What Does the Kindle Edition Mean?

By David Weedmark

Free Kindle e-books are available at Amazon and online.
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A "Kindle Edition" refers to any electronic book (commonly known as an "e-book") that has been formatted for viewing on the Kindle. The Kindle is a portable e-book reader introduced by Amazon.com in 2007. Thousands of books, magazines and newspapers are formatted as Kindle editions and distributed in this manner. These e-books can be read on other devices as well.


Kindle editions can be read on a variety of platforms. The format was originally developed for use on the Kindle eReader, sold directly by Amazon.com. Kindle software is now available free for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, BlackBerry and Android smartphones. Kindle editions can also be read on Windows and Mac computers with Kindle software installed. Kindle Edition e-books are archived online by Amazon so that once a digital book is purchased, it can be read on any of compatible device.


Most major publishers including Random House, Penguin, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster have released Kindle editions for some of their books. Many small publishers and self-published authors have also released Kindle editions. Most e-books are sold at a discount from the print edition and they are often priced as low as 99 cents. Publishers may offer free e-book titles for promotional purposes. A growing number of publishers have released Kindle editions of public domain works that are no longer in print.

Magazines & Newspapers

Newspapers and magazines also publish Kindle editions. Some of the publications that have embraced the digital era include The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Daily Mail. Newspapers from over 18 countries are available in Kindle editions by paid subscription. Magazines available as Kindle editions include Time, Newsweek, Forbes, The Atlantic and Fortune. Text and pictures (in black and white) are displayed on the Kindle. E-books can be downloaded directly to the Kindle eReader through wireless 3G technology with a 14-day free trial.

Kindle Singles

Amazon launched Kindle Singles in 2011. Longer than a magazine article but shorter than a book, a Kindle Single is between 5,000 and 30,000 words and is generally priced between $1 and $5, with most titles averaging $1.99. As is the case with other Kindle formats, these shorter documents can be read on any device with Kindle software installed. Authors wishing to publish a Kindle Single must obtain prior approval from Amazon.com.