Amazon is attempting to bring short stories, novellas, and novelettes to the Kindle and Kindle apps by launching a new campaign called Kindle Singles, short books typically ranging between 5,000 and 30,000 words.
Amazon first announced this back in October, looking for authors to submit their work for publication.
Authors obliged. There are now 22 Kindle Singles available, with more being added over time. This first set includes original reporting, essays, memoirs, and fiction from Rich Cohen, Darin Strauss, Ian Ayres, and other popular authors.
The Kindle Singles range in price between $0.99 – $2.99 and can go up to $4.99, according to the press release. This could be a big selling point or a big sticking point. Some of these are looking pretty good at $0.99 and $1.99, but $2.99 seems a little too pricey for just 40 or so pages.
Below are 9 Kindle Singles Amazon lists in the press release. Visit the Kindle Singles page at Amazon for the complete list.
- Lifted by Evan Ratliff (34 pages, $1.99): The thieves had a handpicked crew, a stolen helicopter, a cache of explosives, and a plan to rob a $150 million cash repository. The Stockholm police had a tip-off. Wired and New Yorker writer Evan Ratliff recounts the inside story of an audacious 2009 bank heist, and the race to solve it. This is an inaugural title from publisher The Atavist.
- The Happiness Manifesto by Nic Marks (40 pages, $2.99): Modern research proves the ancient wisdom that “money can’t buy you happiness.” But then why do our governments see their main task as simply growing GDP? Marks, founder of the London-based Centre for Well-Being, sets out an ingenious new way of defining national goals–and in the process reveals five ways people can nurture their own happiness. One of the inaugural TEDBooks.
- Piano Demon by Brendan I. Koerner (37 pages, $1.99): At age six, Teddy Weatherford was working in a Virginia coal mine. Two decades later, he was the jazz king of Asia. Koerner, a Wired contributing editor and author of “Now The Hell Will Start,” tells how a piano legend in a sharkskin suit lived the American Dream by leaving it behind.
- Leaving Home by Jodi Picoult (43 pages, $2.99): The deep pains and powerful pleasures of parenting: those are the extremes explored here by the extraordinary novelist Jodi Picoult. In three short pieces that display her wide emotional range, Picoult weaves together stories of love and loss with heartbreaking simplicity.
- The Dead Women of Juarez by Robert Andrew Powell (31 pages, $1.99): It sounded like one of the great murder mysteries of our time: who was killing the women of Juarez? Journalist Robert Andrew Powell went to the Mexican border town to investigate, and separates fact from myth in a saga that eerily echoes the plot of Roberto Bolaño’s epic novel “2666”.
- Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks by Sebastian Rotella/ProPublica (38 pages, $.99): The U.S. investigation of the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai provides a detailed picture of the ties between Pakistan’s intelligence service and a leading militant group. The latest reporting from ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom.
- The $500 Diet by Ian Ayres (39 pages, $2.99): When Yale law professor Ayres vowed to drop his weight from 205 pounds to 180 pounds, he put his money where his mouth was — literally. It was either lose the weight, or pay the price. A look into Ayres’ weight-loss method through simple financial incentive.
- Darkstar by Christopher R. Howard (44 pages, $2.99): A pre-apocalyptic love story. Sailor, a homeless Irish teenager who’s haunted by a diabolical voice, seeks to reunite with a soulmate he hasn’t seen since boyhood, as a cosmic event threatens to extinguish life on Earth. Howard’s fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s, and his first novel, “Tea of Ulaanbaatar,” comes out this May.
- Homo Evolutis by Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans (58 pages, $2.99): Enriquez and Gullans–two eminent authors, researchers, and entrepreneurs–explore a world where humans increasingly shape their environment, their own selves and other species. They envision a future in which humankind becomes a new species — one which directly and deliberately controls its own evolution and that of many other species. One of the inaugural TEDBooks.