Free stories are a bit of a conundrum for many writers. They are easy to write, format, and edit. However, most writers are not sure what to do with them? Many do not have enough stories to put together as a collection. Most writers who attempt to sell individual stories on online platforms do not generate significant sales.
Still, there are unique features of short stories that make them suitable as a marketing tool. First, most short stories under 10000 words can be read in one sitting. There is less likelihood that a reader will abandon them halfway as the case in books. In addition, even people who traditionally prefer to read physical books are open to reading short stories in digital format.
Short Stories as a Marketing Tool
Instead of seeking to monetize short stories directly, it is possible to use them as a means to generate sales of your other works such as books. To this end, there are several goals. The first would be to create a base of readers who know your brand as an author. A lot of authors have a blog and social media presence where they put out content as a way to keep people engaged.
Short stories can be shared on your websites for free as a token to your followers. Even if you do not make any sales, it puts your name out there as a great writer. You can also require that for people to download the short story in pdf, they join your mailing list. Having a mailing list is an underrated marketing tool in 2021. It allows you to send out communication on upcoming book releases. A mailing list, in fact, is a great way to make pre-order sales because it consists of your most loyal followers.
Once you have enough short stories penned, you can use them to pull in new readers. For instance, every time someone new visits your website, you can ask them to join your mailing list in order to get a ‘free library collection’. This helps to increase the conversion rate of visitors to subscribers.
When most readers finish reading something they love, they often wonder where else they can find your work. You can always include links to existing and upcoming books at the end of each short story you publish and give out for free. It will always generate a positive return on investment.
Testing Out New Styles
Short stories can be a way to test out and improve your skill as a writer. If you have always written books in a specific genre and want to try out something new, you could write a short story and see what the audience and editors think. You could write several short stories to practice in this new genre. Through short stories, you can also dabble in writing from a different perspective, you can introduce new characters, all of which can win you, new followers.
Writing is similar to other forms of art including music. Artists put out music videos and promote singles in order to generate interest in their albums. Albums are equivalent to full-length novels in this case. Album sales are the end goal when putting out singles. Similarly, full-length novel writers can look at short stories as ways of promoting their longer bodies of work.
But what if you are a financial planner, attorney, consultant or coach? How would posting short stories help generate leads, clients, and sales of your additional resources? Instead of short stories, you post short articles and ebooks that provide insights that your target audience would be interested in.
For example, if you are a business consultant, rather than posting short stories, you might offer free ebooks on topics such as:
- 7 Things Most Leaders Fail to do that keeps them from reaching their goals
- Finding Talent – the secret to attracting the people you most want to hire
- Beating the Odds – How start-up companies can survive those first five years
Can you share success stories and examples that illustrate the point of your short ebook? Sure. But the focus is still on how the key point of your short ebook or report was implemented. If you’ve written a lot of short articles about your profession, you may have an e-book ready to go. Call us at Higherlife or set up an appointment for no-obligation, free consultation.