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“A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.” Stephen King
Not every great story is encased in a novel. According to Edgar Allan Poe, the short story which can be read in one sitting is the “perfect work of art.” A short story can allow you to escape the intrusions of reality. By capturing your uninterrupted attention for the duration of the tale, a short story can consume your mind in ways that longer works cannot.
“A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” David Sedaris
While Poe was one of the first strong advocates for the importance of short stories, the ebook format has provided authors with new opportunities for shorter works. Benefiting both authors and readers, the ebook format allows for the publication and distribution of individual short works, making the genre more profitable for authors and more available for readers.
“The short story, I should point out, is perforce a labor of love in today’s literary world; there’s precious little economic incentive to write one…” Lawrence Block
While other ebook publishers offer short stories, Amazon has embraced the concept with Kindle Singles, its hand-picked collection of short works that meet its requirements. Kindle Singles are short stories, essays, memoirs and narratives that Amazon has included into its program. Kindle Singles range from $0.99 to $4.99 and about 15 to 90 pages. The program was launched in June last year and over two million Kindle Singles were sold as of March.
You can find Kindle Singles at Amazon by searching for Best Sellers, Highly Rated or Hot Releases. You may be surprised to discover that your favorite author has published Kindle Singles. Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Amy Tan, Jodi Picoult, Jon Krakauer and many other famous authors have published Kindle Singles.
Not all Kindle short stories are Kindle Singles. Many short stories are published as Kindle ebooks and are outside the requirements of the Kindle Singles program.
Some Kindle Singles and ebooks can be borrowed for free by Amazon Prime members or from other Kindle owners. You don’t need to own a Kindle ereader to read a Kindle ebook. Free Kindle apps are available for computers and mobile devices. If you’re reading this blog on a screen, you can read a Kindle ebook.
“I love short stories because I believe they are the way we live. They are what our friends tell us, in their pain and joy, their passion and rage, their yearning and their cry against injustice.” Andre Dubus
Jens Berget, author of Sly Marketing and Wonder of Tech reader, published his first Kindle ebook last week, fuzzy. His haunting short story shot up to the #25 rank in its Kindle category soon after it was published.
Another Wonder of Tech reader, Ashvini Kumar Saxena, author of Thoughts on Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Motivation, published his collection of short stories as a Kindle ebook earlier this year.
If you’re looking to escape reality with a dose of Orwellian futuristic fiction, check out Margaret Atwood’s short story I’m Starved for You.
“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick — a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.” Neil Gaiman
Shorter works go beyond the realm of fiction. They can educate and entertain you in other ways.
If you’re taking a short flight or train ride and want to figure out how to get started with Google+, check out Guy Kawasaki’s What the Plus!: Google+ for the Rest of Us.
If you have a few hours to spare want to read an in-depth explanation about the recent Higgs boson particle discovery, check out Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space, by Harvard University professor Lisa Randall.
“I’ll give you the whole secret to short story writing. Here it is. Rule 1: Write stories that please yourself. There is no Rule 2.” O. Henry
Do you enjoy reading short stories? Do you enjoy reading works from beginning to end without interruption? Please let us know in the Comments section below! If you have published a Kindle book, please feel free to link to it in your comment.
*Author quotes are from Good Reads.