enroll the packaged publication in it?

I’m still thinking of renewing the first story and enrolling the new one… I’m just curious if it’s mandatory… Can I even do both ‘individual’ and ‘packaged’ in the first place?

…also, what if I wanted to submit them to the singles program? If I’m accepted in that program would I still be able to package them together and advertise?

...I think that is enough questions for one post...

Thanks for any advise in advance :)
cdalebrittain

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 6:40 PM   in response to: Matthew Carroll in response to: Matthew Carroll
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If you have a bundle (also called an omnibus, what you called a package) can be in Select only if no more than 10% of it is available elsewhere. So if you have a bundle in Select of two stories, the individual stories (each 50% of the total new bundled book) also have to be exclusive to Amazon (though not necessarily enrolled in Select).

I'm not sure the Singles program is even still viable. If you submit a story, prepare for a long wait to hear (like a couple months). I believe you can't publish yourself while waiting to hear. If you were accepted into Singles (and most of the stories in Singles are traditionally published by big names), Amazon would do the advertising, not you.

Good luck!
Matthew Carroll

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 7:10 PM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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Thanks! 'Omnibus' - I'll remember that.. even 'bundle' works better... haha
Notjohn

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 2:49 AM   in response to: Matthew Carroll in response to: Matthew Carroll
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Two is not an omnibus -- perhaps a bi-bus? Two isn't really a bundle, either, though in Colonial days "bundling" was a form of courtship that typically involved only two people.

Short stories don't sell very well and are probably the only time a 99 cent price is justified. And never give anything away, unless it is the first book in a series of at least three thrillers or erotic romances.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
writerbn

Posts: 5,250
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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 4:46 AM   in response to: Matthew Carroll in response to: Matthew Carroll
 
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Matthew Carroll wrote:
Thought I should try here first… So a few months ago I published my first short story through KDP select… I gave it away through the promotion for the first two weeks in hopes to get reviews and such… I didn’t do any advertising.

I’m going to be releasing another one next month... I want to release it as an individual as well as package the two stories together and advertise the package (lack of a better word) while the countdown deal is going on…


From another shorty story writer: don't bother with individual shorts unless they're erotica. Wait until you have enough (10-12) and then release a collection. Even those don't sell very well, but they'll do better than individual stories.

And, as Notjohn said, never give anything away unless you have a large back catalog that makes it worthwhile.
Claudio

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 4:48 AM   in response to: Matthew Carroll in response to: Matthew Carroll
 
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thanks for the tips
Matthew Carroll

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 5:19 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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double post

Edited by: Matthew Carroll on Nov 8, 2017 5:20 AM
Matthew Carroll

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 5:20 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Notjohn wrote:
Two is not an omnibus -- perhaps a bi-bus? Two isn't really a bundle, either, though in Colonial days "bundling" was a form of courtship that typically involved only two people.

Short stories don't sell very well and are probably the only time a 99 cent price is justified. And never give anything away, unless it is the first book in a series of at least three thrillers or erotic romances.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com


Yeah, in hindsight I would have done the release a little differently... It was the first time I had published anything and was long overdue... plus, my shadow side kind of wanted to throw my talents in the faces of the naysayers... and they would've never bought it, but they see something free and couldn't help themselves...

...thanks for the heads up on print books.. it'll be a while before I'm there yet...
Matthew Carroll

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 5:40 AM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
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writerbn wrote:
Matthew Carroll wrote:

From another shorty story writer: don't bother with individual shorts unless they're erotica. Wait until you have enough (10-12) and then release a collection. Even those don't sell very well, but they'll do better than individual stories.

And, as Notjohn said, never give anything away unless you have a large back catalog that makes it worthwhile.


I'd thought of that, but I really can't afford to wait. If I release them individually on a regular basis it will at least show that I'm consistent...

Originally I was just going to submit these to magazines, but I figured it would be wise to have a few self published first...

I know marketing these alone is going to be a challenge... especially while trying to maintain a sense authenticity...

How do you say, "I wrote this to be worth reading, not to make money! But give me money so I don't end up on the evening news for doing something nefarious! BUY NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE" ....

I think i may have just given someone their ad slogan.... :)

Edited by: Matthew Carroll on Nov 8, 2017 5:42 AM
Jonathan B

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 7:42 AM   in response to: Matthew Carroll in response to: Matthew Carroll
 
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I've released five shorts, each as an individual story. Three have made decent money and two have not even hit $100 yet. I have another short in a trad-published anthology that will revert to me in May 2018. By that time, I hope to have another handful of shorts so I can justify a omnibus volume (I may not have enough yet by that time, though).

The advantage of publishing them individually is that it keeps your name in the new releases list. However, a short for $2.99 probably won't sell as much as a novel for the same price. (Two of my shorts are fewer than 3,000 words, and for those, I only charge $0.99.)

