Amazon is Shutting Down Its Crowd-Sourcing Platform, Kindle Scout

Amazon is Shutting Down Its Crowd-Sourcing Platform, Kindle Scout Amazon Crowd-Sourcing

Amazon informed authors on Monday that they were no longer accepting new submissions to Kindle Scout.

Dear valued scout,

As a member of the Kindle Scout voter community, we wanted to let you know of some upcoming changes being made to the Kindle Scout program.

As of April 3rd, Kindle Scout will no longer accept new submissions, and you will no longer be able to start a new Kindle Scout campaign. Once the current campaigns end their voting period, you will have until May 31st to log into your Kindle Scout profile, redeem free copies of your selected nominations, and save any info you may want.

If you have any questions about your Kindle Scout account, please contact our Customer Support team at [email protected]

We appreciate the support that you've provided over the years. Thanks to readers like you, hundreds of books have been selected for publication since Kindle Scout was started in 2015: http://amzn.to/2jciThO

Please continue supporting debut and emerging authors on Goodreads and Amazon.com by submitting reviews on each.

Warm wishes,
The Kindle Scout team

Launched in 2014, Kindle Scout was a hybrid publishing project where Amazon used crowd-sourcing to select titles to publish. Authors who were accepted were offered a $1,500 advance, 50% royalties, and an Amazon marketing push.

A total of 293 titles were selected for publication over Kindle Scout's 3 and a half year run.

It's impossible to say just how many copies were sold, but Kindle Scout remained popular with authors all the way to the end. I have found favorable reviews from authors in every year since it launched.

Why do you suppose Amazon shut down the program? Were sales declining for newer titles?

 

About Nate Hoffelder (9968 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

29 Comments on Amazon is Shutting Down Its Crowd-Sourcing Platform, Kindle Scout

  1. We have a private facebook group for kindle scout winners, and some of us had seen the writing on the wall for a while. They stopped accepting direct submissions for sequels, and they weren’t picking nearly as many winners as they used to from campaigns.
    According to Kindle Press, the imprint will live on and continue to support authors, but we think that’s going to shut down eventually, too.

  2. Interesting. I wonder if publishers are breathing a sigh of relief?

  3. My publisher just got a novel that I was about to submit, so I know she’s happy. I really do wonder what happened here and if we’re going to see something replace it.

  4. I can see the point for authors with the advances and the sense of legitimacy of having a publisher, but I never saw the point for Amazon. Heck, the Kindle Store is chockful of titles, particularly self-pubbed titles, so it’s not like Amazon was lacking books to sell which didn’t require the costs of the Scout titles.

  5. Andrea Beatrice Reed // 3 April, 2018 at 6:50 am // Reply

    They picked their last winner on February 9th, and all but one has become available to the voters in the presale period by April 2nd. One wonders what’s been holding up the works on the one picked Dec. 27th but not published yet. The number of campaigns per day had peaked at 24 beginning March 2nd, ending on March 31st, and 25 beginning March 3rd, ending on April 1st (no joke), due to large numbers of NaNoWriMo winners submitted (peaking at 16 and 14 respectively for those days), down to a trickle. After celebrating NaNoWriMo winners, and accepting 255 NanoWriMo-generated manuscripts this year, they have (so far) picked zero of them. Could Kindle Scout have shut down because it was not getting the quality of manuscript it wanted? Kindle Press may have shot itself in the foot, playing it so close to the chest as to what it was looking for.

  6. Interesting! My novel was accepted this morning for a Kindle Scout competition run from April 5 through May 5, but they did say they will not be accepting any entries after today. I’ll be watching this closely.

  7. Andrea Beatrice // 3 April, 2018 at 5:12 pm // Reply

    Your novel was submitted on the 2nd, right? That was the last day. They sent out the notice in the late afternoon/evening saying as of April 3rd, they would accept no more. Congratulations on getting in just under the wire, before they’d broken the news! April 5th will be the last day campaigns start. You meant to say that your campaign will run for 30 days, THROUGH May 4TH. It will be ENDED on May 5TH.

