Write and [Self] Publish your [Short] Stories: A Manual
- 2 hours on-demand video
- 2 articles
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- How to publish your short story.
- Tips for self-editing your story.
- How to create a self-publish checklist.
- How to create advertisements on Amazon.
- How to create an online and offline presence.
- An idea for a short story, or an already written short story.
This course will have three main objectives.
First: Provide a checklist on what needs to be done before the publishing stage. This is done with a video per item on the list.
Second: Teach you how to upload your story to Amazon.
Third: Marketing. How to make and run Amazon ads, how to create and build a social media presence, and how to attend book conventions.
At the end of the course, you will have the knowledge to create an e-book, write a blurb, get a cover, master keywords and categories, run ads, and understand how to market yourself.
- Beginning writers.
- Unpublished writers.
- Writers curious as to where their stories can go.
- Writers in general!
What type of story do you have, and what type do you want?
I mention blog posts have made their way into the Amazon Kindle Store, and since I can't link to Amazon products on Udemy, I suggest you search "How to Add a Device to my Amazon Account" and "How to Write a Book.
Most of the results you see used to be blog posts, but with the search function of the kindle (the new kindles will allow you to search, but the first results are Amazon results, therefore, most of the 'blog posts' are Amazon or writing related) the blog posts have become e-books
All this is to say: the idea of a traditional book or story is falling away. e-Books give you the ability to publish anything of any length, like pamphlets or posts.
If you're looking to commission a cover designer, you can check here Fiverr or Deviant Art.
If you're looking to buy a pre-made cover, you can try searching for it, or looking through some examples in the link under resources.
If you're looking to do it yourself, think about using a program like GIMP, or websites like freephototool or Canva.
If you are planning to make your own cover, consider posting a few versions to Instagram to get an idea of what people prefer. Or Facebook, if you have a Facebook.
All links are available in the resources.
Blurbs can take many forms, and they are the bane of many an author. Like I explain in this video, it's best to have someone else write the blurb for you. Even if a friend does the bones of it, and you go in a tweak it a bit.
To get you started, here are some blurbs from famous books.
Hunger Games: May the odds be ever in your favor. Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death. In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live tv show called Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.
Notice how this blurb doesn't mention any character names, and doesn't give you much to work with as far as content. Is it grabbing? Absolutely. Is it accurate? Not entirely. Reading the book will tell you the Hunger Games is more like televised retribution, and less like a tv show, but the wording makes it far more interesting.
The Mars Room: It’s 2003 and Romy Hall, named after a German actress, is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: her young son, Jackson, and the San Francisco of her youth. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, portrayed with great humor and precision.
This one gives us more information, sets the scene and the characters, and tosses in some examples of the trials that are awaiting in its pages.
Eleven-year-old George Washington Black—or Wash—a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is initially terrified when he is chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning, and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human.
But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, they must abandon everything and flee together. Over the course of their travels, what brings Wash and Christopher together will tear them apart, propelling Wash ever farther across the globe in search of his true self. Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again
This one is far larger than the last two, giving us massive amounts of information from story, to characters, to drive, to confrontation.
Pick a book off your bookshelf and look at the back, or inside flap. Look through some books online. What kind of blurb do you like best?
Beta readers are an important aspect of any kind of publishing, and they can be found anywhere. Here are a few links to get you started if you're having trouble finding one locally. I recommend only using a few, and to keep using them on anything you write. They'll begin to understand your writing style better, and offer more specific critique.
How to add in yourself as the author, and others as contributors. Like stated in the video, if you add in other contributors, it will appear as if there were multiple writers until the customer searches in the description section for the author.
If you want to publish a story or book under a pseudonym, Amazon allows you to do so without any difficulty. Simply enter a different name in the 'Author' box and that name will appear as the Author. Your name, and your KDP info will not be associated with the Author's name in any way. So you don't need a new email or website, unless you want to make one!
An in-depth look into the description section.
In the resources, I have a link to the Amazon Description Generator, and the KDP help page.
An in-depth look into categories.
If you're story can fit into a small or underused category, consider placing it there. If it achieves any sales, that will push the book into the 'Best Selling' Category, which will give your story a huge push. To find out what categories are small, simply look at the best selling books of that category, and find out their Amazon Sales Rank, then take that sales rank, and enter it into the KDP Calculator (Here: https://kindlepreneur.com/amazon-kdp-sales-rank-calculator/) completely free. It will tell you how many sales you need per day to achieve the #1 rank.
Let's take a look at what we talked about in the video.
35%: You make 35% of the list price on any price between $.99 and $200. You are not charged 'Delivery.'
70%: You make 70% of the list price on any price between $2.99 and $9.99. You pay $.15/MB as a 'Delivery' cost.
In the Resources section, I added a link to their own breakdown of the costs associated with pricing.
In this video we cover the basics of creating an ad, and how to build a keyword list. There are tools out there that I can't link to, unfortunately, because they are paid tools. But if you have money and no time, there are tools that can help the keyword list building.
Like I said in the video, your login is your Amazon and KDP login.
In this video, we talk about how to build an offline presence.
If you're looking to buy something to hand out, like bookmarks or business cards, try www.vistaprint.com.
If you're looking into going to conventions, here's a little list of things you'll need to get you started.
A great attitude!
If you're looking for some websites with a list of conventions, try starting here (Also available in the resources):
Unfortunately, the best way to find out about book conventions is by going to book conventions.