Former Penguin Press m.d. Andrew Rosenheim has been made editor of the Amazon.co.uk Kindle Singles Store, launched today (21st December) with work by Susan Hill, Candia McWilliam and Sam Leith.
The Kindle Singles Store offers writers "the opportunity to release their content with no artificial boundaries, and at the length they feel best expresses their ideas", Amazon said. Each Kindle Single is intended to allow a single idea to be expressed at a length of typically 5,000-30,000 words and priced from 99p to £1.99.
The works are editorially curated. Writers earn 70% royalties.
Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice-president of Kindle EU, said: "Since we introduced Kindle Singles in the US last year the response from customers has been exceptional—over 4m Kindle Singles have been sold to date . . . Writers have responded with great enthusiasm and we've already got some very popular British writers on board with more to come in 2013."
The launch set of Amazon.co.uk Kindle Singles include Susan Hill's story Crystal (99p), about a young Irishman; a new story from Candia McWilliam, Silently and Very Fast (99p); Andrew Taylor's Broken Voices, about a boy's school in the East Anglian fens in the early 20th century; and Sam Leith's Going Nowhere: A Life in Six Videogames (£1.49), a memoir through the lens of gaming. Len Deighton's James Bond: My Long and Eventful Search for his Father (£1.49) is the tale of Kevin McClory, a veteran of the British film industry.
Leith commented: "Kindle Singles strikes me as a very exciting possibility for writers. There have been relatively few outlets in recent years for even established names to publish long essays or short stories in a standalone format at a price that makes sense."
Kindle Singles from the US site will also be made available in the UK, including stories by Lee Child, Christopher Hitchens, Ann Patchett and Jodi Picoult.