Indie Epublishing D. D. Scott-Style: Prequels, Sequels and Short Stories, Oh My!

Happy Weekend, WG2E-Land!

This week, I launched my next Indie Epublishing Experiment with the release of my first short story – FLUID FULFILLMENT - Mom Squad Mini-Mayhem Mystery #1!!!

And in its first 24-hours, FLUID FULFILLMENT hit Amazon’s Top 100 Short Stories Bestseller List at #89!!!

I’m calling this experiment my “Prequels, Sequels and Short Stories, Oh My!” Experiment.

Here’s the scoop…

First…what are The Mom Squad Mini-Mayhem Mysteries?

Each Mom Squad Mini-Mayhem Mystery (short story) will feature at least one of my readers’ fave Bootscootin’ Books & Cozy Cash Mystery characters…The Mom Squad…the quirky-crazy, blue-haired Charlie’s Angels wanna-be’s!

You’ll get to meet their extended families PLUS learn the unique skill each Mom Squad Member has been trained-to by The Cozy Cash Mysteries’ QuarterMaster R.

FLUID FULFILLMENT – Mom Squad Mini-Mayhem Mystery #1 – features Roxy’s mom Lily Vaughn, who some say is now fairly gifted in Jujitsu. Think Victoria’s Secret meets Kill Bill

So why short stories and why now?

1.  Remember my primary goal, as an Indie Epub Author, is to reach as many readers as I can.  You do that my increasing the number of books you have on your cyber shelves as well as increasing the visibility those books have.  The more books you have on your shelves, the more visibility you get.

2.  You can crank-out short stories a helluva lot faster than full-length novels.

3.  Readers’ attention spans, like all human attention spans, continue to get shorter due to the mass media, multi-media, ad-based society we now live in.  Readers enjoy shorter stories they can read on their phones, ereaders, and tablets during their mass transit commutes.  Stories they can read while waiting in their doctors’ offices.  Stories they can read while waiting to pick-up their kids and/or grandkids.  And the list goes on.

4.  There is a HUGE, untapped market for short stories and anthologies!!!  Try only 15, 900 available on Kindle, out of over 1 million titles!!!  Only 55,000 out of 5 million titles on Amazon, including paper and ebooks!!!

Now then…all that said…why “Prequels and Sequels”?

While studying-up on short story ebook sales, I learned from many bestselling Indie Epub Authors that their short story sales were peanuts compared to their longer novels…BUT…and it’s a big ‘ole BUT…BUT, this was the case, because their short stories were just hodge-podge superfab stories having nothing to do with the series their readers thrived on.

So…

I asked myself…

What If?

Our fave writer-esque question, right?

What If…I wrote short stories that WERE CONNECTED to the series my readers love and the series which are gettin’ me thousands of new readers per week – my Bootscootin’ Books and Cozy Cash Mysteries?!

Thus…I came up with…my new Mom Squad Mini-Mayhem Mysteries…beginning with FLUID FULFILLMENT, which is now available, and LICENSED FOR LOVE, which will be released the last week of this month (featuring Aunt Tulip – from Stompin’ on Stetsons - a Roz Focker-style sex therapist of Meet the Fockers fame, who’s now very Sarah Connor of The Terminator, meets Cliff the Mailman from Cheers):

 

Let’s take this another step further now…

In November, I’m partnering with our superfab Tonya Kappes, Lee Lopez and Talli Roland for the over-the-top, LOL Christmas Anthology MADNESS UNDER THE MISTLETOE!

***Note:  Kindle Nation Daily will be featuring MADNESS UNDER THE MISTLETOE as their big book push the week between Christmas and New Years!  Hello, New Ereaders Under The Christmas Tree!!!***

My contribution for that huge ‘ole gem of a read?!

HULLABALOO AND HOLLY TOO – a Cozy Cash Mystery Christmas Novella – which, along with my contribution to our WG2E All-For-Indies Winter Wonderland Anthology – A CUT ABOVE CRAZY – will be prequels to my January release…CARATS & COCONUTS (Cozy Cash Mystery #3), which is my next full-length novel.

See how all this fits together?

Basically, I’m bringing my readers and fans along for each new Bootscootin’ & Cozy Cash Adventure.

Once my reader peeps fall in love with my characters and their worlds, I want to keep bringin’ ‘em new bits and pieces of those worlds.

Oh, and as far as Price Points, I’m keeping all my short stories at the 99 Cent Price, and will then be combining them into their own Ebook Boxed Sets in 2012 and beyond.  Our Christmas Anthology will be $2.99.  Our WG2E Anthologies $3.99.  My Boxed Sets will be around $4.99.