I am planning that when I can bundle 70-80k words in shorts that I can sell the volume for $2.99. I have no idea if it will work, though.
Matthew Carroll

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 8:25 AM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
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Jonathan B wrote:
I've released five shorts, each as an individual story. Three have made decent money and two have not even hit $100 yet. I have another short in a trad-published anthology that will revert to me in May 2018. By that time, I hope to have another handful of shorts so I can justify a omnibus volume (I may not have enough yet by that time, though).

The advantage of publishing them individually is that it keeps your name in the new releases list. However, a short for $2.99 probably won't sell as much as a novel for the same price. (Two of my shorts are fewer than 3,000 words, and for those, I only charge $0.99.)

I am planning that when I can bundle 70-80k words in shorts that I can sell the volume for $2.99. I have no idea if it will work, though.


That is another obstacle... The pricing point... I'd like to only charge $0.99, but right now in my mind I can't justify reducing the royalty to 30%... maybe if KDP had more involvement in the marketing...

After I've finished more and established myself a little better I'll probably do the same as you and release them for $0.99... but for the time I spent and the quality of these first two... my brain will not allow me to do it... regardless of sales right now...

For now I'm only expecting to make sales during the promotional periods while enrolled in select when I can reduce the prices and keep the 70% royalty and advertise during that time... so every three months or so...

...otherwise I'll just have to grin and bear it until eventually (hopefully) people recognize they're worth the price...

thanks for the reply :D

Edited by: Matthew Carroll on Nov 8, 2017 8:27 AM

Edited by: Matthew Carroll on Nov 8, 2017 8:30 AM
writerbn

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 9:10 AM   in response to: Matthew Carroll in response to: Matthew Carroll
 
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Matthew Carroll wrote:

...otherwise I'll just have to grin and bear it until eventually (hopefully) people recognize they're worth the price...


There was a famous book some time ago (forget who wrote it, though) called "Hope Is Not a Strategy." :)
Matthew Carroll

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 9:31 AM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
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writerbn wrote:
Matthew Carroll wrote:

...otherwise I'll just have to grin and bear it until eventually (hopefully) people recognize they're worth the price...

There was a famous book some time ago (forget who wrote it, though) called "Hope Is Not a Strategy." :)


haha...

I should have been a little more specific.... I meant, 'through other endeavours' eventually people will recognize they're worth it...

... but you're right... I've only got a rough idea of where to go after I release this next story... as much as I'd like to think I could rely on 'word of mouth' alone... I've already seen how far that will go... and no matter how good these two stories are, they're still just shorts and I'm on my own for the time being...
writerbn

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Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 1:41 PM   in response to: Matthew Carroll in response to: Matthew Carroll
 
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Matthew Carroll wrote:
... but you're right... I've only got a rough idea of where to go after I release this next story... as much as I'd like to think I could rely on 'word of mouth' alone... I've already seen how far that will go... and no matter how good these two stories are, they're still just shorts and I'm on my own for the time being...

George Saunders wrote "just shorts" for many, many years; he hated the very idea of writing a novel. His publisher finally twisted his arm enough to get him to write one, which was released last month. I haven't read the novel yet, but based on his short fiction, I'd place him near the top of the list for contemporary short fiction writers.

In other words, don't sell yourself short (pun semi-intended). If you enjoy writing short fiction, keep at it and publish a collection.
Matthew Carroll

Posts: 8
Registered: 08/25/17
Re: Short Stories – Individually, packaged together or both?
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 4:59 PM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
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writerbn wrote:
Matthew Carroll wrote:
... but you're right... I've only got a rough idea of where to go after I release this next story... as much as I'd like to think I could rely on 'word of mouth' alone... I've already seen how far that will go... and no matter how good these two stories are, they're still just shorts and I'm on my own for the time being...

George Saunders wrote "just shorts" for many, many years; he hated the very idea of writing a novel. His publisher finally twisted his arm enough to get him to write one, which was released last month. I haven't read the novel yet, but based on his short fiction, I'd place him near the top of the list for contemporary short fiction writers.

In other words, don't sell yourself short (pun semi-intended). If you enjoy writing short fiction, keep at it and publish a collection.


I'm not downing on short fiction.. I've released one short story (soon to be two) and a poem as opposed to two novels... and whether or not it's true, novels seem to be the more respected form when it comes to 'branding' yourself a 'writer'

I prefer short stories also... I like Edgar Allen Poe's take on it... A story should be able to be read in a single sitting to maintain the 'spell' (I'm paraphrasing obviously)... Also I come from writing screenplays, so saying more with less is honed into my crafting...

I've seen George Saunders novel recently being advertised... I'll have a peek and see if any of his short stories interest me... thanks for the recommendation.

Edited by: Matthew Carroll on Nov 8, 2017 5:03 PM
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