One factor that makes Amazon a powerhouse in both book selling and publishing is its “something for everyone” mindset. With a number of genre-driven imprints in its traditional Amazon Publishing wing, as well as the KDP platform for digital and self-published works, the retailer-turned-publisher is making book distribution available to all.
The Kindle Singles program, which digitally publishes short form works of both fiction and non-fiction, has been around for some time, but new attention is being given to the submission guidelines for the program. According to Amazon’s website, there is no limitation on the previous publishing history of the author. One interesting point is that authors can submit an unpublished manuscript between 5,000 and 30,000 words in length, but authors may also opt to self-publish the manuscript via KDP and then simply use the guidelines to bring that title to Kindle Singles’ attention.
“We wanted to create a venue for these works while still finding the best work of this kind,” said Kindle Singles editor David Blum in an interview with GoodEReader.com shortly after the launch of the program last year. “Aside from the word count, price is an issue in Kindle Singles, with all works costing between ninety-nine cents and $4.99. It keeps the works affordable and accessible.”
The Kindle Singles submission guidelines are available on Amazon’s dedicated page, clearly indicating that the program is available to both new and well-known authors. Moreover, the steps to publication and the royalty explanation are both clear on the site.
One of the chief complaints about the many digital self-publishing platforms on the market is the “anyone can do it” attitude from far too many writers, indie authors who do not take their work seriously enough to have it professionally edited. To that end, Kindle Singles is not another self-publishing platform; all submissions are carefully screened by their editorial staff and approved for publication or not.
While the popularity of ebooks has actually sparked a return to reading, short form publication has the potential to bring even more readers to the digital table. The potential for a renewed interest in short stories—stand-alone fiction that will no longer have to wait to be anthologized or published as a collection—as well as timely pieces of non-fiction on current world events means that readers without the time or inclination to tackle longer pieces of literature can now fill their reading needs with shorter and less pricey ebooks.