As you know, opinions are like belly-buttons: everybody has one. Some people think you should never enter it, while others say it’s the best option for your book.
Furthermore, it could work for some books and not so much for others. But it all depends on what you want to do with your writing career, what your long term strategies are, and if you’re willing to give up some aspects of the book that you’re going to submit to the program.
In many cases Kindle Scout is very useful for new writers, but let’s analyze it. This article is part of the book Kindle Scout Hot & Trending List: How to Get (and Stay) There, which you can get on Amazon.
The pros and cons of the Kindle Scout program
- Amazon will have the legal rights of your book. Meaning that you will not be able to sell it on other platforms, like iBooks, B&N, Kobo, or others. You won’t be able to create an audiobook (Amazon will, if they deem it worthwhile). You won’t be able to translate your book into other languages. Again, Amazon could do it if they find it appropriate, but you’ll get only 20% from those sales.
- Amazon will manage the marketing of your book. It sounds better than it is, as people tend to think that it means that Amazon will actively promote your book. The thing is that they will do what they consider enough to recoup the $1,500 they gave you upfront. For example, they can do their part by attracting possible readers and reviewers, which might be enough to prompt it into the bestseller list, but that doesn’t mean they’ll promote the book in a dynamic fashion.
- You are free to publish your book in print. As Kindle Press is completely digital, the contract will allow you to publish your book in paper. CreateSpace (Another Amazon company), is a good option, because it’s cost-free for the author. Besides, it’s very convenient to have the book in print too, as readers can compare both prices (paper and Kindle) and will probably deem more attractive the Kindle version.
- You’ll get a $1,500 advance on sales. Amazon will give you an advance against royalties for your book, once your book is selected for publishing. Assuming the book gets priced at $2.99, you’ll get around $2.10 royalty apiece (at 70% royalty), so the advance is the equivalent of selling about 714 books from the get-go. Not bad at all for a “new” author, isn’t it?
- You’ll get nice exposure. Just by submitting your book to Kindle Scout, you’ll start getting exposure. Once you apply the methodology described in this book, you’ll gain more. Your book will go sky-high, and exposure is what your book needs to be successful. You’ll still keep the initial exposure even if your book isn’t selected; once you decide to self-publish your book (and you should, we’ll talk about it later) Amazon will send an email to all of your voters letting them know that the book is available. And the power of Amazon is not to be taken lightly.
Unless you’re a recognized author, you have the next Harry Potter or Fifty Shades of Grey, or you cannot live with a third party controlling the rights of your book, the Kindle Scout program could provide a lot of leverage to your career as a writer.
The contract with Amazon lasts for five years, in which if the sales are under $25,000, you get back the rights. There are other exceptions which you can consult on the Kindle Scout website.
In my opinion, the Kindle Scout program is a middle ground between self-publishing and major editorial house publishing. As it is not easy to get a contract with a major (not that getting one with Kindle Scout is), I think that Kindle Scout represents a great opportunity for most writers.