Short Stories Banned on the Kindle?

49 replies
I know that many writers are writing short stories for Amazon's Kindle Store; I'm doing that myself.

The Digital Reader had an interesting article yesterday: Is Amazon Banning Short-Short Fiction From the Kindle Store? - The Digital Reader

From what I've read, only one author was affected. Amazon told her that: "Content that is less than 2,500 words is often disappointing to our customers and does not provide an enjoyable reading experience."

Here's the original thread on KBoard's Writers' Cafe: Amazon going after short shorts

This doesn't bother me; short stories I've ghostwritten for clients for the Kindle are all over 5,000 words. Moreover, I advise clients (and my students) to create collections of stories, rather than publishing one very short story.

Does anyone here have any experience with Amazon targeting authors who are publishing short material (fiction or nonfiction) that's under 2,500 words?

Cheers

Angela
#banned #kindle #short #stories
  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I wouldn't be surprised if they are. I get complaints on my books of 20,000 words that they are too short, can't imagine what those same reviewers would think about a story that is 2500 words.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      If I downloaded a "book" and found the equivalent of a magazine article, I'd be ticked off. I don't care if it was only a buck, or even free. I'd feel cheated, much like I used to with offers of free ebooks for opt-ins.

      It wouldn't surprise or disappoint me if Amazon did disallow such short pieces, or create a special category for them.

      Awhile back, I did a word count on some of the books in our home library, across several genres - romance, westerns, sci-fi, mysteries - and found the average length of these little paperbacks was around 60k-80k.

      I might be okay with a 20k completely developed story for a buck, but it would have to be good. Lee, given your talent, I'd bet that yours are...
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      • Profile picture of the author writeaway
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        If I downloaded a "book" and found the equivalent of a magazine article, I'd be ticked off. I don't care if it was only a buck, or even free. I'd feel cheated, much like I used to with offers of free ebooks for opt-ins.

        It wouldn't surprise or disappoint me if Amazon did disallow such short pieces, or create a special category for them.

        Awhile back, I did a word count on some of the books in our home library, across several genres - romance, westerns, sci-fi, mysteries - and found the average length of these little paperbacks was around 60k-80k.

        I might be okay with a 20k completely developed story for a buck, but it would have to be good. Lee, given your talent, I'd bet that yours are...
        I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon employs some sort of Quality Score system for new and existing Kindle offerings. If the 'book' in question fails to measure up, it gets chucked...
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    • Profile picture of the author playerrich33
      I can show you what they think.
      What's All The Fuss About The Elected Pope
      If you would would like a free copy so you will understand why people love short stories.
      PM me your email I will even give you a copy of my Anna Angel on Audio which has not been released yet.
      Talk Soon
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      • Profile picture of the author Pecan
        Originally Posted by playerrich33 View Post

        so you will understand why people love short stories.
        I know, right...I prefer a good short story.

        Don't people buying a kindle book see the length in it's description?
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        • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
          Originally Posted by Pecan View Post

          I know, right...I prefer a good short story.

          Don't people buying a kindle book see the length in it's description?
          Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. I find it frustrating when I can't figure out how long something is.

          Amazon sometimes provides the "length" in KB only, other times in print length too.

          Unless they've changes since last time I checked... Well, I've been checking out a few right now, and they seem to have gotten a lot better with providing print length info. But there are still quite a few kindle books that don't indicate how long they are.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Am I wrong in thinking that Amazon will tell you how long the product you are buying is? If you buy something and it is not long, I don't think that it should be a surprise, and hence there should be nothing to complain about. Am I wrong?
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    • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
      Originally Posted by Michael Ten View Post

      Am I wrong in thinking that Amazon will tell you how long the product you are buying is? If you buy something and it is not long, I don't think that it should be a surprise, and hence there should be nothing to complain about. Am I wrong?
      Your not wrong.

      Fwiw I think it would be premature to generalise from 1 incident described in the op. There are tons of other short kindle books, but they haven't all disappeared, at least not yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
    Amazon knows the number of pages. It s just their software takes several days to convert kb to pages whenever a kindle book is added or updated.

