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David Margolick Experiments With Kindle Single Format

For journalist/author David Margolick, when his piece on sexual molestation in the church was too long for a Newsweek article, but too short for a book, a friend’s recommendation to publish the story as a Kindle Single made sense.

A Kindle Single is a short-form eBook with a lower price point. His new Kindle Single A Predator Priest is about 20,000 words and is now available in the Kindle Store for $.99.

Margolick tells eBookNewser how the digital article came about. He says: “I’d begun it last year for Newsweek, which was then experimenting with long-form journalism. But it was a bad fit: the magazine was unaccustomed to pieces of this length, and I probably abused the invitation by giving them something far longer than they ever could have accommodated. It’s hard to find a single magazine, even one used to long stories, that will still take something at 11,000 words, let alone something as sensitive as this, let alone something on so seemingly familiar a topic. I tried lots of places. No one wanted it.”

But are there readers for this kind of work? Margolick says yes. “While the Internet is putting out enough high-energy snacks to spoil some appetites for longer stuff, it’s also allowing for feasts. That said we’re clearly at a very early stage in the migration of long-form to the Net. For people over forty, a story in a place like this is very, very hard to find.”

So are people reading this kind of content? Yes but slowly. Margolick says that while the audience is still small, people are discovering his work. “I’m grateful for everyone who’s reading what I wrote, but I have no idea how many people that is, and I know I’m not reaching lots and lots of people who would read this if it were handed to them in a traditional magazine. Anything that interposes even more obstacles, like what Apple is doing, is very discouraging, and I’m sorry to hear about it.”

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