Amazon’s Kindle Scout Give Readers The Choice In Which Authors Gets Published – Kind Of

Amazon launched Kindle Scout, a program that allows readers to chose which up-and-coming authors get published.

Amazon launched Kindle Scout, a program that allows readers to chose which up-and-coming authors get published.

Despite its decidedly unfriendly-to-authors feud with a major publishing company, Amazon is touting a new program that provides an outlet for hopeful authors, while letting readers maybe, sort-of decide who’s worthy of being published.

Kindle Scout, which launched Monday, allows Kindle readers to have a say in what new books reach their devices, and which should go back to the drawing board, CNET reports.

The program provides readers with excerpts of several unpublished pieces of work. After reading the selections, which span all genres, users vote for up to three books to be published.

With new work being added each day, users can continually reevaluate their votes.

At the end of a 30-day voting period, the Kindle Scout team will review the books with the most votes and determine which three will be published.

While the program seems to give readers the feeling that they are making the choice in who gets published and who doesn’t, it’s only an illusion. Amazon says it ultimately holds all the decision-making power.

“Nominations give us an idea of which books readers think are great; the rest is up to the Kindle Scout team who then reviews books for potential publication,” Amazon says on the new Kindle Scout page.

But users will be rewarded for their quasi-publishing skills if their vote results into a published book. Amazon says those who vote for the winning books will receive a free, full-length Kindle edition one week before the piece is released.

Officials with Amazon say the new program builds on consumers’ already involved nature when it comes to determining which books become best-sellers.

Additionally, the company tells CNET that Kindle Scout is also beneficial for authors, because of its shorter publication process and the contracts offered through Kindle Press.

The authors of chosen books will receive a $1,500 advance, a five-year renewable term, easy rights reversions and Amazon marketing. Published authors also have to split the royalties 50-50 with Amazon.

Still, many independent and up-and-coming writers may be turned off by Amazon’s recent issues with well established authors.

Earlier this year, Amazon and Hachette Book Group began a very public feud over e-book pricing. Over the course of several months the retailer pulled preorders for several Hachette-published authors and stopped offering discounts as a way to allegedly discourage consumers from buying the books.

Since then thousands of authors have protested and written letters to Amazon urging the retail to end its feud with the publisher.

Back in September, Authors United – a group made up affected authors – said that Amazon’s tactics have driven down Hachette authors’ sales with the retailer by at least 50%, and in some cases as much as 90%.

Amazon wants your vote on which books to publish [CNET]