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Selling Short Stories and Novellas As eBooks

Updated on March 8, 2016

Some Initial Thoughts

I’m a little too young to remember pulp fiction magazines and believe me, that is one of the few times this old man can say that he’s “too young.” World War 2 and the increased demand for paper, as well as a changing literature landscape, meant the death of pulp fiction. From 1949 to 1959 all of the major publishers of pulp fiction closed their doors and their products rapidly became collector’s items.

What is pulp fiction?

Pulp fiction was popular during the last half of the 19th Century and first half of the 20th. The name is derived from the use of “cheap”paper, or pulp paper, for publication, as opposed to sleek paper used by the more established magazines. It was, in many way, the successor of the dime novels which were so popular in the mid-and-late 19th Century.

Some pulp fiction stories were printed weekly; some monthly; most sold for ten cents and during the peak of their popularity the more successful pulps would sell upwards of a million copies in the United States alone. You may have heard of some, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective, all famous in their time and still titles known to serious literary collectors.

Lest you think these were written by the scrubs of the literary world, know that some rather famous names started out by writing pulps. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy, Abraham Merritt, John D. MacDonald, all began their careers by churning out pulp fiction.

To eBook or not to eBook? That is the question.
To eBook or not to eBook? That is the question. | Source

So That Got Me to Thinking

I’m not a huge fan of eBooks but there is no denying they are here to stay, and since I’m in no hurry to commit literary suicide, I am interested in them as a vehicle for my own writings. While reading an old pulp fiction a couple months ago, I asked myself if modern-day pulp fiction could be published as eBooks? Would there be a market for short fiction in the pulp fiction style?

Thus was born a series of short stories I’ve written of late about a fictional character named Billy the Kid. Billy is what I consider an anti-hero to be. He may not have the greatest moral compass and yet he is not a real bad guy. He does what he needs to do to survive and more often than not his heart is in the right place. He saves damsels in distress and stands up for the little guy, and often his delivery of justice is violent and not for the squeamish. Quite frankly I love writing about him, and his short stories have been well-received by my followers.

So why not a series of eBooks about Billy?

Why not indeed?

The Billy the Kid Chronicles is born. The first one has been published and can be found to the right of this text, and I’ll try to publish one each month from then on until Billy tells me he’s tired of the literary game. The short stories I’ve written so far have been practice. They have been a way for me to gauge my readers’ reactions and gauge the amount of interest. I’ll have to expand them greatly and I’m sure, during the process, some things will be changed.

And I love that challenge!

Taking a road less travelled
Taking a road less travelled | Source

How Does a Person Price a Pulp Fiction/ebook?

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, shall we? What would people pay for a modern-day pulp fiction?

In many ways, the eBook industry is still virgin territory. There are few rules and few guidelines to follow. We are told by Amazon that full-length novels, eBook style, sell best when priced at $5.99 and above. Short stories, however, sell best at $.99. So what do we do with a pulp fiction that hovers around the 25,000 word length?

One thing worth considering is the price point and writer royalties. Books priced from $2.99 up will give an author a royalty of 70% of the list price. Books priced below $2.99 will only give a 35% royalty. Something to think about, yes?

Can you really price a 25,000 word pulp fiction for $2.99 when full-length novels of 100,000 words sell for $5.99? Seems like a horrible value when seen that way, so one is really stuck with the 35% royalty for a short story or pulp fiction.

My first inclination is to sell the Billy the Kid Chronicles for $.99 each, meaning I’ll make about thirty cents for every sale. I could go $1.99 but even that, to me, seems too high a price. As of the writing of this article I’m still debating. Update: I priced it at ninety-nine cents for the eBook. In my opinion that’s one hell of a bargain.

The first in my thriller series

What About Createspace?

Here’s where we run into problems with this concept. If I choose to also self-publish a paperback version of the “pulp fiction,” I have pricing problems with CreateSpace. The lowest they will let me go on a small book is $5.38. Tack on shipping and I would be asking people to pay over eight bucks for a 25,000 word book/short story and that is definitely too high.

Still, I’ll want copies of any book I write, and it is free to publish with CreateSpace, so my solution is to go ahead and do that, price it at the ridiculous price of $5.38, and then encourage my friends not to buy it. LoL….how’s that for a sales pitch?

Herein lies the major problem with novellas in the publishing industry. The cost of publishing a novella is prohibitive on the best of days, so keep that in mind should you go down this particular path.

