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Amazon debuts long-form Q&As in Kindle short-form shop

The company takes another step down the path of content creator by debuting extended written interviews with high-profile figures and world leaders, starting with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
Israeli President Shimon Peres is the subject of the first Kindles Singles Interview. Amazon/Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Google Glass may be in the spotlight for its efforts to fend off smut, but Amazon's next Kindle venture is taking a page out of Playboy. But before you get too excited, it's not one of the pages with pictures.

Amazon on Thursday unveiled a series of long-form interviews for the mini e-book section of its Kindle store, Kindle Singles. "The Kindle Singles Interview," as the series is called, will be extended interviews with iconic figures and world leaders.

The first interview, with Israeli President Shimon Peres, is available Thursday for 99 cents only on Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps.

Amazon -- like Netflix, AOL, and other Internet giants of late -- has been increasing its activity creating content, rather than just delivering others' products. Earlier this year, Amazon greenlit five full television-like series for its Prime Instant Video service.

The Kindle Singles interviews are in the tradition of the Playboy interviews of old, when the girlie magazine was also a source of groundbreaking political and cultural insight. "We hope to carry forward that tradition, and use the unlimited digital space to engage great artists and thinkers in conversation with skilled writers and interviewers," said David Blum, editor of Kindle Singles.

Based on a nearly two-hour conversation, Pere's interview includes some bon mots about Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg: "Karl Marx never forecast Zuckerberg...He made a revolution with a billion people," he said.