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Short Stories -16 Reasons Why You Should Read Them

“Short stories are critical for your moral fibre” – C T Mitchell, Amazon Bestselling Author

The Huffington Post backed up this heading by saying “No more proof is needed to say that short stories are still alive and important today, when arguably the greatest writer of his generation is solely dedicated to the short story”.

They were referring to Raymond Carver who “contributed to the revitalization of the short story in the 1980’s. He never published a novel but is still widely read today in universities across America. His writing left a lasting impact and influenced many writers of the short form to continue to write what they loved. Without him it is unlikely that we would have even a small portion of the masters of the short story that we have today.”

Contemporary romance author Tabitha Levin backs up Huffington Post’s assertions that short stories are important by offering 10 reasons of her own:

“Short stories are coming back into favour, now that digital publishing is on the rise.  And more and more authors are producing really great fiction in short form.  To celebrate this, I’ve written a short guide on why you should read short stories.  Enjoy.

#1. Begone you fluff monster

Short stories are like a little novel wrapped up in as few words as possible without all the fluff.  If you don’t want to read three pages of descriptive text showing how the wind is blowing through the leaves, and just want to get straight to the action – the GOOOOD stuff – then short stories are for you.

#2. You can finish the story in your lunch break

Have you ever been so engrossed in a novel that you just can’t put it down?  Except that you’ve got that awesome blind date that your second cousin set up for you, in TEN minutes. But wait, what happens to Jimmy when he falls down that well?  Is that a monster reaching through the water to grab him?  Oh damn, your date’s here.  If that was a short story you’d already know what happened.

#3. They cost less

Most short stories on Amazon cost around 0.99 cents.  Super dooper cheap.  You can even get some for free.  Suck on that $12.99 novel!

#4. A writer needs to be great to write a good short story

You might think it’s easier to write a short story than to write a novel.  No, not necessarily so Batman.  Sure it takes much less time.  But easier?  You’ve still got to put plot twists in, build your characters, have a satisfying ending – in just 5,000 or so words.   It’s difficult to write a good short story, so you need to know which bits stay in, and which bits end on the cutting room floor (or Recycle Bin – same diff).

#5.  Fantasy Cyberpunk?  I’m just not so sure …

Not sure if you’ll like a new genre and just want to dip your toe in the pool to sample?  Then you can pick up a short story and see if you are into them or not.  Why commit to a full 200 page novel when you can try out 20 or so pages first?  Who knows, you might find that steam punk, paranormal dwarf stories are your thing after all.

#6. You get to read the series quicker

Sick of waiting for your favourite author to bring out her next novel.  Sometimes they take years.  If they write a short fiction series, then you might only be waiting a few weeks for the next one.  Finally you’ll be able to find out if the monster gets out of the well, and escapes from nasty Jimmy.

#7.  How many books did YOU read last year?

You’ll be able to brag to your friends that you read over 100 books last year.  They’ll be so impressed, and think you are super smart.  You don’t need to tell them that they were all under 10,000 words each do you?

#8. You can read short stories to your kids, and be back in time to find out who the Bachelor chose.

Okay, well maybe not MY stories since they aren’t suitable for the kiddiewinks, but many good short stories are just the perfect length to put little Sally off to slumber land with a happy ever after ending.  Try doing that with a Harry Potter novel.

#9. It’s Movie Time!

Short stories and novellas are the perfect length for being made into a movie or television series.  Most novels are too long and have to be dramatically cut to fit into the 1-1/2 hour movie length.  Popular movies born from short stories include Brokeback Mountain and Fight Club.  There is a reason that directors are scouring the Amazon bestsellers for good short stories – just recently independent author Hugh Howey got his excellent short story Wool optioned for a movie by Ridley Scott.  Nice.

#10. You, as a reader, have more input

Have control issues?  No, me either – cough cough.  But if you really want your favourite author to explore a character or genre then they are more likely to say yes if they write a short story.  Recently an author had a goat in one of her novels.  Yes a goat.  And one reader wanted to find out what happened to said goat.  Thus a short story was born.  Your wish is my command.

