After introducing Amazon Original Stories last fall for short works of fiction and nonfiction with The Sign of the Beast by Joyce Carol Oates and Crown Heights by Colin Warner and Carl King, the digital exclusive imprint is adding a new line, Collections.
Written in the same spirit as the other works in Amazon Original Stories, Collections brings together short works of fiction and nonfiction from a single writer or a group of writers. Amazon Originals editorial director Julia Sommerfeld describes them as “bundles of original, exclusive narratives that explore a theme. You can think of it sort of like a podcast you can read, as well as listen to.”
The stories include free audio versions that let readers toggle back and forth to read or listen to using Whispersync for Voice. Collections also feature illustrations and animations that can be viewed on certain Fire tablets and the Kindle app for IOS and Android. The stories themselves can be read on any device.
The inaugural collection, The Real Thing, which pubs on May 30, contains love stories by W. Kamau Bell, Eddie Huang, Wednesday Martin, and three others with art and animation by Geoff McFetridge. “All stories will be available at once,” says Sommerfeld, “for readers looking to read in smaller doses or binge the whole collection.”
“As a publisher inside a technology company, our goal is to develop new experiences,” Sommerfeld says. “More readers are reading on their phones and we wanted to provide a customer experience tailored to shorter, snackable fiction and nonfiction.”
Customers will be able to browse individual titles on Amazon.com as they do any other book. Prime and Kindle Unlimited customers can access individual stories as well as the entire collection and download them for free. Others can buy a single story for $1.99 or the whole collection for $5.99.
Next month, Amazon will publish a second collection, Bloodlands by crime writer Harold Schecter. Each piece offers a look at American history through a sensational crime. Steven Weber is narrating the audio.
Future collections will feature works by Jane Smiley, Joyce Carol Oates, Jess Walter, Walter Kirn, Lauren Groff, Blake Crouch, and Michelle Dean.