The New Short Story Market
I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because even though I'm a writer, I don't always get my grammar correct!
I am submitting a short story to Amazon Kindle Singles sometime this weekend, after I get the query letter perfected and go through it one more time. It's a story I originally wrote when I was working on my MFA, one I've always liked, but was never quite sure what to do with. It's over 7,000 words long, longish for many journals, and it seems to be a cross between literary and popular fiction (like much of my work). I pulled it out, updated it, and have been playing with rewriting it for the last couple of months. I'm much happier with it now than I was when I first wrote it. And I'm pleased to at long last have a place to submit it.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Amazon Kindle Single program, here's a blurb from their Submissions Policy:
Anyone can submit original work to Kindle Singles. We've showcased writing from both new and established voices–from bestselling novelists to previously unpublished writers.
We're looking for compelling ideas expressed at their natural
length–writing that doesn't easily fall into the conventional space
limitations of magazines or print books. Kindle Singles are typically
between 5,000 and 30,000 words.
A Kindle Single can be on any topic. So far we've posted fiction,
essays, memoirs, reporting, personal narratives, and profiles, and we're
expanding our selection every week. We're looking for high-quality
writing, fresh and original ideas, and well-executed stories in all
genres and subjects.
I'm excited about this program. I love the idea that Amazon is publishing short stories, articles, and novellas, and allowing the authors of these shorter pieces to actually make money on them. When I wrote my MFA lecture years ago, my topic was the linked short-story and one of the ideas into which I delved was, why aren't short stories more popular? You would think they might be the perfect reading material for our crazy-busy, over-booked age. They are short (duh), and you can read one or two while on the treadmill at the gym or taking light rail home from work. But short stories have recently been notoriously unpopular and published mostly in literary journals, many of them obscure (and God love 'em, I mean no disrespect). Now, thanks to Amazon, they seem actually to be selling and selling well.
I've been interested in this program for awhile now, and done some research on it. Here are some links that explain more about it and the thinking behind it:
Bear in mind, you can also put your own short works up through the Kindle Direct program. I thought I'd try the submission route first, just for fun. I'll keep you posted on the process!
What do you think about writing shorter pieces? Are you on board with this new publishing opportunity? Leave a comment and let's discuss.