The Kindle Single is Amazon's answer to the restrictions and limitations in traditional publishing that have held authors back for hundreds of years. The gap that once existed between short story writers and others whose work would not meet the requirements of conventional publishers is neatly filled by Amazon's new Single category.
The work submitted must be short in length, approximately 5,000 to 30,000 words, and it must be original content. The content is selected by Amazon, so there is an application process to get accepted into the program. The books are priced reasonably between $0.99 and $4.99 and the content is non-exclusive – meaning you must publish it there first, but it doesn't have to be the only place you publish it after.
Until this time, short books, short stories, novellas, essays, and other short works have had no place in traditional publishing. Writers have had to make their story fit with the publisher's guidelines. This can mean stretching out a short piece, often to the detriment of the story, in order to satisfy the publisher.
Big publishing houses require guidelines to cover the expenses associated with publishing a book the conventional way. Amazon has gone ahead and capitalized on this niche market by utilizing the already growing digital industry both to its own benefit, and to the benefit of countless writers who now have a platform that will happily accept their work.
With 70% of the proceeds going directly to the author, and combined with the idea that many short-story writers wouldn't be able to get published otherwise, the Kindle Single is just getting started.