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Kindle Scout No Longer Accepting Submissions

Before, if a writer wanted to get published by a really good publisher, like Amazon, and they're not having any luck querying agents, they could submit their title to Kindle Scout. To have the Great Zon marketing their book and a cash advance was a really good thing for the self published author. And, all an author has to do is get the highest nominations to win.

A friend of mine, Jim Heskett, submitted his title, Shadow Soldiers: A Layne Parrish Spy Thriller and got selected for publication.

What is Kindle Scout?

Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It's a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.



Going Bye-Bye...

But it looks like Kindle Scout is closing it's doors. I received this email just this morning.

Dear valued scout,

As a member of the Kindle Scout voter community, we wanted to let you know of some upcoming changes being made to the Kindle Scout program.

As of April 3rd, Kindle Scout will no longer accept new submissions, and you will no longer be able to start a new Kindle Scout campaign. Once the current campaigns end their voting period, you will have until May 31st to log into your Kindle Scout profile, redeem free copies of your selected nominations, and save any info you may want.

If you have any questions about your Kindle Scout account, please contact our Customer Support team at kindle-scout-review@amazon.com.

We appreciate the support that you’ve provided over the years. Thanks to readers like you, hundreds of books have been selected for publication since Kindle Scout was started in 2015: http://amzn.to/2jciThO

Please continue supporting debut and emerging authors on Goodreads and Amazon.com by submitting reviews on each.

Warm wishes,
The Kindle Scout team

I wonder why?

Did they discover that it was very easy for books to get nominations on Kindle Scout? And that it was very possible for mediocre books to win and get a publishing deal? That it doesn't automatically follow that the title was popular with organic readers? Ergo, when they give the winning title a publishing deal, it is possible that the book will not sell. Not good for Amazon or its reputation.

Truth is, an author only needs to recruit friends and family to nominate their title. So it's not about a book being popular with generic readers, it's about an author's popularity. With effort, one can easily launch a campaign on social media to get as many nominations as possible. 

I for one don't believe in voting competitions. Not when it comes to books. The result has nothing to do with how reader-worthy a book is. I've seen undeserving books win voting awards. Even really crappy ones. In a way, it's like deceiving a reader with a badge that doesn't actually reflect the writing --- only an author's persistence, network, and popularity.

Before, Amazon used to have The Breakthrough Novel Awards. The first award was given in 2008 and in 2015 Amazon announced that they would not be continuing the award and would instead focus on the Kindle Scout program. 

I wonder what it's evolving into? Amazon is constantly reviewing and improving its platform, so I'm sure they're going to come up with an improved (and more profitable) way to encourage new authors and discover new books.

If only we can read the mind of the Zon and see the data that prompts them to take actions like this.

If you have free books to download from Kindle Scout, better redeem them now. :)

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