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Starting out on Kindle Singles



So while I do have literary ambitions, I do have a hard time churning out the volume needed to actually fill a book.

Anyways, one strategy I've considered for some works of fiction I have is to start out with a Kindle single novella, like 90 pages, and sell it for 99 cents. Put it up there and see what the response is. Hopefully it would generate interest from more major players (getting attention from an agent as a nobody seems impossible) and encouragement from readers would give me motivation.

Good plan? I'll bet someone on here has tried that route.
Well, you can't call it a Kindle Single. You have to put something up via KDP and then apply to make it a Single. Then Amazon vets it for quality, and if they like your work and think it fits their Singles catalog, they may make it a Single.

You can indie publish short fiction though, without it being a Single!

As a general rule, I would advise steering clear of the 99 cent price. The 35% payment on that price is painful. ;) Better by far to write something long enough to charge $2.99 for it. Basically, anything novella range seems to work OK at $2.99, so shoot for at least 20k words (80 pages or more) and price at $2.99.
This is essentially my route as well. I find my brain is not yet trained enough to keep a whole 90K words straight, so the longer the story gets the more I lose of it. However, I am able to keep a Novella in my head. I have a 26K story that I am polishing for publishing on Kindle this Spring.

I had been planning on doing it for 99c as well, mainly due to the feeling that as a new author I should need to entice people. Probably some subconcious thing that it isn't really good enough either. I do like the idea of selling it for 2.99 though. @Kevin - do you have any examples of novella length fiction that sells well at 2.99?
Kevin is right and the "Kindle Single" program is pretty difficult to get accepted to. But if you can get in - I think Amazon will do a good amount of promotion to make it successful.

Look there are many different ways to achieve literary success and you can do it through shorter works. Note as the others have said that Amazon singles are a specialist sort of work where your book has to be accepted by Amazon after a critique process, whereas you can simply put out shorter work at 99c without any such need.

And Kevin is right about the royalty issue. A book old at less than $2.99 will get only a 35% royalty compared to 70%, which means that you need to sell six times as many books to make the same money. But you have to balance that against the fact that the work is shorter so requires less work. So if your shorter work is 5k and a novel begins at 50k you can write ten times as many books.

Here's one thread from KB where one guy talks about his sales where nearly all of his work is short stories. I think he's put out 100 books. 1 Year, 100 Titles = My Results

Cheers, Greg.


I am actually going this route. I have written a novel length work but I don't intend to publish that. I've always preferred writing shorter fiction, so that's what I'm going with for now. I will write novels but I rather do short fic first. I've been planning a novella series about an herbalist family that lives in a swamp right next to a magical forest. I don't know that it would be anything great as a novel and I feel more comfortable writing a series of stories about the characters, plus its fun. My goal is to prime three of the stories and publish those as novellas on Amazon while continuing to write the other ones.

Will it work? We shall see. I think more readers appreciate short fiction than we probably think. Some of my favorite stories have been novellas. So do what feels right to you and don't be afraid to take risks. So long as your work is polished, professional, and your idea is one that is attractive to readers, do take the chance. :)