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Monday, August 2, 2021

Is There a Market for Short Story Paperback Books?

 I had written a short story back in 2019 titled Night in the Underworld, and it’s about an Uber driver who reaches a crossroad in his life and has to decide on whether or not to continue driving. The book is only fifty pages long, so I published it in eBook format only at first. My coworker, who works in the IT department and is a fellow writer and musician, gave me the idea to write this story because I used to drive for Uber from 2016 to the middle of 2018. He said that people would want to know my story―a sort of Taxicab Confessions if you will―which was a popular show on HBO in the mid-nineties up to the early 2000s. So, I decided to create a fiction novel that was loosely based on some of my experiences as an Uber driver.

Uber Driver

 I shared with him that I had finally completed the story, and that the eBook was available for purchase on Amazon. He asked me if the book was also available in paperback, and I said no because the book was too short. He then suggested that I sell a paperback version because a lot of readers like himself read short fiction, and that there’s definitely a market for it. I decided to take his advice and sell the book in paperback, but it took some time to gain traction because I didn’t know how to price it at first. I believe that it didn’t sell too many copies in the beginning due to the fact that it was priced too high―I initially priced it at $6.95, but a couple of customers complained in the review section that the book cost too much for the length of it. I subsequently dropped the price a dollar, and the sales took off from there.

I wrote another fiction short story titled Sins of the Father, and I used the same formula as I did previously with the first one. Sales exploded in the beginning but tapered off somewhat after a year in spite of a steady dose of marketing. I realized that there was a market for short story fiction books and will continue to write them, but I will have to figure out a way to sustain the momentum because I haven’t figured out why some of my books continue to sell at a high clip while others fizzle out even though all of my books have good ratings.

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