Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Amazon's crowdsourced publishing venture Kindle Scout goes live

Kindle Scout allows readers to read unpublished novels and vote whether they should be published by Amazon, with publishing deals for successful authors.
by: Sian Cain

First they dominated the book industry; now retailing giant Amazon is increasing its investment in the publishing sphere, by outsourcing its selection process to readers through Kindle Scout, a self-publishing crowdsourcing venture solely for its Kindle e-reader.

Would-be authors can now submit their novels to Kindle Scout for readers to peruse, who can then vote whether or not Amazon’s e-book publishing company, Kindle Press, should publish them as e-books.

The first few pages of prospective titles – up to 5,000 words, according to Amazon – will sit on Kindle Scout for 30 days, during which time readers can nominate up to three books they want to see published in full.

At the end of the month, Kindle Scout staff will consider the top nominated books and make the final call on which of the selected titles will be published.

The successful authors will receive “five year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50 percent eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing”. If a book does not make a profit of $25,000 in the first five years, Amazon guarantees it will return full rights to the author upon request.

Amazon has said it will not be making public how many nominations each book receives, as: “We want to make sure each book gets a fair shot and don’t want the number of nominations a book receives to influence other readers. We want readers to weigh in with their individual preferences.”

Readers who vote for a winning book will receive a free copy to encourage future sales through reviews.

Amazon has published self-published books before, through their Kindle Direct Publishing system. Some authors, like science-fiction author Hugh Howey, received physical book deals after successfully gaining an audience using KDP. Authors using KDP receive 70 percent of royalties if their book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99; but in comparison to Kindle Scout, they are not guaranteed marketing support for their books from Amazon.

The Kindle Scout option may prove attractive to self-published authors who have previously turned to online platforms like Wattpad, Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing websites to fund marketing for their self-published books. However, only authors with accounts can submit their work to Kindle Scout and all books submitted must be over 50,000 words and not be published elsewhere previously.

Amazon says it will seek out reviewers for Kindle Scout titles among Kindle users and through the social media platform Goodreads, which Amazon bought in 2013.

from: Guardian

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