I shared this information in the interview wrap-up for Episode 079 - Making the Most of Your Short Fiction with Douglas Smith.
I hope you found my conversation with Douglas Smith in Episode 079 helpful! Doug's PLAYING THE SHORT GAME was one of the key sources I studied during the drafting of TAKING THE SHORT TACK, and I recommend that any writer who is interested in exploring the opportunities offered by short fiction read both of them.
I thought it would be interesting to compare Doug’s approach with the approach I’ve taken with my own short stories. When I was working on TAKING THE SHORT TACK, I took a stab at every approach we describe in the book using a new Ann Kinnear Suspense Short, but I quickly found that the time needed to research and submit works and the long response timeframes were deterrents to me to pursue publication in the traditional short fiction market. Plus, as a committed indy, I didn’t like the idea of having gatekeepers between me and my readers. I ended up retaining one short as a reader magnet and have just submitted a new one to an anthology, but the rest are available as standalone ebooks for $0.99 on all the online retail platforms.
I looked up the royalties I’ve made from those. I only checked Amazon and D2D because I’m sure I have more sales on those platform than the others, and it’s pretty tedious to pull the numbers, so these are understating the results a bit.
Obviously I’m not doing much more than have a fancy dinner out with my husband on what I’ve earned so far (maybe including a nice dessert and after-dinner drinks once I factor in the earnings from the non-Amazon platforms), but the thing that is appealing to me about this is that the stories keep selling pretty with me doing pretty much no additional work, and will be for years and years to come. I find that I get a little spike in suspense short sales when a new Ann Kinnear novel comes out, which I attribute to the fact that fans read through the novel series and then are looking for some more of Ann to tide them over to the next novel. I have also been reading the shorts in my monthly Full Moon Giveaway Facebook Live events, and those also create a little bump in sales. I don’t count the time spent on those events as specific to promotion of my short stories because those are really intended to attract people to the novel series, and as general reader outreach and community building.
I’m looking forward to the point when I have twelve shorts available and can publish them as a collection—a Year of Kinnear—because, as Doug reference in our discussion, that will provide another piece of content for suspense-loving readers.
I’m going to post this information as a blog entry on theindyauthor.com and will include a link to that post in the show notes.
What are you doing or plan to do with your short fiction? Have you changed your approach based on the information in this episode? Cruise on over to the episode page to let me know.