Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Do You Read Ebook Short Stories?

I feel like I have seen so much extra marketing going into YA books lately. YA has become quite a marketing craze with series, websites, movie tie-ins and ebook short stories to whet readers appetites while they're waiting for the next book in a series.

I was lucky enough to take two teens with me to ALA this year. One of the girls was telling me about how she reads a lot on her Kindle but that she really only reads books that are offered for free or if there's a giant sale so she can load up on books. Both girls mentioned to me how they pick books based on the cover, but description still helps in deciding if they would be interested, but they'd read pretty much anything. Neither one them really pay attention to authors-they might recognize some author names if they're read books by them but it's not something they avidly follow. They also only really follow series it's a series they're really interested in like Divergent or The Hunger Games.

I know that the teens at my library are often surprised when they discover a book has a sequel or is in a series. If the book doesn't say that as part of the cover (and even sometimes it does and they miss it!) they don't really know something else is coming out. And these are avid readers who read all the time and read everything they get their hands on!

I do think there's a difference between readers who are active online and those who aren't, which might be one reason why some of these teens aren't aware of what's coming out and what's part of a continuing series. But these comments and observations about series and teen reading got me thinking about the special ebook short stories that are being promoted for YA.

I've only downloaded one special ebook short story-that honor goes to Lauren DeStefano's The Seeds of Wither. And while it was interesting and I had to have it because I loved Wither and needed more right that moment, I was left wanting a bit more. It was too short and just not enough detail for me. It was supposed to give me some backstory and it did, but only a tiny bit.

I'm still undecided on if I like ebook short stories or not. I like how it's a way to visit the world for awhile longer and get more information, but it has to be worth it to me to invest in the story.

Yet it seems like I'm seeing ebook specials all the time now. Are you aware of them? Do you have teens that are aware of them and reading them? Do you read them? And do you think they promote a book? Or do they just clutter up your newsfeed, blogfeed, twitterfeed, etc. as you wait for the next book to come out?


  1. Interesting. My teens know which books are series-- they aren't always aware or release dates, but they definitely know their series (actually, I think they just assume everything is a series.)

    Personally I love the short-story ebook trend. In the past, if you had a very popular series, publishers would often collect this extra bonus material together and make it a seperate companion book. I like that I can still get that material for less-popular series and books. I think it's a great way to hold me over, and anything that funds authors a little more so they can keep writing is good with me.

    I don't know how much teens are discovering this bonus material, though. One thing we've done is we've added some of them to our e-collection, so you can check them out from the library and we've been promoting them on our blog and in TAB, etc.

  2. Yes and I love it! It's more practical for me. :)

    Ann@Blogging E-books

  3. I do read them sometimes. The most recent one that I read was Son of Sobek by Rick Riordan. It's a crossover between Percy Jackson and the Kane Chronicles. For 2.99 you got the story, and exclusive preview of the next book in the Heroes of Olympus series, House of Hades, and the audiobook version as well. Unfortunately, the Kindle version didn't have the audio (at least on my iPad) so I returned it and bought it from the iBookstore again. I love short stories, especially when they include exclusive previews or the audio. You can read about it on my blog here:


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