Flash! Amazon announces “Kindle Singles”
Have you ever bought a Kindle “book” and been disappointed that it was really a short story or article?
Well, Amazon is now going to create a separate section in the Kindle store where everything in it will be between 10,000 and 30,000 words…Amazon says that’s the equivalent of 30 to 90 pages approximately (although that’s not how the traditional 250 words per page works out).
They’ve announced it in this
The use of the term “single” is a bit odd to me. My first thought with a “single” is a little 45 RPM with that yellow plastic adapter thingy. Too old? Yeah, I know, we download MP3 singles now. Still, I think of a single as one part of a whole…but I know that’s old-fashioned, too.
Amazon says that these singles are “…the perfect, natural length to lay out a single killer idea, well researched, well argued and well illustrated.”
It does sound like they are pushing for non-fiction here, and established writers.
If you are interested in publishing for this section, you have to be “considered” for it. You contact them at
Is this a good idea? Yeah, I think so. The paper publishing world had some artificial restrictions on it. You might not have thought about it that much, but when I managed a bookstore, we had to deal with the physical limitations of the shelves. If a book or magazine was too big or too small, we just couldn’t display it very well. If a paperback was too skinny, people didn’t want it. If it was too big, that could be a tough sell.
Let’s say that the typical cost of a paperback at that point was…oh, $3.95. Could we have sold a bunch of books at a quarter of that length for $1? Probably not…they would have looked inexpensive. The cost of selling would have made the $1 books more expensive for us…so ideally, they might have been more than $1.
The cost of selling is very low with e-books, so that’s less of an issue.
I can absolutely see one of these really taking off. It’s a bit like pamphleteering in the 18th Century…I can see Thomas Paine having used this.
Oh, one last thing: I do wish they would put a word count on the Kindle product page for all titles…you can’t really tell the size by the KB count.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.