Perhaps spurred by Amazon’s new Kindle Singles submission page, PaidContent has taken a look at the new “E-Singles” format for shorter works. The best-known example is, of course, Amazon’s “Kindle Singles” program, through which a number of magazines and writers are publishing feature-length non-fiction works (and some writers are publishing short stories) for prices ranging from 99 cents to $4.99.
Unlike Amazon’s options for self-publishing, the Kindle Singles program is curated and edited (though Singles-length works can, of course, be self-published through Amazon’s regular Kindle books program). It has its own section on Amazon’s site, and currently boasts 80 titles (with about three more being added per week). Other stores such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks offer singles-length publishing options, but some do not currently make it easy for consumers to tell when they’re getting a shorter-length work.
Though neither Amazon nor the publishers who contribute Singles are willing to say exactly how many they have sold, most publishers seem to be quite positive about their sales so far. I’ve touched on other articles that see shorter-form publishing as important to publishing’s future given that people have less and less time to devote to full-length reading, and this seems to suggest they might be right.
(One of the first e-book stores, Alexandria Digital Literature, actually launched with the idea that people would be more likely to read short works than long works on their hand-held digital devices. However, it proved to be about fifteen years ahead of its time.)