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Are my short stories killing me?


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#1 spineofiron

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 03:58 PM

Long story short, I have two short stories self-published on Amazon Kindle. I'm currently a university student, and last semester I was in a short story class that had a publishing requirement attached to each story, which meant you either had to submit or self-publish them. I wasn't smart enough to publish under a pen name, so now when you search my name on Google, these stories pop up.

They're not bad, per se, but they definitely aren't my best work, and they don't have a lot of sales because I didn't really promote them, since they're just class assignments. Possibly worse, a friend of mine who's a Goodreads librarian added them to the Goodreads library, so they're pretty much in there forever now. They got tied to my Goodreads account too, so technically I'm a "Goodreads author" -- which is a stretch.

I'm worried that an agent might possibly snoop around and find these stories, see they're small-time, and not bother with me because of them. (This is possibly paranoia.) The only thing I can think to do is try and change them to sit under a pen name and somehow get Goodreads all figured out. I just really don't want them under my name anymore. Is it possible these short stories are dragging me down? Any advice? Does changing the author name to a pen name sound like a plausible solution?

"I am a fire escape. My spine is made of iron, my heart pumps out old red paint."

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#2 AQCrew

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 05:37 PM

If you're querying agents, it's highly unlikely that an agent is going to care much about your short stories.  Quite frankly, almost everyone is experimenting with self-publishing (and should on some level), and short stories are a great way to do it.  So long as it's not the novel that you're querying, really... it shouldn't matter much to anyone -- including agents.

 

That said, you can upload a new cover with a pen name and change the contributor's name on the book file within Amazon's KDP.  In other words, you could basically change the book cover and your real author name to a pen name.  Or you can simply "unpublish" it -- which will remove it from Amazon's public search.  It will remain in your KDP account as a "draft".

 

Google's spiders might store a cache page of the original Amazon sales page with your real name on it, or they might not... overtime, it certainly will get buried.

 

Goodreads is probably your worst friend here.  And your question is also OUR question -- and more a question for a Goodreads librarian (there are a few floating around here on AQC).  

 

Can you request to have a book deleted from Goodreads?  You would assume that the author can and should be able to request that books be taken down from view on Goodreads, but we'd like to know this answer as well.



#3 spineofiron

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 05:59 PM

I'm actually a Goodreads librarian as well, and unfortunately no, you can't delete books. I've tried from my author page. That's the most frustrating thing, honestly. They say that they don't want any book deleted because they want as extensive a library as possible. The only way I can think to do it is delete the books entirely from Kindle and then get through to some high-ups in the Goodreads company and get them to remove them somehow, since they'd "no longer be books."

 

Which sounds like a giant pain.

 

But thanks for the reassurance on the Amazon front. :smile: That does help ease my fears.


"I am a fire escape. My spine is made of iron, my heart pumps out old red paint."

-- Foster the People


#4 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 07:30 PM

 The only way I can think to do it is delete the books entirely from Kindle and then get through to some high-ups in the Goodreads company and get them to remove them somehow, since they'd "no longer be books."

 

 

Sorry but that won't work either. Goodreads has a policy of never deleting books, even if they are out of print. Once it's published and turns up on Goodreads it's there for however long GR is around.

 

Move on & stop stressing about it  :smile:



#5 spineofiron

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 08:53 PM

Words I hear often -- I stress about everything. Thanks! :smile: I'll do just that!


"I am a fire escape. My spine is made of iron, my heart pumps out old red paint."

-- Foster the People


#6 RSMellette

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 03:58 PM

I'm making a note ... if I ever want to send a message to someone in the future, write it in a book, publish it on Amazon, and have it listed n Goodreads.

 

Very 12 Monkeys.


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