Over the next couple months, I'm going to be revamping my Kindle short-story project considerably. I have already removed two stories and have set several to leave KDP Select when the 90-period they're committed for expires. Once that happens, I will remove several from Amazon completely and make the remainder--my three best--permanently free.
It started out with the podcast Sell More Books Show, which I started listening to within the last year or so. Bryan Cohen, one of the two podcasters, discussed how he made the first book in his Ted Saves the World series permanently free to gin up interest in the later books in the series. I took the concept and decided to apply it to my Andrew Patel supervillain-protagonist stories. If everything goes according to plan, the collection Consequences: Four Tales of Andrew Patel should be out by the end of the year.
The thought occurred to me that this could work for Flashing Steel, Flashing Fire, my short-story collection, as well. I decided on a little experiment. I had recently put my historical-Lovecraftian horror tale "The Beast of the Bosporus" back on KDP Select and decided to make it free for yesterday (9/5/15) and today (9/6/15). Muslim fantasy writer Saladin Ahmed and the good people at Promote Horror tweeted the news over their networks. Not only did I move many free copies of "Beast," but I also sold a copy (possibly two) of FSFF.
I had initially thought to remove all the non-Patel short stories from Amazon except for my best-seller "I am the Wendigo" and make that my freebie, but that would limit my range as a writer. "Wendigo" is creature horror, but my stories run the gamut from espionage to cosmic horror to high fantasy. So I'll leave three up for free instead of one and hopefully drive traffic to FSFF, where you can get ten stories for what used to be the price of three.
I'll let you know how that works out. The KDP Select program with its new pricing system is very good for novels ($0.006 per page for a 400 page book that the reader finishes comes out to be close to book purchase price), but not so much for short stories ($0.006 for a 35-page story isn't much). Short-story collections, however, might split the difference a bit.
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