Q: I write erotic paranormal short stories. I currently have 14 stories and am starting to grow a big following. I was thinking of a building a website where people can pay to read my stories.

What are your thoughts on this?


A: My recommendation, as a published author and marketing consultant:

pay to read, stephen kingStephen King tried this sort of thing back in 2000.  Sure, he made a ton of money on a few installments where readers paid to read on the honor system, but he’s Stephen Fucking King.  In the end, paying readers petered out and the story was never finished.  If a complete unknown were to do this today, they’d fail miserably and eventually their mother would get tired of paying a buck a chapter.

If you’re going to have people pay to read your stories then there is no reason why you shouldn’t let them have a whole book.  You’ve certainly got the material for it, so what’s holding you back?  The days of expensive vanity publishers are over.  Anyone can publish a book nowadays.

If you already have 14 stories, here’s what you need to do:

1. Get an editor (I can recommend several) and get all your stories edited.  I don’t care if you are Stephen King – you need an editor to catch the things that make readers twitch.

2. Get a book cover done (again, I can recommend some great artists along the price spectrum).  There are plenty of great cover artists out there who are happy to sell you their work at a reasonable price.  Get something that will grab the reader because although you can’t judge a book by its cover, readers are drawn to buy with good covers.

3. Set up a website (I have a free class online that shows you how to set up a complete author website and social networks at http://lisapietsch.com/free-course/).  If you want to be more than a one hit wonder, you’ll need a solid online platform.  A website, Facebook Page and Twitter account are a good start.  Check out my class.  People usually pay $90 for it so you’re getting it at a steal.

4. Self-publish your book of 13 stories through Amazon.com.  It doesn’t cost a dime to publish at Amazon.  Set up your Amazon Author Page once your book is live.

5. Use your 1st story as a giveaway on your website to help build your following. Be sure to note at the end of the story that there’s more where that came from and include a clickable link that will take readers directly to your Author Page at Amazon.com where they can buy your first book of 13 stories and each subsequent book you write thereafter.

Writers: Save Time & Energy with My Social Media Marketing Tips

* indicates required

Email Format

View previous tips.