Archive for the ‘Kindle Scout’ Category

Round up #307: B&N stock drops, Siri can run your Apple TV

September 10, 2015

Round up #307:  B&N stock drops, Siri can run your Apple TV

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

 

Amazon expands Kindle Scout worldwide

Amazon sent me this

press release

which announces that the

Kindle Scout program

is expanding to other geographical territories. Amazon says it’s “…Europe, Canada,Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, India and more”.

Authors submit never before published novels.

Readers read excerpts, and recommend which ones get traditionally published by Amazon. You can have up to three nominations at a time.

If one of your current nominations gets published, you get a free copy.

That’s all good for customers.

I also think it’s a good deal for authors.

Has it been successful?

Amazon says, “Kindle Press books have an average Amazon Customer Review of 4.48 stars across 2,709 reviews.”

That sounds pretty good!

For more insight on the program, see

An ILMK interview with The Behrg, author of the Kindle Scout winner Housebroken

Apple TV adds Siri…come on, Alexa!

The Apple announcement today had several interesting things, but the one that most impressed me was the voice control of Apple TV with Siri. I’ve seen it said that it’s not that big deal, it’s similar to what already exists in Voice Search in

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It seems quite different to me: it doesn’t only find things (and in much more natural language than Fire TV’s current search), it actually does things…it’s voice control, not just voice search.

I’ve been saying I expect Alexa control of the Fire TV this year.

Well, here’s something interesting:

The Fire TV (linked above) is “currently unavailable”.

Will they release a new version with integrated Alexa, the voice service currently only available on

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

?

If they do, will there be a downloadable app (or simply an update) for current Fire TVs?

I suspect the answer is likely to be both…but I certainly expect the capability to arrive…and likely to be announced before the end of this month.

The good news for Barnes & Noble…they sold more toys…

Barnes & Noble announced financials…and it wasn’t good, and many investors dumped the stock.

Here is the

Seeking Alpha transcript of the call

and here is Barnes & Nobles’

press release

In terms of the NOOK and NOOK books…well, it continues to be bad. B&N says

“…NOOK sales decreased 22.4% to 54 million for the quarter. Digital content sales declined 28% to 37 million on lower unit volume…”

Close to a quarter of sales is bad, period.

Core comparable bookstore sales (that excludes NOOKs and such) did rise 1%, but that wasn’t enough to stop a more than 25% loss in the stock’s value.

Bottom line…it just doesn’t look good for B&N.

What do you think? Is B&N doomed? If it survives, what will it look like? Would you want voice controls for e-reading (“Open Alice in Wonderland”, “Open something funny…)? What stood out to in the announcement from Apple? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

Thanks to regular reader Joe Bower for a comment which improved this post.

Join thousands 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! :) 

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.

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Omnivoracious: the Amazon Book Review…and an update on Kindle Scout

March 18, 2015

Omnivoracious: the Amazon Book Review…and an update on Kindle Scout

Amazon has quite a number of free

Amazon e-mail subscriptions (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’ve mentioned those before, and I do subscribe to a bunch…looking at that page (in my top right corner), it’s twenty-nine! You can also unsubscribe at the link I gave you above.

For example, there are 19 in the Kindle section…you can subscribe to find out about the Kindle First books, books for kids of different age ranges, science fiction and fantasy: it’s a wide variety of choices.

I do, of course, list the Kindle First books in this blog, too, if you don’t want to get more e-mail. 😉

One of the nicer ones which Kindle readers might enjoy isn’t in the Kindle category, though.

In fact, it’s not even in the “Books” category (which was the second place I tried, after Kindle).

It’s under blogs (those are blogs created by Amazon). It’s called Omnivoracious, and it’s their “Amazon Book Review”.

Well, what prompted this post was finding that they’ve done quite a nice looking website for that blog, too!

http://www.omnivoracious.com/

Recent articles included:

  • The Polls are Open: Children’s Choice Book Awards
  • Sarah Says: I’m Format Agnostic…And Maybe You Should Be Too. I particularly enjoyed that piece, talking about how you can like p-books (paperbooks) and e-books
  • Indie Titles Perfect for the Big Screen
  • YA Wednesday: If You Were a Superhero…

You can just browse through the articles in reverse chronological order (most recent first), if you want.

However, the menu has a lot of great ways to get to what you want…and I suspect some people won’t even realize that those three colorful horizontal lines are a menu! They sort of look like a logo.

