Do Short Story eBooks Sell on the Kindle Store?

Can you sell short stories on the Kindle store? We’ll get to that, but first: What a Thanksgiving weekend! I don’t ever remember the frenzy encroaching so closely upon the dinner itself, as it seems it will from now until forever. I’m sure a lot of potential customers were added to the arena with all the eBook reader sales. I went out into the Black Friday madness and bought a camera. A DSLR I will be using to film a documentary called Searching For Barkley. More on that later. So what about short story eBooks on the Kindle store: do they sell?

It’s a good question for many eBook authors. If they do sell, then surely the eBook author’s online shelf-space could increase dramatically. If the short stories are churned out by the tens, and are horrible, then having them available could detriment one’s reputation. Lindsay Buroker, a fantasy steampunk author whose success I admire and work to emulate, sold over 500 short stories at 99 cents apiece. She sells her full-length books for $4.99. Short stories do sell, but they have to have high interest, and leave the reader satisfied. They must be highly polished, and it helps if they are set in the same universe as a saga or series is occurring.

I released a short story in the Darkin saga entitled The Battle of Rislind Plateau. In order to make it worth buying for a reader, I have set it deep in Darkin’s past, and have made sure it illuminates an important battle that is referred to in the main series. This way the reader feels as if, provided they are a fan of the Darkin Series, a gem has been received (hopefully). The story is filled with action. Does this mean I can’t release short stories that are off-topic from Darkin? Perhaps set in the realms of realistic fiction, or even nonfiction? I don’t know yet. I do think the catchy cover-art helps attract potential buyers:

I do know that since I have started charging for two of my books one week ago (Darkin Book 1 remains free as always), I have sold four copies of Darkin 2 at $4.99 and one copy of “The Battle of Rislind Plateau.” Humble beginnings. But Darkin 1 continues to sell, and I think that is the biggest factor for me, and whether I will be able to sell short stories. I believe people who can get through book 1 successfully will be hooked.

So is it worth it to publish short stories for a buck? I say why not. A lot of people may not have time to commit to a full-length book, and yet may still want to revisit your saga or series. It has worked for other established eBook authors, so I believe if the quality is right, then people will not be disappointed.

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