Author interview: David Michael

How did you become interested in short stories?
Short stories scared me when I was younger. Not the stories themselves, really. The *writing* of short stories scared me. How was I suppose to get these big ideas in my head into a little short story? I didn't know. =)

In 2006, though, I realized that if I wanted to improve as a writer, I needed a faster turnaround for feedback than I was getting from novels. My first real novel took a long time to finish, and I could see how much I had improved as a writer by comparing the last few chapters with the first few. Short stories seemed a good way to write something to completion, and then get it judged (by me, by my wife, by anyone who happened by my blog at the time).

As I wrote short story after short story that year, I fell in love with the format. I also learned a lot about writing. =) I've continued to write short stories ever since (though not at the same rate).

As an author, do you think writing short stories is worthwhile?  Why?
Not every story needs a 3-book, 600,000-word telling. Or even a 1-book, 100,000-word telling. Or even a ... You get the idea. =)

Some stories are naturally, well, short.

Also, I like to use short stories to explore ideas (characters, settings, narrative style) before I try to expand them. I've also used short stories to revisit characters from novels I've already written.

Do you consider 99 cents to be a fair price for a standalone short story?  Why or why not?
Absolutely. The price just *fits*. In the future, I expect the price will go up (just like it has for music), adjusting for inflation and "star power", but for this moment in time, it's the perfect price.

My only complaint is that the current royalty structure for the 99 cent price point is so low.

Check out David's work on Amazon


  1. I think you're right, David, about the price structure depending upon start power.
    Just the other day I paid $3-something for a short thriller by Stephen King (Riding the Bullet).
    I read it in an afternoon, and it was worth every penny.

    Shana Hammaker
    METAMORPHOSIS, Twelve Terrifying Tales for 2011

  2. Very, very true. I've noticed this on iTunes as well. Everything used to be 99 cents. Now the more popular songs are 1.99 or available with CD purchase only. Sure, there might be some teeth grinding as a result. But I don't think music sales have dropped dramatically.

  3. When I released my first short story last fall, which was also my first ebook, I had the idea of pricing based on word count. That is, running through a range of prices from $.49 up to $1.99. I was quickly disabused of this idea. First, Amazon didn't allow prices less than $.99. Second, Apple would round all prices up to the nearest $.99. After a couple weeks, I just priced the short story at $.99 (I had started it at $1.29, I think) and decided from then on, all short stories would be $.99, regardless of length. From 2000 words (my personal ebook single mininum) to 10000 words.


  4. I did the same thing! I had this whole formula worked out in my head and then... I realized there was a minimum price. I think I had originally planned on releasing the stories for like 75 cents and then charging $1.50 for Payroll (novella). But that was back when I was young and innocent and I did not realize the bloodthirsty price war I had gotten myself into.


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