Friday, January 20, 2006

Get Your Hands on my Shorts

Amazon.com is the 300 pound gorilla of Internet booksales, and in previous blog entries I've written about tricks and tips to get better Amazon exposure.

One of the things I mentioned was the Amazon Shorts program, where people can download original stories from known authors for only 49 cents.

It's a smart program for several reasons:
  1. Those who want to try a new writer, but don't want to commit to eight bucks for a paperback, can read a complete short story for the price of supersizing their french fries.

  2. If you're writing a series and are in between books, an Amazon Short can give your fans a little taste to tide them over until the next release.

  3. Authors get 20 cents for each download. It's not a fortune, but considering they only make 55 cents for each paperback sold, that's pretty good money.

  4. Like it or not, more and more people are reading fiction on their computers, laptops, e-readers, e-books, tablet PCs, PDAs, etc. This is no longer a trend---it's the future.

  5. As I've said before, short stories are the best form of advertising. The more markets you penetrate, the wider your potential readership.

Want to see what it's all about? Click HERE to look at my first Amazon.com/shorts offering, called A FOUR PACK OF JACK.

For 49 cents, you get four complete short stories, all related to my Lt. Jack Daniels series.

BODY SHOTS - Jack deals with one of the toughest situations in her career.

WHELP WANTED - Jack's ex partner, Harry McGlade, must catch a very stupid dognapper.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY - A prequel to WHISKEY SOUR

POT SHOT - Jack's partner, Herb Benedict, has someone trying to kill him.

All of this, about 12,000 words, for pocket change. You can print it up, download it, email it to yourself, or keep it in what's called a 'storage locker' at Amazon.com, which is yours forever.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think--both about the program, and the stories themselves.

10 comments:

R.J. Baker said...

This is an excellant idea. Steven King tried somnething similar with a novel though it didn't work out for him that well. Since there is so small of a market for mystery genre SS I can see where this could be great for writers and readers alike.

Justin R. Buchbinder said...

Do you need to be a famous pubbed author (like JA Konrath) to get on here? Or do they accept queries and function like a small pub house?

Regardless of the answer, I'm going to go put down the coin (literally).

Consider your next stick of bazooka joe on me!

JA Konrath said...

They accept everyone. Many of the shorts available are from small press authors.

stay_c said...

Heads up: They say that they except anyone, but they never answered my query.

So far, the shorts are fab. Can you correct mistakes? On page 13, "littler" is printed; I believe it should be "litter."

stay_c said...

And from my comment, you might be able to see why...god, I suck at proofreading today.

Justin R. Buchbinder said...

JA/stay_c, ends up this is NOT the case:

and I quote: "Can anyone submit an Amazon Short?

We are accepting work from a diverse group of authors. In order to be eligible for participation you must be a published author with at least one book currently for sale on Amazon.com.

JA Konrath said...

"Can you correct mistakes?"

I dunno. I'll ask my editor.

This was an interesting process, getting these shorts ready for Amazon.

When I said "they accept anyone" I wasn't very clear.

If you have a book for sale on Amazon, they'll consider your short story for this program. But they still accept or reject based on content. It's very much like submitting to a magazine, albeit electronically.

I didn't have an opportunity to proofread the stories or check the layout before they went live. Next time I'll ask to do so first to make sure there are no typos.

stay_c said...

No biggie. Since the format is more flexible than printed material, I thought you'd like to know.

Devon Ellington said...

I think these are a great idea. I look forward to checking them out. I love the short story format anyway -- I love to read short stories when I'm in transit (living near NYC, I'm "in transit" on public trasnport quite a bit). A short story is the perfect satisfaction for rides.

Now, if only the novella would come back in . . .;)

JA Konrath said...

If enough people buy FOUR PACK OF JACK, I might consider releasing a serial novel--one of my prior unpublished ones.

I think this could become a viable format for novellas, collections, and other hard-to-market fiction.

But it all depends on the numbers.