Tag Archives: e-book shorts

Kindle Singles Publishing Soars

As newspapers and magazines continue to lose readership and fold, the way authors and journalists publish short stories, essays, and novellas has changed. Now, it’s going digital.

Amazon is one of the companies hopping on board. But instead of offering its own regular publishing platform like the one used for full-length novels, Amazon is publishing Kindle Singles. I told you about them a year-and-a-half ago, shortly after the service got underway. In the time since, the service has become quite successful.

According to The New York Times, Amazon Kindle Singles is a store under the Amazon umbrella, which sells the shorts for less than $2 each. Though Amazon keeps about 30% of the profit and rarely pays the author upfront, Amazon estimates the authors make an average of $22,000 through the service. It’s  one of the few publishing options that allows authors to make a profit off the shorts, as opposed to getting a flat fee. It’s also starting to gain a larger audience.

Most of the novellas, essays, and stories that are publishing run between 30,000 and 50,000 words, and while the publisher receives about 1000 manuscripts each month, the service is still extremely competitive. Since its January 2011 inception, Amazon has only posted 345 Singles.

It certainly does sound like a good concept for authors and journalists who want to get their short-form pieces published, but 345 published pieces in two years seems small, no?

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Just in Time for Titanic 3D, an E-Book Short About Costa Concordia

On the heels of Titanic 3D‘s opening weekend, a new e-book about the modern-day Titanic is now available. Fatal Voyage, the Wrecking of the Costa Concordia, a Kindle Single — or e-book short — about the accident that happened with the ill-fated Italian cruise ship earlier this year, was recently published.

According to this article by The Huffington Post’s Gadling, journalist John Hooper quickly wrote the e-book. Hooper is the Rome-based reporter for the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper. The e-book short includes first-person accounts from passengers and details about the Italians’ embarrassment over the ship’s Captain. That, allegedly, is a part of the story that was left out by American reports of the incident. It also includes a detailed account of the mistakes the Captain made once the ship went into crisis mode.

Though Gadling blogger Chris Gray Faust explains that the e-book has its fair share of errors…

The rush to publish does highlight the e-book’s faults. Hooper’s e-book, which reads more like a long-form magazine article, came out on Feb. 15, just a little over a month from the Jan. 13 sinking. As a reader, I wanted even more details from the survivors than Hooper collected. Every passenger who lived through that night has a chilling tale to tell, and while the examples that Hooper picked were jaw-dropping, I had more questions than answers when I finished the book.

…It still seems like a worthy read, particularly if you’ve ever cruised, plan on cruising, or are just plain shocked that something as severe as this accident could still happen in the modern-day world.

Get the e-book short now for just $1.99 on your Kindle.

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So You’ve Heard of E-books, But What About E-book Shorts?

If you haven’t heard of e-books by now, you most likely reside under a rock. But just because you’ve heard of or have read e-books doesn’t mean you know what e-book shorts are.

E-book shorts are e-books that are longer than articles but shorter than books. Often times, they’re short stories excerpts from a novel. They’re also cheaper than a full-length book. Up until last week, they had been available  through Amazon. Amazon calls them Kindle Singles.

But now, Princeton University Press is jumping on the e-book short bandwagon, publishing 5 e-book shorts. According to this article by the L.A. Times, the shorts are all excerpts and became available last week. They include an excerpt from Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Princeton University Press’s shorts are available through a variety of vendors, but are separate from Amazon’s Kindle Singles program.

The question here is whether or not these shorts hurt or help the book industry. On one hand, people will buy them and consider not buying the entire (and more expensive) book. But on the other hand, reading an excerpt may help a reader realize they want to read the whole book. I think it’s an interesting idea nonetheless and hope it means more business for the book industry. What do you think?

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