Anyway, if you click or tap that, in addition to being able to search (by title, author, or “other”…any search will search all of them), you get these choices:

  • LISTS + REVIEWS
  • Best Books
  • Literature + Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Kids + Young Adult
  • Mystery, Thriller + Suspense
  • Science Fiction + Fantasy
  • Comics + Graphic Novels
  • Romance
  • Eating + Drinking
  • AUTHORS
  • Interviews
  • Guest Essays
  • NEWS + FEATURES
  • News
  • Features
  • EDITORS
  • Sara Nelson
  • Neal Thompson
  • Erin Kodicek
  • Chris Schluep
  • Seira Wilson
  • Jon Foro
  • OMNIVORACIOUS, THE AMAZON BOOK REVIEW
  • Subscribe
  • Feeds
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Hey, I’m going to make this easier for you…well, for some of you…on the other hand you might just want to make your own choices and…

What I was going to say is I see a way to flip the articles I especially like into my free

ILMK magazine at Flipboard

If you read that, you’ll get the ones that really catch my eye. I do it in the

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

app, which I read every morning on my

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile*)

but they’ve also recently improved the browser interface.

For people who just see Amazon as this soulless retailing machine (and those folks are out there), it’s nice to see something like this, which shows that there are actual booklovers at Amazon…and that presumably, they are valued enough to be paid (in money and time) to write about books. 😉

Bonus update: thanks to author The Behrg, who I interviewed here:

An ILMK interview with The Behrg, author of the Kindle Scout winner Housebroken

I know that there is now an Amazon “aisle” for Kindle Scout books:

Kindle Scout aisle (at AmazonSmile)

That’s Amazon’s “reader advised” program, where readers try samples of full books, and recommend which ones they would like to see Amazon publish. I’ve written about it a few times before, and it will be very interesting to see how it does…for readers, for authors, and for Amazon.

There are nineteen titles there right now…and all of them are available through

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

except the ones that are on pre-order (which you can also do now).

You can certainly buy them, but if you a KU member, this looks like a new interesting resource. I’m not sure how the authors are compensated in this case for borrows through KU…is it the same as publishers who use Kindle Direct Publishing?

Taking a look at the one at the top in the default “New and Popular” sort, they seem to be doing well!

The number one is

The Game Master (at AmazonSmile*)

by William Bernhardt.

That’s remarkably ranked #791 paid in the Kindle store…that’s very solidly in the the top 1%, since there are over three million titles!

It’s also ranked 4.7 stars out of 5, with eleven customer reviews…and none of them under three stars.

Congratulations, William Bernhardt!

Interestingly, Bernhardt is not a first time novelist, like The Behrg…far from it. According to the bio on the book’s Amazon product page, Bernhardt has published thirty books, including the Ben Kincaid novels…and NBC is developing a miniseries based on one of them.

What’s interesting to me there is that many people may assume that Kindle Scout is designed for unknown authors, but successful authors (who presumably know the business), may find the terms lucrative enough to go through this program also.

That’s got to worry the tradpubs (traditional publishers) a bit, although publishing one book through Kindle Scout doesn’t mean they don’t want to do other books through tradpubs…this is a very new system.

If this works for Amazon, it’s another reason to use KU…and I would guess they are all available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library as well, so that could be another boost for Amazon Prime…which I think is a very important strategy piece for Amazon.

I’ll keep my eye on how this develops…

What do you think? Will Kindle Scout succeed? Do you read Omnivoracious? Do the books tempt you towards KU…or reinforce your decision to be a KU member? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

 

Join thousands 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! :) 

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.

First Kindle Scout books now available for pre-order

February 25, 2015

First Kindle Scout books now available for pre-order

I’ve written before about Kindle Scout, Amazon’s innovative “crowd advised” publishing program.

Essentially, authors submit a completed but unpublished book to the program.

Readers can read a sample…and decide if they should endorse the book for  publication.

If Amazon chooses to traditionally publish the book (advised but not bound by the readers’ choices), it’s a regular sort of publishing contract.

Part of a publisher’s responsibility (actually, a very big part) is to promote and market the books.

Well, I recently got a press release advising me that the first Kindle Scout books are now available to be pre-ordered (and being published on March 3rd 2015).

press release

The press release links to each of the ten upcoming books, which is nice.

It also gives a link to

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/selected

where you can see all 23 books selected so far, both the ten which can be pre-ordered now, and the thirteen “in production now”. The latter includes Housebroken by The Behrg, so we can’t link yet, as we said we would do (when possible) when we published this

ILMK interview

Outside of that, I’m not finding any easy way to find them in the Kindle store.

Searching for “Kindle Scout” just gets you Kindle books with the word “Scout” in the title, that sort of thing.

I can’t find an “aisle” for Kindle Scout in the Kindle store yet…either on my phone or on my computer.

