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Serial e-fiction from Amazon

Amazon is planning to take a Charles Dickens approach to publishing with the launch of fiction in serial form via its Kindle device. Amazon has reached out to authors on both sides of the Atlantic, with the launch, when it comes, expected to be global.

According to one source the short works were originally due to begin being released this summer, with Amazon working on a complicated payment mechanism that would allow customers to buy all the fiction in the series for one price, with the amount paid scaling up as more parts were published.

A piece on online site TechCrunch reports though that Amazon’s Publishing group is still "in the midst" of inking deals for serialized fiction series that would include audio, print and Kindle editions. It says it has "multiple sources that they're currently in the works", though was unable to confirm that an announcement was imminent.

A number of genre writers contacted by The Bookseller when rumours began to circulate about initiative earlier this year denied knowledge of the project, but one author did confirm contact with Amazon about the venture, indicating that Amazon was planning to launch with eight to 12 titles, a detail that is also reported on TechCrunch.

TechCrunch also reports that the serialized fiction titles would not fall under Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), but would appear under its existing publishing imprints. It is not clear if Amazon has approached authors direct, or through their existing publishers and agents.

Amazon launched Kindle Singles two years ago, based on publishing discrete, short non-fiction on the Kindle, at that time calling on serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers to join Amazon in making such works available to readers around the world. However, sales are reported to have been mixed, and Amazon has so far failed to launch Singles in the UK. Nevertheless, publishers in the UK have already had success publishing shorter e-books from popular authors such as Karin Slaughter and Lee Child.

Amazon is holding a press conference later today (6th September), where it is expected it will unveil a range of updated Kindle devices.

Amazon UK press team did not return calls requesting comment.