I really don't like any of the options
I really don't like any of the options | Source

Other Options

Of course there are other options. One can self-publish on Lulu as well as Smashwords and several other self-publishing sites, and I invite you to take a look at them. For me, though, I’ve always self-published on CreateSpace/Amazon, and I am familiar and comfortable with them, so for me convenience wins out over learning new formatting on a different site.

Will My Plan Work?

I have absolutely no idea. I don’t know how well novellas sell as ebooks. I have no idea how this particular series will be received. I have no idea if it is a complete waste of time.

And I’ll continue to have no idea about any of those things if I don’t try.

So there you go!

And that’s my message to all of you who are hesitating to try something you’ve never tried before.

We will never know if we don’t try!

While I was writing this article, a friend mentioned that Ian Fleming also wrote pulp fiction in his early years. Yes, the creator of James Bond, one of the most successful and widely-read series in history, began as a pulp fiction writer. He had a dream, but he also had enough desire to work hard at his craft, and keep writing until his break came.

And boy oh boy, did it ever come.

So Move over Ian Fleming

James Bond, move aside….Billy the Kid is walking into the building, and he means business. I chuckle as I write that. As a young man I probably had the hubris to believe those words. Today I have a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed, and a firm grasp of the realities of the writing and publishing business.

Wish me luck. I suspect I’ll need it.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Obviously I agree, Lawrence. I hope Shannon goes for it.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 14 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      If I may add my two cents worth. Go for it Shanmarie! It's a challenge for sure but it's a lot of fun working through the stuff.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes, Shannon, I love hubris. LOL

      I can't afford an editor either. I did for my first two novels and since then I've relied on beta readers to catch most of the major mistakes...in other words, I've got some very loyal friends who help me out in exchange for the same from me. You might give that a try.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 14 months ago from Texas

      First of all, is it just me or is hubris a favorite word of yours? LOL

      Second, I would so love to self publish and I'm working on several ideas slowly,ever so slowly. Too slowly, it seems. I keep saying one day I will finish. But then there's the editing, which I really can't afford. I'm all in at this point for at least one when I finish. Because I paid for the publication already through a company. So I will pay for professional editing too. Beyond that. . .marketing stinks! I hate self promotion, at least when I do it. Mostly because it is so time consuming. But I also worry about quality of I were to do something similar to what you've done with this hub series.

      So I guess this is my long winded way of saying good for you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry! I may be wrong, of course, but you'll always get my honest opinion.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 16 months ago from Oklahoma

      I always enjoy your feedback on the writing industry.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I heard that it did, Genna. Hope for all of us, eh?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I've never read an ebook. Probably won't, either....and thank you so much for ordering Shadows. Your support means the world to me.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 16 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Bill. I neglected to mention that I ordered Shadows and can't wait to read it! I wanted the paperback edition. I haven't gone Kindle quite yet -- I'm still the old fashioned kind of gal; I love the smell of tactile feel of paper -- especially with library books -- and the sense and sights of print on a page. I guess that makes me a dinosaur. But I've long since run out of room to put all of my books, so my stubbornness will have to change. Can you imagine in the future, they will say, "Well, that's one for the Kindles." :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I'm obviously a believer in long-shots. Why not, right? Let's do it, buddy!

      bill

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      On the subject of a 'gambie' I was reading Rick Smith's book last night, did you know '50 shades of grey' started life as a self published eBook and hit 250,000 sales before being picked up by a publisher?

      Long shot maybe, but let's try them!

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All very true, Zulma, and you had me smiling with your rationale. It is a gamble so what the heck? Go for it!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, thank you so much, Sha! I hope you enjoy it. Now I have to get busy and get the next installment out.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 16 months ago from United Kingdom

      Glad to see Billy's hit the bookshelves, so to speak.

      You're wondering if this latest venture will bear fruit. Well, when it comes to stuff like that I ask myself, 'If I gamble on this and it fails, will I be worse off than I am now?' If the answer is 'No', then I go for it. If the answer is yes, I go for it anyway. It's a gamble, right. So there is the chance that I could come out of it smelling like roses.

      I think you'll be just fine whatever happens. You'll still have your family, your home and your loyal followers. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 16 months ago from Central Florida

      FYI, I bought the sequel to Shadows Kill yesterday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Lawrence. Those books are never far from this writer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And thank you again, Sha!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No worries, Sha, although this really isn't much of a jump. I'm still publishing them in paperback....it's just that I think they will do much better as eBooks....so I'm just going to pound the pulp fiction idea in both markets and see what happens.