    If amazon cared this issue, they could easily fix it. Either make Theo software run sooner, or don't list the kindle book I'm public areas of their site until the software has calculated the number of pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
      Yet, people will go and shell out $5.99 - $9.99 for a magazine with just a couple of short articles they may be interested in and soon forget about while the rest is a load of advertisment.

      Some of the greatest ideas ever conveyed were written in a few sentences. The value can't be equated to the length, but to the proposition.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

        Yet, people will go and shell out $5.99 - $9.99 for a magazine with just a couple of short articles they may be interested in and soon forget about while the rest is a load of advertisment.
        Fair enough...

        Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

        Some of the greatest ideas ever conveyed were written in a few sentences. The value can't be equated to the length, but to the proposition.
        I doubt that people downloading light fiction for their ereaders are looking for 'the greatest ideas ever conveyed'. Most of them are looking for something to entertain them for awhile. They want to escape.

        How much entertainment/escape can you give someone in 2,500 words? Ten minutes, maybe?

        In the Kindle marketplace, your book doesn't sell in a vacuum. There are always multiple selections, especially the 'people also bought' and 'you might like' lineups. Great for pumping up order size. Bad if people are comparing side-by-side and you're offering 10% of the content by volume as your competitor at the same price.

        I get your point, but I don't think it applies here.
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        • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Fair enough...



          I doubt that people downloading light fiction for their ereaders are looking for 'the greatest ideas ever conveyed'. Most of them are looking for something to entertain them for awhile. They want to escape.

          How much entertainment/escape can you give someone in 2,500 words? Ten minutes, maybe?

          In the Kindle marketplace, your book doesn't sell in a vacuum. There are always multiple selections, especially the 'people also bought' and 'you might like' lineups. Great for pumping up order size. Bad if people are comparing side-by-side and you're offering 10% of the content by volume as your competitor at the same price.

          I get your point, but I don't think it applies here.
          I think you may have hit upon the problem. Maybe today's light fiction reader now prefers an all you can eat buffet of uninteresting brown literary fodder over something that they can remember, or that will inspire them long after the final chapter? Most likely very true in genres like romance novels. Of course nothing wrong with that.

          Could be too, that Amazon is following in the steps of major publishers to push more for the epic novel? Not only just to flush out a full story among writers, but to also create a barrier against the slug of poor work they're receiving.

          I still do think that short articles can work very effectively with Kindle, especially in nonfiction. Case in point, on the very subject, which is a short article in itself, "How to Publish and Sell Your Article On the Kindle", by Kate Harper. With over 200 reviews, a five star rating and first place in several Kindle categories. I'd recommend anyone interested in creating short articles for the Kindle to read this and judge for yourself.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

            I think you may have hit upon the problem. Maybe today's light fiction reader now prefers an all you can eat buffet of uninteresting brown literary fodder over something that they can remember, or that will inspire them long after the final chapter? Most likely very true in genres like romance novels. Of course nothing wrong with that.

            Could be too, that Amazon is following in the steps of major publishers to push more for the epic novel? Not only just to flush out a full story among writers, but to also create a barrier against the slug of poor work they're receiving.
            One best-selling author advises indie authors, especially in fiction, to keep the "three Es" in mind - Education, Entertainment and Escape. Judging from the Kindle bestseller lists, the last two are far more important than the first.

            As for epic novels, I'm a voracious reader but when guys like Clancy and King start pushing 1,000 pages, I have to pick my spots. I usually save reads like that for vacations, especially those involving long travel times. Many people I know ar intimidated by books that are too long.

            Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

            I still do think that short articles can work very effectively with Kindle, especially in nonfiction. Case in point, on the very subject, which is a short article in itself, "How to Publish and Sell Your Article On the Kindle", by Kate Harper. With over 200 reviews, a five star rating and first place in several Kindle categories. I'd recommend anyone interested in creating short articles for the Kindle to read this and judge for yourself.
            I have that book. (Note to self - download the updated version.) Based on admittedly skimpy testing, this might work best for nonfiction which addresses very specific topics. And even here, short is in the eye of the beholder. Many of the folks here who want to get away with the least effort possible would find Harper's book too long for them to write themselves. These are the folks who think 500 words is a long article and two pages is an ebook just because it's in pdf format.
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          • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
            I also am disappointed in very short stories myself. That being said though, the most frustrating thing I've encountered was a 7 short story pack I purchased. Half of the content was a very riveting story, problem was, it abruptly stopped in the middle of the story leaving tons of incidents completely open and everything I read sort of meaningless. The second half was 6 what I would call random book excerpts.

            Naturally, at the end of the collection was a link to the author's home page where you could purchase the full books! :rolleyes:

            If the description said these were all incomplete stories or excerpts of stories, I probably wouldn't have purchased them and I'm sure the author was aware of that!

            I seriously felt scammed!

            I was so ticked off, I made a note of the author and will never buy anything of theirs again even though they have mad writing and storytelling skills.

            Terra
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            • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
              Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

              I also am disappointed in very short stories myself. That being said though, the most frustrating thing I've encountered was a 7 short story pack I purchased. Half of the content was a very riveting story, problem was, it abruptly stopped in the middle of the story leaving tons of incidents completely open and everything I read sort of meaningless. The second half was 6 what I would call random book excerpts.

              Naturally, at the end of the collection was a link to the author's home page where you could purchase the full books! :rolleyes:

              If the description said these were all incomplete stories or excerpts of stories, I probably wouldn't have purchased them and I'm sure the author was aware of that!

              I seriously felt scammed!

              I was so ticked off, I made a note of the author and will never buy anything of theirs again even though they have mad writing and storytelling skills.

              Terra
              I hope you put that in their review?

              Any novel, short story or article should strive to meet the expectations of its intended reader regardless of length. Unfortunately, you don't get a chance to thumb through an electronic book as you would at the few remaining book stores to see what you may be getting, or in this case, not getting.

              The point is a good writer will always have you coming back for more based on the value experience you received the first time, as John indicated.
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              • Profile picture of the author livo
                What about childrens stories?

                Many of the books i have read my two children over the years have been of the very short type?

                Are they going to ban them?
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                • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
                  Originally Posted by livo View Post

                  What about childrens stories?

                  Many of the books i have read my two children over the years have been of the very short type?

                  Are they going to ban them?
                  They are not including childrens' books in this ban, from what I understand.
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                  • Profile picture of the author edlewis
                    Originally Posted by TinkBD View Post

                    They are not including childrens' books in this ban, from what I understand.
                    From what I understand there is no "ban"....

                    This was one author who received this feedback from one ebook during a KDP review of their account.

                    The author's own words about the ebook that was flagged:

                    The short in question is a charity piece that I don't get many sales on, so I just unpublished it. It's free on all of the other retailers anyway.
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                    • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
                      Originally Posted by edlewis View Post

                      From what I understand there is no "ban"....

                      This was one author who received this feedback from one ebook during a KDP review of their account.

                      The author's own words about the ebook that was flagged:
                      Hmmmm, yes that is what the author said.

                      And this is what the author said that Amazon said --


                      During a quality assurance review of your KDP catalog we have found that the following book(s) are extremely short and may create a poor reading experience and do not meet our content quality expectations:

                      Name of Short

                      In the best interest of Kindle customers, we remove titles from sale that may create a poor customer experience. Content that is less than 2,500 words is often disappointing to our customers and does not provide an enjoyable reading experience.

                      We ask that you fix the above book(s), as well as all of your catalog’s affected books, with additional content that is both unique and related to your book. Once you have ensured your book(s) would create a good customer experience, re-submit them for publishing within 5 business days. If your books have not been corrected by that time, they will be removed from sale in the Kindle Store. If the updates require more time, please unpublish your books.
                      While it may or may not be a ban... it looks like it may be the beginning of a policy implementation...

                      <shrug> My stuff is longer ;-)

                      Source - Amazon going after short shorts
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                      • Profile picture of the author edlewis
                        Originally Posted by TinkBD View Post

                        Hmmmm, yes that is what the author said.

