If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’d know that I’ve been publishing Kindle/Nook books since 2011 to varying degrees of success and consistency.
Most of my books have the following characteristics: They’re roughly 4,000 to 5,000 words in length, and they tend to be of a romantic or erotic nature.
Over the years, I have witnessed a large number of book sales as well as periods with discouraging figures, just like everyone else. Despite those negative periods, however, I have never considered such lack of sales to be “a failure.”
Because I rarely ever lift a finger to promote them.
A few years ago I was giving away a Kindle guide detailing around ten simple techniques to elevate your book sales. These comprised of list-building, publishing books in other languages among other options.
While I tried each and every single one of those tips, none of them actually involved writing tens of thousands of words.
Do long stories help you gain more fans and potentially achieve greater success? Absolutely, there’s no denying it.
However, depending on your personal and professional goals, the act of writing until your fingers bleed is largely subjective.
Anyway, the dreaded word count is something that many casual authors like myself often face. Depending on whom you listen to, people will tell you to never publish anything under 10,000 words while others consider anything short of 50,000 to be merely a first draft (yes, really).
Since I have never wanted to be the next J.K. Rowling (nor do I have the skills to be), I’ve always opted for a casual audience that looks for instant gratification. This effectively opens the doors to new ways of publishing.
Simply put, the amount of words primarily depends on your audience and your chosen niche.
Luckily, the erotica niche has always been about instant gratification, which works out great due to the fact that I’m not a long-form writer. Hell, you can probably tell by the average length of my blog posts, right?
Why Longer Stories Are Not For Me
I admittedly dread dedicating 4,000+ words to a single story. Not necessarily because the word count is too high (because it’s really not), but rather because some stories are better left short.
Take the subject of erotica, for example: Guy meets girl, they have some small talk, followed by the sexy time.
While you could incorporate an epic, soap-opera-like series of events, this is not at all necessary for someone who just wants a quick fix. And trust me, most erotic readers are perfectly fine reading a quick tale as long as it contains a hot scene.
These quickie-seekers just want to get their mojo going before bedtime and call it a day.
They would rather buy a James Patterson novel if they truly wished to get immersed in a tale full of shockers.
So, What if You Want to Write Fewer than 4,000 Words?
Glad you asked.
Something I started to play with not long ago is publishing one book with several mini-stories inside it. It’s a single Kindle/Nook item that contains 3 to 5 different tales, each one containing around 1,500 words or so.
Benefits of Mini Tales:
While this strategy will often equal to a higher word count (collectively), the main benefit here is that you won’t have to break your head as much:
– Character development is minimal
– Plot is minimal
– Sex is minimal, but still enough to turn on the reader
– You don’t have to pause and drool trying to extend the story or sex scenes
Super Benefit: It will allow you to reach 50-100 tales extremely quick…
Guess what you can do once you reach such high numbers? You could publish a book bundle titled, “100 Stories in One!” or similar.
You can also publish several bundles split into 25, 50, 75 and 100 tales. The choice is yours.
Some of you may be thinking, “You have the audacity to cut down on stories that were already short to begin with?!”
But let’s remember, folks, there is an audience for every niche and format.
You are still offering a satisfactory experience, only divided into multiple stories as opposed to one longer tale.
But before you go and start publishing those tiny reads, I highly suggest you follow these rules…
Make your book description painfully clear. Let customers know what your book contains to minimize refunds and poor reviews based on misleading practices.
Keep the price down. If your item contains 3 mini tales of roughly 1,500 words, let’s keep it at 99 cents.
Remember, an entire book can be finished in no time. I actually suggest you publish no fewer than 5 entries per book, but feel free to play around with the actual amount.
Of course, you can put this into practice with just about any niche, but I used erotica as an example because it tends to work so damn well.
Questions? Insults? Feel free to comment below or email me any time.