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Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) has its Kindle Singles store and now Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is highlighting shorter reads in its own “Quick Reads” section, with all titles under $5.
Right now, Apple has 90 fiction and nonfiction titles in its “Short Reads” section, compared to 97 in the Kindle Singles store. There’s overlap among many of the titles from publishers like Byliner, TED Books and The Atavist, though the Kindle Singles store still has some exclusives. Unlike Amazon, Apple doesn’t have its own e-singles publishing program. But by highlighting certain e-singles in a special section, Apple is performing a similar marketing service for these titles.
It’s a really good idea to give e-singles their own special section in an e-bookstore–not just because it gives those titles a leg up in terms of promotion, but because it alerts readers in advance to their length–so they’re not disappointed if a book turns out to be shorter than they thought it was going to be. (You’ll sometimes see negative reviews on Amazon because a book isn’t “book-length,” even if it’s only $0.99.) I’ve said before that Amazon should add some other ways to denote length in the Kindle Store (for those titles that don’t make it into Kindle Singles) and I hope to see Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) add any sort of “e-singles” section to the Nook Bookstore.