Amazon launches Singles Classics to resell timeless essays from top writers and magazines

Amazon this morning is introducing a new way to read short-form content on Kindle devices and in the Kindle app with the launch of “Singles Classics.” The service will bring articles, stories and essays from well-known authors and top periodicals – many available in digital format for the first time. The articles will be priced at 99 cents each, with writers and publishers retaining up to 70 percent of the royalties from the sale of every copy.

For those who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, Singles Classics will be available for free.

As of this morning’s launch, there are over 140 different essays and stories available, including those from writers like Susan Orlean, Norman Mailer, Gloria Steinem, Lawrence Wright,Margo Jefferson, Gay Talese and Chang-rae Lee, as well as authors such as John le Carré and Kurt Vonnegut. Some of the works originally appeared in magazines like Time, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Esquire, The Atlantic and Playboy.

This isn’t the first time Amazon has brought short-form content to the Kindle. Several years ago, the company launched the “Kindle Singles” program which focused on selling content that was longer than a typical magazine article but shorter than a book. Amazon said Kindle Singles were around 5,000 to 30,000 words. Kindle Singles were focused on short fiction and nonfiction, however.

While Singles Classics don’t seem to have a word limit specified (beyond being somewhat “essay-length”), they will focus on journalism, fiction and articles. But they won’t necessarily be “of the moment” pieces. Instead, as the name implies, Classics are about resurfacing timeless essays and bringing them to new readers who may have missed them – or who were too young to read them – when they first came out.

Some of the Classics include Ron Rosenbaum’s “The Secrets of the Little Blue Box,” Marcelle Clements’ “The Dog Is Us” and TIME Magazine’s 1966 cover story “Is God Dead?,” for example.

Writers and publishers can submit their work via Kindle Direct Publishing, and will retain their rights.

Classics are live now on and can be read on Kindle, Fire tablets, and the free Kindle app for iOS, Android, PC and Mac.