Naima's Published Titles

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What I Know About Kindle Singles

I hoped to get my Demontorium short stories into the Amazon marketplace as Kindle Singles. The Kindle Singles store is smaller than the Kindle universe. I'd have a chance to be more prominent right off the bat. Finding no info on the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) pages, I Googled. I reached  the January 26 Amazon Kindle Singles press release, a first-hand Singles submissions experience on ZdNet, a Facebook post on the subject from Steve Lewis, self-publishing guru and author of the Taleist blog, and the Submissions Guidelines right on Amazon's Singles bookstore page. First a word on what a Kindle Single is, as described in the press release:

"... each Kindle Single is intended to allow a single killer idea -- well researched, well argued and well illustrated -- to be expressed at its natural length. Available to both Kindle device and app users, and priced between $0.99 and $4.99, the first set of Kindle Singles include original reporting, essays, memoirs and fiction."

Here's what else I learned:

  • Amazon's editors review your manuscript submission, just like a traditional publisher would. It's not a direct publishing option.
  • The permitted word count is 5,000 - 30,000 words. This leaves my short stories out. My longest, The Entrepreneur, is just over 3,000 words.
  • If accepted, your Kindle Single royalty can earn you 70%, even at a price point below $2.99. This is different from the KDP experience, where a price point below $2.99 rates a 35% royalty.
This is a good opportunity for writers, especially journalists who long to expand a topic beyond the amount of space usually alotted for their work. I say this because I believe readers look specifically for fiction they can read in the pockets of downtime available -- on a train commute, for instance.  However, authors on the KDP Community forum have expressed some confusion and frustration with the Singles process regarding such things as 1) longer than expected wait times for news of acceptance/rejection and 2) the perceived quality of accepted and published Singles. It seems Amazon is working itself into a space previously monopolized by traditional print publishers and the receiving end feels pretty much the same to authors.

I hope you can take this info farther than I can. The 5,000 word minimum rules me out, so for now, as we say in the South (US), "I don't have a dog in the race".

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