I call this “stealth marketing.”
(Pro tip: I just checked my metrics on Amazon. “Stealth marketing” doesn’t work.)
Final Statements is about a woman who is obsessed with reading the last words of executed prisoners online. (This is a real thing. Someone records the final words of death row inmates and then those words are posted on the Internet.) She has her reasons for this, but you’ll have to read the story to find out why she has such a creepy hobby.
This is the second piece in my short story experiment over at Amazon. About a year ago I decided to post my previously-published stories as e-books on Amazon. My first story, Undertow, went up on the site in March and it’s been read a few times, which is cool, because as far as I know, no one’s read that since it was first published in 2003. (The first version of Final Statements was published more recently, in 2011.)
I never realized how much horror I’ve written until I started this project. I tend to write a lot of literary fiction on a day-to-day basis, but when I started combing through the stories I want to publish on Amazon, it turns out, they’re all horror.
I’m too squeamish to watch a horror film, but I write horror stories. Go figure. This is probably what I get for being obsessed with Thomas Harris books in my 20s. (Clarice Starling, I still want to be you.)
Anyhow, that brings me to my next point. I have several unpublished genre (horror, of course) stories that I might include in this project. Rather than try to publish these pieces the old-fashioned way (send them to journals), I might just put them directly online. My reasoning: Amazon is where the horror readers are. Literary journals are where the lit-fic readers are.
Writers, what are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you.