Are you getting the picture? Short stories are important

But just in case having consumed the top reasons above you still don’t have a picture in your head, here’s one from Ebook Friendly

So what are you waiting for – it’s time to start reading short reads…….today


Valentine’s Day Murder of a Bollywood Queen

“Valentine’s Day is western propaganda – it devalues Indian cultural values”

When a Bollywood star turns up dead on the banks of the Brunswick River, Detective Stewart immediately has her boyfriend in the frame.

But Selena Sharma, guesthouse owner, Indian cooking school proprietor and part time amateur sleuth, isn’t quite so convinced. She has another theory which is usually right, much to the annoyance of Detective Stewart.

When another two Indian girls also are found murdered, Selena Sharma is convinced she’s on the right track. But she must act quickly and stop this killer immediately or her part time detective career will also be over.

Australian authors C T Mitchell serves up another intriguing myriad of suspects as the fast paced cozy mystery short read weaves its way to a climatic end. You won’t pick the ending!

Grab your copy now for just 99 cents.

You can devour this short read #2 in the Indian Mystery Series in a single sitting.

(PS Be careful on Valentine’s Day – not every proposal is a blessing)

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Join our Reader Group by grabbing two FREE Amazon bestsellers AND
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Writing And Rejection Slips

Laugh In The Face Of Rejection

Writing and rejection go hand in hand. Writers can expect to get hundreds of rejections over time. Sometimes these hurt but you can’t allow the opinion of one single literary agent affect your writing career.. It is purely their opinion.

Instead of taking rejection personally you need to get back on the horse and continue writing. A writing career should be viewd as a long term option; not a short term venture. Gary Vaynerchuk reminds us often that as business people or entrepreneurs we need to be in the game for the long term. Writing is no exception.

So race out an get as many rejections from literary agents, book promoters, book store owners, publishers or whoever – and do it quickly. Put it into yesterday’s bin, refocus on the present and continue writing.

Watch the video below for my take on writing and rejection.


I want to give you my own Rejection. Grab a copy of my Amazon bestseller today FREE at – it’ll be your last Rejection!


Chetan Bhagat And Murder By Butter Chicken

Chetan Bhagat is a great India author but…..

if you are not him, how do authors get their books found in India? Find one of the ‘Big 5’ or self publish. Let me explain my solitary option and why it’s the most attractive for new authors wanting to break into the India market if you are not Chetan Bhagat.

India book readers are growing in numbers. It’s been reported that there are approx 50 – 60 million English readers and growing in India.

Buying western books such as those sold via Amazon Kindle are not always easily accessible. Authors looking for India book publishers is also not simple. How to get publishers to publish your book in India can be painstaking at the best. Chetan Bhagat most likely has this sorted.

The big publishing houses like Random House, Penquin, Harper Collins and now Amazon all have a presence in Mumbai and other major cities throughout the country. This is great if an author is traditionally published through one of the ‘Big 5’ but self publishing indie authors can struggle in this market.

Australian author C T Mitchell has been attracting attention in India, especially with his latest short read, Murder By Butter Chicken. The catchy title has caught the eye of Amazon readers throughout the world with the book hitting #6 Amazon US in category, something even Chetan Bhagat would be proud of.

What Would Chetan Bhagat Do?

C T Mitchell is having to do the majority of the marketing. He has been in discussions with India book distributors but legal matters can be tricky. Trying to find foreign lawyers who have an understanding of India IP laws is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Instead C T Mitchell has continued down his self publishing route in spite of attractive suggestions that Bollywood may be interested in his works. It’s the carrot India book promoters dangle but tasting the ‘fruit’ maybe a distant dream. Time will tell but authors don’t live on bread and water alone.

In the meantime readers can grab his latest India mystery featuring the savvy Selena Sharma on his site


Short Reads And Their Importance

The Short Reads

Can short reads or short stories compete in this social media driven world where interrupting somebody’s day has become the latest catch cry. I think so and here’s why.

Short Reads Have The Numbers

In January 2016 Amazon reported 1,064,000 eBook sales a DAY. While most of the sales are for novels, books on average 300 pages plus, shorter books are growing in popularity. Writers like C T Mitchell, James Patterson and Lee Child are trying to stem the tide of readers lost to television, video games and social media and bring them back to reading.

