A new genre of electronic publication is proving to be rewarding not just for readers but for authors as well.
There's been a lot of buzz lately about Kindle Singles, the e-publishing format that's longer than a magazine article but shorter than the typical published book coming out of Amazon's dedicated Singles shop. First, a group of science writers launched a new site, Download the Universe, which is dedicated to reviews of new ebooks, many of which are Kindle Singles or other e-publications of a similar length. Next, New York Times literary critic Dwight Garner set about reviewing 15 of these mini-books, and hailed the possibility of "what feels almost like a new genre: long enough for genuine complexity, short enough that you don't need journalistic starches and fillers."
But while the form may hold literary promise, does it also carry the hope of remuneration? A new report from PaidContent finds that yes, a few authors are doing quite well from their Kindle Single efforts. One, Mishka Shubaly, author of "The Long Run," the ninth-best-selling Single of all time, told PaidContent that he is so pleased with the experiment, he hopes to name his first child Amazon. PaidContent estimates that Shubaly has made about $130,000 from his three Singles. The other four writers in PaidContent's report have brought in amounts ranging from a bit less than $9,000 to $65,000. The Singles in PaidContent's round-up all sell for either $0.99 or $1.99 a pop, and authors see 70 percent of the revenue.