Singles are meant to be 5,000 to 30,000 words, and you can tell from the way Amazon describes them that they expect Singles to work best for non-fiction topics. I haven’t heard much buzz about them in the content world, which seems strange to me. I thought experts and authors would be all over the opportunity.
Singles are faster and less expensive to create than a book. You can use them to serialize a book in progress, or experiment with content to gauge reader reaction. You can publish your special reports as Singles. And all along the way, you can generate revenue.
I didn’t really think of the Kindle as a platform for publishing articles, but the other day I came across a report from Kate Harper on how to write and sell articles through Amazon. She talks about articles of 3,000 words and up — even shorter than the suggested range for Singles.
Harper’s article (available through Amazon, of course, for $.99) is definitely worth checking out. It outlines everything you need to know to get started selling short-form material on Amazon and the Nook. Lots of attention is paid to formatting your content, but Harper also covers how to price your material, how long it should be, and how to describe your article so people know what they’re getting.
The success Harper has had selling articles confirms it: There’s a sweet spot between blog post and full-length book that non-fiction readers are hungry for, something long enough to fully explain an idea but fast enough to be consumed in under 30 minutes. In other words, short-format content is valuable.
I’m off now to take a look at what Highspot might package for Kindle reading. What’s your short format strategy?