Digital distribution store for short stories

This is cool. Angry Robot, a relatively new but reasonably well-known UK genre fiction imprint, has launched an online store for short stories by their stable of novelists:

On December 1st 2010, Angry Robot will be launching “Nano Editions”. Exclusive to the publisher’s own webstore at angryrobotstore.com, Nanos are digital short stories by Angry Robot novelists, sold at sensible prices in ePub format, ready to load onto the world’s most popular eBook readers.

Most Nanos will be in the 5,000 – 15,000 word range. Shorter works than that will be automatically bundled with another story to ensure value for money.

Talking of which – stories will cost just 59p each (approximately US $0.95). Readers can bundle a collection of any 10 by any combination of authors, for only £3.49 (US$5.59). The files will be DRM-free and available worldwide. If demand for the stories takes off, AR plan to also sell them via eBook retailers.

Okay, I’m sure that Amazon et al are already operating something similar, but I like that this exists. The short story form has the potential to be one of the most exciting literary mediums, but its level of exposure outside of existing -zine fans and established-name collections is not great. Anything that pushes for a reversal of that trend is good news in my book (sorry, my Nano).

Obviously a small imprint with a small number of staff won’t want to start offering too many short stories through their store – it would take too much staff time away from other areas, they obviously want to boost exposure of their own authors and try to cross-sell other fiction, etcetera – but it’s a promising step forwards and I look forward to seeing where the next footstep falls.

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