Amazon seeks short works for 'Kindle Singles'

Oct 12, 2010
Amazon's Kindle DX 9.7" wireless reading device is ready for shipment at the warehouse in Campbellsville, Kentucky in 2009. Amazon called on writers and publishers to submit short works to a new section of the US online retail giant's electronic bookstore called "Kindle Singles."

Amazon called on writers and publishers on Tuesday to submit short works to a new section of the US online retail giant's electronic bookstore called "Kindle Singles."

Amazon said Kindle Singles will showcase works that are "twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book."

"Today's announcement is a call to serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers to join Amazon in making such works available to readers around the world," Amazon said.

The Seattle, Washington-based company said writers have traditionally been faced with a choice of "less than 10,000 words or more than 50,000."

"Works either had to be short enough for a magazine article or long enough to deliver the 'heft' required for book marketing and distribution," it said.

"But in many cases, 10,000 to 30,000 words (roughly 30 to 90 pages) might be the perfect, natural length to lay out a single killer idea, well researched, well argued and well illustrated," Amazon said in a statement.

As examples, it cited a "business lesson, a political point of view, a scientific argument, or a beautifully crafted essay on a current event."

Kindle Singles will have their own section in the online Kindle Store and be "priced much less than a typical book," Amazon said.

"Ideas and the words to deliver them should be crafted to their natural length, not to an artificial marketing length that justifies a particular price or a certain format," said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content.

"With Kindle Singles, we're reaching out to publishers and accomplished writers and we're excited to see what they create."

Amazon also offers a self-publishing platform that allows authors and publishers to format and upload their own books to the Kindle Store.

Amazon's Kindle is the leader in the e-reader field but it has been facing pressure recently from Apple's iPad, the "Nook" from US bookstore Barnes & Noble and others.

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Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Oct 12, 2010
'Singles' a fraction of book length but costing what fraction of e-book costs that are as high as US$1,600?

In about 1980 I participated in a study of per page costs of professional literature IIRC about US$1.