Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Mom's Letter" Will Be First

I've made up my mind. The first work I will e-self-publish is my short story, "Mom's Letter."

A short story, you say? What demand is there for a stand-alone short story at any price? Enough, it would seem. Several authors report on Joe Konrath's blog that their short stories are making enough money to justify the time and limited expense of formatting it, preparing a cover, and listing it. They are all published for $0.99, the minimum allowed for an Amazon Kindle title. The royalty on that is $0.35. So for every ten copies sold the short story will earn $3.50. If I could set it placed in a literary journal, the most I could realistically hope to make is $50.00 (though some pay higher). That means I'd need to sell 143 copies to justify going the eSP route.

This will give me experience with all the techno-stuff related to e-publishing. How to go from a Word document to a Kindle document. How to actually upload it to Kindle. How to see that it's properly listed. How to add tags to it. How to select the genre. How to do an author page. How to do back-cover text. How to select the amount of preview material. So much to learn, so little time. Oh, yeah, and how to make and upload a cover.

That last one will be close to a deal killer. You might not think a short story has a cover, but for e-sales it does, just as a novel does. The cover shows up as a thumbnail view in Kindle listings, then as a larger view when clicked on. I'm not sure I can do this. I have no artistic skills, I've never used artistic software, and am pretty much clueless of what looks good and what doesn't. But paying to have a cover made costs about $300 the eSP-ers tell me. That's more than I'm willing to spend.

But I will do this. I have an idea for a cover that I'll make and upload. If it looks terrible, maybe I'll spring for someone to make one, if I can find a reduced cost for a short story cover. I ran "Mom's Letter" through two critique groups, and three beta readers some time ago. I recently solicited beta readers at Two of the four who were willing to read it have reported back, and say the story is ready to go, with maybe a tweak or two.

I don't know what my time frame is. It would be nice to get it done before I head to Orlando later this month for a convention, but I'm not sure I can, given everything else going on. Early March for sure.

Stay tuned for results.


Gary said...

Dave, I'll take a shot at doing a cover for you no charge. Email me with details.

David A. Todd said...


That's a generous offer. Look for my e-mail, either tonight or tomorrow.