Amazon.com has launched a Singles Classics range on Kindle featuring short stories and essays from writers such as John le Carré and Gloria Steinem.
Only available in the US upon launch, many of the short stories and essays were first printed in magazines, but Amazon has repackaged them individually as Singles Classics, part of its Kindle Singles range of e-books.
The stories and essays are exclusive to Kindle, priced $0.99 or above, or free for Kindle Unlimited members, who have to pay a monthly subscription.
More than 140 essays and short stories were available on the service on the day of its launch (19th July) by authors including Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, Susan Orlean, along with as John le Carré and Gloria Steinem.
Amazon said writers and publishers can sell work for Singles Classics via Kindle Direct Publishing, earning up to 70% royalties from every sale and allowing them to keep their rights.
The short story by le Carré’s featured is called "Dare I Weep, Dare I Mourn?" and is described as a “haunting” story about the grocer Herr Dieter Koorp who lives in the West German town of Lübeck at the height of the Cold War, who is set the task of carrying his dead father’s body over the border dividing East and West Germany to be buried in his home town.
One of the many essays which features on the service by Steinem, meanwhile, is entitled In Praise of Women’s Bodies and was written in 1982.
The works have previously been printed in magazines such as TIME, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Esquire, The Atlantic and Playboy.
David Blum, editor of Kindle Singles, said: “Today’s readers might never have the opportunity to discover great works like Ron Rosenbaum’s ‘The Secrets of the Little Blue Box,’ Marcelle Clements’ ‘The Dog Is Us’ or TIME Magazine’s legendary 1966 cover story ‘Is God Dead? With Singles Classics, we are making these seminal works easy to find and afford – by a student writing a term paper or by readers in search of short works by the writers they love.”
Kindle Singles launched in 2011 to showcase fiction and non-fiction between 5,000 and 30,000 words.