What's up with Kindle Singles?

So what’s up with Kindle Singles  (KS)?

According to the guidelines, KS will look at submissions containing between approximately 5,000 and 30,000 words in all sorts of categories.

The Kindle Singles program has some real benefits for authors.  First, authors who have a work accepted will be able to receive a 70% royalty, even if they list their work below $2.99.  So, to make the math easy, if we use $2.00 as a price point, under the usual KDP arrangement, KDP would receive $1.30 in commission (65%) and the author would receive $0.70 (35%).  If the same work is accepted in KS, the author can select a 70% royalty.  So, KS would receive $0.60 (30%) and the author $1.40 (70%).  That’s a big difference.

It looks like most Kindle Singles hover around a $1.99 price point.

By the way, the number one Kindle Single as I write this blog is a story called Deep Down, by some unknown author,  Lee Child, I think is his name.

Second, KS pieces receive another layer of promotion above what KDP authors in general have available to them.  Kindle Singles have a listing unto themselves.  I just checked the list and, as of July 22, 2012, there are only 216 titles included.  That’s pretty rarefied air.

The first category of works listed in the KS submission guidelines as potential KS material is books first published through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). So does this mean that Kindle Singles really want to see stuff from independent writers, or do they  just want stuff from the big boys?

My thinking is that they want stuff from the big boys, but they will accept stuff from independent writers if it has established a track record. In other words, if you publish something through KDP and it sells, then Kindle Singles would like to help you (and Amazon) sell even more copies. What’s good for Amazon in this situation is good for the author.  I don’t have any problem with that.

It is not necessary to publish your would-be Kindle Single prior to submitting it.  An author can also submit a manuscript, etc. Some of you may have stories about Kindle Singles of yours that made it into the program before they ever saw the light of day on the Kindle Store, or before they made much of a splash there. If so, I hope you will share your story in a comment.

This is not academic to me. In the next couple of weeks, I plan to publish a work of just over 5,000 words through KDP (More on that in another post). Then, I will submit it to KS for consideration. This means if Kindle Singles accept the piece, it is a win-win for me. If they don’t accept it (shame on them), then I am in the same position with that work as every other writer on KDP.

So, what is you experience with Kindle Singles? Have you submitted anything? Was it accepted? Are you planning to submit something in the near future?

Let me hear from you.

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