Amazon's crowd-sourcing program opened its doors to authors last week, and a new report tells me that it will soon be open to readers as well.
Benjamin Sobieck wrote on his blogthat his latest crime novel, The Invisible Hand, was accepted into the Kindle Scout program today. He reports that it took Amazon less than 24 hours to accept his work and assign a start date for his campaign. The Invisible Hand will be posted for readers to rate and review on 28 October.
For those just tuning in, Kindle Scout is a new hybrid publishing program from Amazon. Authors can submit a work (including a completed manuscript, cover, author bio, and description), and if accepted into the Kindle Scout it is posted for public review. Readers will have 30 days to read the excerpt and comment on it, and well, it's not clear what will happen next.
Theoretically, Amazon's newest publishing imprint, Kindle Press, will take reader nominations into account and (assuming a work passes muster) offer the author a 5 year publishing contract with an advance.
But this program is still so new that I don't know if we can say for sure whether it will work. I would bet that there won't be a shortage of authors signing up, but I still don't know whether enough readers will participate or if they will be able pick good books.
But even with the unanswered questions, this program is still worth a shot. As Sobieck explains, the potential upside is significant and if worst comes to worst all he lost was a 6 week exclusive:
Writers can see the specifics of how this works here, but I won't bore anyone with that. I wanted to take a swing at Kindle Scout because a) being picked up by Kindle Press offers a good chance of making bank on sales, since Amazon's marketing knows how to target and sell e-books within its ecosystem; and b) it's a 45-day turnaround, which is much faster than slogging through the submission process I just don't have time for right now.
If Kindle Press does choose to publish Sobieck's book, he'll be signing over ebook and audiobook rights (but not paper) in exchange for a $1,500 advance and royalty rates better than what can be found in most publishing contracts (more details here).
Kindle Scout is one of two programs for authors which Amazon has launched recently. The other is Write On, a writing community designed along the lines of Wattpad. Write On has been under development since April of this year, but was only publicly unveiled earlier this month. (It's still invite only, so let me know if you want one.)
P.S. If you have a book about to go through Kindle Scout, please let me know. I'd like to know what Kindle Scout is like from the inside, and I'd be happy to accept a guest post with a first hand account.