Tech Flash is reporting that the Kindle will soon be able to read “singles”, short form pieces of 10,000 to 30,000 words. I don’t know how it is going to do, but it is good to see some movement on the short piece front. Bubble Cow’s piece on Ether Books also looks promising as a means to distribute short work. Mobile devices lend themselves to the short form and if these distribution channels can be harnessed correctly there is no reason that short fiction could reach a wider readership. It is too early to tell, but one can hope.
Amazon.com is putting out the call for short works for its Kindle platform. The online retailer is seeking Kindle books of about 10,000 to 30,000 words, about “twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book.” These mini digital books — ‘Kindle Singles’ — will have their own section on Amazon’s site and be priced less than a typical book, though Amazon gives no specifics on how the pricing will work.
TechFlash notes that Amazon is making an end run around publishers to talk with agents and authors trying to have them sell the electronic rights directly to Amazon. I’m not sure this is such a great idea, especially since it is platform dependent. Publishers perform more than just distribution. We will see how this shakes out.
Is Amazon.com trying to do an end-run around publishers for Kindle book rights? The Bookseller reports the online retail giant has been pursuing U.K. literary agents and authors, urging them to sell electronic book rights directly to Amazon. That follows a report from Crain’s in November that Amazon flew a dozen top New York literary agents to its Seattle headquarters for meetings.
It looks like there is some push back on the e-readers from publishers. According to TechFlash publishers think e-reader sales should come between hard backs and paper backs. We will see how this works out. The film industry is fighting this battle right now with studios wanting simultaneous release on all channels. Will there be someone who blinks first and goes simultaious?
It’s a sign that parts of the book publishing industry are hardening their opposition to the widespread retailer practice — spearheaded by Amazon.com — of selling electronic versions of new release books at a heavily discounted $9.99.
Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group are the two publishers delaying more titles. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy told the Journal that the “right place for the e-book is after the hardcover but before the paperback,” acknowledging that some readers will be “disappointed” by that timeline. Upcoming Simon & Schuster titles affected by the new policy include Don DeLillo’s “Point Omega” and the Karl Rove memoir “Courage and Consequence.”
The Millions has another good write up of the Kindle fiasco at Amazon by M Rayn Calo.
The Millions pointed me to this post at the NY Times. Apparently Amazon removed some copies of books from their customer’s Kindles without asking them. While they had legitimate reason to stop sales of the book, taking the book away from those who already paid for it is beginning to move into the realm of too much power.