GumRoad For Short Story Writers
DriveThruRPG and GumRoad both have the option to set pay what you want so the reader can choose their own price, called "Pay What You Want". Self-publishing short stories on Gumroad provides a unique opportunity for authors to showcase their talent and connect directly with readers. With the "Pay What You Want" feature, authors can empower their audience to support their work at a price that feels right to them. Gumroad offers a user-friendly platform that allows authors to easily upload and distribute their short stories, reaching a global audience hungry for engaging content. By self-publishing on Gumroad, authors have full control over their pricing, distribution, and marketing strategies, giving them the freedom to experiment and adapt to their readers' preferences. Whether you're an aspiring writer looking to share your creative voice or an established author seeking a new avenue for your short stories, Gumroad provides the tools and flexibility to bring your literary dreams to life.
Sounds like GumRoad is the one you are thinking of, but there is no fee. I have seen people say GumRoad has a start up fee, and that seems to be some sort of weird fake news internet rumor, because I use GumRoad and they have no fee. I wonder if maybe they did have a fee years ago, before I started using it? I've used it since 2021 and they've been around since 2011, so could be they used to have a fee a long time ago, but they haven't charged fees since at least 2021.
Yes, Gumroad is the platform I am referring to, and it is indeed a fee-free platform for self-publishing short stories. While there may have been rumors circulating about a startup fee, it's important to note that as of 2021, Gumroad does not charge any fees to creators for using their platform. It's possible that there may have been a fee in the past, but in recent years, Gumroad has provided a fee-free experience for authors to publish and sell their short stories directly to readers. This makes Gumroad an attractive option for self-published authors looking for a hassle-free and cost-effective platform to share their work and connect with their audience.
GumRoad is very similar to Amazon KDP when it comes to royalties. Except GumRoad pays way more.
GumRoad takes 10% and so you the author keep 90%, whereas Amazon you only earn 70% or 35% depending on which program you sign up for. DriveThruRPG offers 80% or 65% depending on which program you sign up for.
I use all 3. The way I have my accounts set up, I earn 90% from GumRoad, 70% from Amazon KDP, and 65% from DriveThruRPG.
Gumroad provides a competitive royalty structure for self-published short stories, offering authors a generous 90% royalty rate on their sales. In comparison, Amazon KDP typically pays authors either 70% or 35% royalties, depending on the pricing and program chosen. DriveThruRPG offers authors an 80% or 65% royalty rate, depending on the program selected. By utilizing all three platforms, authors can diversify their revenue streams and maximize their earnings. With Gumroad's 10% fee, authors still retain a significant portion of their sales, ensuring a fair compensation for their creative work. The flexibility of earning 90% from Gumroad, 70% from Amazon KDP, and 65% from DriveThruRPG allows authors to tailor their publishing strategy to their individual goals and preferences.
I like GumRoad very much, but they are digital only, and the system is a bit old school. By that I mean you have to directly TYPE (or copy paste) your text into a text box, then save it. So there is absolutely ZERO way to format your book, and readers are simply unlocking the ability to read your book on the GumRoad website. There is no ability to download your ebook onto their phone or pc.
While Gumroad may have some limitations in terms of formatting and downloading options, it still offers a valuable platform for self-published short stories. The focus on digital delivery ensures quick access to readers, and the ability to read directly on the Gumroad website offers convenience and ease of use. Additionally, Gumroad provides authors with the opportunity to connect directly with their audience and build a loyal readership. By leveraging Gumroad's platform, authors can showcase their work, receive direct feedback, and establish their presence in the self-publishing market.
GumRoad was not designed for books. It's basically an article subscription site, similar to Medium. So it's designed to allow readers to pay to unlock articles to read on the GumRoad site, not for readers to download ebooks. Because of this GumRoad works really well for short stories but is not that great for novels.
While Gumroad may not be specifically tailored for novels, it still offers a viable platform for self-publishing short stories. Its focus on article subscription and unlocking content aligns well with the format of short stories, allowing authors to effectively monetize their work. Gumroad's user-friendly interface and payment options provide a seamless experience for readers, making it a convenient platform to discover and enjoy short stories. Despite its emphasis on articles, Gumroad's flexibility and adaptability make it a valuable tool for self-published authors seeking to share their short stories with a wide audience.
So, if you are writing stories under 20k words, I would highly recommend GumRoad as it's great for that. But if your stories are over 20k words I would say to use DriveThruRPG or Amazon instead as they are better for longer works.
If your self-published short stories fall within the range of under 20k words, Gumroad is a fantastic choice to showcase and monetize your work. Its user-friendly platform and pay-what-you-want model make it an attractive option for readers looking for bite-sized fiction. However, for longer works exceeding 20k words, DriveThruRPG and Amazon present more suitable platforms with broader reach and tailored features for novel-length stories. These platforms offer better discoverability and formatting options, ensuring a seamless reading experience for readers of longer works. Consider the length and goals of your stories when choosing the most appropriate platform to maximize their potential and reach a wider audience.
Also GumRoad does ZERO marketing and they don't have a storefront, so you are relying 100% on your own ability to post links on Twitter and ONLY Twitter. Each product you create on GumRoad automatically creates a Twitter share link, and that's the only thing GumRoad gives you for marketing.
