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TED plunges into digital book market with Amazon

Nic Marks is a statistician whose talks about how nation's measures of success might better be measured by the happiness of their people, rather than productivity. Marks' ideas is one of the first TED Books, a digital imprint released Wednesday, Jan. 26th

The popular TED Talks series is sprouting a new arm: TED Books.  Seattle-based Amazon began selling the short (10,000 to 20,000 word) digital books today. They are available on the Kindle platform.

The first three ebooks with the new imprint are based on materials from popular Talks series speakers:

Why a Shorter Format?

In a statement, the organization claims the ebooks are:

"long enough to explain a powerful idea, but short enough to be read in a single sitting."

On the nonprofit's blog, TED's Chris Anderson writes shorter books made sense after considering the success of the format for their speaker series:

"We had seen from our experience of TED Talks that by constraining speakers to 18 minutes, it was often the case that “less is more."

TED organized as a nonprofit in the early 1980's to promote conversations on technology, entertainment and design (hence the acronym), according to the organization's website.

In the digital era its conversational intellectual offerings on a wide variety of themes have made the site popular, spawning events worldwide, including last fall's TEDx Rainier event in Seattle. 

TED online lectures are available for free. The ebooks have a price: $3.99.