I’ve been publishing some of my work as e-books during the past year. Some of the projects have been full-length novels, but others have been shorter pieces, such as novellas, short stories and mini-collections.
The flexibility of the format is one of the things I like about e-publishing. It wouldn’t be profitable to publish a short story as a hard copy. You would have to price it way above the market in order to cover distributor cuts and printing. However, you can e-publish the same story and make a profit.
Authors are continuing to explore the format. Short stories are now often published with the first couple chapters of the author’s upcoming novel so that the affordably priced e-book also becomes a nice marketing piece for the author. Other authors actually make the short story a prequel to the novel. I’ve seen James Rollins and Steve Berry do this.
Other authors are serializing stories. Dean Koontz did it this past summer with his Odd Interludes released in three parts. It also now appears that the single stories have been removed from sale and he’s selling them as a combined story so he gets double exposure.
Many of the non-fiction e-books have links within the copy that can take you right to the web site or source material. Other books have become interactive, which I’m guessing is being called an “enhanced e-book.”
I’m sure before too long some enterprising author will come up with another new way to market his or her work. I’m definitely using some of the formats to present my work, but mainly I’m enjoying the wide range of reading options.