Kindle Scout launches: help pick books to be published

Kindle Scout launches: help pick books to be published

In this

press release

Amazon announces the official launch (from the readers’ side) of

Kindle Scout

You can visit the above site and select the excerpt of a book to read (for free).

If you like the book, you can “nominate” it for publication.

Each book has thirty days of opportunity.

Amazon will then select books for the e-tailer (although they are much more than that now) to publish…guided by, but not bound by, the nominations.

If a book you nominated is selected, you’ll get it for free after it is published.

You can only have three nominated at a time, but you can switch your nominations.

I looked at it this morning. These books are written and ready for publication, including have covers and blurbs.

That said, there were some that just didn’t appeal to me…I don’t think they would have made it through a traditional publishing selection process, but of course, that’s hard to tell.

On the other hand, some were intriguing.

The interface on the site was easy: I was able to click on an excerpt, very much like I would at

Two big things stood out to me:

It seems I can only have one excerpt at a time, but it doesn’t appear to say that. Once I got one, I didn’t have the choice to get another…I could “save it for later”.

If that’s the case, that feels a bit…restricting to me. I’m assuming I’ll get through an excerpt in less than a day. I’d rather have a few with me, so I could eat them like popcorn. 😉

The other thing was the lack of publicity or connection from

I figured it would be splashed on the front page…it wasn’t (at least for me…that’s inconsistent for different customers).

Then I went to the Kindle books storefront…nope, not even a link.

Bottom of the page at Amazon, where there were lots of links? Nothing there.

I’m not quite sure why that is.

They controlled when the Kindle Scout page went live, so they could have waited a day or two to put up links, if they wanted.

If they want a soft launch, where not so many people try it at first to test out the system, they wouldn’t do a press release.

Those are just interesting, and nothing that should stop you from trying it.

My guess is that this is going to be a hit…provided there is good material there.

Good material requires attracting authors…and I think the terms that they have given to authors are good.

It may be, though, that some folks will wait to see what the reaction is before they try it.

There appear to be fifty books right now, but they will add to it daily. The number isn’t immediately obvious, since the same book can appear in more than one of the three categories:

  • Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy

They’ve gone with clearly defined genres, which is a smart idea if the authors themselves may not be well-known. The reader has some idea what they might get.

In terms of the authors, I didn’t see any easily recognizable names at a first scan. I suspect that my change over time, if this is successful.

I don’t see the book at

I did choose which device got it when I downloaded my excerpt…but I can’t send it to another one.

I wonder if it’s one book at a time and on only one device?

That seems to be the case…I don’t have an option to try a different one on my desktop or on my

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

There was also no link to Kindle Scout on our

Kindle Paperwhite (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

so I got to it on that device by using the “experimental browser”.

The books still only had that “save for later” button, so that appears to be it: one book at a time on one device only.

I’ll try to finish that excerpt today, return it, and see if the options to get another return. I’ll update this post.

One last thing for now: the book appeared on my HDX without the cover, looking a PDF would. The cover image was not accessible from the excerpt either (although a cover is a requirement and does appear on the Kindle Scout site).

Other than that, it appeared to function normally: text-to-speech works and  the “long press look up” works.

What do you think? Have you looked at Kindle Scout yet? Have you gotten an excerpt…if so, what did you choose? Have you published to it? How was the experience, and what, if any reports are you getting? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

6 Responses to “Kindle Scout launches: help pick books to be published”

  1. Helen Burns Says:

    I had signed up before but didn’t receive anything, so I clicked on your link to Kindle Scout. I downloaded 2 books to my KIndle Fire HDX7″ with no problem, they appeared in new items, the top row when I woke up my Kindle. Too bad they don’t have a “literary fiction” category, but that tends to be more broad than my definition anyway, including light romance, paranormal, etc. First blush the quality seems pretty good, just not sure the whole thing will hold my interest. We’ll see!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Helen!

      Interesting…I was definitely only able to get one.

      They may eventually expand it, but it makes sense to start with easily defined genres…and as you indicate, “literary fiction” really isn’t one.

      I’m most of the way through the excerpt I got. It could be a tradpubbed (traditionally published) book at this point, but I’m hoping it hooks me more than it has.

  2. Alan Orloff Says:

    I entered a book of mine as an experiment (RUNNING FROM THE PAST). I’m a hybrid author, so I know the pros and cons of each publishing strategy, but getting Amazon’s marketing engine involved seemed like something worth trying (if I’m lucky enough to get selected for publication). We’ll see what happens!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Alan!

      For my readers, here is the excerpt:

      I’d be curious to hear from you later as to how it is going, as long as you aren’t restricted in sharing. For example, are you told how many borrows you are getting?

      • Alan Orloff Says:

        There aren’t any restrictions on what I can share (or do–Amazon encourages using whatever means necessary to get people to read and vote). And no, we’re not told how many nominations we’re getting. They don’t want readers to be unduly influenced by other people’s opinions. I’ll try to keep you posted as things progress…

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Alan!

        Keep us informed…I appreciate it. 🙂

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