Kindle sales get bigger, and Amazon e-books get shorter

Kindle has its best holiday weekend sales yet -- though still no hard numbers -- and Amazon launches a short-fiction publishing shop.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with Kindle Fire HDX tablets. Amazon

Kindle sales keep growing, with Amazon announcing the devices had their best-selling holiday weekend yet, while the company continues to chase short-form e-books with a new publishing shop.

The first in a pair of announcements Wednesday, Amazon said last weekend was the best holiday-shopping performance for Kindle so far, with customers purchasing more Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers than ever before.

As is typical of the massive online retailer, Amazon declined to give any hard figures to back up the declaration, though it noted the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX and Kindle Fire HD were the best-selling items on Amazon.com over the weekend.

Overall, Americans have been breaking spending records this holiday season. Shoppers racked up their biggest online spending day in history on Cyber Monday, shoveling more than $1.74 billion to online retailers, an 18 percent increase from a year earlier. According to ComScore, US consumers spent $23.9 billion online during the first 32 days of the November-December holiday season, that's up 8 percent from last year.

Amazon also announced a new publishing effort, StoryFront, which will publish short fiction. It is launching with 43 stories in the literary journal, Day One, a weekly compilation.

Amazon has been gravitating to more forms of bite-size content. It opened a mini e-book section of its Kindle store, Kindle Singles , and this year started a Q&A series there, "The Kindle Singles Interview," of extended interviews with iconic figures and world leaders. It's also said to be investigating a push into short-form video for its on-demand Instant Video service by courting YouTube networks.

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About the author

Joan E. Solsman is a staff writer for CNET focused on digital media. She previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere in New York City and has been doored only once.

 

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