In my last post, author Martin Crosbie shared his views with regard to his successful bid to have a book published by Amazon through their Kindle Scout program. Julie Nicholls, whose book was not selected, answered the same questions and gives a different perspective. In the name of transparency, let me state I was editor on her book, and I am very proud of it.
- It is true that the forty-five day waiting period is significantly shorter than the vast majority of traditional publishers who typically take anywhere from three to six months to respond to submissions.
- If your book is not chosen, this is a horribly public way to be rejected. Should a traditional publisher turn you down, only you and the publishing house know unless you choose to blab it to the rest of the world. The biggest problem I see with this is the effect it might have on the people who nominated the book. Because it was rejected, they might think maybe it wasn’t as worthy as first believed.
- Most authors spend a good deal of time campaigning during the thirty day nomination period. Scout collects the email addresses of those nominating books so the author is unable to capture any of this momentum for the future. I don’t see any way to avoid this; the privacy of those voting should be respected.
- The free book incentive backfires on the books not selected. If you’ve nominated a novel with the expectation of a free copy but then receive notification you won’t be getting it for free but it is available for purchase, it has a real “bait and switch” feel to it.
- What IS the point of the nomination process? Many books have had tremendous support but were not chosen and by the same token, books who had few nominations were. What if the viewers all voted for Joe Blow to win American Idol by a landslide…but the judges said nay, nay, we choose Susie Sunshine. Why ask the masses what they want if it has no impact on your decision.
- What would I like to see changed? Restructure the process with the goal of selling more books, whether published by Scout or the author. That’s a win-win for both sides. Instead of giving free books to those who nominate them, offer it at an exclusive low price. Allow better, more customizable communication between the author and the voters. Those changes wouldn’t mean a damn, though, if the votes don’t matter. If the nominations play no part in the selection process, then this is all a dog-and-pony show misleading the voters and the authors.
Have an opinion or any information to share about Kindle Scout? Please weigh in! One thing I was not able to confirm was if Scout had published a debut novel and I’d love to know.