Amazon to sell Kindle short stories

The online retailer is calling on writers to develop 'Kindle singles' that cost less than $10.

By Kim Peterson Oct 12, 2010 2:26PM
Credit: (© Amazon.com)
Caption: Amazon KindleAmazon (AMZN) has announced it will soon launch "Kindle Singles." And it's not some sort of dating service. These singles are short, cheap books for Kindle e-readers.

The way Amazon envisions it, Kindle Singles will be about twice as long as a New Yorker feature article. Equivalent to a few book chapters. They'll get their own section in the Kindle store.

But here's where it gets interesting: Amazon called on writers Tuesday to start producing their own singles for the store. No middleman. No publishing house. Amazon will control the singles from top to bottom.

"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," Amazon said in a press release. "With Kindle Singles, we're reaching out to publishers and accomplished writers and we're excited to see what they create."

Amazon won't release pricing information yet, but I can't imagine these singles as a huge moneymaker for the company. The typical Kindle book runs for about $10. Rather, the singles will become a niche offering for Kindle readers looking for something different.

But Amazon may be testing the publishing waters here, expanding its reach from merely an online retailer to a site that's much more involved in the content chain.

Larry Dignan at Between the Lines calls it a shrewd business move. The singles are perfect for Amazon's Kindle App, he writes, which allows books to be read on smartphones and Apple's (AAPL) iPad. Perhaps these singles are a way to beef up Amazon's app store? Watch the following video for more info about the app store:
Also, Dignan notes, the singles are a good way for Amazon to stand out in the e-reader market against Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Sony (SNE).

Amazon has already been testing this business model, selling short stories from The Atlantic magazine for $4. That's probably a good pricing gauge, says PaidContent.

More from MSN Top Stocks:
Amazon Kindle now just $139
Kindle at Target no answer for Amazon
The iPad vs. Kindle showdown


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