Those wonderful people I love to hate -- Amazon -- the brick 'n mortar bookshop killers, floated a test balloon before writers recently. This ploy requires wannabe contributors to respond, presumably to determine if enough writers go for it.
Dunno if the idea burst or is still being calculated by the Bezos Bean Counters, but it might be a potential venue for short-haul story-tellers.
It could plug the gap between 99-cent short stories at one end, now being offered on other sites, and $9.99 tomes at the other. The more markets the merrier.
Here's the skinny in case you overlooked it:
SEATTLE, Oct 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
(NASDAQ:AMZN)--Less than 10,000 words or more than 50,000: that is the choice writers have generally faced for more than a century--works either had to be short enough for a magazine article or long enough to deliver the "heft" required for book marketing and distribution. 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--whether it's a business lesson, a political point of view, a scientific argument, or a beautifully crafted essay on a current event.
Today, Amazon is announcing that it will launch "Kindle Singles"--Kindle books that are twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book. Kindle Singles will have their own section in the Kindle Store and be priced much less than 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.
"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, Kindle Content. "With Kindle Singles, we're reaching out to publishers and accomplished writers and we're excited to see what they create."
Like all Kindle content, Kindle Singles will be "Buy Once, Read Everywhere"--customers will be able to read them on Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, and Android-based devices. Amazon's Whispersync technology syncs your place across devices, so you can pick up where you left off. In addition, with the Kindle Worry-Free Archive, Kindle Singles will be automatically backed up online in your Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.
To be considered for Kindle Singles, interested parties should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.