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Free Short Stories: To Read or Not to Read


A fellow author posted on Facebook about the likelihood of making money on short stories or novellas if you are a new and budding author. Most readers I know won’t pay large amounts of money for short stories or novellas, especially since they can get full length novels fairly cheap, if not free. I suggested to her to write the short stories and use them as a marketing tool rather than a money making tool. Rather than trying to publish them, put them on a website or blog to give readers a chance to fall in love with your writing and perhaps even characters in a novel that you already have published. I had been tossing around this idea for The Chosen and think I might actually do it. There’s so MUCH backstory and character information that gets cut out of novels to keep the story moving along and it would be great to be able to give readers this chance to read some of the cut material.

What say you readers of the world?

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6 Comments on “Free Short Stories: To Read or Not to Read”

  1. Bree West January 9, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    It would be a great marketing tool. That’s how a lot of writers have gotten their start (short stories published in magazines, a lot of them without payment). And then once they’ve got a good reader base, they can then put the collective short stories/novellas into a collection and the readers will buy them. :)

    • drshaywest January 9, 2014 at 10:35 am #

      I like that idea :D I just think it would be hard for a new writer to ask even 99 cents for a short story and expect a reader to buy it, especially since they can get whole books for that much. Besides, if you write on your website, you don’t have to go through all the cost and time of full editing and cover art.

  2. Michael January 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    I just recently published my first eBook on Amazon containing a collection of short stories, and even though I’ve gotten great reviews/feedback on it, the sales have not been as great as I had hoped. Part of that of course is that, outside of my blog, I’m an unknown author. Also, I’m not very well versed or skilled at self promotion.

    I think your idea is a solid one, Dr. Shay. The only caveat to that is, it takes time to build a fan base, so it may take some time to reap the rewards. It’s a great way to start though.

    • drshaywest January 18, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

      And it would be kind of nice to delve into the back stories a little and post them for folks to enjoy rather than worrying about paying for editing and cover art and all that. Kind of takes the pressure off :D

      • want2bwriter January 18, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

        That’s a great point. Dr. Shay. You just gave me a great idea, thank you! :)

        • drshaywest January 18, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

          Glad I could help :D As soon as I finish re-writing current book and IF the semester doesn’t prove too onerous, I’ll post some back stories for my scifi series and see how people like them :D

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