                        And this is what the author said that Amazon said --



                        While it may or may not be a ban... it looks like it may be the beginning of a policy implementation...

                        <shrug> My stuff is longer ;-)

                        Source - Amazon going after short shorts

                        That looks like a boilerplate template Amazon customer service cut-and-pastes when it decides to unpublish an ebook that it's received complaints about.

                        This new "policy" has already been "debunked" in the very same article the OP posted.

                        Go back and re-read this link - Debunked: No, Amazon Isn't Banning Short-Short Fiction From the Kindle Store - The Digital Reader

                        Notice the title has been changed to "Debunked: No, Amazon Isn’t Banning Short-Short Fiction From the Kindle Store" - unfortunately the old title remains as the link because WordPress won't automatically change the permalink when the title is changed....

                        ...and the owner of that blog wouldn't want to miss out on all the search engine and link traffic they are getting from the Chicken Little-esque link bait.

                        It's also been debunked in the comments here - Amazon Cracks Down on Kindle Books Under 2,500 Words | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe


                        Gotta love the link-baiting title though....

                        "Amazon Cracks Down on Kindle Books Under 2,500 Words"


                        All because ONE person had ONE ebook receive this message from Amazon. Sounds like a "crackdown" to me....(sigh)

                        Look...it's not personal...I just don't understand all the panic and drama over one ebook.
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                        • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
                          Originally Posted by edlewis View Post

                          That looks like a boilerplate template Amazon customer service cut-and-pastes when it decides to unpublish an ebook that it's received complaints about.
                          Fair enough... in any event, I am sure that if they have the boiler plate, it will be used again.

                          Thanks for clarifying...
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              • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
                Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

                I hope you put that in their review?

                Any novel, short story or article should strive to meet the expectations of its intended reader regardless of length. Unfortunately, you don't get a chance to thumb through an electronic book as you would at the few remaining book stores to see what you may be getting, or in this case, not getting.

                The point is a good writer will always have you coming back for more based on the value experience you received the first time, as John indicated.
                I didn't.

                The reason being that I don't like to be mean and really couldn't think of a way to say what I wanted to say without being mean, as I was so angered.

                Maybe now that it has been a couple of months, I can re-visit and be very diplomatic and tactful in giving an honest review.

                Terra
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                • Profile picture of the author badaniels
                  I have a couple of fictional short stories published on Amazon. One is 3000 words, the other is 6000. I am not planning to publish anything that short by itself again because of the "bang for the buck" issue. I like writing (and reading) short stories, so I have decided the next time I publish a short story book it'll be a compilation. That way I can satisfy my short story sweet tooth and give my reader good value. However, I am working on a novel right now.

                  Also I have been given some good advice that the longer books sell better, so I'd be telling a lie if I said there wasn't a financial consideration too...
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    • Profile picture of the author cashcow
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      What Amazon is fighting is the rash of "Authors" pumping out quantity rather than quality - I suspect this mainly affects non-fiction, which makes sense.

      Here on the WF, people are used to shelling out $7 for a 1,500 - 2,000 word "Report" and the sellers mistakenly assumed that this model would migrate smoothly to Kindle.

      What these authors don't understand is that people buying those "Books" aren't typically hard-core IM'ers - they're mainstream customers who rightly feel cheated by some half-assed essay trying to pass itself off as a book.

      That kind of "Product" doesn't work in the real world and personally, I don't blame Amazon one bit for continually focusing on cleaning up what's offered.
      I think this hits the nail on the head. You have to remember that the people buying books at Amazon are book buyers -- people that are used to going into a bookstore and getting a 200 page book.

      Do you see any 10 page books in bookstores?

      The majority of the people probably don't even think to look at page length. They are just assuming they are getting a book that is going to take more than 10 minutes to read. For many of them, the satisfaction of their purchase is tied up in how long it takes them to consume it. When it doesn't take as long as the other books they are used to, they are disappointed.

