Short Fiction Rethink


Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom.
—- Sam Walton

TS Paul Author PhotoOne of the concerns every business must handle is dealing with incoming information flow. There is a torrent of information coming at us from all directions, seemingly at all times.

One shortcut to dealing with information overload is to simplify it into easily understood bits and then ignore what doesn’t fit our expectations. When enough of us see and discuss a pattern, conventional wisdom is formed, allowing us to “know” things are true without actually testing the data.

One bit of conventional wisdom that I accepted early on in my author business was that it’s tough or maybe even impossible to make money selling short fiction. Oh sure, there are the occasional Kindle Singles that sell well for big time authors introducing a new series character, but in general, you can’t make any real money selling short fiction.

When I first heard the story of today’s guest, T.S. Paul, I scoffed and rejected it as an exaggeration. Then I looked more closely. According to the Amazon rankings, T.S. Paul was selling a lot of short books. His first was 62 pages, his second was just over 30 pages, and they both ranked in Amazon’s overall top 2,500.

Imperial Subversion CoverBut conventional wisdom is tough to overcome. I reached out to T.S. (Scott) Paul, and we discussed his numbers. He gave me access to his sales numbers. I compared what he was doing, and the results he was seeing to conventional wisdom and realized I’d been wrong.

Scott has published six books and two compilations, of three books each in less than 90 days. He priced the books at $2.99 so he could be paid for his work. He refuses to give his books away, and he’s making real money.

In this 35 minute interview, we discuss Scott’s history as a retail bookstore manager, his brief history as an author and the results he’s seeing by writing short fiction for a growing audience of readers and fans.

Short Fiction Interview Notes

Scott shares his background as a manager at multiple Waldenbooks locations in the St. Louis area and what the experience taught him about selling books at the retail level.

Forgotten Engineer CoverWe discuss the process he went through to write and publish THE FORGOTTEN ENGINEER, the first book in The Athena Lee Chronicles series. (According to Amazon, the first book in the series, contains 62 pages.)

Book two in Scott’s series, ENGINEERING MURDER is 34 pages and is a category #1 best seller at Amazon.

We discuss Scott’s reviews and his unusual thoughts on their lack of importance to his success.

Scott shares his simple pricing strategy. He prices all of his books, ranging from 32 pages - 148 pages at $2.99. His collections, which combine three books cost $7.99.

Scott uses his blog to keep readers engaged between the short, two-week release schedule for his books by posting a series he calls Wilson Wednesdays.

We discuss Scott’s initial expectations for his series, and how those expectations have evolved in three short months.


TS Paul Author Page at Amazon

Scott’s website:

Rocking Self Publishing Episode 148

The Author Biz Facebook Group

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Thanks so much for joining me again this week.

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Thanks to T.S. Paul for joining us this week!

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