Have You Heard of Kindle Scout? I Haven’t Either

I was going to write a blog post on a very important question–when you are published by an Amazon imprint are you considered Traditionally Published? Because these imprints won’t take just anyone–you have to submit just like you would an agent or a publishing house. But is that the only difference between being published by an Amazon imprint or hitting publish on KDP?

That’s a great question but one we’re not going to explore here. I found something else during my research: Kindle Scout.

kindle scout

What is that, you ask? Good question because I didn’t know what it was either. Chris McMullen’s blog post about Amazon Imprints popped up when I was doing some research on imprints and I came upon another publishing option Amazon offers.

Kindle Scout is a book competition open to writers in qualifying countries. The book must be 50,000+ words and never been published anywhere before. It’s similar to self-publishing in that you have to submit your own cover, (I’m assuming you can hire someone) do your own editing (again maybe hire someone), blurb, and formatting. It is then vetted by Amazon staff and if it is chosen, it is entered into the competition.

What happens after that is up to you, as it’s called a competition for a reason. You’re supposed to drive all your friends, family, and fans to the Kindle Scout website where they are to vote for your book. After the nomination process, once again your book is vetted by Amazon staff. Which is a sneaky way of saying, even if your book received a million votes, Amazon Scout still may not choose it. I guess that’s a safety loophole for them.

If your book is chosen, Amazon will pay you a $1500.00 advance and 50% royalties after you earn out.

The whole process takes 45 days.

I summarized the whole process, so anyone who is considering this should look at their submission guidelines carefully.

Here are a couple other blog posts about it:

Jane Friedman had a guest blogger on her website who used it as a book launch. (If your book isn’t chosen Amazon gives your book back to you after the 45 day period is over and you do with it what you want.)  I think that is a great idea, and her blog post is here.  (Thanks to Gareth S. Young, you can find him here, for the heads up on that article.)

Another great blog article, courtesy of Gareth, is by Victoria Strauss, who is a Watch Dog contributor on Alli, (Alliance of Independent Authors) and she gave it a tentative stamp of approval, and you can read it here.

Overall, it doesn’t sound like a bad program. You can go on the website and browse the books that are entered and see for yourself what kind of competition you would have.

Good luck!

 

9 thoughts on “Have You Heard of Kindle Scout? I Haven’t Either

  1. I learned about Scout back when I was researching publishing options for my first novel. I walked away from the idea once I fully understood how awful it is. They basically take a huge bite of your royalties, the way a big publisher does, but they provide none of the services a big publisher provides. They don’t do the cover, they don’t edit, they don’t handle print distribution. It’s basically “Here, please take all my money so I can be on a list on your website, Amazon.” Also, the process to get chosen is absurdly unfair to the authors. Read this: http://hdknightley.com/2015/09/21/the-cons-of-kindlescout-fail-edition/

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    1. If you read Victoria’s article, the woman who was profiled said that if you won, Amazon would help you with editing. I think the person whose blog you posted may have had a different experience had he won.

      Like most things, you have to decide if it’s right for you and if the good outweighs the bad. I don’t know if I would ever give up a book for 45 days–that’s a lot of time. It’s something I would need to work into my publishing schedule.

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      1. That theory is not credible to me. You are spending marketing time and money driving people to vote. Unless you win, they get notified that your book isn’t good enough to get published. Worst marketing message ever. It’s a really misguided marketing strategy. I hope she does a follow up with numbers if she doesn’t win. Because I predict the sell through on that rejection will be 0.0.

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      2. Well, we need to consider the book itself. Maybe it’s not mainstream enough, trendy enough, maybe it’s boring. Who knows? Oh, Amazon knows. They know what moves and will pick up books similar to their bestsellers. They want their advance back.

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  2. That’s true. But people lose contests all the time. And if you have good first pages and a good cover, it’s less likely people will really think your book sucks because ultimately it wouldn’t have made it into the competition to begin with.

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