Amazon launched an innovative platform in 2011 that some have heralded as the salvation of long-form journalism and the renewal of reader content for short fiction. The Kindle Singles platform created a publishing home for stand-alone digital works that were between 5,000 and 30,000 words, a category far too short for traditional print publishing to invest in. David Blum, editor-in-chief of Kindle Singles, spoke to GoodEReader this week about the popularity of the reading format for both consumers and for authors.
“I’m happy to say that this idea that we were just beginning has continued to be successful,” explained Blum in the interview. “The thing that we’re continuing to focus on is continuing down the path that we started, making ourselves open to all different kinds of writers and publishers who are focused on this particular length of writing.”
So what kinds of writing would be ideally suited to the unique word count and publishing format of a Single?
“This has proven to be very popular with writers of both fiction and non-fiction. We’ve seen novellas and longer form short fiction, and equally so with journalism and non-fiction. We’ve gotten large numbers of submissions for in the memoir format, reported narrative, and essay. It’s been really exciting just to see the growth of interest among writers and we’ve been very fortunate to have very high-caliber writers come to us, like Stephen King, but we’ve also had new writers and new voices who haven’t been published before.”
Amazon announced last week the birth of another imprint within its traditional model that will cater to the wants of e-short fans, Day One. While Day One is not directly a part of the Kindle Singles platform, its creation meets a need that Singles may have opened up, which is the desire for more works of fiction short stories.
“Day One is part of Amazon Publishing and it really focuses on short fiction. Their goal and expectation is to find and develop great fiction voices in the short story format.”
While other long-form journalism platforms like Atavist are exploring other options with this type of publishing, Kindle Singles does not foresee a change to the model in the near future, especially given the proven popularity of the format with the readers as well as the opportunity it provides for authors of every status to publish great work.
“You can download a couple of Singles, get on an airplane, and read precisely the story you want to read, and when you get off that plane you’ve finished, the same way you might have done with a magazine. It’s somewhat of an equally satisfying experience in that you’re choosing the story you want to read from the categories that you’re most interested in. The goal for us to build up those lists so customers can find more of what they want to read. We’re really just focused on the same goals that we had in the beginning and we’re happy to see more people become involved.
“It’s exciting to see a writer find an audience, earn royalties from their work in a significant way, and co-exist alongside writers on our bestseller list like Stephen King or Lee Child. While our customers gravitate towards well-known writers like Stephen King or Lee Child, they also just gravitate towards quality. Our customers come to Kindle Singles, if we’ve done our job right, to find something good to read.”