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Can Kindle Singles revolutionize reading?

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(Read caption) Amazon hopes to draw readers into what some are calling "the no-man’s land between a magazine article and a short book."

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The essay, the short story, the novella, and long-form journalism finally have a place to call home. It’s called Kindle Singles, and it’s Amazon’s latest program designed to showcase shorter works left behind by traditional publishers.

Amazon hopes it will bring new revenue streams and offer something neither Apple’s iPad nor Barnes & Noble’s Nook can – but will it catch on with readers already deluged with a glut of reading material and a half-dozen platforms on which to read it?

Amazon markets Kindle Singles as “Compelling ideas expressed at their natural length.” They’re written works between 5,000 and 30,000 words long (“the no-man’s land between a magazine article and a short book,” observes Wired) and sell from $0.99 to $4.99.

The first batch of short works includes a piece about an elaborate bank heist in “Lifted,” Congolese rebel camps in “The Invisible Enemy,” and Jodi Picoult’s moving portrayal of family in “Leaving Home.” The mix of fiction and nonfiction pieces also offers works by Rich Cohen, Pete Hamill, and Darin Strauss.

The big question - can Kindle Singles revolutionize reading?


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