      Maybe in time, the ebook world will train people to look at page length so those who like short stories can buy them and those who don't can avoid them. Until then, you are dealing with a market that is used to consuming long books.
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    • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      What Amazon is fighting is the rash of "Authors" pumping out quantity rather than quality - I suspect this mainly affects non-fiction, which makes sense.

      Here on the WF, people are used to shelling out $7 for a 1,500 - 2,000 word "Report" and the sellers mistakenly assumed that this model would migrate smoothly to Kindle.

      What these authors don't understand is that people buying those "Books" aren't typically hard-core IM'ers - they're mainstream customers who rightly feel cheated by some half-assed essay trying to pass itself off as a book.

      That kind of "Product" doesn't work in the real world and personally, I don't blame Amazon one bit for continually focusing on cleaning up what's offered.
      Mike,

      Very true.....

      The WF.... and the real world... are very different.

      Take Care,

      Rich Beck BCIP, MCSD, MCIS
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  • Profile picture of the author Michelle Strait
    I prefer a well-written short story to a longer piece with filler. As a proofreader, I've read too many stories/articles that use filler to reach a certain word count. You can often tell when the writer is throwing stuff in just to have at least X amount of words.
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    • Profile picture of the author RemingtonSteele
      Originally Posted by Michelle Strait View Post

      I prefer a well-written short story to a longer piece with filler. As a proofreader, I've read too many stories/articles that use filler to reach a certain word count. You can often tell when the writer is throwing stuff in just to have at least X amount of words.
      I agree.

      "...brevity is the soul of wit." ~Shakespeare (Hamlet)
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  • Profile picture of the author James Campbell
    Kindle Singles my friends

    Amazon Launches Kindle Singles, Saves Long-Form Journalism | Wired Business | Wired.com

    "Amazon has launched Kindle Singles, one-off pieces of non-fiction and journalism which are typically much shorter than a novel, but longer than a magazine article. The Singles can be read on any of the many Kindle platforms, from the Kindle itself through smart-phones to Amazon’s desktop Kindle client, and they are priced accordingly, from $1 to $5."

    I think it might be a case of people listing their works in the wrong place. Much like here in the forum where people post in the wrong section and it gets deleted.
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    • Profile picture of the author luna522
      It can be a tough market!

      I didn't seem to have a problem getting in but I had some good mentors. It's going to get tougher and tougher though, Amazon seems to be cracking down.

      Personally, that makes me happy! Less junk on the market.
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    • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
      Originally Posted by James Campbell View Post

      Kindle Singles my friends

      Amazon Launches Kindle Singles, Saves Long-Form Journalism | Wired Business | Wired.com

      "Amazon has launched Kindle Singles, one-off pieces of non-fiction and journalism which are typically much shorter than a novel, but longer than a magazine article. The Singles can be read on any of the many Kindle platforms, from the Kindle itself through smart-phones to Amazon's desktop Kindle client, and they are priced accordingly, from $1 to $5."

      I think it might be a case of people listing their works in the wrong place. Much like here in the forum where people post in the wrong section and it gets deleted.
      That may be the case for some works, but unlikely the case most of the time. Amazon is carefully vetting what gets pubbed as a single... the vast majority of short works probably don't fit their stringent criteria.
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    • Profile picture of the author edlewis
      Originally Posted by James Campbell View Post

      Kindle Singles my friends

      Amazon Launches Kindle Singles, Saves Long-Form Journalism | Wired Business | Wired.com

      "Amazon has launched Kindle Singles, one-off pieces of non-fiction and journalism which are typically much shorter than a novel, but longer than a magazine article. The Singles can be read on any of the many Kindle platforms, from the Kindle itself through smart-phones to Amazon's desktop Kindle client, and they are priced accordingly, from $1 to $5."

      I think it might be a case of people listing their works in the wrong place. Much like here in the forum where people post in the wrong section and it gets deleted.

      Your post assumes that anyone can publish a Kindle Single - which is anything but the case.

      The "Singles" label is a great way to differentiate between what most people consider a "book" and shorter stories, serials, reports.

      Unfortunately, the average person can't publish a 5,000 word report and list it as a "Single". So it is NOT a case of "people listing their works in the wrong place."