      This is a bit of a change for me...gone are the days when I have time to do articles like this one plus do creative writing. Something had to go or I wouldn't have any time for my animals and Bev. :)

      Thank you for your attention....I'll try not to ever let you down.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      That's great, I'm still learning about this whole 'writing online' thing and asked myself the question about ebooks and hardcopy as I've got friends who'll probably want the hardcopy but others who'll want the ebook, that's partly what prompted me to come back and comment!

      I'm also aware that computers 'die' after a couple of years but I've got some books on my shelves I've had for thirty years and still read them every so often!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 16 months ago from Central Florida

      Lawrence, I've bought all of Bill's paperbacks, with the exception of two: I won a copy of The 12/59 through a short story contest he posted, and I still need to buy the 2nd in the Shadows series. I've put a sticky reminder (see, I'm old school!) on my computer to do that tomorrow.

      I prefer not to buy the for-sale versions of stories that have been posted online. I have another favorite writer who has created books from series he's posted here on HP. I haven't bought those because I've already read the stories. I believe in supporting my writer friends, but I also have to live within my budget.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bravewarrior

      I checked Bills stuff out and they're available in both eBook and paperback. Though I do agree that feeling the book in the hand is nicer than 'on screen'

      For me it'll be a budget thing, if I need it am likely to use the book often I go for hardcopy!

      Just my thoughts

      Lawrence

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 16 months ago from Central Florida

      First, I must say I was surprised to find a billybuc post that isn't an installment in several of your series that I look forward to reading.

      Second, I commend you on your chutzpah to jump into waters you don't particularly care for. As you say, there's a market out there for eBooks.

      I love you, my dear friend, but I choose to purchase your novels in paperback - that is, until you offer them in hardback. I really prefer hardbacks on my collector shelves.

      I guess you can say I'm one of the few members of the rare breed of readers who has no qualms about paying close to $30 for a novel by an author who has my attention.

      YOU have my attention.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Maybe someday, Sparrowlet....hope springs eternal, or so I'm told. :) Thanks for the visit.

    • Sparrowlet profile image

      Katharine L Sparrow 17 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Bill - I enjoyed your musings and the logic in this hub. I have published a few short stories on amazon and I've also self-published poetry books on Lulu. For me, it's mostly just for fun and for myself and my friends and family. Would be nice to make some money but... maybe someday! Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow! Big Blue....great suggestions! My goodness, I never thought of that. I need you as my agent/publicist. LOL I'll be giving that some serious thought. Thank you sir!

    • BigBlue54 profile image

      BigBlue54 17 months ago from Hull, East Yorkshire

      Reading about Lester Dent's formula the thought occurred to me that you could using it very well as part of a subscription story business. People could sign up and receive emails with each new chapter of the story.

      Each story Dent wrote was in four section of 1500 words with a cliffhanger at the end of the first three sections. My thoughts are if you did the same thing you could sell your books through subscription, sending out new chapters each day. If you wrote a 24000 word story and sent each chapter out five days a week that would last a month.

      Using an email service provider such as Mailchimp, Aweber or GetResponse and Stripe to take the payments it can all be automated. When someone signs up they will receive an email with each new chapter of your story. The money will be taken from their accounts by Stripe.

      Just a quick thought. If you charge .49c per chapter you could make $9.80 per book per month.

      The beauty of this is once set up it will just keep running and your involvement will be minimal. All you would need to do is keep and eye on it. That way you can concentrate on looking after your reader, marketing your books and writing new stories.

      And retaining customers is cheaper then finding new one.

      Hope that helps.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      BigBlue, thank you for sharing all that. I do believe it can work....it's a matter of marketing...it always comes down to marketing...but I do believe the market is out there for this sort of thing. Your comment here is very encouraging, so thank you again.

    • BigBlue54 profile image

      BigBlue54 17 months ago from Hull, East Yorkshire

      Just been reading about Lester Dent the author of Doc Savage. Depending on your source he wrote between 159 and 181 books in 16 years. On that last figure that makes about one book a month.

      And each book was 6000 words and written to a formula so it would not be too difficult to do the same.

