Well, maybe not. But you gotta have a catchy title to draw them in.

Joe Konrath, who writes novels under the name J.A. Konrath, is the leading light of self-publishing electronically. His ebooks are on pace to make him more than $100,000 this year. On Kindle alone. He’s done so well Amazon is publishing his next work. He blogs with great transparency about his sales and methods. Lest there be any confusion about what’s to follow, let the record state I think he’s a cool guy, and that it’s wildly awesome he’s been able to seize such a successful independent career.

I, like dozens, possibly thousands of others, was inspired to follow his lead. Last week, I uploaded a collection of my short stories to the Kindle store. I see it as a very low-risk, high-reward venture: I’ve already sold six of the eight stories here. The seventh was previously self-published as part of a charity event. The eight and titular story’s a strong one, but none of the major markets I submitted it to picked it up.

I probably could have sold that story to a smaller market, so my lost opportunity cost was $10-50. It took a few hours to format the text properly, and several hours more to cajole my sexy talented girlfriend into finishing the cover art. That’s it. I’m still seeking the normal route to publication for my sci-fi novel, The Roar of the Spheres.

You know how many copies of WWWM&OS I’ve sold so far to people I don’t know personally? Zero. None. As our friends south of the border would say, absolutamente nothing!!!

Yet I didn’t just post it and move on, like a fire-and-forget missile made out of words about wizards. I introduced When We Were Mutants & Other Stories on kindleboards.com and did some light interaction. I introduced it in the proper section of the Amazon boards. I mentioned it here, and linked to it from the sidebar. Results: nothing.

Not quite the outcome I was expecting after reading up on Konrath’s blog.

Let’s be clear–I wasn’t expecting to be able to fund a wardrobe of gold top hats and sable-fur tighty-grayies off this, either. I would have been happy with $10 a month. Seriously. I hoped to repeat this with other collections down the road and build a small but steady income stream to supplement the other ways I make money, e.g. dancing on the sidewalk for nickels.

One week is not enough data to draw any strong conclusions over. It’s just another production of Small Sample Size Theatre. But so far, my experiment is showing me it’s not as easy as the self-epublishing all-stars make it out to be. I’ll plunge into analysis in my next post.

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I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author, based in LA. Read More.
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