As it stands now, consumers read texts of a variety of lengths on these devices: long-form books, medium-length magazine articles, short blog posts or tiny Twitter updates.
All of these show up on the same screen, and none of them need to conform to the traditional lengths of printed products.
Recognizing these changes, Amazon on Tuesday introduced a new format it will begin selling in the Kindle Store, called Kindle Singles. The company describes these as texts that might be 10,000 to 30,000 words long. That would be roughly 30 to 90 pages of a printed book.
Amazon said in a press release that Kindle Singles could be “twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book,” and would be priced much less than standard books.
While Amazon is trying to offer a shorter book format for consumers, it is also offering a solution for writers who don’t have a traditional publisher.
In the press release, Amazon said its announcement was “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.”
This medium-length format has traditionally been difficult for writers to sell to publishers as it doesn’t fit into the mold of a printing-press distribution model. In a digital distribution system, those pricing structures no longer exist, and a digital price can be adjusted accordingly.
By promoting this new format, Amazon can also avoid upsetting publishers who were frustrated with the company when it introduced its own self-publishing product, allowing writers to price and directly sell their content on the Kindle platform.
The new storefront isn’t open for business yet as Amazon still needs to recruit writers of shorter texts. But when it gets started you can expect it to disrupt the publishing industry a little bit more.
Blog post by Nick Bilton of The New York Times and can be found here: http://nyti.ms/90irbS. Nick can be followed on Twitter: @nickbilton