Have You Tried a Single Or a Short Yet?

A new form of reading has emerged over the last six to eight months that I’m enjoying enormously. It’s called an ereader single or short. Amazon started it all with it’s Kindle Singles. It proved to be popular with kindle users and others are now joining in. Penguin Publishing began last December in the UK with nine titles in what they are calling Penguin Shorts.

Each of the singles or shorts are not short stories, but they’re not full length books either. In paper form they would equal about 100 pages. They’re all over the board with fiction and nonfiction and seem to be covering a multitude of genres. Each one costs a dollar or two so, yes, they’re affordable.

The objective is to write and publish a story that can be read during an average commute or two. I’ve found them just right for the days I have several appointments, as well as for those times I want to take my mind to a different place for a short amount of time. This is not to say the singles or shorts are light weight. There are titles here with plenty of things to think about.

I’ve read quite a few of these already. Today I want to share with you the ones that are my favorites – so far.

Secone Son by Lee Child

This is a snapshot of the life of Reacher and his family circa 1974, while they’re stationed on a military base in Okinawa. Upon arriving they immediately get into deep trouble that’s compounded by some bad news. For fans of Lee Child’s series (15 books) this will be a unique look at Jack Reacher at age 13. Even at this age it’s possible to see Reacher’s personality and where he’s headed.


No Time Left by David Baldacci

Frank Becker is a highly sought after, expert assassin. When Becker takes a mysterious job, he has no idea that it will force him to delve deeply into his own past. Undeterred by obstacles he is determined to complete his assignment. But he may realize too late that his success will permanently alter his future. (from Amazon)


The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin by Elizabeth Mitchell

Manhattan, 1912. A time of greed, corruption, scandal and distrust. The most outrageous and brutal bank heist of the young century occurred, and the city combusted in fear and anger. Wall Street brokers were carrying guns. The police looked more ineffectual by the day. Not a single man could break the case.

But perhaps a woman could. Mrs. Isabella Goodwin was a smart and resourceful police matron who had gone about as far as a woman in police work could go. The bank robbery presented a unique career opportunity. The Fearless Mrs. Goodwion is a true story so astounding it reads like fiction. (from Amazon)


As you can see by just these three, there are stories written be well known authors. One of the first well known authors to write a single was Stephen King. After that, others wanted to jump on board. I can strongly recommend the stories. Give them a try.

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11 Responses to Have You Tried a Single Or a Short Yet?

  1. Mary says:

    I haven’t tried any of the shorts yet but I will now! Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. Interesting. So they are kind of like novellas?

  3. I’ve read a short story that way. I just saw today that Amy Tan has a short story out for the Kindle and I want to get hold of that!

  4. Oh my gosh, Reacher at 13! I’ve got to read that one!

  5. Barbara says:

    I haven’t tried them. I’ve discovered that it’s easier for my arthritic hands to hold a paperback or even hardcover book than to hold the thin Kindle. After holding the Kindle for a while my hand is like a claw. 😀

  6. kaye says:

    Yes, I like them when I need a break from a long involved story. I read “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Three cups of Deceit” as well as “No Time Left”.

  7. Louise says:

    I hadn’t heard of this trend. Perhaps it hasn’t reached Australia yet? It’s always great to see new forms of reading. Sometimes you do want just a quick little read between bigger books for a change of pace. I often fill that gap with a few kids books or some picture books. Often I can’t just change pace between two adult books.

  8. I’ve tried a few. Might download the Reacher one as a way to tempt Bill into trying my Kindle. He’s a fan of the series, but definitely prefers old-school reading — paper all the way. Did I mention to you what a Godsend the Kindle was during my “eye weeks”? By enlarging the font, I was able to read the very same day as the procedures. (Back to normal now.)

  9. kaye says:

    As long as the author develops the character in such a short space, these sound like a good selection for when you just need something different but don’t want to invest hours and hours.

  10. Staci says:

    For some crazy reason I thought they were very short so I just didn’t pay attention to them. Thanks for the great post. Now, I will be looking at them much closer and will probably try a few of them 😀

  11. stacybuckeye says:

    Interesting. So, I;m missing out on Reacher stories because I don’t have an ereader? That just seems wrong.

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