Amazon Confirms The Launch Of New, Episodic Publishing Format — Kindle Serials

Confirming the reports that TechCrunch’s Peter Ha was hearing yesterday, Amazon just announced the launch of a new publishing format: Kindle Serials, where a book-length story is delivered over several episodes.

Of course, serialized novels are actually an old idea — most famously, it’s how Charles Dickens published most of his books — and we can see other examples of serialized storytelling in comics and TV. In the literary world, however, the idea has mostly fallen out of fashion.

The first eight Kindle Serials titles seem to consist mostly of thrillers or mysteries, which sounds like a good fit for the format. Authors include Neal Pollack and Andrew Peterson. Oh, and they’ll be releasing Dickens novels this way, too.

If we stick with the comparison to TV shows the Amazon pricing model is like a season pass — you pay once and get all future episodes. Amazon also says that readers will be able to join in a discussion around the stories as they continue.

The Serials announcement was made at Amazon’s press conference today, where CEO Jeff Bezos also talked more broadly about the success of the Kindle Direct Publishing program. Of the top 100 Kindle books, Bezos said 27 are from KDP. He also noted that Amazon has created a new publishing format before, namely Kindle Singles, which was intended to fill in the gap between magazine articles and full-length books. There have now been 3.5 million Singles sold, he said.