      Singles are chosen by Amazon and for the most part the titles they choose are published by established authors, either traditionally published book authors or magazine/newspaper writers.

      Sure...as a publisher you can use the word "Single" in your description...but you can't list the ebook as a Single.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gengis
    2500 is pretty short as far as books are concerned. I don't think people go into Amazon with the intentions of buying a short report..
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  • Profile picture of the author GoodFE
    My wife worked for Amazon in the past. That is a copy and paste line used when they have received a complaint. It was brought about because some people were really abusing the system.

    One that comes to mind immediately was a customer that bought a book of 50 soup recipes, but the book was just a list of recipes, as in just the names. The book received several complaints but wasn't removed from the store for some time.

    ***

    It takes Amazon several days to update the page count because the page count is determined by actual books downloaded on multiple devices and read. Basically, once a certain amount of people download the book, they will take the average amount of pages turned, divide it by the number of readers and then post that as the page count.

    ***

    I would keep in mind that the OP (OP on kindle boards, not OP here) probably didn't tell the full story, as is often the case. I recommend that if you are posting a short book then include the word count either in the description or the start of the book, that should help you avoid this scenario.

    ***

    Amazon makes millions of dollars from short stories, they wouldn't go and delete them all because one person kicked up a fuss. Keep in mind that if they were changing the policy then there would be multiple people getting blocked. Why on earth would they single out just this author? Obviously they either received some complaints or the author did something that he/she didn't reveal in his/her post
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  • Profile picture of the author GoodFE
    And to the people saying that readers don't go to amazon in search of short stories, please use your mind for a moment. While I personally would prefer a larger book, it would be foolish for me to assume that the MILLIONS of amazon users agree with me. There is a market for shorter books, both in fiction and non-fiction.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      There is a problem Amazon needs to solve, but still can´t put the finger on, I think...

      Kindle was originally designed for electronic versions of published paperback books. Now they are acknowledging the change and call them ebooks, what opens a broader perspective.

      I still expect kindle books to be books, to be honest.

      Singles would be a great option for short books, but as it was mentioned before (was it you, Tink? sorry, I have to go back and check), they are very picky with singles.

      There is abuse in the system, and they will solve it one way o another. I think they are trying to figure out how to do it, without losing business.

      There are books that are short in the word count, but still books, like children books, or things heavily based in images (step by step, visual guides, cartoons, etc). It is hard to get to one rule.

      But... we all know what the intent is in the long run, I think... I can´t tell others what to do, but I do try to comply with the philosophy behind the rules.

      Kindle is a great opportunity for self publishing. Burning this to make a quick buck is just dumb.
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      • Profile picture of the author GoodFE
        Originally Posted by Sandra Martinez View Post

        There is a problem Amazon needs to solve, but still can´t put the finger on, I think...

        Kindle was originally designed for electronic versions of published paperback books. Now they are acknowledging the change and call them ebooks, what opens a broader perspective.

        I still expect kindle books to be books, to be honest.

        Singles would be a great option for short books, but as it was mentioned before (was it you, Tink? sorry, I have to go back and check), they are very picky with singles.

        There is abuse in the system, and they will solve it one way o another. I think they are trying to figure out how to do it, without losing business.

        There are books that are short in the word count, but still books, like children books, or things heavily based in images (step by step, visual guides, cartoons, etc). It is hard to get to one rule.

        But... we all know what the intent is in the long run, I think... I can´t tell others what to do, but I do try to comply with the philosophy behind the rules.

        Kindle is a great opportunity for self publishing. Burning this to make a quick buck is just dumb.
        I both agree and disagree.

        You are judging this by what you would want, and not taking into consideration the people that prefer short stories.

        Short stories themselves are not a problem, the only problem I can see with a short story is when the author intentionally tries to trick the reader into believing it is longer.

        If I mention in the first line of the book that it is 3k, the reader purchases it and leaves a positive review, why on earth would Amazon want to get rid of my book?

        I've published multiple shorts and nobody has ever commented on the length, and for those that have a problem with the length, there is already a solution in place - the 6 day return policy.

