Writing short stories or books

Writing a book, editing it, creating a cover for it – and publishing it – is a huge task. Yet tens of thousands of people are doing just that.

Think a teenager can’t write as well as an adult? Try looking at some of the writing posted by teenagers on Figment¬†– you’ll see a mix of beginner prose and very accomplished prose.


Practice your writing before trying to write or publish a book

Even people who’ve written and published a series of books will tell you they are still improving their craft.

Seek out feedback from online critique groups – people who are truthful and good writers themselves give the most valuable feedback.


I don’t think I can write a whole book

A book is big thing to take on. You can try your hand at writing short stories.

Short stories are a craft unto themselves, and are not just a shortcut when you don’t want to write an entire book.

You can still upload a short story onto Amazon – it may be best to make it no shorter than 5000 words if you want to charge money for it (and you probably couldn’t ask for more than USD $0.99c) The lower price as compared to books is not a reflection on the quality of short stories – simply that customers perceive that they have received more for their money with a book than a short story.


Teaming up to write a book of short stories

If you have a group of writer friends whose writing you love, teaming up to put a book together can be a fantastic idea – and a lot of fun!

Before you start:

  • Choose carefully who you work with
  • Choose a theme for the stories

Ensure one of you makes up a statement of

  • how the team will work on the book
  • how the team will complete the book
  • when the team will complete the book
  • how any future profit will be¬†distributed
  • what happens if one of more members of the team don’t complete their stories
  • what happens if one or more members of the team want to pull out

How much money can I make?

With Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program, you can make 0.35% of every book you sell, or 70% of every book you book (but you must price your books USD $2.99 or higher to choose the 70% option)

So, if you chose the 70% option and you price your book at $2.99, and you sold a hundred books, you would make approximately $200.

With so many books out there, it’s not easy to get noticed. And of course, no matter how much you promote, you still need to have written something that captures people’s imaginations.


Develop a thick skin

If you’re going to put your work out there, realize that strangers will read it – and some of them may give your work a bad review. A bad review may simply be due to someone reading something in a genre they don’t enjoy or it just doesn’t capture them. But if too many bad reviews rock in, there may be something amiss with the book itself. If you get crushed easily, putting a book out there may not be for you!


How can I promote my book?

  • Make a Facebook page for your book. Ask your friends to Like your book page and spread the word!
  • Make a Twitter account and network with your chosen target market (eg. readers and book bloggers etc.).
  • Hang out where your target market does and get known. Some forums allow signatures where you can link back to your website. Just don’t spam! Everyone hates it when people join a community just to post about their business.