So, you decided to write a stand alone/short story. Good job. Now the fun part. Deciding what to do with it.
If you’re self publishing your book, you have many options with a stand alone story. The first caution that I will give you is to treat this shorter piece as you would a full length book manuscript. What does that mean? Edit it. Let your beta readers have a read through.
Quality is always job one, but once you’ve gotten there here are at least some of the more interesting options out there.
Publish It Individually:
Self publishing amounts to a lot of trial and error. No matter how much homework you do, DIY marketing will test your creativity and patience. Why not find out what methods work and what methods you’re comfortable with on a stand alone?
Fiction is, as the web types say, evergreen. Meaning, it’s not going to become less relevant as your career creeps forward. Your story will be out there as long as you are, and if you’re building a catalog that book with remain viable and relevant.
Use It As A Loss Leader:
One of the things I love to write about is music. Often, bands with albums coming out will offer teaser tracks. Single songs or obscure versions of album tracks designed to draw interest.
As a music writer, I am far more likely to write about an album if I have heard a track before. Why not put that story out to your audience as a freebie? Just give it away. You’ll build fans that way.
Send your short to a tastemaking blogger. You know who, the one you want to eventually review the novel. They are more likely to give the full thing a read if they like that short.
Use It As A Crowdsourcing Tool:
Most creatives have considered taking their project to the public in a crowdfunding space. Writers should be no different. I’ve seen authors crowdfunding their hard back editions, second editions, book trailers… you name it.
What make a successful crowdfunding campaign? Incentives.
You may not be able to get ten dollars for your book on Amazon, but you may be able to use it as an incentive to get a ten dollar donation from a backer. Again, think of your book as evergreen. Five years from now, if you’re going for a self publishing hard back run, your stand alone may be a valuable tool in reaching your goals.