On his blog, writer Stephen Woodfin has written discussing using the Amazon Kindle Singles program for publishing shorter works. We’ve mentioned this program before, but Woodfin notes that the program has now established submission guidelines.
I’m not sure whether those guidelines were actually added recently or have been around for a while, but this is the first time I’ve seen them pointed out at least. I had thought that the Kindle Singles program had not been open to the general public, but now it seems anyone can submit.
The Kindle Singles program is not actually a self-publishing program, however—it is curated for quality like any professional magazine. Writers have to submit works for consideration. The works will be between 5,000 and 30,000 words long, complete (not chapters from something else), and never published elsewhere, either in another publication or on public web sites.
Works that pass muster will be published priced between 99 cents and $4.99, and writers can choose to earn 70% royalties even on works priced below the $2.99 70% cutoff for self-published titles. (If it’s like their self-publishing contracts, though, I think you have to publish exclusively with Amazon to get that rate.)
This amounts to a completely new market for short stories that can be bought a la carte, without requiring a subscription to a magazine that may include stories you won’t like. It also means that Amazon can accept as many stories as it wants to, without worrying about meeting some arbitrary physical space requirements.
This is basically one of those miraculous things that Denise Mina was mentioning e-books are doing—breaking the grip of length limitations. When you’re selling electronically, it’s as easy to sell a 20-page story as a 200-page novel. And given the curation, it’s likelier that people will be willing to buy something with the Amazon Kindle Singles logo on it than something that’s self-published.