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August 23, 2005

Amazon Shorts


What's this?

Gulliver in baggies?

Not quite: it's Jeff Bezos's latest brainstorm.

Characterizing the incessant probing of the boundaries of the possible and the plausible on the web, this new Amazon venture, unveiled yesterday, offers short literary works delivered digitally for 49¢ each.


All the content is original and never before published, by a wide variety (59 initially) of well–known authors including Danielle Steel and Terry Brooks, and available only at amazon.

The pieces range from 2,000 to 10,000 words, which amazon expects to translate into an average of seven pages each.

You own what you buy: save it, print it out and read it at your convenience, send it to anyone and everyone you know.

I wonder how long it would take to hear from amazon if I were to buy something from amazon shorts, then put it up on bookofjoe in its entirety.

Probably forever: I'm still small enough to be under the radar.

Once again, though, I muse on the economics of micropayments: if each visitor to bookofjoe paid one cent, that would yield, at my current readership level of around 5,000 people a day, about $18,000 a year.

Not chump change — at least, not where I live.

August 23, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink


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In the era of the 30-second sound bite, IM-ing acronyms galore and smiley faces to convey emotions quickly, I suppose small has become the new big. Joe wrote about Amazon's new shorts service today (short literary works delivered for [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 23, 2005 4:12:37 PM


I'm not a fan of short fiction - the thicker the book, the better, as far as I'm concerned. With a short story, it's over right when I was getting into it.

I agree with what Seth Godin said about it recently: "Alas, I think digital and I think short are the two worst ways to start. The first two ways you know if you want to buy a book is to either read part of it or hear about it from a friend. Well, if it's short and you read part of it, you're done. And if it's digital, your friend ought to just send it to you."


Posted by: Shawn Lea | Aug 23, 2005 10:58:19 AM

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