From The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Attention spans are short. E-readers are plentiful. Digital delivery is fast and convenient. How can university presses turn those facts to their advantage and attract readers who want bite-sized morsels of content?

Princeton University Press is about to test one approach with a new, e-only series. Called Princeton Shorts, it debuts November 9.

The article explains that Princeton Shorts will not be new material, like Kindle Singles; rather, it will be excerpts only of backlist material from Princeton University Press.  The full books will be available through Kindle and Google Books.

Princeton University Press considers this an experiment, hoping the ebook excerpts will drive customers to purchase the full books.  Other university presses will be keeping an eye on the experiment’s progress, as many of them are studying new ways of presenting their content, including schemes like selling textbook material on a chapter-by-chapter basis, based on class curriculum and assignments, and giving partially-loaded reading devices to students.


  1. When I first heard of Princeton Shorts, I thought it would be like Kindle Singles. The way they define it now sounds like a completely useless project, since virtually any ebook store allows the users to download a sample (even libraries are giving you samples now!).

    I sometimes wish samples were longer – especially, if a longer sample would have revealed that the book is in fact worse than the first two pages. But that’s a problem of sample size.

    I simply fail to see anything innovative or even interesting in this project.

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