My guess is that they just haven’t built it, but that they will.

I would.

I would want Kindle Scout to be a brand for Amazon customers, not just for readers who participate as Kindle Scouts, and authors who are part of the program.

There is an argument to be made (isn’t there always?) that you want the books to be seen as being just like any other book. After all, they don’t put out “various artists” albums of American Idol winners (“American Idol’s Greatest Hits”).

Oh wait…yes, they do. 😉

American Idol music (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Amazon can (and I think should) do the same thing.

The books can be promoted as individual books by individual authors, and it can be promoted as a group brand…by putting a link on the e-books homepage, by linking on each of the product pages for the individual books, maybe by doing a “sampler”, and so on.

The fact that a book was discovered by Amazon through Kindle Scout should be a plus for buyers and readers.

I make that differentiation (buyers and readers), because these books will be available through

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

I might try one there…hm, not quite sure how the payment for these authors will be impacted by a borrow. For independently published authors using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, it can be better (sometimes, significantly better) to have your book borrowed rather than sold, depending on the price. The higher the price, the better the borrow is by comparison. That’s because you get the same price for each borrow as an indie, regardless of the list price.

Remember that you can’t “pre-borrow” a book…if you plan to get it from Kindle Unlimited, you need to wait until it has been released (March 3rd, in this case).

Here are the ten books:

It will be interesting to see how these do in terms of sales (and reviews)…I’ll check on them later to see.

What do you think? Are you going to buy any of these? Sample them? Borrow them through Kindle Unlimited or the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands 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! :) 

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.

An ILMK interview with The Behrg, author of the Kindle Scout winner Housebroken

January 2, 2015

An ILMK interview with The Behrg, author of the Kindle Scout winner Housebroken

When I recently wrote about the first books being selected in Amazon’s Kindle Scout program, I was pleased when one of those authors, The Behrg (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), commented on it. I arranged through The Behrg’s blog to do an e-mail interview, which is below. The Behrg’s Kindle Scout winning title, Housebroken, has not yet been released: I will update this with a link when it becomes available.

Bufo: Congratulations on your novel, Housebroken, being selected in the first round of the Kindle Scout program! I also want to thank you for sharing with my readers your experience as an author in the program. What was it like when you found out your novel was chosen?

The Behrg: Thanks so much!  It was a bit surreal, especially as this was the first round with Kindle Scout so no one knew how many books they would be selecting or what criteria they were looking for.  I’m humbled to have been chosen alongside many other authors I respect and admire.

Bufo: Tell us about your past publication history. I believe this is your first novel in the Kindle store: what else have you had published?

The Behrg:  You’re correct, this is my debut novel.  I’ve had various short stories published in online magazines and print anthologies.  Most of my writing time over the past decade was spent on screenplays.  The difficult thing with screenwriting is compacting your ideas into such a tight framework.  As I moved over to prose I felt immediately liberated — there was so much I could explore!  While I strive to keep pacing tight I love roaming through people’s heads and getting those inner thoughts that make someone who they are.  I still love the art of screenwriting but will be sticking with novels for awhile.

Bufo: Have you felt like you’ve been pretty much in control of how things have gone with your works, or have there been goals you’ve struggled to reach?

The Behrg:  I’m a very cautious individual when it comes to putting my work out there, something I learned from screenwriting.  You don’t want to submit a work until it’s 110% ready.  Being the perfectionist I am, this means umpteen drafts and a slower writing process than many other authors I know.  I look at authorship as a journey not a destination, so each little step and success along the way isn’t something to check off on a list of goals but rather a part of the experience.  Viewed in this light I think authors have complete control over their works and what they want to do with them.

Bufo: How did you hear about Kindle Scout? What was it about the program that convinced you to try it? What concerns did you have?

The Behrg:  It’s interesting because I had been sitting on my novel for over six months, not really knowing what I wanted to do with it — submit it to publishers? Self-publish?  Bury it in my backyard?  Then I heard about the Kindle Scout program on Twitter through a few fellow writers.  One of the things that convinced me to submit my novel was the backing of Amazon’s marketing behind the selected books.  Let’s face it, Amazon is a beast when it comes to marketing.  Very few companies do it better and to have the #1 seller of ebooks backing and promoting your product?  It’d be hard to lose.  I’ve been in the entertainment industry for years and don’t mind giving a piece of the cut to someone (or some company) for a larger percentage of the pie.  With this being my debut novel, it made the decision even easier.  

Bufo: How have other people supported you in this effort? Friends, family, fans?