It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land…Are any of y’all doing anything like this?  And if you’re not, what are your thoughts about my latest experiment?

The Best of The WG2E Prequels Sequels and Short Stories Oh My Wishes — D. D. Scott

P.S.  And wait ’til y’all see the cover for MADNESS UNDER THE MISTLETOE…wow is it ever over the moon superfab too!!!

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Comments

  1. Good luck with this DeeDee, sounds fascinating! ;-)

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Thanks, Saffi!

      I can already tell from the superfab response I’m getting on FLUID FULFILLMENT that it’s gonna be one wild, wild and very successful ride!!!

  2. Very cool, DD! Looking forward to see how this works for you. I’ve currently got just one short story out in an Indie anthology (more in the works!). We’ve got it free to try and help boost our other works.

    We’ve gotten one incredibly silly complaint from a couple of readers (Out of 13,000 downloads 2 ain’t bad, but unfortunately these 2 have left comments, of course!) that these are “obviously snippets of longer works”. Um. No. They’re not. Each is a self-contained short story (though some are set in worlds we’ve already created as you have with yours). I imagine these are people not used to short stories or something. Wondering if author short story writers have gotten the same complaints?

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Great point, Shea!

      And yes, each of mine are indeed stand-alone stories, but also yes, at the same time, are connected to all my other books.

      I also am doing everything I can to make sure readers know these are short stories and not full-length novels. That was one of my big concerns because as I reader, I’ve stumbled upon that misrepresentation several times, interestingly enough, usually with books that are short ebook stories by tradipub authors but their publishers pretty much disguise that they’re shorts and charge $3.99 – $4.99 for basically 3 – 4 pages!!!

      My shorts seem to be coming in around 25-40 pages and will all be at 99 Cents. And each will very clearly state in its title line description that it is indeed a Short Story.

  3. Sibel Hodge says:

    I absolutely agree with this:

    1. Remember my primary goal, as an Indie Epub Author, is to reach as many readers as I can. You do that my increasing the number of books you have on your cyber shelves as well as increasing the visibility those books have. The more books you have on your shelves, the more visibility you get.
    2. You can crank-out short stories a helluva lot faster than full-length novels.
    3. Readers’ attention spans, like all human attention spans, continue to get shorter due to the mass media, multi-media, ad-based society we now live in. Readers enjoy shorter stories they can read on their phones, ereaders, and tablets during their mass transit commutes. Stories they can read while waiting in their doctors’ offices. Stories they can read while waiting to pick-up their kids and/or grandkids. And the list goes on.
    4. There is a HUGE, untapped market for short stories and anthologies!!! Try only 15, 900 available on Kindle, out of over 1 million titles!!! Only 55,000 out of 5 million titles on Amazon, including paper and ebooks!!!

    Some readers don’t have time to read a full length novel, and shorties are a fab way to dip into something while watching the kids or taking that train journey. That’s why I released my shorties How To Dump Your Boyfriend in the Men’s Room (and other short stories) in the summer.

    I think your experiment is a fab idea, and I’m sure it will be a huge success. Congrats on the great sales so far! You’ve given me something to think about! I could do a shortie with some of the characters from my novels. Hmmm…thinking cap on! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Cheers to superfab “thinking caps on”, Girlfriend!!!

      Actually, it was after I downloaded your How To Dump Your Boyfriend short story collection (totally fab, btw) that I thought yeah, I’m goin’ for this too!

      I’m also going to Box Set my shorts – like Super T mentioned she’s doing.

      I’ve talked to tons of readers who have never read short stories or heard of ‘em, but once I tell them they’re perfect lengths to read while waiting on their kids everywhere, they’re going straight to Kindle and Nook and searching for ‘em!!!

  4. Jeanne says:

    Cool idea, D.D.! Sounds great! I think that your “thinking cap” is in high gear! I just read your “Fluid Fulfillment” yesterday & loved it……I gave it 5 stars! I loved your quirky, fun characters! I’m ready for the next one!

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Awe shucks, Jeanne…thanks sooo very much!

      I’m over the moon to hear you luuuvvved FLUID FULFILLMENT!

      I’m havin’ a ball writing my Mom Squad Mini-Mayhem Mysteries and can’t wait to share ‘em all with u!!!

      Cheers!!! And thanks sooo much for stopping by The WG2E today! U made my day!!!

      P.S. LICENSED FOR LOVE – Mom Squad Mini-Mayhem Mystery #2 – will arrive next week!!! It’s Aunt Tulip’s turn…yeah, as in Aunt Tulip the sex therapist and aphrodisiac queen…oh boy…trouble, trouble, trouble…LOL!!!

