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.

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