Amazon's new 'Kindle Single' format: lowering the bar for literature?

Amazon on Tuesday announced it will be trying a new format for the Kindle e-reader which it is calling the "Kindle Single."

Longer than a magazine article, and shorter than a full novel, Amazon says the Kindle Single could be the "perfect, natural length to lay out a single killer idea...well researched, well argued and well illustrated."

Kindle Singles will be roughly 30-90 pages in length (10,000-30,000 words) carry a lower price than a full length book, and be available in their own section of the Kindle store.

Amazon has laid out its self-publishing platform for any independent content creators to publish their works as e-books, and major competitor Barnes and Noble has followed suit on its own Nook platform. Both companies are vying for as much unique content on their respective platforms as possible.

While this new format could be looked upon as a significant lowering of the bar for content creators ("Don't have years to put together a whole novel? Release a Kindle Single!"), it could also be viewed in a more favorable way: as an outlet for unpublished authors to release serialized content on the Kindle.

Either way, it's an interesting move for Amazon to have taken in the ongoing competition to have the most robust e-reader marketplace.

"Ideas and the words to deliver them should be crafted to their natural length, not to an artificial marketing length that justifies a particular price or a certain format," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content in a statement today. "With Kindle Singles, we're reaching out to publishers and accomplished writers and we're excited to see what they create."

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