        We need to be clear here, it is insane to say Amazon should get rid of ALL short stories. They should get rid of any book, long or short, that is attempting to deceive the customer.
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        • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
          Originally Posted by GoodFE View Post

          I both agree and disagree.

          You are judging this by what you would want, and not taking into consideration the people that prefer short stories.

          Short stories themselves are not a problem, the only problem I can see with a short story is when the author intentionally tries to trick the reader into believing it is longer.

          If I mention in the first line of the book that it is 3k, the reader purchases it and leaves a positive review, why on earth would Amazon want to get rid of my book?

          I've published multiple shorts and nobody has ever commented on the length, and for those that have a problem with the length, there is already a solution in place - the 6 day return policy.

          We need to be clear here, it is insane to say Amazon should get rid of ALL short stories. They should get rid of any book, long or short, that is attempting to deceive the customer.
          That last phrase hit it.

          As a side note...

          I don´t mind short stories. One of my favorite authors is Jorge Luis Borges. All his stories are short, and they are brilliant.
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        • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
          Originally Posted by GoodFE View Post

          I both agree and disagree.

          You are judging this by what you would want, and not taking into consideration the people that prefer short stories.

          Short stories themselves are not a problem, the only problem I can see with a short story is when the author intentionally tries to trick the reader into believing it is longer.

          If I mention in the first line of the book that it is 3k, the reader purchases it and leaves a positive review, why on earth would Amazon want to get rid of my book?

          I've published multiple shorts and nobody has ever commented on the length, and for those that have a problem with the length, there is already a solution in place - the 6 day return policy.

          We need to be clear here, it is insane to say Amazon should get rid of ALL short stories. They should get rid of any book, long or short, that is attempting to deceive the customer.
          And, talking about quality, I think the level of skill required to write a good short story is higher than that needed for a novel.

          Many great short stories I've read I can still remember very clearly to this day.

          If the author tells people it's a short story in the blurb and a purchaser is surprised that it IS short, well maybe Amazon should implement a ban on customers who are terminally stupid

          There is another solution open to Amazon - give people the option to price short stories at $0.49 instead of the present minimum of $0.99.

          Martin
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          • Profile picture of the author Tiptopcat
            What a great debate!

            I think that there is room for books of all lengths. It depends on the type of things that you like to read. Some people enjoy the full length books, while others are looking for something that will keep them occupied for 10 - 15 minutes.

            I have just published a short story - 4,000 words. I believe that this is aimed at the type of person who wants an alternative to a magazine that is filled with advert after advert and very little content.

            Paying 99 cents for a short story seems acceptable to me if you are comparing it to the price of a magazine filled with fodder.

            Also -the generation who are constantly facebooking and twittering and god knows what-ing - there are many who know that they do not have the attention neccessary in order to complete a 50,000 - 100,000 word book. But a 3,000-10,000 word self contained story is a doable option.

            One really important point - as long as the customer knows what they are going to get for their money, then there is less room for disappointment. I always make sure to note down the word count so that people can see what they are going to get.

            If they read the blurb before hitting they buy button, they know that they are not getting a full length novel. It is then down to personal taste, whether they enjoy the story or not.

            Amazon is providing something for everyone - and making a very pretty penny too.

            Happy Writing
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    • Profile picture of the author cashcow
      Originally Posted by GoodFE View Post

      And to the people saying that readers don't go to amazon in search of short stories, please use your mind for a moment. While I personally would prefer a larger book, it would be foolish for me to assume that the MILLIONS of amazon users agree with me. There is a market for shorter books, both in fiction and non-fiction.
      Are there any short stories on the best seller lists over there? (not compilations, I mean where the book itself is only 2500 words)
      Signature
      Gone Fishing
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      • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
        Just a side thought here... the average reader has NO idea of what word count means or how it translates into length. To a non writer, 2500 may seem like a lot. To a writer, it can be an off day ;-)

        My recommendation is to put in a page count and later on adjust it as necessary when the Amazon page count goes up.

