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Amazon Kindle Singles: longer than an article, cheaper than a book

Amazon Kindle

In a move that’s sure to spark some debate about consumers’ attention spans in the age of digital media, Amazon.com has announced it will soon be launching Kindle Singles, a new section of its Kindle Store that will offer pieces longer than a typical magazine feature article but shorter than an average book—at prices less than a typical book. Amazon envisions Kindle Singles fulfilling a market niche for works in the 10,000 to 30,000-word range—say 30 to 90 typical printed pages, about twice the length of a feature in The New Yorker. Amazon characterizes the size of a Kindle SIngle as a perfect length to lay out a well-researched “killer idea,” without necessarily having to pad it out into a full book.

“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 Amazon’s VP of Kindle Content Russ Grandinetti, in a statement. “With Kindle Singles, we’re reaching out to publishers and accomplished writers and we’re excited to see what they create.”

Amazon hasn’t announced a launch date or pricing for Kindle Singles, noting only that they will have their own section of the Kindle Store and carry prices lower than a typical book. Amazon’s examples of possible Kindle Singles range from tracts on politics and current events to business lessons, scientific arguments, and essays. Of course, fiction writers might get into the game too: 10,000 to 30,000 words is right in the sweet range for many novellas, which are notoriously hard to market to magazines.