I'm running an ebook experiment with one of my previously published stories. It was first published in Jim Baen's Universe and the issue it was published in is still available to buy through their website. It's about 12,000 words, so the non-exclusive reprint markets were limited. I've sent it around to all of them.
So now I'm pondering the afterlife of short(ish) stories. What do you do with the darn things, aside from keeping an eye on themed anthologies that take reprints? I feel like they should be kept working...somehow.
Step 1. I've put "Salvaging Scottwell" up on Smashwords and Amazon (via the regular KDP program). Smashwords can take up to 3 weeks before the ebook appears in all the different venues they distribute to (B&N, Apple's ibookstore, etc.). My plan is to wait a statistically significant time to see how sales go once the initial bump (caused by me telling fans, friends, and family) subsides. Probably at least a couple of months.
Step 2. Then I'll withdraw it from Smashwords (which is really easy) and put it into the KDP Select program, which requires exclusivity but may increase visibility in the Amazon Kindle store, which is the largest market for ebooks. I'll also opt into the Kindle library loan program. Again, I will wait a statistically significant time.
Step 3. I'll give the freebie promotion a shot for a couple of days, point it out on the Kindle free boards, etc., and see if there's a resultant bump in sales afterward and, if so, how long it lasts. By this time I may also have another ebook up for purchase, so it would be interesting to see the effects on that, too.
I think this is an interesting experiment for two reasons in particular. First, I'm a relatively unknown writer--I've sold a dozen or so short stories, but that's it. Second, this is a 12,000 word novelette, not a novel. I've heard rumors that shorter works might have a revival through the ebook market, and I'm interested to see how accurate that might be.
I'll be reporting as I go along, hard numbers and comparisons and all that fun stuff. In the last couple of days, I've sold 4 copies through Amazon and 3 through Smashwords. We'll see how it goes!
Any other suggestions for how to put a previously printed story to work? I would have also put this on AnthologyBuilder, but they are not currently accepting submissions.
Posts in This Series
Ebooks - The Afterlife of Short Stories?
Ebooks - The First Bump