According to this piece from Fast Company, short pieces of writing, like recipes and single articles, are now being sold on Amazon and at the Apple store for prices ranging from ¢99 to a few dollars, for download to the Kindle, iPad, etc. The article asks: what sort of writers will benefit from this new form of publishing?
First off, this is not really a new form of publishing, but a really old one. Before the mass reading public had a taste for bound books, they bought printed works in single sheets, or in unbound sheaves of paper, priced to move and made for single-serving consumption, not unlike downloading single episodes of your favorite TV show to your iPhone to watch on the subway.
This is how the essays of Samuel Johnson were first published, and how millions first consumed the novels of Charles Dickens, chapter by chapter. (more…)