Is Kindle Scout a good deal for authors or not?

I had an e-mail in my inbox this morning about a new program at Amazon called Kindle Scout. It is being billed as “a new reader-powered publishing program where readers help discover the next great books.”

The book is posted as part of the program and readers nominate the ones they like. Readers can nominate a book a month. The books that receive the most nominations will be published by Amazon.

Those who nominate the winning books receive a free, early copy to review and talk about to create some pre-publication momentum. The book will also receive some Amazon promotional help. It will be enrolled into the Kindle Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited as well as be eligible for targeted email campaigns and promotions.

Have any of you heard of it? It sounds interesting to me and I am considering submitting a book to the program just to see if it is accepted and how it will do.

According to the e-mail a new never-before-published novel is submitted as a Kindle book to be considered for a publishing contract with Kindle Press.  One drawback for me that I saw is that the program is for romance, mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, and mainstream fiction. So my historical fiction and nonfiction is apparently out of the running.

I’ve been working on expanding into new genres with a pen name, though. So I am thinking about submitting one of those manuscripts.

At first, I was going to pass on trying for the program because I can already get a Kindle book published and keep the 70 percent royalty myself. Kindle Scout offers only a 50 percent royalty. However, Kindle Scout offers a $1,500 advance.

I also don’t like too much that Kindle Scout gets worldwide publication rights for eBook and audio formats in all languages. I could sell print rights, but I don’t sell a lot of print books internationally. Although I sell most of my ebooks on Amazon, other platforms tend to be stronger internationally and I won’t be able to list my book on Kobo and Apple, for instance.

Amazon is also asking for these rights for five years. That’s a long time. Now, there is a caveat that if the author doesn’t get at least $25,000 ($5,000 a year on average) from that agreement, then the author can cancel the contract. Otherwise, Amazon can renew the contract under the same conditions in five year increments.

On the low end, if Amazon totally fails to be able to market the book, then the author can get his or her rights back in two years. A failure would be the book garnering less than $500 in royalties in the preceding 12 months. I think that’s a good deal.

Find out more information about the program here.

So what do you think about the program? It seems like it’s a relatively good deal to me unless I’m missing something big. Authors give up some things that I would like to keep, but in giving up those things, I think authors get something better.

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