In a press release on Friday, January 25, 2013, Amazon announced that best-selling author Stephen King has published a Kindle exclusive essay. The essay titled “Guns” is available exclusively in the Kindle store to anyone who owns a Kindle e-reader or uses the Kindle app on Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Windows 8, PC and Mac. It is a part of Kindle Singles which was launched by Amazon in 2011 and was intended for any piece of writing that is too long for a magazine article but too short for a book. Typically these pieces range from 5,000-30,000 words in length and focus on single ideas that writers choose to concentrate on.
King chose to publish the essay using Kindle Singles because of the short length of time the publishing process takes. When talking about the essay and publishing process he said, “I think the issue of an America awash in guns is one every citizen has to think about. If this helps provoke constructive debate, I’ve done my job. Once I finished writing ‘Guns’ I wanted it published quickly, and Kindle Singles provided an excellent fit.”
Amazon is more than happy to offer an iconic author such as Stephen King the opportunity to use its services to publish a piece of writing. David Blum, editor of Kindle Singles said, “It’s exciting to offer a way for a brilliant writer like King to publish quickly, and to reach a large audience of loyal readers and new customers. King finished this essay last Friday morning, and by that night we had accepted it and scheduled for publication today.”
In the essay, readers have the opportunity to get King’s perspective of gun control in America and what can and should be done. According to the book description, it is a “pull-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion” about gun violence in America. Not only is the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting discussed but an entire timeline of major shootings in America is laid out and presented in a thought provoking way that has come to be expected from a writer like Stephen King.
Although the essay has only been published for a few hours there are nearly 100 reviews on it already. Most reviewers give it 5-stars out of 5 but there are some who differ with the best-selling author’s opinions in the essay giving it only 1 star out of 5. There are very few reviewers who have given it 2,3, or 4 stars so it is definitely a love it or hate it type of essay that seems to be accomplishing King’s goal of provoking a rational discussion.