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Chris A. Baird | December 17, 2020
how to self publish short stories

You may have written a short story and now you plan to have it published. Let me tell you how to self publish short stories as well as some helpful self-publishing tips.

The Right Choice

Today's question has three answers. You're going to want to stick around for the third answer because I'm going to tell you the exact length that your short story needs to be to make the maximum number of sales.

So let's get into it. The question that was sent to me today was how to self publish short stories? Now, this is an excellent  question.

The person who's asking it most likely you have already written a short story. And now you're left wondering well what can you do with it? Is it something you can put on Amazon or maybe on your website or some other website?

This is a common question that I get from my students regularly. So I want to make sure that I get you the information you're going to need to answer it. Because many times you're left just wondering what the right choice is.

Very confused in an ocean full of options. Not knowing which one's right for you and you end up not getting your short story self-published. So, we're going to answer that today.

But before we get into that, check out my completely free Self-Publishing Checklist. It will help you make sure you are not skipping any of the important steps necessary to make as much money off of your books as possible.

As well as how to get your book out there as easily as possible. So those are a couple of things, just check it out it's completely free. So let me hit a little bit from my own story.

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When I originally got started, I did come into a situation where I had a few short stories. I didn't write these stories but they were ones that I had been given and I was looking to publish. But I wasn't quite sure where and how exactly to publish them.

In which ways they were different than other books that I would be publishing? How do you self publish short stories? I have been reading around a lot and taking courses and watching movies and videos and all sorts of stuff on self-publishing.

I have been investing in way more time and money than I should have. After that, I came to the understanding that you could just put those books out onto amazon using similar steps that we do with normal novels.

Using The Same Process

In particular, you need to start with Kindle Direct Publishing. So KDP is your first step. Then after that, you're going to do your print version.

Then you're going to do the audiobook version on ACX. The interesting part at least with the audiobooks is that it doesn't matter how long your short story is. You can simply put it out there and it's worth it because they will make sales.

In fact, all books put as audiobooks will make sales. That's just a little bit early secret. But the thing is the length did matter in some of these areas and I'm going to be hitting that as my secret answer of the day.

So I discovered that shorter books can outperform longer ones. That was another thing that was a bit of a shock if they're the right length which we will hit a little bit later.

If the books that you're putting out there are of good quality, that people are going to like them and leave positive reviews, so this is very important when it comes to your short stories and that's another key aspect.

But I discovered that you could do quite well with these stories that we were putting onto Amazon. So how to self publish short stories? Well, the first thing is that the process is the same as a novel.

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You're still going to need to edit the book or the short story. You're going to need a cover for it. You're going to need a description, the keywords, and the genre that you're going to be within.

You're also going to run ads against this thing. You're going to get it out in the Kindle and print, and all of the different formats. It makes no difference at all. The second thing is the tool you're going to need to use when doing short stories the correct way.

And the tool that I recommend and use myself is Jutoh. That is something that I've used for every single one of my books since the beginning when I first tried to do it the hard way. But it will make sure that your formatting is correct.

The best part of it is you only pay a one-time fee and then from that point on, you're able to use this software to make sure that the formatting on your books is perfect. It's so cheap and it's almost a no-brainer. Considering I tried Scribner and I tried using Word.

Considering Its Length

I tried just paying people on Fiverr to do the formatting for me. But none of these worked out for me. Maybe it worked out for you but just not for me.

Now, the third thing is the secret answer of the day. You need to make sure that your short story is at least 3000 words. So that when we put it into Jutoh and we publish it on Print On Demand, it's going to be 24 pages.

The reason this matters is that you may see more sales on the print version of your books and the money coming in off of them based on the pricing and such than you will off of your Kindle version.

So not having a print version which means you're putting out a book that has less than 3,000 words is going to cost you a lot of money. So make sure it's 3,000 words. When it goes into an audiobook, it'll be like 20 minutes in length.

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As a print on demand, it'll be about 25 to 30 pages assuming we have all of the normal title page and disclaimers and all of the different things like the Thank You page. There's a whole series of things you're going to want to include.

Even though it's a short story, it's identically the same process. The best part of a short story is it's a lot easier to put more books on the market. You can bundle them together and we continue playing the game like that.

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