      While reading this it did occur to me that this could work. Because of information overload many people would go for something this short. And there is a wide and very popular market for short story writing. Flash fiction and nonfiction are both between 750 and 1000 words. So a 6000 word story would not be to big a jump.

      And I have just done a search on Amazon for Doc Savage. Over 1000 paperbacks and ebooks. Some originals and some new. One came out on Kindle just seven days ago.

      Okay. You can colour me intrigued. And I am starting to think you have an open door to push here Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you BigBlue. I'm curious myself and for a lot of writers, I hope it can be revived.

    • BigBlue54 profile image

      BigBlue54 17 months ago from Hull, East Yorkshire

      Hi Billy, I as so focussed on passing on the info I forgot to say how much I enjoyed the Hub. It will be interesting to see if the genre can be revived. Good luck with it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, you would be a natural at this. I suspect you already have a pulp fiction written and don't know it yet.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      BigBlue, great suggestions. I'll check into them today as time allows. Thanks for sharing that with all of us.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 17 months ago from Shelton

      Billybuc.. I found this hub fascinating... interesting and kind of useful my friend.. good luck with your book hope all goes well with it.. and thanks for sharing this hub with us :)

    • BigBlue54 profile image

      BigBlue54 17 months ago from Hull, East Yorkshire

      Hi Billy,

      As an idea for your createspace book. If you think it costs to much why not sell if for $5.38 post free. People love post free.

      If you do that it could boost your sales. One of the biggest reasons for abandoned shopping carts is unexpected added costs. So post free will be a help.

      Not sure anyone has mentioned this but have you thought of using Business Pinterest to market your books? The Pinterest's business site has something called Rich Pins.

      https://business.pinterest.com/en-gb/rich-pins

      (This, I believe is the UK Pinterest business site)

      Rich Pins allows you to put added information on your pin and then a link to your sales page. So you could put you book cover on the pin. Add some blurb about your book and then a link for you sales page.

      They are very slow at rolling this out but Pinterest are looking to add a Buy It button at some point.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur! I'm going to give it my best shot and see what happens.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 17 months ago from Dubai

      All the best and am sure that Billy the Kid will be a roaring success. We will never know if we do not try, so true.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 17 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I, for one, am pleased to see that pulp fiction is returning. I remember the old Edgar Rice Burroughs material, as a family friend used to send them over by the shopping bag when I was growing up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True dat, Mike! LOL I'll try to pick up my pace and marketing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate your thoughts, Lawrence, and you are definitely not out of line sharing them. That's how this community of writers is supposed to work, all of us sharing our experience and expertise...so thank you very much.

      bill

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 17 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      We are cutting it kind of close. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, you and I are both waiting for the big-time....your pay will increase as my popularity does....I just hope we both live long enough for that to happen. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 17 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I've been thinking about your pricing, and I may be 'out of line' but think in this. Over here a paperback sells for $30 (NZ) The classics I can sometimes get at heavily discounted bargain prices of $10 (NZ).

      The Kiwi $ is about .70c US so your pricing of about $8 (US) is a damn good price, I know being 'pulp fiction' means it might not be a long book but many of the paperbacks would fit that category!

      I will be looking at the eBook later.

      Just my thoughts

      Lawrence

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 17 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      I see you have been properly encouraged. I guess I have to officially lower the price of a cover, until the series catches on like prairie fire.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sparrow...you are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Richard and I agree about pulp fiction. Actually, the Billy book is in ebook form as well....I just neglected to link it...but thanks for the suggestion.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thank you Faith. That is very kind of you. If I ever reached a level of fame, it would be in great part due to the wonderful support you and others have given me over the years.

      blessings and love always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Blossom. I'm not sure I'm feeling that much confidence, but if I don't make it big, it won't be for lack of effort.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 17 months ago

      Thank you Sir Bill for sharing :) Wishing you all the very best for your E-Books :) God bless you!!

    • Richard-Bivins profile image

      Richard Bivins 17 months ago from Charleston, SC

      Awesome Bill... I notice your Billy the Kid book links to a paperback and not an ebook, have you made it an ebook yet? I personally just use Amazon's Kindle Publishing for my short books. You and your readers might want to check out a Facebook Group called 'Pat's First Kindle Book' where you will find a wealth of information about formatting, pricing, marketing, etc of Kindle ebooks. I've been a member of the group for some time now and I've learned so many 'tricks' of the trade that it gets me excited to launch my next book.

