Ebook or bust – Help, y’all! I need advice.

(sorry … broke my own meme by not having a song lyric as a title, but I can’t think of one right now :))

I spent some time yesterday whilst waiting for my landlady to show up researching anthology submission requests. What I found was 1) a lot of people looking for stories for non-profit anthologies and 2) the odd e-book publisher thoughtfully offering a whole 50% of profits.  Hey, fellas, got some news for you — I can not make money on my own.  Really.

So in addition to my commitment to the Clan of the Flying Pens (about to undergo a name change since it appears we’ve lost a couple of participants), and my ideas for Shawn Riddle’s Civil War horror anthology, Jeremy Shipp’s short-short anthology and Jim Bronyaur’s animal horror anthology, I am going to sit down and look at my current story inventory, kick the tires on some ideas that have come to mind (that don’t fit any of the above — those stories are “written” in my mind anyway) and winnow things down to my best 16 pieces. I have a title, an image for my cover — gonna see if my graphic design degree is worth the paper it’s printed on and the Smashwords guide.

So, to any of my fellow writers who read this:

1. Is/Are 16 stories enough?

2. If you’ve done your own e-book, did you use Smashwords to create your ebook? Was it a good choice?

3. If you’ve done your own e-book, how much did you charge? And where did you sell it, other than Smashwords/Amazon?

4. When I’m done, could I coax you to read through the book to see if there are any weak spots?

Thank you. I hope to hear from the experts who have blazed this territory before me.  🙂


2 thoughts on “Ebook or bust – Help, y’all! I need advice.

  1. 1. 16 stories of ~4K each is 64K. That’s novel length. Really short stuff, even single stories, are out there for $0.99. A novella length of ~30K would be OK for an anthology. Just my opinion.

    2. Yes, I used Smashwords for Blood Picnic (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/54957). It was a bit of a struggle to meet their formatting requirements. I had a couple of stories that needed odd formatting, which their automated system didn’t like. Then, after it had gone through OK, I got back inconsistent comments when trying to get it into the Premium catalog. Something would be OK’ed by one reviewer, then not OK’ed by another. Frustrating.

    3. I set the price for Blood Picnic at $2.99. I chose that price based on the different royalty models that Amazon uses, and the different distribution channels deriving from them. Amazon requires that the book not be priced lower anywhere else, so I priced it at $2.99 at Smashwords also. However, through the use of coupons, I can legitimately lower that price. Because Blood Picnic is in the Premium catalog, it automatically propagates to B&N, iBooks, Kobo, and other retailers.

    4. If you don’t mind a slow turnaround, I can help out.

    • @Tony — Thank you! I appreciate your input and offer of assistance. Once I have a better sense of where I stand and some energy to finish writing… 🙂

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