    The Leaderboard ranks and points will no longer be updated. Nominations for the campaign ending yesterday have not been collected, 7 of those campaigns are still listed as Hot & Trending, and all 11 books are marked as still on their last day. I suspect that means they didn’t update THAT at midnight either, and are running on old results.

  8. Andrea, thank you for clarifying that! And yes, I submitted right after I got the notice. I’d wanted to submit Friday so everything was more or less ready to go. Very glad I got in!

  9. What is the point of submitting if there will be no more winners?

  10. This is the last competition and campaign, according to what Scout says in my email. They won’t be accepting any more submissions, so I was lucky to get mine in right under the wire. I suppose I will find out the results in a month and a half!

  11. Hi guys, with the news above, does it mean the daily updates on running campaigns, like on page views and hours on H and T, will also stop?

  12. Andrea Beatrice Reed // 5 April, 2018 at 8:27 am // Reply

    The books that had campaigns ending on April 2nd continued to be listed the next day, as in their last day, with votes uncollected, for much of the day. The ones that had been Hot & Trending continued to be listed as such, seemingly with no updating. I emailed Kindle Scout, and was told that the books I’d voted for (which were still in my nomination slots, preventing me from voting for more books), were running through the next day. I confirmed with one of the authors I was voting for that their campaign had ended the day before, and told Kindle Scout so, emphasizing that if Scouts were not able to vote for new books, creating the lists still valuable to authors that are not selected, then this violated the agreement with them for 45 days exclusivity (which they were not released from), and it was corrected, with fresh books listed. Today the books that are to start, such as Anne Maclachlan’s, are again not yet listed on time. Obviously, the number of hours that it’s POSSIBLE to be on H&T would be lessened by a late start. Anne Maclachlan might be able to answer your question about what reports she is able to get, once Kindle Scout gets its posterior in gear for the day!

  13. Hi Andrea,

    You’re right; the books got off to a late start. Mine is up now, but there are no views or votes listed. When I posted the link, it went to the live site but the preview still says “not found.” I have just emailed them, and since they have been very responsive, I expect to hear back fairly soon. I will let you know!

  14. Andrea Beatrice Reed // 5 April, 2018 at 11:29 am // Reply

    There are now 32 books posted starting today (29 days left) and one lone book listed with 30 days left. THIRTY-TWO! versus ONE! That hardly seems fair to authors to get fair consideration, or to voters either.

    Here’s a tip—If there are books you would have wanted to vote for, but your panel was full, mark them as favorites, and wait. Once they are rejected (or accepted, ehem), click on the title to see the blurb. There’s a button you can then press (but it’s not there before they’ve been decided on) to keep posted. You’ll be informed when the author tells Kindle Scout that the book is now available, just as if you had voted for it.

  15. Hi,

    I have a book currently campaigning. But the stats haven’t been updated in two days, which means I have no idea if the campaign is going well or not (except that I’m in the hot&trending list).
    I emailed Amazon about this, but have yet to hear a reply.

    This really gives me mixed feelings. Now I wonder if they’re still giving away book deals or if they’ve already closed shop and won’t tell us (and they just use us to stock up on new customer emails through our lists).

  16. Mine started at 29 days, and while several people have let me know that they voted, nothing has been updated. I wonder if they have let a lot of staff go already? Maybe there just aren’t enough people to keep things going?

  17. Hi Anne Maclachan,

    Just wondering if the stats ever came visible for you? Mine still won’t show. You’d think that they’d be automatic, part of the software that runs the site would collate them on its own.

  18. Hi Lucas,

    The stats haven’t been updated since Tuesday. It used to be automatic (once a day) but it doesn’t work anymore. I’ve emailed Amazon about this, they said they would fix it quickly, but they didn’t. I emailed them again, and this time… no reply.

