Amazon Publishing goes back to basics with Kindle Serials

Amazon Publishing goes back to basics with Kindle Serials

Summary: Amazon pushes for more content to the Kindle with the introduction of a book serial subscription service.

TOPICS: Amazon, Apps, Tablets
Credit: Rachel King, ZDNet

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. -- Amazon unveiled some new Kindles during an invite-only media event at a former airplane hanger in Southern California on Thursday morning, but CEO Jeff Bezos acknolwedged a demographic that has hugely benefitted from the platform: self-publishing authors.

For example, out of the top 100 selling Kindle books, 27 of them are self-published.

So far, the Kindle Singles program has done well enough with 3.5 million digital copies sold, and 35 have reached the top 50. Amazon Publishing is hoping to build upon that with the introduction of Kindle Serials.

Touted to be automatic and seamless, Kindle Serials means that readers only have to buy into a series once and they'll received all future episodes.

But really, the concept of stories told and published in a serial format is a tried-and-true method in books, newspapers and magazines. Amazon is simply just putting a new spin on book subscriptions and pushing it forward with its existing self-publishing platform.

To further prove that, Amazon is offering a freebie by re-issuing two books from Charles Dickens in the same serialized format in which they were originally published.

"It's going to be a very interesting experience," Bezos remarked. There are already eight different book franchises lined up for Kindle Serials, including a "yoga murder mystery," which Bezos joked is the beginning of a new genre.

All singles from Kindle Serials will cost $1.99.


Topics: Amazon, Apps, Tablets

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  • Karma

    I tried to get Amazon to buy into this idea 6 months ago when I started my urban thriller series GAMELAND. I went ahead and did a serial without their blessing and it's quite popular. Looks like they finally realized the error of their ways.
    Saul Tanpepper
  • Amazon got thousands of requests for this...

    ...and they have been getting them for years. Amazon doesn't make moves like this unless a LOT of people demand it.

    The one thing they are doing that I don't think works is making it a single price point- right now, you can only sell your serialized story for $1.99 in total.

    This is workable for a serial that ends up at under 100,000 words sold in 8-10 issues of about 10,000 words each. Kindle Serials is ideal for the young adult sci-fi series that I wanted it for... but doesn't really work for the >200,000 word count you'll have with Gameland.

    If you don't have the option of asking at least $3.99 for your particular serialization, you would be best served by breaking it into two books and then serializing them sequentially as a workaround. This makes it easier for your readers as well as making it less expensive ($1.99 x 2 = $3.98) so it can be marketed as a price reduction as well. Even three separate serializations only come to $5.97 so it is a reduction from your current price... but that might have a negative emotional response to a perceived (though incorrect) attempt to give them less.
  • Already doing this!

    Though this concept isn't new, we've been doing this for over a year now via Kindle through 711 Press, releasing serialized novels. I believe others have caught on too and it made Amazon take notice, so they ran with it.