Short stories as a marketing tool? (Part 2)

It’s not just self-publishers who are using short stories as a marketing tool. I came across a good example by Tess Gerritsen (Random House) currently available for free.

Freaks by Tess Gerritsen (Randomhouse)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genre: Crime
A yound girl is found dead in a cathedral and it seems her boyfriend might be the culprit.  A vampiric twist on a simple who-dunnit…

If you’ve read other books by this author then you’d probably be familiar with The Surgeon, one of the first books from the Rizzoli and Isles series.  If not, then this is a lukewarm introduction as demonstrated by some of the disappointed reviews online (see below).  This isn’t to say that it was poorly written, or not worth the time spent reading it; just a reflection of the standard expected from this author based on her extremely popular series.  (The series that is cleverly marketed at the end of this short in < 50 words per title and which is enjoying the added publicity of a TV series…)

You could argue that the author didn’t need the publicity with such an extensive fanbase and the added interest that a new TV series could bring.  It is, however, a great example of how even the big guys see the potential draw of short stories as a marketing tool.

So what do others have to say on this free story?

Amazon (UK) – Average rating of 3.5/5.  Of 18 reviews, the majority gave 4/5 but there were a few that expected more of the author.  This is the intrinsic difficulty with short stories as it is difficult to develop a substantial plot with the limited length that they offer you.

Goodreads – Average rating of 3.1/5.  Similar spread as Amazon with some who clearly enjoyed the free taster and others familiar with the series already who wanted a little more.

If you hadn’t read the previous post you can find it here.

See also – Reviews: Some general rules



About indie e-books is aimed at providing a common platform for indie writers and publishers to show-case their work. The content is kept limited to one (free) short story per author to give the reader an idea of the writing style and talent involved and to help forward them on to more substantial work.
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1 Response to Short stories as a marketing tool? (Part 2)

  1. First time here. Awesome blog and great post. Well done.

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