Last week Amazon Publishing released StoryFront, a new ‘imprint’ (a category for publications made by Amazon, as opposed to self-published pieces) that focuses on the short story form.
Short stories that will be available to buy and download are selected by Amazon Publishing from their weekly literary journal Day One, and sell for around 0.99 cents per story.
With our movement into a digital age of publishing, it’s only natural that short stories follow the success of novels when it comes to e-readers. For casual readers who might not have the time, short stories provide a quick-fix story experience. Daphne Durham of Amazon Publishing’s Adult Trade and Children’s Group said in a recent press release that:
Based on the continued success of short fiction on Kindle as well as the enthusiastic response to Day One—we received thousands of subscriptions in the first week—we know readers are hungry for short stories and excited about exploring new genres
So, StoryFront is a good thing, right?
Well, at a glance, it could be good and bad. It’ll be great for readers who want something to read while they’re waiting for the bus, and who know they’ll be getting what StoryFront is labelling 'Literary Fiction'. It’ll be good for writers who have their foot in the door with Amazon and are likely to be chosen to be published.
But this may leave emerging authors at a bit of a disadvantage. By choosing a select number of stories to privately publish and sell on Kindles, will new and self-published writers be deemed ‘lower quality’ by the e-reader market? Will readers be less likely to buy stories from authors they’ve never heard of? This seems to be an ongoing dilemma that writers, readers, and the publishing industry have been struggling with for years.
What’s important to remember is that while StoryFront is a great project when it comes to the digitisation of short stories, there are plenty of other places to submit your writing, and there are plenty of people who will read the works of fresh new writers.
Submitting to Writer’s Edit is a great place to start. We’re here to support new and emerging writers and that means publishing your prose, poetry, and non-fiction.
There are also plenty of other literary journals (both print and online) that want your writing and don’t care whether you’ve signed a publishing deal.
In short, keep an eye on the short story publications industry: it’s definitely on the move and ready for mass consumption, StoryFront is proof of that. Write down your ideas, perfect your techniques, and submit as much writing as you can, because short stories are making a comeback.