Shorts Cut Off: Amazon Closing Story Program

Amazon’s first (but far from last) foray onto publisher turf was Amazon Shorts. Established in 2005, it acquired original stories and nonfiction, excerpts of forthcoming books and miscellaneous offerings by well known authors and sold them cheaply. Many authors and agents participated, showcasing or previewing their work there, but in time the doors were closed to new submissions as the company focused on Kindle.

Though processing the occasional royalty check for forty cents was always an adventure for our bookkeeper, it was fun while it lasted. But in Digitworld nothing fun lasts forever: today content providers received an email from Amazon announcing it was closing Shorts and reverting rights to authors. However, authors in the program interested in keeping their works in the program can transfer them to Kindle.

Social historians who wish to drill down to life in Internet BK (Before Kindle) might enjoy a blog written at the time Shorts was introduced.

Here’s the pertinent part of Amazon’s announcement followed by a video instructional on uploading your Shorts (or anything else you want to self-publish) into Kindle:
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Dear Amazon Shorts Author:

We appreciate your client’s participation in Amazon Shorts. As you know, Amazon Shorts launched prior to the release of the Amazon Kindle and our Digital Text Platform (DTP). Due to these technology changes, we are discontinuing the Shorts program effective June 1, 2010. At that time, all Amazon Shorts will be removed from sale and distribution rights will revert back to the authors. We very much want to continue to offer your client’s Shorts to Amazon Kindle customers. Below you will find the steps for transitioning your client’s Shorts to our Kindle platform so that customers can continue to buy and read this work.

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One Response to Shorts Cut Off: Amazon Closing Story Program

  1. Ron Wootters says:

    Dear Amazon Shorts People, Today 31, May 2010 is the first time I read about Amazon Shorts and sorry to read that the program will be discontinued.
    I have nothing but the best to say about my experience with Amazon Shorts when I submitted, Sot 4.75 – Terrorist Moneyman. Would like to thank the man who was in charge by name, but the PC I used at that time crashed big time taking all of that info with it. He was very helpful and I appreciated the opportunity to submit my story. I especially liked the cover that Amazon Shorts developed. It fit the story like a glove.
    Wishing you all the best.
    Thanks again,
    Ron Wootters

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