  5. Tonya Kappes says:

    I did this experiment last year with my Christmas short story in The Believe anthology. Another Quirky Christmas, where I introduced the characters in my novel, Carpe Bead ‘em. My publisher thought it was a great move, and encouraged the other anthology authors to do the same thing with the yearly anthologies they published.
    And it works….

    “Just a year ago her first short story was published in the Something Spooky This Way Comes anthology, where we were introduced to the characters that would make up her first novel Carpe Bead ‘Em. I was there when subsequent novels The Ladybug Jinx and Splitsville.com were released, reading them as fast as I could download them.” Reader Melissa Lapierre

    This is just a part of a five star review I just got from a reader who was introduced to me through my anthology over a year ago. Proof? This is the proof that it does work.

    All of my WG2E anthologies are all prequels to upcoming novels. At the end of the year, I will put those in a box set for my readers. I won’t be doing them as stand alones because my full length novels are already priced at .99. I thought about making them free, but I don’t want to take away from the anthologies, so I will wait until the end of the year.

    My reason? It’s what my readers want. After I did this experiment and after Carpe Bead ‘em was released, my readers continued to ask for more about my secondary characters. This is also how my decision was made to make a series based on my fictitious town of Grandberry Falls.
    “Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy revisiting Grandberry Falls. Meeting new friends and visiting old ones, Grandberry Falls always welcomes you back.” Avid Reader

    This is another review I received from my second novel, HAPPY NEW LIFE, that was released this week. This reader LOVES coming back to Grandberry Falls.

    All in all, this is not an experiment. It works plan and simple. If readers love your novels, they want to know as much as they can about your other characters. I’ve done this and will continue to do so….my only wish is that I WISH I had my rights back from the publisher on Another Quirky Christmas.

    Hey! I can “give” free copies away!!

    • Sibel Hodge says:

      Fab stuff! You’ve convinced me completely :)

      • Tonya Kappes says:

        Oh, good, Sibel! I’m telling you I have the proof that it works. Those readers would’ve never wanted more unless they read the short story first. There was a five month span between them and readers emailed me every day. It was great. I LOVE my readers. And isn’t that what we all want….those readers?

        • D. D. Scott says:

          Perfectly said, Super T!!!

          I did luuuvvv your Christmas short story last year, and can’t wait to see what you’ve done for our upcoming Christmas Anthology MADNESS UNDER THE MISTLETOE!!!

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Great scoop here, Super T, and thanks sooo much for sharing it!!!

      Yeah, I thought about the 99 Cent Price for my short stories. But, after asking tons of my readers, I learned that they’re glad to pay 99 Cents for anything they want to read! At that point, because they’re already fans, and know they can count on a D. D. Scott new read for just a buck, they’re thrilled!

      What they’re frustrated by are single short stories priced at more than a buck. And there are tons of ‘em out there…again, mostly by tradipub authors who have no control over their prices, or tradipub authors who are used to their pubs charging $7.99 and up for their ebooks then thinking that $3.99-$4.99 is good for short stories they pub on their own…WRONG!!! THAT PRICE POINT NORMALLY DOES NOT WORK FOR SHORT STORIES!!!

      Also, many of my reader peeps said, we know we can count on a D. D. Scott book for 99 cents, just like we can a John Locke book (and he’s doing short stories now too for 99 cents).

      So…LOL!…I’m in great company with my short story price point! As long as my readers are happy, I’m “in” and on their ereaders!!!

  6. Julie Day says:

    My first ebook is actually a short story. I plan to create a series of different teen angels, who then meet up later and work together. Once I have about five stories published I plan to do what you are doing – put them into an anthology.

  7. Brilliant, DD!

    The point about changing reading habits is key as e-readers become the norm. There will always be a place for door-step blockbusters, but short and sweet is definitely the way forward!

    • Tonya Kappes says:

      I agree that readers are busier than ever. And I do believe they still read novel length books, but true readers always have their ereaders/phones with them. And if you have kids, you are in DR offices a few times a month (braces, etc…) and it’s a perfect time to read the shorts.

      For me as a reader, I don’t want to sit down for twenty minutes and get engrossed back into the novel I’m reading, then I don’t want to stop but have to b/c my kid’s appt is over. Shorts have been great for me as a reader.

      • D. D. Scott says:

        What you said right here, Super T:

        “For me as a reader, I don’t want to sit down for twenty minutes and get engrossed back into the novel I’m reading, then I don’t want to stop but have to b/c my kid’s appt is over. Shorts have been great for me as a reader.”

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Indeed, Mark…reading habits are changing!

