When I signed my contract with Musa Publishing for "Identity Thief," I went into the experience with low expectations. It was an experiment, after all. I didn't think many people would buy a short story in eBook format for 99 cents when they could pay the same amount for a self-published novel. And I was right. Not many have—just under a couple dozen.
But they have. People out there actually shelled out 99 cents for one of my stories. The Musa staff were great to work with, and I know "Identity Thief" benefitted from their input.
Their marketing? Not so much. But I know better than to think anybody is going to advertise for me. Their cover art? It's fine, but I would have enjoyed putting it together myself. Their editing? Working with the editor assigned to my story was a great experience, and I know "Identity Thief" is better for it.
The bottom line: $? If all of my sales went through the Musa website, I'd make 50% on each one. But the majority of readers make their purchases on Amazon; and with a 99-cent price tag, Musa and I split the 35% made on every Amazon sale. That's right: I make 17.5 cents.
Now let's take a look at Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. Three weeks ago, I formatted a reprint of "Fool's Gold" and assembled the cover art for it. After some advertising, making it available for free (giving away over 250 copies), the sales have continued to trickle in, and I'm making 35 cents on every one. That's real burrito money, folks!
Will I take the Musa route again with an unpublished short story? Maybe. But I'm definitely having a great time making reprints available via Amazon's KDP—and speaking of which, looky here:
Only 99 cents!
(For all y'all participating in the A to Z Blogfest, here's a link to the series I ran last year: Short Fiction Markets from A to Z. I look forward to reading your alphabetical posts this month!)