Sci-Fi, fantasy and speculative Indie Authors Review discussion

26 views
Book market > Crowd powered Kindle Scout book publishing

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments Has anyone tried Kindle Scout for publishing a book?

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about


message 2: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Interesting proposition. Note that you only get 50% royalties instead of the usual 70% (for books over $2.99). I wonder if 'featured marketing' is free, or you have to pay for it. And do the royalties pay from the outset, or only after you've paid off the $1500? For me, it certainly would have been a good deal compared to going it alone, assuming the crowd approved the book.


message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments Here's the whole deal:
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/agreement

Amazon sets the price of your book.

The 1500 is an advance.
They let you cancel if your royalties don't make $25,000 over five years or if the royalties fall below $500 for any 12 months after the first 2 years. At least that's how I interpreted it.

They can also cancel you at any time.

They advertise to Amazon members and Goodreads members. That probably doesn't cost them anything. I figure that comes out of the 20 percent royalty you don't get.

They also get money from it's inclusion in a omnibus or an anthology. I wonder if they arrange for that or if you are allowed to make your own deals?

This looks a little strange:
8.4 Share of Proceeds from Third Party Sublicenses. We will pay you a share of the proceeds we receive from sales by unaffiliated third party sublicensees at a rate of (a) 75% of Net Revenue (after deducting foreign agent commissions and related fees) for sublicensed sales of foreign language editions of your Work and (b) 50% of Net Revenue (after deducting foreign agent commissions and related fees) for sales of any other sublicensed formats of your Work.

It probably works out to 50 percent after all the fees are taken out.

If it is part of the amazon affiliate program, apparently anyone can sign up for this.
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/...

It looks like you might be able add an "amazon book store" to your website with no programming skills and put your own book right in the middle of it.


message 4: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
I considered it for my next standalone novel, but my issue lies with the audio book rights. ACX does not have any way of removing iTunes from their distribution list and I don't want to work with Apple.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments I have a hard time seeing a difference between Amazon and Apple.


message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
It's my personal issue with Apple's corporate culture. I'm not claiming any company is better or worse than another. I'm only stating my personal convictions and that there is no work around for them.


message 7: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 625 comments Christina wrote: " ACX does not have any way of removing iTunes from their distribution list and I don't want to work with Apple."

Thanks for that insight. I didn't know that. I'll have to reconsider ACX.


message 8: by Owen (last edited Feb 25, 2016 03:36AM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 625 comments Richard wrote: "Interesting proposition. Note that you only get 50% royalties instead of the usual 70% (for books over $2.99). I wonder if 'featured marketing' is free, or you have to pay for it. And do the royalt..."

My understanding [I could be wrong[ is that you are paid royalties from the beginning. If that is correct, then in effect, that 50% royalty (vice 70%) compensates for getting $1500 up front. My interpretation is that you don't pay for "featured marketing".

We looked into Kindle Scout, but it didn't look like a fit for us. It all comes down to what Amazon's marketing is worth and how incentivized they are. The key question is this: if a book is accepted into the program, there is probably is a decent chance it would sell well on it's own. In the greater scheme of things, $25,000 over five years is not a high bar to clear -- about 10,000 copies.

So if a book would sell about that well on it's own, Amazon has no clear incentive to make it sell better. They can do nothing and make an extra 20% on the work, as long as it meets the threshold. Now it is in both the author's and Amazon's best interest to try to make a book sell better, but from the standpoint of ROAE, it's always better when the assets employed are zero. It's a question mark to me how Amazon chooses to approach this question.

That said, the deal is better than anything I've ever seen from any other publisher. Overall, it seem quite generous and fair, especially the terms if reversion.

One note: when we looking into Kindle Scout, it was before the days when KU was a significant source of income. I don't know how Kindle Scout deals with KU payments. That is a major question now, given how lucrative KU can be for some people.


message 9: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments if a book is accepted into the program, there is probably is a decent chance it would sell well on it's own

I guess that's what puts me off investigating things like this in detail. I doubt I'd get in.


message 10: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 625 comments Richard wrote: "I guess that's what puts me off investigating things like this in detail. I doubt I'd get..."

As I recall, Scout is not just a "crowd-sourced" program. That plays a role, but Amazon exercises editorial judgement over who gets accepted. So getting a lot of support from from the "crowd" is just one factor and not necessarily the most important one. (My understanding.)


message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments Amazon doesn't seem to be advertising the Scout program very much. Is that to keep the submissions down or they aren't sure they want to accept manuscripts on a regular basis. Maybe it is a cheap way for them to get good books for their kindle programs.

It looks like they go through some trouble to set up the book so they probably read it just to make sure it isn't something they don't want to publish. It does say you can print your own book and sell it.

You can only submit one book at a time and can only have one author.

I read a blog post from Jan 2016 that said about 100 books had been published so I guess Amazon doesn't have to pick any of the books submitted if they don't want to.

https://janefriedman.com/kindle-scout/

They have 5 categories and around 50 books in each category. I don't see how it gets limited and it doesn't appear to say they refuse to list all books submitted unless it violates their standard requirements for any book. The blog did say you get a rejection letter in 2 days if they don't want it. That was the first time I had seen that information. That means they review it in 2 days? Maybe they go back and look at it later? One blog said their review had been done by more than one person as indicated by notes and names and different dates of when it was looked at.

I don't understand the cycle of rotation. It has 16 ending today, 17 newly added and approximately 250 listed. I wonder how many are being submitted.

The post also said it gave good statistics as to who was looking at your book and what they looked at. If you figured you weren't going to be picked you could use it as a tool to get some feedback about how the book was looked at by people receiving Amazon advertising.


message 12: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 625 comments Robert wrote: "Amazon doesn't seem to be advertising the Scout program very much. Is that to keep the submissions down or they aren't sure they want to accept manuscripts on a regular basis. Maybe it is a cheap w..."

Amazon likes to try new things. My impression is that Kindle Scout is a trial balloon, not a serious venture. Some of the restrictions are decidedly odd. We can't submit our work because our books have two authors, which is hardly rare and presents no complication whatsoever. Their policy on covers says "No weapons" so no fantasy novels with swords or daggers, no crime novels with guns, no sci-fi novels with warships on the cover. That seems rather odd and a trifle silly.

Time will tell if the program gains traction and if Amazon lets it evolve. My personal guess is that it won't gain traction and that any lesson learned will be applied to future ventures as Amazon expands it's publishing initiatives.


message 13: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments "No weapons" is bizarre. So if you wanted to write about WW2, you'd have to teach them all judo.


message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments They don't take non fiction either.


message 15: by Owen (last edited Feb 27, 2016 05:24AM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 625 comments Richard wrote: ""No weapons" is bizarre. So if you wanted to write about WW2, you'd have to teach them all judo."

Only on the cover. But yes, a book set in WWII could not have armed soldiers on the cover (per their guide lines). There are other related restrictions [blood, I think; "violence" etc].

And yes. I'd forgotten about no non-fiction, so no memoirs, I guess.

All strange policies that make me conclude this is not yet a serious endeavor.


back to top