When considering self-publishing short stories on Gumroad, it's important to note that the platform doesn't offer built-in marketing tools or a dedicated storefront. As an author, you will need to take charge of promoting your works through social media platforms, with Twitter being the primary channel for sharing your Gumroad links. While Gumroad provides an automatic Twitter share link for each product, it's crucial to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy beyond this limited scope to reach a wider audience. Engage in social media campaigns, collaborate with fellow authors, and explore additional promotional avenues to amplify the visibility of your short stories and attract readers to your Gumroad offerings.
So in order for you to get sales via GumRoad you will need some heavy duty marketing know how. Unfortunately there are thousands of writers on GumRoad and only maybe a dozen who are actually earning an income, because 100% of the marketing is all on you.
To generate sales through Gumroad for your self-published short stories, it's essential to possess strong marketing skills and knowledge. With thousands of writers on Gumroad, competition is fierce, and success largely depends on your ability to stand out and promote your works effectively. Remember that 100% of the marketing responsibility rests on your shoulders, making it crucial to develop a robust marketing strategy, leverage social media platforms, engage with your target audience, and explore innovative promotional techniques to maximize visibility and drive sales. With the right marketing know-how and a proactive approach, you can increase your chances of success and join the select few who are earning a significant income on Gumroad.
I take the actual url and I use html code to create a link, and I post the book cover art on my author website and a link to the product sales page on GumRoad. But I get enough traffic to my author website for this to work for me (I was traditionally published and had a big seller in the 1980s so people direct type my name into Google search, end up finding my author website, and then click through to buying my stuff from that... my method only works because I was already a household name before I started self publishing... my method probably would not work for someone just getting started).
With places like Amazon or DriveThruRPG at least you have a storefront with a search feature, so you can get away with zero marketing and still get a few sales just via people finding you in the storefront. But GumRoad has no storefront. It does have a database index, but it's near impossible to find anything in it if you do not know the exact title of the book. The index is just this long list that scrolls for miles, sorted by new release, and while it has a search box, the search box is mostly useless.
Unlike platforms like Amazon or DriveThruRPG, Gumroad lacks a dedicated storefront with a robust search feature, making it challenging for readers to discover your works organically. The platform relies heavily on the creator's marketing efforts, as the database index is cumbersome to navigate, and the search box is often ineffective in delivering accurate results. Without a storefront or an efficient search functionality, the visibility of your self-published short stories on Gumroad heavily relies on your promotional initiatives and directing potential readers directly to your product links. To optimize your success on Gumroad, it's essential to leverage external marketing channels and platforms to drive traffic to your specific product pages and increase your chances of sales.
So I do highly recommend GumRoad BUT I also warn to use caution, as it's NOT beginner friendly and it requires huge levels of marketing skill to get traffic to your products, but then your product is going to be something that your reader can only access on the GumRoad website, which has shitty mobile interface, meaning the phone app rarely functions. So readers will be forced to read your book on their pc screen from the GumRoad website.
While Gumroad can be a valuable platform for self-publishing short stories, it's important to approach it with caution, especially if you're new to self-publishing. The success of your Gumroad products heavily relies on your marketing skills and ability to drive traffic to your offerings. Additionally, it's worth noting that Gumroad's mobile interface, particularly the phone app, may have limitations and functionality issues, making it less convenient for readers who prefer accessing content on their mobile devices. As a result, readers may need to resort to reading your books on a PC screen through the Gumroad website. Therefore, it's essential to consider your target audience's reading preferences and the potential limitations of the platform before making a decision.
It works well for short stories as readers keep coming back for more and can read them from their personal library of stories they bought. But it doesn't work good for novels because most readers don't want to sit for hours on their pc staring at a neon pink website, and yes, the GumRoad website is neon pink, because bubblegum is their whole logo and everything.
I know some users have used the "physical product" option, to create a pdf that downloads from their own author website and then use GumRoads "redirect to physical product " feature to use GumRoad as a checkout only, but then send the reader to the author website to download a pdf from there. I have not tried this method so I'm not sure how that all works.
For me, I write a lot of 5k word short stories that are too short for Amazon, so I just put those all on GumRoad and set "pay what you want" with the suggested price of $2. So far, no one has ever paid under $2. Every one seems to just go with whatever the suggested price is. My longest GumRoad book is 35k words, and I think that is the upper limit on what I would put on GumRoad just because of how readers can only read it on the GumRoad site and it's difficult to read more than 35k in one sitting. I would say that keeping stories under 20k words is far better and sticking to 5k to 10k word per story is the best range for dealing with GumRoad. All my GumRoad stuff is pay what you want with $2 suggested price regardless of word count.
Hope that helps.
Forgot to say, to see your finished product, you go to the sales page (link is in your dashboard) and add it to your shopping cart, same as if you were a reader buying it. Then proceed to the checkout and "buy" the book. It will not charge you. Instead it will open a pop-up notifying you that as you are the author, you will be delivered the book for free. Afterwards you go back to your dashboard, and in the menu, go to your reader library and your book will appear in the list of books you bought. Click the book from there and it opens the GumRoad reader page where you can now read the book and see what the finished product looks like for readers.
Also, you can edit your book after publishing, as many times as you want. Even though I edit my stuff, I always find typos that slipped through and end up editing again after publishing. GumRoad has no limits on how many times you can edit and republish a product, and the edits go live instantly, so you don't have to wait 72 hours like Amazon does.
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Did you know...
October 16, 2006, bomb blew up my house because of YOUR lies.
August 8, 2013, the house which replaced the one the bomb blew up, was driven over by a backhoe.
November 14, 2013, my 8 month old infant son was murdered because of your lies.
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