Friday, August 5, 2011

Interstitial Shorts

No, not an item of apparel. Although it does sound like something a character in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series might wear...

As promotion for my new novella, Ready to Run, which drops next Tuesday, I was going to write a short prequel starring the hero, Bryan Keeton. The story would explain how and why Bryan ended up in the tiny Apocalyptic town of Luxor, Texas. I did something similar when Yours, Mine and Howls came out, and it proved to be popular with readers. Several people who've reviewed Kiss and Kin and Yours, Mine and Howls said they bought the books after reading The Nanny Years on my blog and at Smashwords.

So, here it is four days before Ready to Run drops, and I’m nowhere near finished with the prequel (I’m calling it Ready to Hunt. Yeah, you want originality, go see PG Forte.) I think I’m going to finish it anyway, and self-publish it on Amazon and Smashwords, along with The Nanny Years. I kind of got the idea from Janet Evanovich (not personally, of course, though I wish. I think she’s hilarious. She makes me snort.)

I haven't read a Stephanie Plum book in a while. (Does she still leave her gun in the coffee can all the time? Is she still flipping from Morelli to Ranger and back again like a pinball? Yeah? That's sort of why I quit reading her.) (Team Ranger, BTW.) But I have noticed that she's published a few books in the series "between the numbers," and I thought that was a very clever idea.

As everyone knows, because I bitch about it so much, I'm a slow writer. I'm currently working on Seth's story and the Galveston steampunk. I'm making progress on both but it's slow. And once I submit Seth's story to my editor it could be months before I hear back from her, and once I'm done with the steampunk, it needs to be edited as well, although I think I'm self-publishing that one.

But I can write twenty to twenty-five thousand word short stories fairly quickly. If I self-publish these for .99, I'm growing my backlist, keeping my name out there, and not losing readers. Plus it just feels like it would be fun; there are characters I think deserve their own stories, but not necessarily full length ones. Or maybe I'll just want to explore this or that aspect of my world a little further.

I'm already thinking of what I'll write about when I'm finished with Ready to Hunt. I'd love to do a historical starring Dec--something from the Elizabethan or Regency times, perhaps? Dylan could use a short story. And I've been thinking about Eloise, the fae chick who got kidnapped by Kuba's gang in Kiss and Kin. I don't think she's dead. Should I do a "futurical" starring Becca? No, that might be creepy.

I'd like to get opinions on my idea, both from authors and readers. Lots of authors are taking the self-publishing plunge but most people I know are putting their backlists up; I don't know many who are doing original stuff while also being published through a house. And would readers pay .99 for 20K stories? I think they would, but I haven't asked anyone.

So now I'm asking. What do y'all think?


Cathy (Corbin) Keevill said...

I love those short reads. I've got a huge collection of the mini-stories. Sometimes you just want a quick distraction because there simply isn't enough time to get lost in a full novel. 99 cents is great.

Kim B said...

I love short stories! AND I believe there are authors who sell books with A LOT less than 20,000 words. You're going to have some complain about it being too short, but I've seen that happen even with fair warning that its a short story. So don't let the length bother you. I would think it would be a perfect way to get new readers. They may get a 99 cent book of yours just to check you out! Which would get them hooked any buying the others.

flchen1 said...

I think that yes, readers would totally go for it--a lot of us love extra stories connected to your main series, and this would be a win-win!

Kinsey Holley said...

Thanks guys! I appreciate the feedback, esp. since it's just what I wanted to hear ;)

daydrmzzz said...

I love my short Kinsey. They are my fav when I have little time but want a read :)

books4me said...

I think most of my books on my ereader are short stories. They are the perfect length when I want a good read but don't have time to sit for days to read a full length book!

books4me67 at

kog said...

I love the idea of publishing short stories in between longer books. As a reader, there are days when I want to dig into a big story and there are days when I just want a quick story.