The Brown Bag Stories

Don’t you hate that you only get a few words to read in the ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon?  Don’t you hate when you are looking for a new writer—or maybe someone who is new to you—that you can never find much of their work that doesn’t cost fifteen or twenty bucks or more?  Who wants to spend twenty dollars on someone they have never heard of?  Not many folks.  Honestly, I can’t really blame them.  Twenty bucks is a lot of money these days, especially to spend on a writer you know little about.  And what if the book you purchase totally sucks?

So, here’s what I’m doing.  From June, 2014 to May, 2015, I have created a booklet called The Brown Bag Stories.  These booklets are small and short and contain one of my very short stories in them.  Each month there is a different story within its pages.  They also contain information where you, the readers, can find more of my work.

You may be asking yourself, ‘Self, why would I want one of these Brown Bag thingamabobbers?’

The answers are many, but I’ll trim it down to only a couple or three.

  1. They’re FREE.  Yes.  FREE.  They cost you absolutely nothing.  You don’t even have to pay shipping for them.
  2. They’re a good way for you, the readers, to read some of my stories and help you decide if you want to spend money on other things I have written.  They’re an introduction to me and my work.
  3. Did I mention, they are FREE?

Intrigued? Interested?  Irritated?  Well, let’s hope you’re not irritated.  However, if you are intrigued or interested, you can contact me, either by e-mail or through Facebook and I’ll send the latest one out to you.  I’ll need a physical address in order to mail them out, but other than that, you have to do and pay…nothing.

Crazy, right?

Here’s the way I look at it.  I’m a storyteller (I rarely ever call myself an author or a writer—there are plenty of people who write books.  I tell stories) and I want people to be Storyreaders.  Yes, I ran those two words together on purpose.  As much as I want people to purchase my work, I want them to believe in me, my work and want more of the stories I write.  I don’t ever want a reader to say, ‘That was a waste of my money,’ when referring to a story I wrote.  As someone trying to sell books, I would rather give you some of my short stories and let you gain some trust in me, in my abilities to tell you a good story.  I believe trust is vital in the relationship between readers and writers.

I have been told by several writers that I am crazy for doing this.  Maybe so, but I want to give you, the readers, a reason to want to purchase my books.  What better way to do that than to offer you some of my work at no cost to you?  Most writers say they aren’t going to give their stories away for free, that, essentially, by doing so, they lose sells.  To that I say, if no one knows who you are then you’re losing sells as well.  Why not let the readers know who I am and what I write?  Makes sense to me.

Also, most of the stories in The Brown Bag Stories are very short, under two thousand words, so they are quick reads.  You can read them during lunch or even during your trip to the bathroom.  Yeah, there’s an image for you.

I admit, The Brown Bag Stories aren’t done by a print shop and the covers aren’t professionally made.  I don’t have the type of money to make high gloss covers and pay for all the cover art.  Unless I can find someone to fund my career, I probably won’t have the money to do so anytime soon.  However, the booklets are not cheaply made.  The images are done in color.  The stories are carefully chosen and edited and the booklets are autographed for those on the mailing list.

One final note before giving you the contact information:  I stated earlier that from June, 2014 to May, 2015, The Brown Bag Stories would be around.  They will still be around after May, 2015.  However, instead of monthly, they will be quarterly, plus one.  Basically, I will do one for each season, plus one holiday (either Halloween or Christmas).  This will start in the fall of 2015.

Are you still interested?  I hope so.  If you are and you would like a copy of The Brown Bag Stories you can do one of two things:

  1. Contact me through my e-mail at:
  2. Contact me on Facebook, either through my personal page (ajbrown36 or by looking up Jeff Brown) or by my Facebook fan page:

I’d like to thank you for stopping by and I hope to hear from you, the readers, in the future.  As always, until we meet again, my friends, be kind to one another.

  1. […] The Brown Bag Stories are delightful in their own horror-y ways. You get a mysterious package in your mailbox once a month with a new short story from A.J. Brown, a talented writer whom SSP is lucky to have signed on. I’ve never heard of another author doing their mailing lists this way, and I love the idea. Other than the usual back matter of an author’s note about the story and where to find his other books, there was no advertising (though I wouldn’t mind if there were). And he gets bonus points from me for having only a few grammatical errors. […]

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