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Gadgets -Amazon Launches 'Kindle Singles' Platform for Shorter E-Books

October 13, 2010

Amazon Launches 'Kindle Singles' Platform for Shorter E-Books

By Beecher Tuttle
TMCnet Web Editor

In an attempt to offer Kindle owners a more comprehensive portfolio of content, Amazon recently announced that it will launch a new category of works in its online store that are longer than typical news articles but shorter than traditional novels.

Generally speaking, writers have two options when they sit down to create a new piece that can be distributed through conventional channels. They can author a short, attention-grabbing magazine-length feature that doesn't require the reader to invest more than a few minutes of their time, or they can craft a long, 50,000-plus word novel that is meant to be absorbed over multiple sittings.

This situation -- according to the top brass at Amazon -- is restricting thought leaders, forcing them to mold a piece into a length that doesn't necessarily fit the topic.

"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," Amazon officials said in a release.

Called Kindle Singles, the offering will allow writers, thinkers, business leaders, historians and politicians to craft pieces that are of a "natural" length, "not to an artificial marketing length that justifies a particular price or a certain format," said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle content.

Although Amazon did not reveal how much the Singles will cost, company officials said they will be much less expensive than a traditional e-book. The shorter works can be purchased through any device that has access to the Kindle Store, Information Week reports.

Amazon's announcement comes only one week after its chief competitor, Barnes & Noble, launched its self-publishing platform, known as Pubit.

Those who are interested in submitting work to Amazon can email the company at

Beecher Tuttle is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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