        The current formula is 250 words = a page do 1k / 1000 words + 4 pages.

        I put that in my product description from the get go.
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      • Profile picture of the author GoodFE
        Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

        Are there any short stories on the best seller lists over there? (not compilations, I mean where the book itself is only 2500 words)
        What has that got to do with anything? Of course a book with 2500 words from a self-published author isn't going to sell as well as a 60k book from an established one. Nobody claimed, and I never claimed, that short stories sell as well as longer books, i said there was a market for them.

        This statement is so ridiculous that I have finally given up on this forum, I would like to ask the moderators to delete my account please, thank you.
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        • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
          Originally Posted by GoodFE View Post

          What has that got to do with anything? Of course a book with 2500 words from a self-published author isn't going to sell as well as a 60k book from an established one. Nobody claimed, and I never claimed, that short stories sell as well as longer books, i said there was a market for them.

          Whoa there, buddy! I think you are reading entirely too much into the question.

          All she asked was whether there were any shorts on the bestseller lists.

          With all due respect, no one would have expected Hugh Howey's - Wool Part One to become the publishing phenom that it has. It is just 56 pages. According to my estimate, that puts it at about 14k. And... he was an unknown.

          It sold so well, he wrote additional stories for it... and sold the PRINT ONLY rights for a princely sum. If I recall, his deal was the first of its kind.

          So.... hmmmm, not 60k, not an established author, and a 7 figure PRINT ONLY contract....

          I think this is an excellent example of the danger of assumptions. We all make them., maybe to our detriment.

          This is a brave new world, and any question is one worth asking.

          This statement is so ridiculous that I have finally given up on this forum, I would like to ask the moderators to delete my account please, thank you.
          But, in any event, if this isn't the forum for you, we wish you all the best.

          ;-)
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        • Profile picture of the author cashcow
          Originally Posted by GoodFE View Post

          What has that got to do with anything? Of course a book with 2500 words from a self-published author isn't going to sell as well as a 60k book from an established one. Nobody claimed, and I never claimed, that short stories sell as well as longer books, i said there was a market for them.

          This statement is so ridiculous that I have finally given up on this forum, I would like to ask the moderators to delete my account please, thank you.
          I'm simply making the point that if you are putting an effort into writing, you might want to focus on longer works since those are what sell the best. the market for short story sold singly is very small (and I would guess the market for 2500 word short stories almost nonexistent)

          I'll put a PM into the mods for you to get your account deleted post haste.
          Signature
          Gone Fishing
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  • Profile picture of the author TravisO
    2500 words won't be that really short. Put everything in the 2500 words then readers might experience like reading a 5000 words story. What I mean is that put meaning to everything inside those 2500 and make it like 5000 words.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    Hopefully as time goes on, Amazon will keep the quality books (short and long) and get rid of the low quality crap (short and long).

    I'm not sure exactly HOW they will do that, but I'm sure they are working on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Schmidt
    Great read through the thread, I guess this is the right way to get quality and remove all the junk.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    A lot of SEO books on spamazon are very small in size. Yeah, only a few pages. There are no diagrams or images. Oh yes, like zero. There are not selling for 99 cents, but the author wants $7.77 for their "book" if we dare call it that, and what is the deal with sevens any way.

    Please create content that is super. That will build up your rep. Also, make sure that people on spamazon get a real book and not a list of links to your site where you try to sell them the real deal report that costs $777.77 gasp!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      A lot of SEO books on spamazon are very small in size. Yeah, only a few pages. There are no diagrams or images. Oh yes, like zero. There are not selling for 99 cents, but the author wants $7.77 for their "book" if we dare call it that, and what is the deal with sevens any way.

      Please create content that is super. That will build up your rep. Also, make sure that people on spamazon get a real book and not a list of links to your site where you try to sell them the real deal report that costs $777.77 gasp!
      Honest reviews, in detail, are the best weapon. Refunds would be next. Third would be complaining to Amazon directly. Books that create 'bad user experiences' get removed and habitual offenders get banned.

      Unless, of course, there's a bookseller called "spamazon"...
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