Amazon's Kindle store is getting more like a music store everyday. Now you can buy a whole book or just a single---an e-book that's about twice as long as a New Yorker feature.
In a statement, Amazon called on writers, business types and other big thinkers to create Kindle Singles.
This move is a bit of e-commerce brilliance. Why? Amazon is moving to give you the meat of an idea---10,000 to 30,000---while saving you some time and expense. Kindle Singles will have their own section in the Kindle Store and be "priced much less than a typical book." Bottom line: There will be a big audience for Kindle Singles.
But there are a bevy of business reasons why Kindle Singles is shrewd. Among the key reasons:
By calling on authors directly, Amazon may not have to deal with publishers and their pricing issues. After all, Kindle Singles is really a new category that may not fall under existing publishing contracts. In other words, Amazon can act as a publisher on "singles" without competing with its sometimes grumpy publishing partners.
And don't forget the Kindle ecosystem. I have a Kindle for long-form reading---and a screen with no glare---but Kindle Singles are much easier to digest on the Kindle App (on Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry etc.). More than 50,000 words is a bear on an app. But 10,000 words is much better. Kindle Singles will be perfect for Amazon's app ecosystem enabled by its Whispersync platform.
If Kindle Singles is a hit, Amazon will have a key differentiator in the e-reader market against Barnes & Noble and Sony.