Five e-book singles have already been written about Jodi Arias, young woman who was convicted May 8 of the brutal slaying of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander. Before we detail what's hitting the digital retailer shelves, let's examine why e-book singles are the perfect platform for the Arias story. We base these observations on the Thin Reads' weekly analysis of Kindle Single best sellers, which includes many lurid crime-based stories.
Potato Chip Content: The Jodi Arias story is a good read for consumers looking for a tasty snack based on a tabloid-ready tale grabbing national attention. That's not to say that e-book singles about important subjects won't find an audience. But for readers hooked on 24-hour cable news and the constant hum of Arias-related tweets, how can they resist a quick read on this subject? They want a quick bite of something that takes them beyond the headlines but nothing too substantial. Think about it: who's going to want to read a 400-page book about Jodi Arias in 12 months?
Quick turnaround for an e-book single: Fast writers can bang out a 100-page e-book single about Arias in a month. That's how long it took AP reporters Josh Hoffner and Brian Skoloff. Shorter books in the 25-page range can be researched and written in a two-week window. We're not saying it's quality. But it's a story and when publishers slap the name "Jodi Arias" on it, it's like sprinkling marketing magic dust on a piece of content.
Four-month trial: Trial testimony provides the perfect spine for an e-book single and saves writers the trouble of basing a lot of the story on shoe-leather reporting.
So here are the e-book singles currently available:
Killer Girlfriend: The Jodi Arias Story. Authors: Josh Hoffner, Brian Skoloff. Pub date: May 4. Page length: 114 pages. Hoffner and Skoloff work in the Phoenix bureau of AP. Skoloff covered the four-month trial. Hoffner was his editor. They were in the right place, at the right time to write this book. Because the book was written and published just days before the verdict, they'll update the book soon with a section devoted to the May 8 verdict. They'll also update the book again once there's a sentence. Consumers who purchased earlier version will be able to download the additional sections. In June, 20,000 paperback copies will be printed as well. This appears to be the most serious of the e-book singles currently on the market. It also has the best title.
Jodi Arias, "Psycho" Killer?. Author: Tamworth Grice. Pub date: April 30. Page length: 25. Grice writes about crime and has already penned an e-book single about serial killer Ted Bundy that was published in March. The Jodi Arias book includes testimony from before and during the trial.
Jodi Arias: The Seduction, Control & Murder of Travis Alexander. Author: Calisto Narcissalotto. Pub date: April 28. Page length: 29. This is the most expensive of the Jodi Arias e-book singles: $6.99, which strikes Thin Reads as a hefty tab for a 29-page book. According to the book's description, the story will look at Jodi's ability to seduce, the way she manipulated Alexander, and her alleged sociopathic nature.
Murder in Mesa: All You Need to Know About the Jodi Arias Case. Author: Laura Vincent. Pub date: April 7. Page length: 10. What can we say? Ten pages! Surely there was more to say about the case. The cover is nicely designed.
The Jodi Arias Guide to Dating: A Completely Unauthorized Parody. Author: Randi Stalker. Pub date: March 8. Page length: 40. This first-person book written in Arias's voice was bound to happen although it feels more like a skit on "Saturday Night Live" then an e-book single. It has lines like this one as "Arias" explains her frustration with some men she meets: "...there's this guy who's a great dancer and you...start talking and the next thing you know you're in a Motel 6 near the bus station lending him money so he can catch a Greyhound to Fresno to visit his girlfriend." Not exactly killer lines, here. But if that's your thing, this effort is for you. Randi Stalker is, well, that's another example of the type of humor a reader will find in this book. Points for being the first Jodi Arias book on the market.