Several of you have commented upon and ‘liked’ the little bit of unfinished serial flash fiction I’ve published on this blog, Partners and Crime. That is actually quite gratifying, considering I started it on a whim, with no real concept of where it would go. Eventually I stretched it to three ‘parts’ and roughly 3,000 words, and of course it’s still unfinished, ending on a little bit of a cliffhanger. Partly that is because I’ve been working on other things, and partly it’s because the next natural step in the story seemed likely to get somewhat more explicit than I thought I could get away with on a blog not flagged ‘mature.’
Actually, that’s another thing I’d like to get some opinions on, too. Namely, just how awful is it to have WordPress flag your blog as ‘mature?’ From the documentation, it seems like it would make it essentially unsearchable and unfindable except for those who know the URL exactly (i.e., no Google search will find it, and it won’t show up in WordPress Reader — is that true?). Since that seems like it would be death for a blog in which an author is trying to promote her work, I don’t think I want to go there, but it’s certainly possible I’m misunderstanding how this works.
So, for now at least, while I certainly do get a little bit steamy here (or at least I hope I do), there’s a blurry line I’m trying not to cross.
The main question I have at the moment, however, is about publication. Although I am working on a longer story, in novel format (a little bit of which I excerpted for you earlier today), I am considering taking a little bit of time to finish up Partners and Crime, perhaps rounding it out ultimately to about 8,000 or 10,000 words, and then publishing it. Really publishing it, I mean, as in making it available for purchase on Amazon as an e-book.
Would you pay 99 cents for an 8,000 word story? I know plenty of authors have short pieces out there, and they seem to do very well. Personally, I’d be fine with that, as long as I knew I was buying a shorter piece up front, so yes, it would be clear to everyone just what they were getting.
Another option is to enroll the story in Kindle Unlimited. This would mean that Kindle Unlimited members would be able to read the story for free, but for everyone else it would need to be priced at Kindle Select’s minimum of $2.99 (not counting the five free days per quarter). Matthew Kadish wrote a very interesting article recently about author marketing strategies around Kindle Unlimited, and from his findings, it seems like Partners and Crime could be a good fit.
It’s hard for me to justify charging $2.99 for an e-book that isn’t at least novella-length. So, this would really be marketed at Kindle Unlimited readers. Of course, I would make a point of highlighting the free days for everyone else.
Kindle Select also requires exclusivity, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Some have interpreted this to mean you can’t even have excerpts on your website, but I don’t think this is what was intended by the clause. Even if that’s true, the story will no doubt change a bit in editing to make it a little less episodic than its present form, plus about 70% of it isn’t even written yet.
What do you think?