Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kindle Singles, Those In-Between-Sized Works Of Experienced Authors, Arrive In The Kindle Store With 22 Titles from the Likes of Jodie Picoult, Pete Hamill, and Claudia Lonow

By Tom Dulaney, Editor-in-Chief

Some the authors you know, some you won't, depending on whether you read Wired, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and a string of other publications both in print an online.

Today their in-between-sized works became available in the Kindle Store, yet another benefit of the ebook revolution.

In print, an article or short story needed to be about 5,000 words or less, constrained by magazine formats and economics.  Yet, again in print, it wasn't a "book" or "novella" until the word count went over about 30,000 words.

That left a huge hole filled with longish short stories and articles without a home, and mini-books or novellas without a route to readers.

Amazon's innovative Kindles Singles program changes the landscape.  Announced last year, the first fruits of Amazon's call for Singles appeared today in the Kindle Store.

Following is the full text of Amazon's announcement plus just a few from the list to pique your interest:

Before the advent of digital reading, writers often had to choose between making their work short enough for a magazine article or long enough to deliver the "heft" required for book marketing and distribution. 

Three months ago, Amazon made a call to serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers to join Kindle in making a new kind of content available to readers--Kindle Singles. Typically between 5,000 and 30,000 words, each Kindle Single is intended to allow a single killer idea -- well researched, well argued and well illustrated -- to be expressed at its natural length. 

Today, Amazon is introducing the first set of Kindle Singles to the Kindle Store (

"The response to our announcement of Singles has been great," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. "This first set of Singles was selected by our team of editors, and includes works by Rich Cohen, Darin Strauss, Ian Ayres, and the first-ever books published by TED. We think customers will be riveted by these stories that can take them to a Swedish bank heist or to the Mexican border town of Juarez, or to consider a new way to think about happiness."

The new Kindle Singles section of the Kindle Store is now available at Available to both Kindle device and app users, and priced between $0.99 and $4.99, the first set of Kindle Singles include original reporting, essays, memoirs and fiction. Amazon plans to frequently launch many more Kindle Singles over time.

Here are just a few of the new titles.  Click on the link at the bottom to see the full list of 22 Singles.

The Real Lebowski
The Real Lebowski by Rich Cohen
He wrote the first draft of Apocalypse Now. He discovered Arnold Scharzenegger. He wrote Clint Eastwood's "Go ahead, make my day." The Vanity Fair writer and author of Sweet and Low trails tough-guy screenwriter/director John Milius as he fights to find his place in a transformed and unwelcoming movie business.
The Invisible Enemy
The Invisible Enemy by Jonathan Littell
On assignment from Le Monde, the acclaimed novelist (The Kindly Ones) chronicles a forgotten war--the Lord's Resistance Army's terrorist campaign in Congo--and its devastating effect on innocent families.
Leaving Home: Short Pieces
Leaving Home: Short Pieces by Jodi Picoult
The deep pains and powerful pleasures of parenting: those are the extremes explored here by the extraordinary novelist Jodi Picoult. In three short pieces that display her wide emotional range, Picoult weaves together stories of love and loss with heartbreaking simplicity.
They Are Us
They Are Us by Pete Hamill
From the eminent journalist and novelist comes a common-sense plea for a new immigration policy, one that asks America to embrace its illegal-alien population, not condemn it. Hamill advocates a fresh look at amnesty and pardon policies, offering illegal immigrants a "hand of welcome."
Octomom and the Politics of Babies
Octomom and the Politics of Babies by Mark Greif
A founding co-editor of the literary magazine n+1 updates his insightful essay from last spring, where only the journal’s 10,000 readers had access to his dead-on critique of the American media culture that produced its own eight-headed monster.

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