This morning, the internet is awash with people slapping Amazon on the back, congratulating them for selling two million Kindle Singles — ebooks that are shorter than full-length books but longer than most magazine articles. But is that really a big deal?
No, it isn’t. But my problem isn’t with the number they’ve sold. Rather, my problem is the enthusiasm with which people are congratulating Amazon.
Firstly, Amazon selling two million units of 167 different products — that’s how many Singles are currently available — in the space of 14 months isn’t really that impressive. Amazon is good at selling things; selling 855 copies of a novella per month is great for the authors, but it’s not that impressive given we’re talking about the world’s biggest online retailer. Especially given most of them cost less than $US2.
Which brings to my second point: I wish the congratulatory articles didn’t also include commentary that suggests the Kindle Single is a new concept. The author payment structure is new, granted, but Novellas have existed for just as long as novels, and short non-fiction book are incredibly common.
Singles deserve to sell well — mid-length works like the ones for sale deserve to be celebrated — but let’s leave Amazon’s back slaps until they’re really selling? Thanks. [Paid Content]