Today we are honored to have Oliver Dahl’s guest post regarding the Short Story Revolution!
The Short Story. The Novella. Though not quite synonyms, both types of literature are becoming a threat to be reckoned with in the ePublishing world. There are more than a handful of reasons why. I have narrowed it down to three main reasons.
1. To begin with, Short Stories are… Short. They are easy and quick for a reader to enjoy. It doesn’t require a long time commitment to read. You can start, enjoy, and be done less than an hour later. No complicated plot to get confused in, no cast of characters with a 12 page index in the back.
2. To continue from number one, short stories are… Short. Authors can more easily write them. Not only do we save time writing them, our time is also made shorter when it comes to editing, proof reading, and formatting. Though I myself find it somewhat difficult to write a good short story (I’m more of a novella/novel person) these are benefits for the author that can’t be denied.
3. Short stories are less expensive. Both to produce, and to purchase. You have to pay less for the shorter word count formatting, editing, and proof reading services. There’s just less text to go over. And these benefits, plus the shorter length in comparison to full-length books, becomes apparent to the reader. A good average price for an indie novel on the kindle is $2.99, and by far the most common short story kindle price is $.99. Some readers may reason that it could be better to pay less for a smaller time investment gamble than to pay more for a bigger time investment. On the other hand, paying for a forty page short story for 99 cents doesn’t get you as much material. Money would be “better spent” paying for one 200-page $2.99 book than three 40 page short stories. You get more material, so why isn’t this always the case?
I think it comes back down to time investment. Nowadays, people (feel like they) have less time. There are other things to do besides read, especially with Facebook, YouTube, and our other social media accounts to check constantly. I know this is definitely the case for me. Reading through an entire book takes more than a day for me now, just because I get so distracted. It can be easier to read a short story in one quick sitting.
Because short stories can be so quick to write, authors can fairly easily get around ten short stories out a year, to even a new one every month! This brings awesome benefits to the author–and the reader!
If the reader finds one author’s short story, buys it for the little gamble of less than a dollar, and enjoys it, they can check out the rest of the author’s books. When they see that there are a dozen more short stories with similar reviews, the risk of not liking a book becomes smaller and smaller as you enjoy more and more of the same author’s short stories. You grow to trust the author, and buy whatever they put out. (Seriously, we may not know to much about a Rick Riordan book before it comes out at all, but we all want to buy it, right? Why? Because it’s Rick Riordan!)
This obviously, again, benefits the author. Sales = good. And when more of your books show up in more places, that = sales. And what do sales equal? Good.
This same principal can be applied to any other type of book. Novels, epics, novellas, etc. all add to the likeliness of someone stumbling onto you, and exploring your other works.
But because short stories are faster to write and produce, you can get sales more speedily. So many authors nowadays are becoming incredibly successful from publishing short stories. Anthologies and collections of these can sell for higher prices and gain you higher royalties.
But most of all, writing short stories should be fun, and you should enjoy it. To those of you who do, I hope that this post has succeeded in making you more aware that writing short stories can become a viable career option, if done correctly. If you have any questions for me, I’d be happy to answer them. You can contact me at most of the links below, or at my blog,www.thedreamersadventures.blogspot.com.
He can be found in too many places online.
Website BETA: www.oliverdahl.weebly.com