Amazon is always on the lookout for ways to improve both the reading and the publishing experiences, and the introduction of Kindle Scout is no exception. The process, which is aimed at helping uncover worthy books, levels the playing field in a number of ways by allowing reading consumers to have a say in the selection process.
“Since we opened our doors we’ve been busy weighing the feedback of over 29,000 enthusiastic Scouts who have nominated the books they want to read next,” said Dina Hilal, general manager for Kindle Scout. “These first 10 titles signal a new option for authors, who can choose to have their books discovered and supported by Amazon customers even before they are published.”
Kindle Scout’s process allows authors to submit their titles to the platform and then have Scouts nominate them for publication. Once a book is accepted, it goes on to be published by the digital Kindle Press imprint, in exchange for which the author receives 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions, and featured Amazon marketing. While some critics may say that the authors are forfeiting 20% of their potential royalties (given the 70% offered through simple KDP self-publishing), the advance and marketing options are slated to make up for that. Further, the book will have a following of readers before it ever reaches the digital shelf, thereby increasing its likelihood of sales.
“Having Eddie & Sunny chosen for publication by Kindle Press has been nothing short of a dream come true,” said author Stacey Cochran. “The reader enthusiasm galvanized during the Kindle Scout campaign was exciting beyond anything else I’ve experienced as a writer, but the thing that’s been most surprising in all of this is the community experience and friendships I’ve made with the other writers I’ve come to know through Kindle Scout after connecting on social media.”
Amazon provided some interesting data on the behaviors of these so-called Scouts who look for newly submitted titles:
9 – The average number of excerpts a Scout considers before nominating a title to be published
3 – The number of minutes it took the fastest author to submit a manuscript to Kindle Scout
31 – The average number of days in which a Kindle Scout author receives a publishing decision after submitting a book
$25,000 – If a Kindle Press author does not earn at least this amount during his 5-year contract, he can request his rights back
10 – The highest number of free Kindle books an individual Scout has earned for nominating books to date
The long-standing Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) were put on hold this year as the company works through this more inclusive opportunity. Rather than having one single winner in each of a handful of categories, the ongoing process stands to make exponentially more titles available to readers. For a list of the ten titles that are currently available for pre-order due to nominations by Kindle Scouts, click HERE.