There are a lot of people who love to read short stories and so it is somehow a good market to target. Learn how you can self publish short stories on Amazon and other platforms as well.
Today's question has three answers and the third answer is a secret you're going to want to stick around for. Because I'm going to tell you the exact length that is important for your short stories to make as much money as possible out of them.
Now, let's get into it. The question that was sent to me today was, how to self publish short stories on Amazon? This is an excellent question.
Most likely the person asking it has already written a short story and is wondering, is it long enough to actually publish it on Amazon? Maybe I need to do something special with this because it is a short story and not a book.
So, when you're putting it on to Amazon, you need to label it as such to make sure it doesn't create any problems. There are problems that can indeed be created here. We are going to discuss all of them today.
But before we get into the answers, grab a copy of my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist. It will help you make sure you are not skipping any of the necessary steps to make money off of your self-published books. Both in terms of creating them and also in terms of marketing.
How to self publish short stories on Amazon? Well, let's take a look at my story for a second. When I first got started self-publishing on Amazon, I was not doing short stories, I was doing non-fiction.
I was writing about subjects for which I was very familiar with and very excited about. I was looking to help other people out both in terms of goals and habits and all sorts of stuff that is related to getting things done.
After a while, I began to understand something which was I came into the side of realizing you can pay ghostwriters to write books. If it's on topics that people are very interested in, those books will sell.
It will start making you a lot more money than maybe even writing books on things you're interested in. Now that was something I was very interested in. None of these were short stories but they were very short books.
Some of them as short as just a couple pages. I was just curious about taking one of my children's essays from school and throwing it onto Amazon to see if it would sell. Of course, everything you put on Amazon sells.
Even just a couple of pages was sufficient to get those sales to come through, right? So when it comes to short stories, would it be any different? Would there be something special about that?
Well, how to self publish short stories on Amazon? Let's get into the answers for today. The first is that there is no limit to the minimum length of a Kindle book.
I'm assuming we're talking about a page at least maybe if you tried 1 sentence and Kindle may respond to that. I could just imagine you are trying to do a single word as your entire book. Though, I know people do this low-content book strategy where you have many pages that are all blank.
But I think they'll still count as pages. Then you are going to have a table of contents, a disclaimer, and a thank you page. You may be asking people to subscribe to your newsletter or whatever.
Short Stories Are Appetizing
As a result of those, you will see that you're going to have more than 1 page. Even if it were just a few pages, that's fine. So the answer is, there's no problem with short stories.
Amazon will call these things as short reads. It will be in its own category when they see that its number of pages is limited. So that's something we're going to want to keep in mind but that has no impact on your sales.
I have discovered you can make quite a bit more money off of shorter books. I know I'm going against the tide because a lot of other fake gurus out there will tell you the book needs to be 20,000 or 30,000 words. If it's fiction, it needs to be 100,000 and that is complete nonsense.
You can get away with a book that's 3000 words and you can make sales on a book that is only 1,000 words in length. In the old days, these would make you more money. Because they would download or pay to do a read.
You would get paid or compensated for each time somebody did that download before they started measuring pages read by your readers. So back then, everybody was pumping out very very short books.
Now that time has changed, but I still find my short books with people today that are so distracted. It pulls people in. I also over the years, sometimes when I want a solution, I'm not looking to read a large tome on how to go about publishing something.
I just want to get in and get out. I want to understand, I get into the book. I read the book, it tells me how to do something and then that's fantastic.
In fact, right now, I'm reading a book called Indestructible. It's a little bit longer, I think it's a 5-hour. I listen and double speed but still, I just want the point.
Check out this related article: What Are The Best Self Publishing Podcasts?
That's the thing that short stories are great, they are like an appetizer, you can just very quickly consume them and then you're done. So I believe there is a great deal of value that you can do on the short stories. Now there are a couple of traps here.
One of them is that sometimes, people can be disappointed if they believe the book should be a thousand pages. It's just a short story so you might label it as a short story. Just so they are not confused when they buy the book.
Usually, we're talking about an eBook they would be buying. Number two, the process is the same as for the full book. So the 3 main phases which are going to be the keyword research, making sure we're writing to a market that actually even cares about the type of book or writing a short story.
The content itself, that's the cover, the description, all of these things need to be optimized even for a short story. It's the same as for a long book and the third is your marketing. So we're going to run ads against it and we're going to be continuing doing email marketing.
We are going to find readers and add them to our email list. We can get reviews from those same people who enjoy our books to ensure that other readers will be able to find our content. So the same rules as for a long book and in some ways that can be a downside too.
Because it is more work to create that description, get that high-quality cover, and all of the research behind it. Though, in reality, I still would argue you would make more money off of a shorter book.
The Pricing Must Be Right
Moving on to number three and this is our secret answer of the day, it is that if you want a paperback version of your book, you need to hit 3000 words. It's about 25 pages.
So I would highly recommend if you can write a short story that hits at least that distance which by definition even that these 3000 words would be a short story, then you should definitely do it.
Now, if you are going to go shorter than that, you can but that means you can only have the Kindle or EPUB version of it. You will not be able to get a paperback because the paperback has to have a certain thickness to even be accepted in the store.
But if you do have a Kindle version, you can get an Audible version or an audiobook version through ACX. You can actually do it. You have to have that Kindle version, so this is very important.
Once you've got that Kindle version, you put the Audible book with 3000 words, we're pushing about 15 to 20 minutes which believe it or not people every single day are buying books of mine that are 20 minutes in length.
So this should not distract you. Also, you can combine these books to form bundles and make even more money off of it from that route. So there is a whole series of strategies here that you are not going to want to ignore.
You should put your short story out there. You are going to get it in the Kindle version. If you can get to that 3000-word mark which I highly recommend, then we can get our paperback versions out.
The paperback versions make maybe double the amount of money that the Kindle versions make, even for short books. Though some people like to complain about the length of the book, the reality is it's listed on the page.
You can actually even throw it in the description, "this is a short story, it's only 25 pages just so you know". So that they would be aware. And on the pricing, make sure on your Kindle books, you sell it at the $3 pricing.
If you're doing a single short story, it's $3. I don't care if you have a long story, it's still $3. So, we simply do not change that price and if it's paperback, make sure you're making $5 on each of your books.
That's a very important strategy that is going to help you make more money on each of the books you have. If you're selling lots of copies, then we slowly raise the price on your paperback but not on the Kindle.
Kindles used to bring readers in and hopefully get them to buy our paperback versions of these books. So, how to self publish short stories on Amazon? Why don't you tell me what you have found?
Have you actually gone about publishing? I have never published a short story on Amazon. But I would be very interested to hear if you have and have succeeded.
What went right and what went wrong? Let me know below in the comments and check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.