Amazon Offers ‘Digital Shorts’

In other e-reader news, Amazon has just begun offering a Digital Shorts section through its Kindle e-reader.  Digital Shorts offer readers the ability to buy short selections of digital text, e.g. short stories, pamphlets, essays, etc…  The benefit to consumers is obvious: it may no longer be necessary to purchase expensive anthologies or collected works.  Consumers will be able to pick and choose individual selections for immediate download – think of the iTunes model as applied to books.

Here’s Tech Crunch on Amazon’s latest offering:

Today, Amazon is launching Kindle Singles, which are Kindle books that are in the company’s words, “twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book.” Generally, Amazon characterized Kindle Singles as 10,000 to 30,000 words (roughly 30 to 90 pages).

Amazon says that Kindle Singles will have their own section in the Kindle Store, which currently has over 700,000 books, and will be priced much less than a typical book (although Amazon didn’t reveal a range of pricing for the new format).

Amazon’s Digital Shorts offers another benefit as well: exposure.  Amazon has already put out a call for serious writers, thinkers, poets to self-publish their work and make it available through the Digital Shorts section.  Here’s TechCrunch again:

It sounds like anyone can submit a story or piece to be included as a Kindle Single, and Amazon is using the announcement as a “call to serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers” to submit writings. As Amazon writes in the release: Singles are a “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.”

The inability to access short-form works or single articles has been one of the chief limitations of the e-reader market.  It’s good to see Amazon taking steps to correct the oversight.  Click here to learn more.

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