Have a seat and grab a cuppa. This might get long and rambling.
It’s finally March and time to (as I promised myself) put my mind to dealing with the Short Story Dilemma.
I enjoy writing short stories. I like the instant gratification factor of them. They’re great for trying new things or for writing those kinds of ideas where a little goes a long way (unlikeable protagonists for one!).
I started my self-publishing journey with collections of short stories.
So why the dilemma?
Simply put, short stories, either singly or in collections, don’t sell well compared to longer formats. And with the anthology categories on e-tailers increasingly filled by boxed sets of novel-length work… well, short stories aren’t looking very viable to me anymore. They’re also a lot harder to promote, since so many ad sites and promotional opportunities have length requirements.
In fact, my shorts sell so poorly, I’m 90% certain that I’ll be taking them off sale at the end of the month. I’ve lowered the prices of all three collections to 99 cents across the board. There are two broken fairy tale collections, Shattered and Entangled, and one of five fantasy short stories, Singing for the Enemy and Other Stories.
Go ahead and check them out. I’ll wait.
Going forward, I’ve come up with a few options for what I can do with these and any future short stories:
- Sell my collections from my site. This will take me some time to figure out, because TAXES. I’m not keen on collecting VAT or sales tax, so I need to poke around and see what places like Gumroad and Payhip have to offer on those fronts.
- Blog short stories. I’d keep them up for a limited time. At one story a month, it would take me years to get through my backlog.
- Patreon. I haven’t fully thought this out yet, but I was thinking of making short stories available as stretch goals were unlocked. Say, one story per quarter at the $25 mark, one story every two months at the $50 mark, one story per month at $100? And anything above that would go to fun things like chibis of popular characters.
That’s all I have so far. Thoughts? Any other options? I’d love to hear your ideas!