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Monday, February 21, 2011

Publish Your Book for Free on Amazon.com (2)

Well, I finally decided to do it. I've published a collection of short stories "Battles and other stories" on Amazon.com. I'm using the pen name R Patrick Hughes. It should be available by tomorrow. I thought about those stories that were just sitting in a drawer gathering dust, stories that will probably never be published in magazines or in any other way. They've all been read by my writing group, and I feel they'll never undergo any more revisions. They're history. So why not publish them?

Deciding to publish them was the first decision. The second decision was how much to charge. I could give them away for free, but I see no reason to do that at this time. Maybe in the future. I thought about charging 99 cents, but that seems cheap to me, as if I don't value my own work. I decided on $2.99, which may be too high, but I feel that my hard work is worth something.

I don't plan on making a lot of money on the book. For the most part, short story collections don't sell. I'm an unknown. And I've got to figure out how to make it known to the world that the book is available.

I feel good about it, but I'm realistic. Self-publishing is not the same as publishing through the writer-agent-publisher matrix. I'll continue to try the traditional method for my novels. But, if I feel that the traditional method is not going to work, I'll self-publish my novels as well.

For me, self-publishing my short stories is a learning experience, one I'm sharing on my blog. The first lesson learned was the mechanics of publishing it. The next learning experience is how to advertise it. I think for me, that will be more of a challenge than the first lesson.
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