Short Reads Grab Your Attention Fast

Short reads are attractive to those lost on Facebook and Twitter because they grab a readers attentions quickly. Visually they are smaller, lighter to hold and for a non-reader hold the promise that they will actually finish the book. Most short stories are under 5000 words, but short reads tend to be 5000 – 20,000 words. They can be devoured in a single sitting and that’s satisfying for those taking the usual numbing subway ride to work each day.

Short Reads Are Fast Paced

Short books are usually fast paced. They must grab the readers attention quickly. The books are generally plot driven supported by good characters. You’ll get a taste of a character but don’t expect to find out every single aspect of their lives. There’s simply not enough time.

Short Reads And James Patterson

James Patterson recently added Book Shots to his burgeoning book empire. With already some 326 books read, Mr Patterson is hoping to expand his book reach with these smaller novels. Short reads usually sell for 99 cents to $2.99 on Amazon with their paperback version going for around $4-$5.

Because of their size their is also an opportunity for short stories to be marketed in non traditional areas away from online book stores or traditional book stores. Sitting alongside magazines in service stations, airport shops or food outlets including supermarket checkouts could be where you’ll see short reads in the future.

But most importantly getting people back to reading or boosting somebody’s day with great entertainment is what short reads can offer. Go grab a free book today!


Why Non Writers Should Write

Why Non Writers Should Write

In a world of rapidly changing technology, computers and mobile devices dominate. Typing is the norm but let me tell you that it’s no match for writing. Non writers you need to mix things up a bit. There are serious health benefits to actually putting pen to paper.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to a friend? If you are under twenty you probably just answered never. What about a card then? Christmas, ok, that was a month ago. Let’s flip it over. How did you feel when you received a card in the mail? I’m guessing pretty good.

Writing is one of the key elements in humans growth. From your very first steps or words, writing is right up there. It triggers the brain’s senses and increases movement. If you haven’t done it for awhile, who knows what improvement in your life you’ve been missing out on.

But non writers, don’t fret. You can start this skill today and reap the following benefits:

Improved Memory

Let’s say you need to give a speech. You could wing it and depending on your skill level come out looking like a hero or a bloody idiot who ummmed and erred their way through a painful experience. You could type up a few notes on your computer or iPad. Not bad but highlighting keywords or phrases covers your screen with hot pink highlighter (….and yes for you techno guys I do know you can highlight using a function on your device).

But scientists (that just gave this sentence credit ability) have proven that your memory will increase by 47% if you actually hand write out your speech. I can vouch for this approach. Whenever I have to give a speech I always hand write it out first. I seem to be able to retain the talk quicker in my head by doing that.

Better Creativity

Hand writing improves cognitive ability and promotes fluidity of thought. Whenever I’m writing scenes or outlines for a new book I always hand write the outline first. Ideas seem to flow better and it allows me to quickly change direction if I need to.

Getting Out Of The Black

Keeping a hand written journal is one sound technique for getting yourself out of a black hole. Psychologists often recommend that you write down  your daily activities reinforcing the good things that are happening in your life. Being grateful is one of the best things you can do to boost your mood.

Knowing Who You Are

Hand writing experts can tell a lot from your handwriting. It’s easy for them to tell whether you are happy or depressed just by looking at a few slant, loops and strengths in your writing style.

So non writers, convinced you should start writing again? Let’s take a few small steps to get you going

  • Write out this weeks shopping list. You’ll finish your shopping quicker and save money
  • Write a letter to a parent. They won’t always be with you. And parents, do the same. Let the kids know how much you love them.
  • Buy a journal and write down 5 things you were grateful for today. Do it 10 minutes before bed time and you’ll sleep well.
  • If you are a boss, send a hand written thank you note to an employee and let them know how much they are appreciated.

A few easy steps to get you started. Who will you write to today? If you are stumped you can always write to me. PO Box 2138 Ashgrove West Qld 4060 AUSTRALIA. I’ll wait by my letterbox.

Leave me a comment below and let me know if you are a writer or non writer