Amazon has turned to crowdsourcing in order to choose its newest selection of books for publication. Utilizing a reader-powered publishing platform called Kindle Scout, Amazon’s Kindle Press will publish books that have been voted on by readers. If a book generates enough interest and receives enough votes in the thirty day campaign period, the author will receive a publishing contract with Kindle Press.
If a book is selected by Kindle Press, the author will receive a five-year renewable publishing contract, a $1,500 advance, and will receive 50% of all e-book royalties. Although Kindle will have the e-book and audio rights to the book, the author will keep other rights, including print rights to the book. If an author is not pleased with the results that they have received during their time with Kindle Press and doesn’t earn $25,000 within the five year span, the author can stop publishing with Kindle Press. There is also a rights revision period after two years if a book under performs at that point as well. Alongside the publishing contract, Amazon will offer marketing for the books that are being published through Kindle Press.
There have been a slew of books that have been voted upon and the first ten of these books will be published by Kindle Press on March 3. Kindle Scout is continuously accepting manuscripts to be voted on and it does not limit the number of applicants. The number of books published using Kindle Press will undoubtedly grow in the near future.
I think that what Kindle Press is doing through Kindle Scout is really innovative and is changing the way publishing works. Not only is it a great opportunity for unpublished authors who have not been able to secure a literary agent, but it is a new option for an independent author who is interested in broadening their readership with their next book. If an independent author submits their manuscript to Kindle Scout, they may have a better chance of receiving feedback and notice than if they decided to self publish on their own.
I really do like the idea of the readers choosing what books should be published because ultimately, it’s the readers who are going to be purchasing the books. Last month, an independent publishing press called Kensington Publishing Corp. announced that it was hosting a crowdsourced writing competition. The manuscripts with the most votes would have the chance to earn a publishing contract with Kensington Publishing Corp.
Now with this announcement from Amazon, it seems like crowdsourcing is becoming increasingly popular as a new means of publication. Although I don’t think that the major publishing houses will respond to this trend, I will be interested to see if any other independent presses begin to adopt the practice.
If you have any thoughts or opinions about Kindle Scout, please share them in the comments. If you would like to learn more about the Kindle Scout program, click here.
Until next week,
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