      Just like everything else in the world is changing because of our new, multi-media based lifestyles.

      People want information faster. And they want more of it, in shorter formats and on mobile, on-the-go devices.

  8. I have a quick question on pricing… since we can’t go below $.99, but if our novel is $.99, should we just price the short story as free? Or should we put a couple of short stories of our own together and price it at $.99?

    I’ve been mulling a short story about how my three main characters met in grad school at a mixer (Johnathan and Eric modified one of those Hallmark talking snowmen with a new voice chip to give out cheesy pick up lines…). For me, I would think to make it free, since my novel is $.99 and then maybe put at the back “To read more about these characters…..with a link to Cancelled.”

    • Tonya Kappes says:

      This is my issue with having my novels at .99. I know that DD has her novels for free and .99 plus her new Fluid Fulfillment at .99. Unfortunately you can’t go any lower other than free, but DD states it VERY clear in her Fluid Fulfillment description that it’s a short. I have purchased novellas from authors in the past that is TWO pages long! And they are charging more than .99. That pissed me off as a reader, that’s why I’m not doing the shorts unless they are in a box set.

      Your idea is GREAT, but can you take it a bit further? What if you write three short stories, one on each character, then you can sale them as a set for .99?

      I’m actually liking that idea. And the rate I’m going, I’m already working on the Viva La Valentine anthology for WG and should be done by this weekend, I might be able to crank out a few on the side and put those in a box set for the spring.

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Refer to my comments above too, Elizabeth…but I don’t think 99 Cents is a problem at all for your short stories, even though your full-lengths are also 99 Cents!

      I talked to a ton of my readers, like I mentioned above, and they are more than happy to pay a buck for anything I write! LOL!

      That said, what you gotta be careful of is that your new readers realize any given book is a short story versus a full-length novel. So make sure in your title descriptions during your upload process that you specify the reader is getting a short story.

      I also think that’s why it’s important to make your short stories stand alones, BUT also interconnect them with your novels. That way, your readers also won’t mind because they’ve simply got to know the whole scoop!

      That said, I will begin to do special shorts that are Free and be packaging them in very unique ways…perhaps on my new website at http://ddscottville.blogspot.com !!!

    • Alicia Street says:

      I don’t think you have to make a short story free if your novels are 99 cents. As a reader it doesn’t bother me at all to pay that same low price for both.

  9. Alicia Street says:

    Inspiring post, D.D.! I love to hang out with characters I know from books or get teased in a short and revisit the same folks.

    My question – do you upload short stories the same way you do novels?

    Just bought Fluid Fulfillment as well as Happy New Life. Can’t wait to read both. FYI- Looking for your short I entered D.D. Scott and it did not appear. Had to put in the title.

    • Tonya Kappes says:

      Thanks beyond! Alicia! I hope you enjoy HAPPY NEW LIFE, please let me know! You do upload a short the exact same way you would a novel. It’s all the same. But like DD mentioned earlier, you clearly need to let your readers know that it’s a short story, not novel length. Cheers!

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Thanks bunches, Alicia…and welcome to my Mom Squad Mini-Mayhem Mysteries!

      And yes, as Super T said, you do upload short stories the same way you do novels. BUT do make sure you make it clear it’s a short story…you’ll see I put it right in my title line description.

      Also, it can take about a week to see all your search streams activated…that’s why you might be able to find it by title first before by author or vice versa. For example, on Tonya’s Happy New Life, I couldn’t find it at first by title or author but could if searched by both title and author together. It will also take about a week to begin seeing your Customers Who Bought This Also Bought This streams.

  10. Writing short stories about series characters worked for Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. The shorts used to be in magazines, of course, but we don’t have fiction in many mainstream magazines any more. But I’m sure lots of people bought the magazine just to read that one short story. Fans will do anything to learn more about their favorite characters. So you’re reviving an old concept and re-configuring it for the digital age. Very smart.

    But I do agree with Tonya that I don’t want to pay the same for a stand-alone two page story as I do for a full-length book. Stingy and sneaky aren’t images an author wants to put out there.

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Thanks bunches, Anne, for piping-in!

      Funny you should mention Agatha Christie’s series of shorts. I thought of that too while conceptualizing this experiment as well as Dickens-style serialization of stories…which I’m also considering.

      Anyhoo…regarding the price and length of short stories…for price, I don’t believe the 99 cents is stingy or sneaky as long as you make it clear it’s a short story. And for length, I do believe in making a short a wee bit more meaty if I’m using it as a stand alone title…for me, that means my shorts are comin’ in around 25 – 40 pages.

