Amazon wants Kindle to be a destination for all types of writing, and that now includes older non-fiction and short-form stories that may have otherwise been lost to time. Today, the company is launching Singles Classics, a program to resell old stories and essays from celebrated non-fiction authors and magazine writers, including Norman Mailer, Susan Orlean, and Gloria Steinheim. It is an extension of an existing program called Kindle Singles, which was launched in 2011 and focused on longform non-fiction and short stories between 5,000 and 30,000 words. Singles Classics doesn't have a word length, but it's more geared toward essay-length pieces. It does include some fiction from authors like Kurt Vonnegut and John le Carré.
The program is launching with more than 140 essays, stories, and articles, with many big-name writers signed on to build out the initial library. While many of these stories could be tracked down in anthologies or essay collections, Amazon is selling them for 99 cents a pop on the Kindle Store. The company says publishers and writers can retain up to 70 percent of proceeds, as the publishing is done through Amazon's standard self-publishing platform. If you're a subscriber to Kindle Unlimited, Amazon's e-book subscription service, you get access to the library for free.