The Behrg:  That’s a great question because to have a successful campaign with Kindle Scout you have to rely on others.  I’m a big believer in not spamming people with my own promotions.  There’s nothing worse than seeing your Twitter or Facebook feeds clogged up with the same message being delivered from the same person twelve times a day asking you to buy their book.  So I asked my family and a few close friends if they would help in promoting my novel once the campaign began.  They responded better than I ever could have imagined and were an integral part of my book remaining on the Hot and Trending list for so long.

Bufo: Did you have a strategy for Kindle Scout? Was it your primary goal to actually get published in it, or would you have considered it worthwhile to have participated? Were there other efforts that you had to put aside or de-emphasize to do Kindle Scout?

The Behrg:  Great questions.  I didn’t come into the program with a built-in audience or fanbase seeing as this was my first real novel.  In fact I was surprised when my novel hit the Hot list and stayed there for so long.  There were, however, some things I put in place which I feel helped tremendously in the process.  I actually put together a post on my blog for authors who are looking to submit to Kindle Scout, offering some tips. (Not to toot my own horn, but you can find it here:  http://thebehrg.com/2014/12/10/how-to-create-a-successful-kindlescout-campaign/).  One of the key things is to remember your campaign is a marathon not a sprint.  Be sure to spread out your promos to your fanbase or marketing or whatever means you’re utilizing to promote your work and get those nominations.  If they all come in at once, that’s great but where will your book be weeks 2-4?  As far as the efforts that went into promoting the campaign, I purposely chose not to allow it to interfere with my writing time.  I really didn’t do much other than blog about my experience and do the occasional post on Facebook or Twitter.  Luckily fans, friends and family did the grunt work for me and kept that thing humming along.

Bufo: How has participation in the program been? Have things gone smoothly? What was the best surprise you got about it?

The Behrg:  I don’t think the program is for everyone, and that’s okay — it’s not meant to be.  But I would highly recommend anyone who has a completed novel that is ready to go to give it a try.  Even if you don’t win, there’s so much you learn from the process … plus you’re picking up fans and new readers who wouldn’t have known about you any other way.  One of the best surprises to me came from comments on my blog and people sending congratulatory emails about my book’s acceptance, all from readers I don’t personally know.  I’ve also made some great contacts with other authors who were in the program, some who were chosen and some who weren’t, who I’m now speaking with about future projects or helping as a beta-reader with their new works and vice versa.  None of these contacts would have been made had I not given the program a chance.

Bufo: What else would you like to tell my readers about Kindle Scout?

The Behrg:  I think Kindle Scout is very much in its infancy and we’ll probably see a lot of changes to it as it continues.  Many authors are waiting to see how it works out for those who were selected in the first go-around.  I’m happy to say, from the contact I’ve had with the Kindle Scout team, they’re taking it very seriously and are providing even more than I had hoped for.  For readers, I think it’s a fantastic program.  You’re able to discover new authors and talent you might not have heard of and also help support those authors in reaching their dreams.  Plus you have a chance of receiving free copies of the books that are chosen if you nominate them.  There’s really no downside.  A few of the books I nominated were not chosen, but I’ve taken the opportunity to reach out to those authors to let them know I’d be interested in purchasing their book once they are released (whether self or traditionally published).

Bufo: Would you put another book into Kindle Scout? How would you change the program if you could?

The Behrg:  I’m not sure if I would put a second book into the Kindle Scout program.  I’m wanting to try several different methods of publishing to see what works the best.  I don’t think there’s one magic bullet that will put an author on a fast-track to notoriety, it’s just a constant stream of activity and work and eventually all of those parts add together to hopefully an impressive sum.  As far as changes I would make to the program?  I think it would be in everyone’s interest for the authors to be given a way to communicate with those who nominated their works.  For instance, the books I nominated that weren’t chosen, I would love to hear an update from the author on when they might be publishing them.  Amazon would win as it would lead to more sales, the authors win as whether or not they’re chosen they’re picking up a wider audience, and the readers win by finding great new books.

Bufo: One more question about Kindle Scout: did you participate in it as a reader?

The Behrg:  Absolutely!  It would be a shame to only be in a program like this for myself and not support other authors.  In truth, I’ve discovered new authors and have gone on to purchase some of their backlists.  Most of the promoting I did during my campaign was for the program itself, telling people about Kindle Scout and sending them to the home page rather than my own link for a nomination.  We need programs like this to succeed, ways to sift through a lot of the noise and help great books rise to the top.

Bufo: Finally, tell us about the book. How would you describe the genre, and your writing style? What type of person would find Housebroken especially appealing?

