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Kindle Short Stories: Price and Length for Erotica?

Kindle Short Stories: Price and Length for Erotica?

Hmmm… this post’s title sounds kinky, but never mind. 🙂 Kindle Romance students were asking about pricing erotica, and length for erotica, because you can charge more for fewer words in that genre. So let’s look at pricing your Kindle short stories, if you’re writing erotica, or erotic romance.

A little tip about publishing erotica. You may be aware that last year many of the ebook retailers, including Amazon, took a big stick to erotica because some writers were pushing the envelope way too far. This kerfuffle was bigger than the PayPal erotica fiasco of the year before. So when you’re publishing your short stories, be careful with ecovers, titles and descriptions.

How Much Can You Charge for Short Stories in Erotica?

The consensus among writers (for now), seems to be that 99 cents is a rubbish price. Readers hate it, probably because so many got burned when everyone jumped on the 99 cent price point a couple of years ago. So for short material, charge $1.99 at a minimum.

Check to see what other writers are charging. Here’s Amazon’s Top 100 Erotica, paid and free. Look on the left hand sidebar, for the sub-genres of erotica. Do some searches yourself for “short story erotica”, and see what comes up, and how much authors are charging.

How Long Should Short Stories Be?

You can get away with VERY short stories in erotica. Most authors feel that if your stories are very short, Amazon and/ or readers can quibble. I’ve seen lots of short stories at 11 pages, which is around 2,500 words. My suggestion: stay over 3,000 words if you can, and you’ll be fine.

Some word counts for reference:

  • Short stories: under 10,000 words;
  • Novellas: up to 40,000 words;
  • Novels: over 40,000 words.

OK, have fun writing Kindle erotica. Join us on our Kindle Romances writing class.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Writing for the Kindle: Short or Long Ebooks?

Cat string

You want to make money writing books for Amazon’s Kindle, and you’re wondering how long those books should be. As our kitten in the image might wonder — how long’s a piece of string?

You could write (in fiction):

* Short stories

* Novellas (under 40,000 words)

* Novels (generally between 60,000 120,000 words, and can be 200,000 words if you wish…)

In nonfiction, your books can be as long or as short as you like.

However, we might just have an answer that makes sense.

Smashword’s boss Mark Croker in Smashwords: New Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More eBooks says:

“The top 100 bestselling Smashwords books averaged 115,000 words.  When we examined the word counts of books in other sales rank bands, we found the lower the word count, the lower the sales.

Now consider how authors can use this finding, combined with the knowledge of the power curve, to make smarter publishing decisions, and to avoid poor decisions.  Often, we’ll see an authors with a single full-length novel break the novel into chunks to create a series of novellas, or worse – they’ll try to serialize it as dozens of short pieces.  “

I hate books which have been chopped into arbitrary sections, just so the author can make more money. It infuriates me, especially if there’s nothing in the description to suggest this “serialization”.

A serialized piece of fiction has been written specifically to be serialized. It’s not a ploy.

My own preference, when I read fiction is for longer works. However, if I enjoy a writer, I’ll happily read his or her short works.

Your books sell forever on the Kindle

In traditional publishing, your book has around THREE months to sell, or not. If it doesn’t sell well, it’s removed from bookstore shelves, and the covers are sent back to the publisher for a credit.

This practice meant that since the mid-1990s, many “mid list” authors were left homeless — their publishers cut them loose, because their sales weren’t high in that three-month window in the bookstores.

On the Amazon bookstore however, and elsewhere of course, your books sell forever.

Therefore, when you’re wondering how long your books should be, take longevity into account. Your books stay online and available for purchase. Who knows when they’ll hit their stride? As Mark Croker says, longer books sell better… take that into account too, when you’re measuring your piece of string.

, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: Picture Zealot via photopin cc