My answer is this: I don’t have the slightest clue. The reason I ask is because I will soon start to publish an array of short stories which I’m currently penning. They have been brewing in my head for a few months now and, since they fit better as a short piece of narrative than a full-length novel, I feel the urge to just get them out before I start working on a much larger project. Although I plan to release them in e-book format one by one, I might compile them into a novel once I am done with all of them.
Based on what I have researched in newspaper articles and blogs, authors who have had more success selling short stories as e-books are those who are well-known, whether they may be bestselling independent or published by the big houses. In a marketing standpoint, it makes perfect sense since they have built a stable fan base over time. Also, they are likely to make more sales from the start as opposed to a complete, suicidal unknown like myself.
In my blog article My Experience as an Indie Writer: Part One, I stated that I am experimenting with cost-effective methods to promote not only my work, but also myself. So far, I have been able to get noticed to some extent by blogging but, as you know, getting attention takes time (unless you are really lucky). How? By producing content. One thing means growing your blog, website, and social media pages with promotional material; another thing entirely is figuring out how to engage readers with a variety of useful and entertaining substance that arouses curiosity. The trick, of course, is to hope that you are doing the right thing to seduce readers and have them purchase your product.
Nevertheless, I plan to move forward with my short stories. They are quicker to write and revise; and now that I have joined the indie publishing world, it will be just another venture for me to explore and comment about in the future. Still, I wonder, do short stories perform well or not? Have you had any recent experience getting your petite compositions sold as an unknown, or relatively unknown, author? Whether you can provide concrete data, or share your experience regardless if you have had great, mild, or no success, I’d be happy to read it.
For more updates, follow me on Twitter @DonLuisZavala