The Behrg:  Housebroken is a dark psychological thriller, a home invasion story with a twist.  The basic premise is about a family that is taken hostage in their own home yet their kidnappers have no demands — all they want is to observe the family for a week, following their every day activity.  As you can imagine, that’s a recipe for disaster.  Add to it that the kidnappers create rules for the family that when broken, cause the kidnappers to break their own rules — rules that include no one getting hurt, the family’s son staying with them, and the observation lasting only a week.  There are a lot of twists and turns and surprises along the way.  Anyone who enjoys Dean Koontz, Gregg Hurwitz, or Stephen King novels would enjoy this.

Bufo: Thanks again for doing this interview! Books are at the heart of it all, and they don’t exist without authors like you. Time may be the most valuable resource for a writer, and I appreciate you sharing yours with us.

The Behrg:  I appreciate the opportunity to share a piece of my journey with you and your readers!  I myself am an avid reader and to me there’s nothing more exciting than discovering a new author whose voice just speaks to you.  Some of my favorite authors today are writers I hadn’t heard about a year or two ago!  Gregg Hurwitz, Michael Sears, Ted Dekker, Joe Hart, Blake Crouch, Douglass Clegg; there really is so much talent out there.  It’s a great time to be a reader!  Ten or twenty pages in, when you’re reading with a smile, already lost in the world that’s been created — partly in print but mostly in your own imagination — that’s an amazing experience.  My aim with my own writing is to facilitate that journey and join you on the ride.

Update:

Housebroken (at AmazonSmile*)

is now available for purchase for $3.99, or to read as part of Kindle Unlimited at no additional cost.

Join over a thousand 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.

First Kindle Scout winners announced

December 3, 2014

First Kindle Scout winners announced

I’ve written previously about Kindle Scout, Amazon’s crowd sourced publishing platform.

Well, it isn’t exactly that: readers to nominate books to be published (after reading free excerpts), but Amazon doesn’t have to just publish the ones with the most votes. The e-tailer has the final word.

Still, I have to say that for myself, I didn’t get much into it. I looked at it a bit, but I have so much to read that reading just part of a book didn’t see like a good use of my time…especially if I might never get to read the rest of it.

I think this is a very good opportunity for authors, though. The terms seem quite good, and you do end up with an advance and you are traditionally published.

For Amazon, it’s yet another way to become more independent of traditional structures. Amazon does do successful traditional publishing (hampered by some retailers’ decision not to carry Amazon-published p-books ((paperbooks))), but this increases it.

If you nominated a book, and it got picked, you’ll get it for free.

I see I didn’t end up having nominated anything, so I don’t get a free one out of this. That’s okay, I didn’t really play the game, so I don’t really deserve a trophy. 😉

The first ten winners are listed here:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/selected

None of them are available, even for pre-order, yet, but it shouldn’t take too long. The books had to be completed before they could be submitted.

Here’s a list:

Congratulations to the winners!

Now, how do these selections match the idealized concept of whta you might want this program to be?

At this point, I’d say pretty well. 😉

Looking at their Amazon Author Central pages (and they all have them), they are all people who have published something before, but there were none I would consider to be frontlist. At least one had been published by Bantam (a division of Penguin Random House, which I think is a good thing. I’d like this program to work both for people who have only been indies (independently publishing their own works) and those who have been traditionally published, but may feel…underserved by that structure.

A couple of them excitedly commented on their selection on their pages.

I would say there are two things which time will tell.

First, how good are the books and how well do they do. For the program to succeed, the books also have to succeed. They aren’t even published yet (they are in the works), but it will be interesting to see where they rank. As too many movie studios know, social media interest is not always a predictor of box office success, and it’s possible the same is true here…that the people who participate in Kindle Scout may not be the same people who buy books at such a rate as to make them bestsellers.

However, I’m also guessing they’ll be in Kindle Unlimited (you can read books by some of the authors in this group now through KU). That could up the attractiveness of KU, but I’m not sure how it affects sales status (I don’t know how borrows are calculated in terms of sales).

The other thing is how the authors feel about the program. That will impact the involvement of other authors in it. I’m hoping we eventually see brand names authors involved, but that’s not likely unless the authors currently involved feel they are well treated.

We’ll get some sense of that in the first year or so, but it might take three or more before we get a good assessment.

Still, it’s exciting to me to see Amazon trying this and engaging customers and authors in this way.

What do you think? Did you participate in Kindle Scout? Did any of your nominees get picked? What do you think of the selections? If you are an author who submitted to Kindle Scout, what was your experience like (whether or not you were selected)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

 Join over a thousand 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.

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books. 

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.

 

Kindle Scout launches: help pick books to be published

October 27, 2014

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 Amazon.com.

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 Amazon.com.

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

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

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.


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