Ciara Knight-Guest blogging about shorts, novella and other short subjects

Ciara,

Thank you for taking the time to join us here today to discuss a different and unique promotional topic. The floor or I guess I should say my blog and the internet is all yours.

Hi, Lindsay. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I’m excited to be here and to have this opportunity to discuss a specific promotional opportunity for writers.

The publishing industry has changed drastically in the last few years. There are so many opportunities for authors to seek publication, whether it’s through the traditional method or self-publishing, but what do you do once your book is published?

Let’s say you’ve written the greatest novel ever and it’s out there for the world to see, but nobody seems to notice. Why not? Have you promoted your work? If so, you’ve probably done a blog tour, book signings, maybe even placed an advertisement on Goodreads. Yet, you’re still not seeing the numbers you’d hoped for. What else can you do?

Well, what about giving your writing away for a discount or free? Okay, I know, you need to make a living. You were a slave to your trade for months, if not years, while you developed fascinating worlds, engaging characters, and a heartwarming love story. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about giving your novel away for free or as a ninety-nine cent download on Amazon, but I am going to ask you to work a little harder. Yeah, I know, you can’t possibly do more, but I promise it won’t be a huge amount of time. In only a few days, you should be able to write a short story and offer it to the world as a sample of your writing. Other short works of fiction, such as Novellas, will take longer.

Just to clarify, I’m not talking about an excerpt of your novel. This needs to be a freestanding work of fiction. It could be a prequel novella or short story about secondary characters, or a completely different story in the same world, as long as it gives a taste of your writing.

I spoke to several of my friends, who are readers, and they all stated that they would buy a book from an author if they enjoyed reading something else by them. When I mentioned the idea of reading a short story or novella introducing them to the same world as a novel, they all agreed they’d pay for the book if they enjoyed the short work of fiction.

If you choose to try this I have one word of caution. Make sure you treat this work with the same TLC you gave your novel. Make sure that typos are eliminated, story structure is sound, there is the same type of ending (HEA or almost), and the characters leap off the page like they do in your novel.

Many authors are now doing just that. Giving teasers on their blogs/websites by having a tab for short stories, or ninety-nine cent downloads of novellas.

To investigate this concept a little further, I chose a few authors who have utilized this promotional technique.

Here is what they had to share:

Savannah Chase – “My original reason for doing short fiction was to promote my name. I’d never published anything before and I wanted to break into the industry. This was my way for people to see what I was all about when it came to my writing. I found it effective because I was remembered and I got regular readers who started following my work. I still do free short fiction as a way to say thank you to my supporters.”

Margaret Ethridge – “The first short story I wrote in the Long Distance Love series appeared in the Believe Christmas anthology that released in November, and my first novel, Paramour, released in January.

By taking part in the anthology, I was able to reach my co-authors’ audience and get my name out there prior to the release of my novel. In continuing the series, both in free reads and in subsequent anthologies, I have picked up a few new readers who are now invested in Jack and Ellie’s story.

Also, there are readers out there who truly enjoy short stories. They like to read them on their lunch hour, or while waiting in the carpool lane. The way I look at it, writing short stories that release more often can only help an author gain experience and exposure. If they happen to read one of my short stories and like it, perhaps they’ll give one of my novels a try.”

LJ DeLeon – “Deva’s Promise is an 800 word flash fiction. I chose to release this as a free short story for several reasons. First, it draws traffic to my LJ DeLeon website. Second, it introduces readers to the Warriors for Light series and gives them an understanding of Deva who is the heroine in the first book, Warrior’s Rise. Third, the readers meet three major secondary characters. But most importantly, having lost my own father as a teen, my heart broke for Deva when she lost her beloved father and I wanted to share this story with readers.”

Delilah Hunt – “I do think the free story helped. I did this because I understand that it is hard for some people to give a new untested author a chance sometimes, so I wanted to show everyone what my writing style was about so they could decide for themselves if they like it or not before spending their money. I do believe it did help with sales in the case of what I just mentioned. In fact I am planning on writing the full length for my free story because many readers have shown an interest in it. My advice is to write something close to your heart and imagine yourself as the reader. Would you want to pick up a book from this author after what you just read? The link to my site is www.delilahhunt.com

Short works of fiction are quick and easy to read so why not take advantage and utilize them to help promote your novel. I hope you found this information helpful. If you have written short stories to promote your books please leave a comment sharing your experience.

Also, if you have any questions feel free to contact me through my blog.

Thanks for having me, Lindsay. It’s been a pleasure.

Ciara Knight
www.ciaraknight.com
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This entry was posted in Collie, Dakota, Emily Dahill Story, Guest Blogger, Interview, Military, Murder, Nibs, Novella, Promotion, Short Story, Suspense. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Ciara Knight-Guest blogging about shorts, novella and other short subjects

  1. Thanks for this! It has been a topic I’ve discussed with several people, so am always happy to see other people’s take on the short works for promo purposes 🙂

    • Lindsay says:

      Hi Joleene,
      I’m glad you agree. I think that now days, what with the ease of self publishing, the best way to get your name out in front of readers is with shorts. Not to mention, they are a real challange to write. Telling a complete story in less than 15,000 words.It’s not something that many are willing to try.
      I’ve done short short shorts, yes that’s 3 shorts, in less than 4,000 words.
      I think we all can learn all learn a great deal today from Ciara.

  2. Ciara Knight says:

    Hi, Joleene. It’s so nice to meet you. Do you write short works of fiction? If so, what genre? I’m always curious to hear other writer’s experiences.

  3. LJ DeLeon says:

    In my case “Deva’s Promise” was a flash fiction. I’m considering putting it up on Kindle as a free book. At the end, it will direct readers to Deva’s story as an adult in Warrior’s Rise.

  4. Arlee Bird says:

    This certainly makes a lot of sense to me. After all is a name game where search engine presence and brand recognition are a vital part of the plan. It’s like companies that provide free samples of whatever they are trying to sell in order to let people know about it and get them interested in buying more in the future.

    Good advice!

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

  5. Lisa Kessler says:

    I recently released Across the Veil as an eBook short and although it’s not related to my upcoming novel, it enabled me to find readers and book bloggers who are now anxious to read my book…

    I definitely think short fiction is a great tool to build a readership! 🙂

    Great blog Ciara!

    Lisa 🙂

  6. Ciara Knight says:

    Hi, Lisa. I LOVED Across the Veil. Great short work of fiction. 🙂 I’m excited about your upcoming release.

    • Lisa Kessler says:

      Thanks Ciara!!! 🙂 I’m hoping all the people who have enjoyed it so far will be excited enough to grab a copy of Night Walker… That’s my hope anyway! LOL

      Lisa

  7. Ciara fantastic article…I agree with the comments above. There are many who will not do short fiction or find it very hard to do. I love doing freebies…It takes time and effort but it is well worth it..We do so many little things to try to stand out and get noticed..Every little thing does count….

  8. Ciara Knight says:

    I agree, Savannah. You have some amazing short stories over at your blog. 🙂 It is so difficult to stand out and I think you do an excellent job.

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  10. Thanks for sharing. This is a concept I’ve been exploring myself, so it’s nice to read about the experiences of others before taking the plunge myself.

  11. J.A. Beard says:

    Interesting. This is a very good idea. I’d seen plenty of people talking about short fiction, but not quite in this context before.

  12. Ciara Knight says:

    J.A. I’m so glad you liked the idea. I hope you are able to utilize the information for your own work.

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