  11. Jill James says:

    I love short stories once in a while. They can be really fun to read if they lead into a longer story with some of the same characters, or a bridge between the time of two stories in a series. My Divorce, Interrupted is the first short story in a series of 3.

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Way to go, Jill…I luuuvvv the idea of using a short story as “a bridge” between two novels.

      Well done!!!

      Oooo…and you could Box Set all three down the road…

  12. I didn’t read short stories until I started reading indie authors and at first it really bothered me that authors were selling their short stories for the same price as their full length novels. But then I started to read a few by my favorite indie authors and now I’ve discovered I love the shorter length and the quicker read. I can get more varied entertainment in less hours.

    :)

    And because of all that, the .99 cent price point is fine. If it’s a good story, it’s still costing me only .99 cents. Where else can I find such great entertainment for so little?!

    • D. D. Scott says:

      I luuuvvv what you said right here, Sheila:

      “If it’s a good story, it’s still costing me only .99 cents. Where else can I find such great entertainment for so little?!”

      And aren’t short stories superfab entertainment, especially when you’ve just got time to read a wee bit?!

  13. Matthew Rush says:

    I think it’s a great idea D.D. Way to go!

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Thanks bunches, Edit Dude!!!

      I’m sure havin’ a great time with ‘em…and I know I’m onto something huge again…

      How?

      Because the main Nasty Ass who follows me now on each of my new releases already left his or her crappy review…and if he or she thinks I write sooo damn bad, why would they have bought and reviewed all 7 of my releases?! LOL!!!

      So cheers to you, Anonymous “Just Sad”…who for the seventh time now has given me a 1-Star with the following review:

      “Just sad…
      If only this author spent as much time on learning the craft of writing as she does promoting herself. ”

      One of these days maybe he or she will have the guts to give a name (although they’re too clueless to know you can track ‘em forensically by url)…that, or they’ll get tired of “buying” and “reviewing” books they obviously don’t care for and/or never read to begin with…LOL!

      BUT…

      This is how I always know I’m right onto something huge and wonderful, because Just Sad strikes again!!!

      Cheers to Just Sad!!!

      • Tonya Kappes says:

        WELL!! I just went to Amazon to read JUST SADS reviews and they are gone! Did you report them to Amazon?? NONE, NADA….JUST SAD IS GONE….JUST SAYIN’!

        • D. D. Scott says:

          I did report ‘em…on both Amazon and B&N! I’ll have to go see if they’re still on B&N…that was the latest one to hit…

          WooHooo!!!

          So reporting some of “The Nasties” can sometimes help too!!!

  14. Tamara Ward says:

    Wow! Fantastic post! You’ve really got me thinking now. Great ideas!

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Thanks sooo much, Tamara!!!

      And yippeee, I sooo hope this post inspires many of you to take your superfab characters on little, short story adventures!!!

      It’s a wonderful way to fill your cyber shelves!!!

  15. Great idea to write short stories based on your novels that readers already love. Best of luck with this new venture, D.D.!
    :)

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Thanks sooo very much, Marilyn! And Welcome to The WG2E!!!

      Writing more of what your readers already love is such superfab fun too! Nothin’ beats treating readers!!!

  16. Carey Corp says:

    Great post D.D. Thanks for including:

    price .99
    size 25-40pages approx.

    What about distribution? Are you posting on Amazon only or also Smashwords, ARe, and B&N?

    I just referenced this post on my blog: http://careycorp.blogspot.com/2011/10/more-indie-stuff.html

    • D. D. Scott says:

      Thanks bunches, Carey, for the shout-out and reference post! U rock!!!

      And for distribution…you betchya, just like all my releases, I’ve distributed not just to Amazon but to Nook PubIt (for B&N) too, then to Smashwords for its iPad, Sony, Kobo and Diesel channels too!!!

      Cheers!

  17. Lisa Scott says:

    It’s a great idea, DD! Congrats! I know what you mean about the small percentage of shorts and anthologies. When I first came up with the idea of putting out my Flirts! collections of short stories, I searched on amazon to see who else was doing sweet, funny romance collections. I couldn’t find much at all, and I thought ought oh, there’s either no market for this–or a huge untapped market! They’ve been doing quite well and I hear from readers all the time who are brand new to short stories and love them. They sell even better on itunes than amazon–maybe because they’re perfect for iphone users? I don’t know.

    It’s really clever to do short stories linked to your novels. I’m in the middle of signing a deal with a small but fab pub. to put out my Willowdale Romance novels, and they suggested I self-pub some related short stories before novel #1 releases next fall, and I thought that was a great idea to get the ball rolling.

    Super cute cover, too, DD! Good luck with them!