updated 11:20 am EST, Wed January 26, 2011
Short Kindle Singles books are now live
Amazon has now made its lineup of Singles offerings, first promised in the fall of last year, available. The content is shorter than full-blown novels but longer than magazine articles, with word counts between 5,000 and 30,000. The format is officially pitched as a way to let writers express a single idea that's well researched and allow them enough space to do so.
The Singles are priced at between $1 and $5 and available for users of the Kindle e-reader and Kindle app users. The first set of singles includes original reporting, essays, memoirs and fiction, usually at prices of $2 to $3, and Amazon plans to frequently update the offerings.
Authors purportedly enjoy the concept of the Singles, with Ian Ayres, writer of The $500 Diet, saying he has the "freedom to write a piece that doesn't need to be cut for a magazine article or expanded for a book."
The format is more widely considered an attempt by Amazon to spur e-book downloads by lowering the price well below the typical $10 asking price for a full novel or non-fiction book. Kindle books are already outselling paper through Amazon, but Singles would bring pricing closer to that of music and potentially attract those who otherwise would avoid paying for digital reading. Singles also give it a potential exclusive that wouldn't be matched by Apple or Barnes & Noble.