Amazon Expands Publishing Horizons With Short-Form Kindle Singles

Locked into a pricing battle with some publishers over the pricing of e-books with print counterparts, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) is expanding its digital-only options — and its own publishing horizons — with Kindle Singles. Described as “twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book,” the 10,000-to-30,000 word e-books (roughly 30-90 pages) will have their own section in the Kindle Store and will sell for “much less” than the typical e-book.

It’s not the company’s first foray into short-form Kindle sales. The Atlantic magazine has been selling short stories that way for nearly a year, with two exclusives a month sold for $3.99 each.

The content options are wide. Amazon suggests anything from a business lesson to politics, science and essays on current events and includes in the announcement “a call to serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers to join Amazon in making such works available to readers around the world.” Amazon says it is reaching out to publishers and “accomplished” writers.

What the announcement doesn’t include is any sense of payment or actual pricing. Amazon’s own price for “typical” books runs $9.99; some publishers are pricing their e-books considerably higher. The Atlantic fiction pricing is probably a good gauge.