Amazon Kindle Singles: A Short Wishlist

Amazon's Kindle Singles is a great idea, but a bit vague. Here are some concrete ideas that I'd like to see right away.

Just as MP3s changed the way we listen to music, Amazon wants to shake up our reading habits with Kindle Singles.

In the past, writers generally had to choose between a 10,000-word news or magazine story and a proper book. Amazon says the digital book market creates a space in between, for writing that's "twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book."

I agree with the sentiment, but Amazon's description of the content available -- in the company's words, "a political point of view, a scientific argument, or a beautifully crafted essay on a current event" -- seems too vague to envision. Here are some concrete ideas that I'd like to see from Kindle Singles right away:

Investigative Journalism

Big investigative newspaper reports sometimes span several days, far exceeding 10,000 words in their entirety. They're also a chore to read on the Web. I'd love to see the best investigative stories from newspapers around the world packaged as Kindle Singles -- it might even create a bigger market for this kind of journalism.

Single Short Stories

Short stories, sold individually, are one kind of writing that would actually fit the Kindle Singles name. Previously, there was no market for short stories outside of compilations, but the digital format allows authors to sell their smaller works without banding together with other authors. This would work for essay anthologies, as well.

Episodic Books

In video games, episodic content has come into vogue as paid vignettes that launch after a game's initial release. And in television, serial dramas like Lost and The Sopranos have hooked viewers. In digital form, fiction authors can break down their writing in a similar way.

Magazine Highlights

Individual magazine articles might be too short to qualify as Kindle Singles, but what if writers and mega-publishers like Conde Nast and Time Inc. bundled their best long-form stories in creative ways? A Single might consist of the best work from a single author, or a collection of writing on a single topic across several magazines.

Non-Fiction E-Book Lite

Think of smartphone apps. Sometimes, you'll find a paid app, and a free "Lite" version with fewer features. Non-fiction books could work in similar fashion, with Lite Kindle Singles sold as cheaper, less elaborate versions of the full book. That way, you can get the gist of one author's political analysis or scientific theory, and move on to the long version if you're really interested to learn more.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicskindlee-readersamazon.com

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?