      I'm sure I mentioned once before that my new favorite genre of writing is Pulp Fiction. One of the reasons is because it follows a tried and true format which is why the greats of the 'old days' were able to churn them out weekly. I think they're fun writes, with over the top heroes and villains and since they are so short, they make the perfect device for ebook readers. Best of luck with your series.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 17 months ago from southern USA

      Wow, Bill, I found this all so interesting, especially being I did not know much about pulp fiction, except for that movie LOL. I believe you are on to something great and you are right in your thinking that if we never try, we will never know! I have this feeling one day we will all be saying "We knew him when ..." Greatness has to start somewhere. Since I've been focusing on your fabulous "When the Corn Died" series, I've missed the Billy the Kid series, so I will just purchase it! Cool thoughts shared here, dear Bill. Keep the Faith

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria. We shall see. I'm not nearly as confident but I am hopeful. :)

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 17 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      I do wish you luck, but I have an inkling that you don't really need it, you'll do so well. Thank you for the good ideas, too.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 17 months ago from Central Florida, USA

      Good luck, Bill. I know you will succeed. Thanks for the info on what pulp fiction is. I have wondered about that for quite a while.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you make me laugh....have a whizz of a Wednesday? Never heard that one but you can bet I'll use it in a story one day.

      Happy Happy to you!

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 17 months ago from SW England

      I do wish you all the luck in the world, bill. I'm sure you'll succeed even though I know nothing about the ebook world. I don't even want to go there as I'm far too much of a traditionalist, probably to my own detriment.

      You're quite right about 'if you don't try'... but I'm content to remain a luddite!

      Great advice here for those who want to give it a try and I wish them all the best of luck. Those who give it a go and write well deserve to succeed.

      From an extremely windy Somerset - almost got blown over in town this morning - my excuse to have a day off house-clearing/cleaning; ugh! It's coming on though; we can see the wood from the trees.

      Have a whizz of a Wednesday, bill!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, DDE!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Aesta! A novel? Where will I find the time?

      I'll start searching for it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I think you are correct. This is escapism with a message, one we can all wrap our brains around....thank you once again, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I'll try not to disappoint you in coming chapters.

      Happy Wednesday, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I'm not sure that even fits under the category of "problem." LOL Thanks for that info....I'll let you know when the money starts flowing in.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! All I need is a hundred thousand followers like you. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Marlene! It is a joy walking this path with so many, like you, who love the power of the written word. Blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Jackie, I hope I'm like those many people, then. :) Thanks for the encouragement, my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Brilliant writing and good luck!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 17 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      We will never know unless we try. It is good to have trailblazers like you. I would like to see Billy the Kid as a novel. There is so much you have already written that a trilogy is in the offing. I used to be a fan of pulp fiction in newspapers but now with the ease of getting novels, I'd rather buy novels. I really enjoy Billy the Kid and am waiting for the novel.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 17 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Just reading the comments here I think the market for stories like Billy is probably larger than we think! Billy (and stories like his) rights the wrongs in his world that we can't do in ours!

      Best of luck

      Lawrence

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 17 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. I'm sure you will be successful whatever direction you take. And 99 cents sure sounds like a deal to me. You had all of us on the edge of our seats following Billy the Kid so I have every reason to believe that he will continue to entertain us and keep us looking forward to the next chapter. Have a great Week.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 17 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I actually got a copy of Fleming's 'Moonraker' years ago. It's nothing like the Movie and neither is Bond like the character in the movies! Fleming's character. He's more like Billy than you realize!

      One thing I noticed with CreateSpace is they've just opened up 'shop' in Europe and the info I was reading the other day said they pay out in the local currency where your book sells!! Not sure I read it right but it means if your book does well in Germany then you'll get paid in Euros! If it does well in Britain then in pounds sterling!

      Could be a nice problem to have!

      Lawrence

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 17 months ago from The Caribbean

      I appreciate how you laid the thought process that resulted in the decisions you made. Hope you do very well!

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I've always said, writing is a reward in and of itself, but it would be nice to make a few more dollars doing it. :) Thanks always!

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Missy, thank you very much. If I do find that success you can bet I'll share it with all of you.

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      Marlene Bertrand 17 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I don't think you'll need any luck, Bill. You already have what readers want to read. You just need to find an avenue that will introduce your books to the masses, and when that happens, the world will be rewarded. You are talented beyond your belief. I am happy that I get to be part of your writer's journey. It is really quite an adventure. It's fun! Thank you for sharing it with us.

