While it hasn’t been done perfectly, I’m of the opinion that the literature world has handled the transition to the digital economy rather well. Perhaps they saw the recording industry trip over its own testicles so badly that they were able to learn from all the worst mistakes. The pricing, while probably not exactly right, far better mirrors consumer demand than what the music industry attempted for digital music initially. We’re even seeing a quicker transition to DRM abandonement than I think we saw for music. All that being said, as much as is possible, the inevitable progression that recorded music followed into the digital realm continues with literature.
With that in mind, perhaps it shouldn’t be all that surprising that one of the buzzwords in the publishing industry is quickly becoming eSingles. For the unintiated, eSingles are loosely defined as works of complete literature in the neighborhood of 8k-10k words. Laura Hazard Owen sums things up rather nicely.
Amazon’s U.S. Kindle Singles store now contains 283 singles. In February, I reported that the company had sold 2 million Kindle Singles; as of September, that number was up to 3.5 million, and Amazon (AMZN) just expanded the program to the U.K., where it will include new entries by bestselling British authors as well as most of the American Kindle Singles. Many Byliner Originals are available through Kindle Singles, and they’ll be crossing the Atlantic for the first time with the program’s U.K. expansion.
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