    I guess they’re slowly closing shop and don’t give a damn anymore.

  19. Andrea Beatrice Reed // 8 April, 2018 at 9:42 am // Reply

    Since the announcement, they don’t seem to have night staff to collect votes, remove expired campaigns, and announce new ones. It happened in the morning instead, with expired campaigns marked Hot & Trending all night.

    Now, it seems they don’t have weekend staff either. My votes for Friday were uncollected, ditto Saturday. I hope they have a way to register them, since I have to clear my nomination slots by “unvoting” first. I’ve written them repeatedly, but no reply. Maybe on Monday?

    Authors who lose uncollected votes have cause to complain. This is a breach of the deal offered them when they gave 45-day exclusivity. Even though there may be no more books selected for publication, the list of interested voters who will be informed when the book is available (and thus, if a free period is arranged before the notice goes out, may be offered free “Verified Sale” copies to thank them for their votes and help get positive reviews) is valuable in and of itself.

  20. Thanks for the replies. I’ve been in the hot and trending category most of the time it’s been listed so I’d be sad if none of those nominations counted.

    • I’m in the same boat as you, S.R. Lucas. There are no tallies listed in mine at all–they still read zero–though I have been floating from 1st to 20th in the H&T, averaging between 8th and 12th. This has to be determined by votes, no? I’m guessing the staff has been cut to the point where they are doing their best. Maybe there’s a software glitch that hasn’t been fixed. Hard to guess!

  21. Andrea Beatrice Reed // 8 April, 2018 at 4:09 pm // Reply

    To Anne Maclachlan—No, the order of listing of Hot & Trending is NOT determined by ranking, but randomized to give each book a roughly equal chance of catching the eye of people with gadgets that can only see a few without clicking further, or who must scroll down the first ten to click to see the second ten.

  22. Andrea Beatrice Reed // 8 April, 2018 at 4:40 pm // Reply

    You’re welcome! Since the Hot & Trending has been listing campaigns that ended on Friday and Saturday, not leaving room for others, I doubt that it’s being updated, or meaningful. How can books that closed on Friday still be H&T, even though people leave them in their nomination slots uncollected?

    If any author with a closing campaign whose votes are not collected wants me to vote for them, then clear the slot for the next day, so you know for sure of one person to cite when complaining, let me know. You can comment here, or DM me on Twitter, @lphaEditor.

  23. Thanks, Andrea! It is a bit of a puzzle, though I am happy to be in the game. No matter what happens, at least I have a finished book to sell (either through Scout or on my own).

    I’m back on the H&T list after dropping off for a couple of hours. I’m still intrigued by the whole process and how it might turn out for all of us.

  24. Andrea Beatrice Reed // 8 April, 2018 at 5:07 pm // Reply

    Which is your book? I typed “Maclachlan” in the search bar, and came up with nothing. It said:
    “Maclachlan”
    0 books found
    Sorry, we couldn’t find anything matching that description.

  25. Thank you, Andrea! I’m using a pen name for this one, as A.M. Ross. The book is “Falling Silver,” and this is the link.

    https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/CYBMQVCYWPI9

    Hah, I am off the list again. I will stop checking.

    Cheers,

    Anne

  26. I feel like I should apologize: my novel “Cutting Edges: Or, A Web of Women” id one of the ones that’s still up and in “hot and trending” even though the campaign ended on Saturday. :/ I didn’t notice until today, because I didn’t have time to check on the weekend. Sorry!
    Personally, though, I don’t think any more books are going to be chosen now that they’ve wrapped up the program.

  27. Ruth, no need to apologize to us! It seems that KS is working on a reduced staffing level. As an aside, my book was off the H&T list for an hour or so and is back on and holding well.

    As to publishing selection, I signed a contract to the effect that Amazon has a 45-day option, so they are bound to that. Whether they choose my book is a different matter, but I would imagine that since they told us this would be the last go-round, they would hold to the deal.

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