Should you self-publish shorter, and more frequently?
“Traditional publishers aim to publish hundreds of thousands of copies of a few books, self-publishing companies make money by publishing 100 copies of hundreds of thousands of books.”
Thinking about this statement may change your mind about how you approach self-publishing as a viable income stream. In this quote, the reference to self-publishing companies means Amazon KDP, Smashwords and other online publishing platforms. However, the logic could equally apply to individual authors using these services to publish e-books and POD paperbacks. Self-publish often, and short.
Publish shorter books and publish more often
If you self-publish a 200,000-word historical epic, the chances of selling enough e-book copies to make a living at say $5.99 are extremely remote. But if you publish ten books of around 20,000 words, at say $1.99 or even $2.99, your chance of having a steady income stream is far more likely, so the logic is to self-publish often, and short.
Of course, these shorter stories may not be in the same classic historical, literary fiction saga genre, but perhaps they could be a series based on the characters, storyline and setting of your original epic. Yes, chop up your 200,000-word epic into a series!
The other option could be to change genre completely and target popular ones such as romance, self-help or young adult fantasy. A little research on Amazon’s bestseller lists would be a good place to start at looking for other niche genres, where self-published titles are performing very well.
If you change your mindset from writing and publishing only what you love, to writing stories that readers want and love, you may be surprised at your increase in sales royalties.
In our new world of shorter and shorter attention spans, perhaps short is good, and long is long gone.
As always with something new such as self-publishing, those who succeed are those who look for new ideas that are outside the ‘Nine Dots’.