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Amazon shrinks books with Kindle Singles

Perfect for short attention spans 'killer ideas'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

As the world's attention span continues to shrink, Amazon plans to introduce a breed of Kindle e-texts that are no longer than "a few chapters" of those hefty analog books that a few people still bother to read.

These "Kindle Singles" will have their own category in the Kindle ebook store, and they will be priced "much less" than old-fashioned lengthy books.

But Amazon doesn't want you to think that's dumbing-down world culture. "Today’s announcement is a call to serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers to join Amazon in making such works available to readers around the world," the company's press release reads.

With ebooks, Amazon says, there's no need for writers to tack on needless pages just to meet the size requirement of old-school paper-book publishers. "Less than 10,000 words or more than 50,000: that is the choice writers have generally faced for more than a century — works either had to be short enough for a magazine article or long enough to deliver the 'heft' required for book marketing and distribution," the release continues.

"But in many cases, 10,000 to 30,000 words (roughly 30 to 90 pages) might be the perfect, natural length to lay out a single killer idea, well researched, well argued and well illustrated — whether it's a business lesson, a political point of view, a scientific argument, or a beautifully crafted essay on a current event."

To be considered for the Kindle Singles store, you can email Amazon at digital-publications@amazon.com. It's unclear whether writers will self-publish these titles through the company's existing DTP (Digital Text Platform) or Amazon will publish them in some way. ®

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