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      Jackie Lynnley 17 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Really interesting Bill. I have seen many people sell eBooks like crazy and they keep doing it so it must be doing something! Good luck with yours!

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      William Leverne Smith 17 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Best wishes, for sure! We very much appreciate you sharing your experiences here on HubPages. I've published several ebooks via Lulu but they are each available on Amazon.com. I have a very small following so sales are nearly invisible. You have a substantial following... I hope you have satisfactory success. Again, best wishes, for sure!! ;-)

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      Missy Smith 17 months ago from Florida

      Well, you know what this chic is going to say. I have no doubt that you will be successful; no doubt at all. I'm looking forward to hearing all about your endeavor of becoming a success in the self-publishing arena. :)

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Molly! That is very kind of you.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Heidi! I guess we'll all find out if this is a total failure or a moderate success...but nothing will happen if I don't try it. :)

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 17 months ago from Alberta

      I'm convinced you can nail that market, Billy.

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      Heidi Thorne 17 months ago from Chicago Area

      Self publishing is always an experiment! Go you! Please let us know how this experiment works out. Hope you're having a great week so far!

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! We shall see, my friend. I appreciate your support.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good luck Clive. No worries...the first book rarely does well.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I have a feeling you will do well with this series. Best Wishes..

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      Clive Williams 17 months ago from Nibiru

      i am in the process of creating my second ebook. Never had any success with the first. But i think i will do much better this time around.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Sally, because I'm still waiting to hear about your eBook being published. :)

      Thank you my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lena, I'm not certain I have a definite answer for you. What I do know is what is suggested...novellas shouldn't be priced as high as novels....I'm assuming those suggestions are based on sales history on Amazon. That's all I have to go by in making my pricing decisions.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Molly! I do believe there is a market for this sort of thing. My job is to find that market with the best writing I can produce.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, thanks for those ideas. I'll give them some thought. This is virgin territory for me, so I plan on stumbling along and also listening to friends like you.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 17 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy, Brilliant!

      You never know unless you try. I don't think I need much more convincing. Thank you.

      Sally.

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      Lena Kovadlo 17 months ago from Staten Island, NY

      I have been introduced to Lulu when I wanted to publish my first book and I have been using them ever since because I know what to do and how things work, etc... I wouldn't want to subject myself to learning a new publishing platform like say CreateSpace.

      But the advantage of CreateSpace is that authors make more per book on Amazon when they publish with CreateSpace than they do when publishing with Lulu and distributing to Amazon. And though I do not know this I am sure CreateSpace books can be priced less while still making a decent enough royalty per book on Amazon because CreateSpace is an Amazon company.

      Lulu books have a retail markup when distributed to Amazon and therefore to make a decent enough royalty per book authors have to make the retail price of the book higher.

      One thing I am wondering after reading your hub... when readers look at the price of the book do they really take into account how big the book is in deciding if it's priced well or not? Will readers not buy a book that is small if it costs about the same as a book with many more pages?

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 17 months ago from Alberta

      I hope your story sells well at your definition of "well". Amazon seems to be the best place for e-books. The pulp novel is definitely alive and well in the digital age - have you seen the romance section?

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      Melissa Propp 17 months ago from Minnesota

      Good luck Bill! I've been told 25,000 word novella series can be quite popular in ebook form (many are romance, but there is an audience for all genres and series sell the best--at least that is what I've been told over and over again). I do know that a lot of people will price their novella's at 99 cents and then bundle four of them together and sell that bundle for 2.99. And others will change the first in series to free, after they have several out...that way people get hooked on your story and then grab the bundle, rather than buying each individual.

      Just some ideas, as I have not personally done any of it! Good luck!!

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo! I really have nothing to lose by trying, so let's do it!!!!!

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Letstalk.....we'll all find out together whether it is a worthwhile effort.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I'll answer that now and in the Mailbag. I'm going to try and publish one per month...at ninety-nine cents each I don't think that's too much....maybe one every two months at the latest. That is a purely random decision, by the way.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, there is no way you were born yet....you are much too young. :)

      Thank you as always for your kind words.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I'm sending prayers and hugs your way. I'm sorry to hear about your husband and your back...blessings, my friend.

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that, Michael my friend....so very true!!!

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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, it's a hot seller. That's two sales this morning. HOORAY and Thank you so much!