• Chris OBrien

Tuesdays with Quora: Can I self-publish a 3,000-10,000 word essay on Kindle on its own?

There are a lot of great questions being asked on Quora about writing, editing, and the publishing process. Really insightful answers too from a welcoming community that's (for the most part) just trying to help. Kind of reminds me of early days Wikipedia.


Every Tuesday I'll share one of these questions on the Long Overdue blog and show what I hope to be a helpful answer.


Can I self-publish a 3,000-10,000 word essay on Kindle on its own?


Yes. Amazon KDP has an entire section called “Short Reads” where they give readers/buyers the option to browse by reading time (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, one hour, 90 minutes, 2 hours or more).


Think about it from Amazon’s perspective, they would love to have a bunch of these 3,000 to 10,000-word essays on their site selling at $0.99 a pop. At the 99 cent price point, Amazon makes about 60–70 cents per sale. In terms of inventory, a writer can produce way more of these in a year than 500-page novels so the library grows faster.


So, if there are a million “short reads” items on their site, each averaging 10 copies sold, Amazon makes a nice $6–7 million without doing anything more than hosting all of the work. Not a bad haul!

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