How To Sell Short Stories On Amazon  to make money

How To Sell Short Stories on Amazon

Are you curious about writing short stories and earning money by publishing them?

If that’s a yes, then look no distant than Amazon!

With over 300 million active consumers, Amazon is the world’s largest online vendor, making it an excellent platform to reach a broad audience for your short stories.

And with the advancement of self-publishing, getting your stories in front of e-readers and making a profit has become more comfortable than ever.

But how can you guarantee that your stories stand out from the remains and sell?

In this article, we’ll peek at why you need to begin writing short stories and provide useful tips on how to start writing short stories that sell on Amazon.

Short stories are ideal for new authors who like to start with little details about publishing. They offer a remarkable and exciting chance to write for profit and success.

What is a Short Story

Short stories, occasionally directed to as novellas, are exactly what they sound like – narratives that are less comprehensive than full-length novels.

However, the definition can vary depending on the genre that you have a lovely spot for.

For example, an Amazon Kindle single in the fiction category—where books normally exceed 120,000 words—might be about 30,000 words long.

Meanwhile, a short fiction writing in the romance genre might be around five thousand words.

See the distinction?

Believe it or not, several experienced self-published authors consider writing a short story more challenging than preparing a longer novel.

With short stories, there’s a need to streamline the narrative, often resulting in less complex settings, fewer characters, and maybe a single pivotal event.

It’s important to avoid cramming too much into your short story to keep it from seeming overcrowded.

Once you’ve learned this art, the possibilities are endless.


You may not have acknowledged it before, but some of the most iconic pieces of literature in the world have been short stories, not full-length, Tale-of-Two-Cities-type novels. Short stories can be just as impactful as longer novels and have many advantages that longer stories struggle to match.


The holy cup in online marketing for the last several years has been “passive income.” As Warren Buffet famously stated, “If you don’t find a method to make money while you sleep, you’ll work until you pass.”

Stories like Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart and Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery are all read and introduced widely in schools all over the United States, and cause posthumous income for their family’s estates to this day.

Suppose you chose to sit down one week and crank out a dozen or so short stories. They each sell for a dollar per, and you list them on all the main marketplaces.


There are over 50 million books on Amazon, and hundreds more are added every day. 

You may feel that that’s too crowded of a market, but in a slight nod to the ever-growing short story market, Amazon just debuted Kindle Vella. 

To prepare on this platform, stories have to be between 600-5,000 words. That doesn’t necessarily indicate it has to be a self-contained story, however; Amazon is concentrating on “serialized fiction” with the Vella platform. In other words, a full-length novel is split up into chunks to provide the reader with an someone “episode.”

You can utilize this to write a series of short stories or release a longer book in individual bites. Whatever your writing style needs, Amazon has a platform for you to take benefit of.


Before we speak up short stories too much, we need to take a short reality check. Writing something — anything — of value is incredibly difficult. Not only is there outlining interesting, but also research, numerous drafts, editing, and proofreading to take care of.

That’s why, even if it only takes you about half an hour to write 1000 words, the last result for that same amount can take more than three hours.

But, since short stories are multiple times shorter than full-length novels (anything over 60,000 words, relying on the genre), they’re still comparatively quicker to create.

And when they’re quicker to create, that implies you can create more assets in a shorter period. More assets mean more earnings and more ways to multiply your earnings.


Traditional publishing is a completely different ballgame. The cost of shipping a book is excessive. Printing and shipping costs are more clear, but lesser-known fees like formatting and ISBN registration numbers element in as well.

Digital cuts through all of that. To start posting books on Amazon, all you require is a story; you can format it yourself for free via various services like Reedsy. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) option permits you to self-publish your ebooks, get to market fast, and reach millions of possible buyers.

Low costs also indicate cheaper purchase prices for the customer and more earnings for you. Even with Amazon’s fees of 35-70% per book (depending on if you enroll in KDP Select), that still leaves a substantial amount of income in your pocket.

And don’t forget about Kindle Unlimited. When you enroll to publicize books in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service, you get royalties off of every single page an individual reads in your books. Pack sufficiently short stories together, and people may be reading thousands if not tens of thousands, of your pages every day.

How to make money with short stories

If you are pushing to get rich as a short story writer, you might like to rethink your plans. But that definitely doesn’t mean you should stop writing short stories, nor does it mean you can’t earn money from them.

In full exposure, I do not make a tenancy writing short stories. I have made a very good living as a writer, but that has been for business/marketing writing, which is quite a bit distinct from writing short stories. However, I have had over 300 short stories published, including dozens from paying venues. The most I have ever made from a single short story is $500, and my total revenue from short stories in the last 10 years is around $5000. Not a ton of money by any stretch of the vision, but enough to provide part of my vinyl addiction.

Upon listening to these numbers, other writers routinely ask me how I’ve managed to have so much victory with my short stories. Apparently, $5000 from short stories is pretty good. Presented, some publications pay a lot for a single story, but the kind of writing I do isn’t a good fit for those publications.

My shortcomings as a writer aside, let’s dip into how you can make money from your short stories.

Sell short stories on Amazon

Self-publishing and selling your short stories on Amazon is another method you can make a worthy side income with your stories. It’s essential to start with low expectations, and you’ll be required to work hard to get the word out about your stories.

I’m not going to give you a tutorial on how to sell short stories through Amazon. It’s a very easy procedure, and you can discover a lot of other articles out there that will walk you through the procedure. Or you can just log in to Amazon’s KDP site and do it yourself without reading any tutorials. All you need is a well-formatted short story and some proper cover art.

Short story writer C.S. DeWildt has gone the Amazon route with his short stories, and although he hasn’t gotten wealthy from his writing, he does have some excellent advice for writers hoping to sell their stories:

“If I had more time to upgrade my work and could build up a bigger log of stories, I understand I could be very successful on Amazon. While I haven’t made a lot of money, it’s straightforward to get your work on Amazon, and it’s a lot more money than I would have made if I HADN’T accomplished it.”

One big benefit of publishing a short story through Amazon rather of traditional publishing is that you can stand to make money forever. Most of the time, when you sell a short story to a publisher, you’ll get a one-time fee. With Amazon, you’ll gather a royalty every time a copy of your story sells. The downside is that you’ll have to do the dealing to get the word out about your story. Don’t just expect people to find it, although you might get blessed. I have published several short stories on Amazon under a pen name, and one of them was chosen by a rather large news website because of the punctuality and outlandishness of the topic. This directed to a lot of sales in a very short time, and the story still gets in a few dollars a month.


Selling short stories is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme. However, there is increasing interest in the short story genre as people like to read more even though they have less time, and you can earn some decent money selling your stories if you work hard and find the right platforms or channels of distribution.

Eram Naim, with 4 years of experience in content marketing and 2 years in digital marketing, currently serves as the Co-Founder and COO of In addition to his role as COO, he also functions as the Sales & Marketing Manager and Editor, showcasing his versatility and expertise across multiple domains within the company.