How the Kindle Brought Back the Popularity of Short Stories
I love a good short story. When you are standing on the train and there is a man staring you down and you want to do something until you get to your station yet don’t want to only read part of a novel or work of non-fiction, a good short story that takes you from Kew Gardens Union Turnpike to Lexington Avenue 63rd street (that’s twenty five minutes on a good day) and fills you with a sense of accomplishment that really hits the spot. The problem has long been where to get new short stories. There are, of course, anthologies and literary magazines that that bring you fantastic short stories, but there are also many of them. When you spend twenty-five dollars on an anthology and go story by story only to find five interesting stories, you have effectively spent five dollars per interesting story.
Enter the Amazon Kindle and with it the ability of anyone to get their book or written work available for purchase by anyone — at first it was just anyone with the specific hardware and since then it has grown to include basically anyone with nearly any device that can get online be it an iPad or even a computer. Moreover, there is no kind of guideline that says that works published for the Kindle (and the many other electronic word marketplaces that have arisen since then such as Smashwords) have to be at least twenty or thirty thousand words in order to be viable as a story for sale. Therefore a person can write an eight thousand word story and list it for sale on Amazon for ninety-nine cents and if it is a good story, that person can do quite well for themselves.
Instead of the aforementioned scenario in which a person wastes money on the anthology, he or she can find stories that interest them and buy only them. When a person finds a few stories by the same author to be fantastic, that is when the decision can be made to buy collections of stories by the same author. Moreover, if you happen to buy a story that doesn’t agree with you, you have spent less than you would have spent on an average cup of coffee. It is quite an excellent scenario for lovers of short stories everywhere.
If you have any kind of book reader of the electronic variety and like reading at all I recommend giving a short story a try. Often enough, authors will give away a story or two to entice potential readers — you just have to have the fortune to come across the give away.