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Jason Holliston
Thursday, August 25, 2005  
Amazon Getting Into Short Stories
I saw a few days ago over at Ars Technica a story about Amazon delving into the short story market. It's a pretty interesting idea, and the wonderful thing for me is the lack of DRM:

For only $0.49, you can order an Amazon Short and read it as an HTML Web page, a PDF file, or just have the text sent to your e-mail address. Amazon Shorts never expire, and you're welcome to print out a copy once you've bought it.

That's pretty cool, and cheap, too. Ars Technica believes the main purpose of this new initiative is to advertise for the full books they carry (and charge much more money for). If that's the case, it's kind of sad, because this could well be another badly needed channel into the publishing world for aspiring authors. Hopefully, they're just being cynical. Amazon has this to say about submitting your works for inclusion in the store:

Can anyone submit an Amazon Short?

We are accepting work from a diverse group of authors. If you are an agent, author, publisher, or editor, and you would like to be considered for inclusion in this program, please contact us at

That doesn't tell me what I really want to know: what makes a short qualify for inclusion? Is there actually going to be Amazon employees reading submissions and making these decisions? It does seem to be too good to be true. As I've said before on this blog, the more power the gatekeepers lose their control, generally, the better it is for the consumer, and especially the artist.

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