January 14, 2014 Last Updated 8:49 am

400+ eBook Singles published last year, according to Thin Reads

Getting a handle on the number of digital publication launches in a given time period can still be difficult. The main trade industry journals covering magazines, for instance, still faithfully pass on the launch and closing numbers from MediaFinder despite that fact that their numbers are so ludicrously inaccurate (in that they miss all the digital launches each year).

TNM tries to keep up with digital edition launches in both the newspaper and magazine field, but currently does not keep a database of launches. In the book area, however, several new websites do a good job of tracking eBook publishing efforts – one of those is Thin Reads, published by Howard Polskin, who has contributed stories to TNM and and has an article on eBook Singles for the Tablet Publishing magazine app.

According to Thin Reads, 430 eBook Singles were published in 2013: 170 per fiction, 260 nonfiction. Thin Reads lists the most notable authors who published an eBook Single were:

  • Elmore Leonard, “The Trespassers” and “Confession”; two unpublished stories that were written in 1958.
  • Dean Koontz, “Wilderness”: a young boy with strange powers is pursued by an evil man in the woods.
  • Nathaniel Philbrick, “The First Thanksgiving”; an excerpt from the best-selling book “Mayflower” about the relationship between the colonists and the Native Americans.
  • Robert Caro, “Dallas, November 22, 1963”; a detailed account of the day JFK was shot.
  • Allan Kozinn, “Got That Something”; A New York Times music critic chronicles the birth of the iconic Beatles song “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

eBook Singles tend to be priced at the $1.99, or even $0.99 level and are often between 30 and 50 pages in length.

One wonders, however, if there is a really good definition still of the format. While it is pretty clear what an eBook Single is within the Amazon ecosystem, within Apple’s world just about anything could be defined as an eBook Single if the length is short. For instance, building an eBook using iBooks Author and producing an interactive eBook of around 50 pages could be called an eBook Single if the content did not involve multiple chapters or multiple subject matters. Some magazine publishers, especially from Asia, have been using the books category for their new apps to avoid both the Newsstand and the iBooks Store, where they feel their new apps will get lost.

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