Amazon's Kindle Scout Open For Voting, Giving Readers The Publishing House Power

Amazon is banking on the idea that readers know best. Amazon's Kindle Scout voting opened Monday, putting the power to publish the retail giant's next e-book directly in readers' hands. In the new program, readers can scrutinize manuscript ideas — generally from debut or self-published authors — and nominate their three favorites from the pool. If one of their nominations gets the highest number of votes after 30 days, Amazon will publish the novel with Kindle Press, and the reader gets early access to the completed e-book.

Authors can submit completed manuscripts and a potential cover image, along with a tagline and 500-word summary, to the voting pool. Their book has 30 days to receive as many nominations as it can. If their manuscript is chosen for publication, the author will receive a $1,500 advance, 50 percent e-book royalties, featured promotion on Amazon, and 5-year renewable terms. A key in these contract terms is Amazon's massive marketing power backing the winning e-book. Whereas the self-publishing route may mean your book is lost in the flood of other titles, Amazon has good reason for its own purposes to heavily market the winning e-book.

Amazon is also capitalizing on the dedicated fandoms of genre fiction. The Kindle Scout program has three categories of manuscripts: mystery, thriller and suspense; romance; and science fiction and fantasy.

Readers are already jumping into the voting pool, with some manuscripts rising to the top of nominations on day one, particularly these three by female authors:

Eddie & Sunny by Stacey Cochran

Cochran's manuscript straddles genres, with one foot in romance and another in mystery and suspense.

Sealed With a Wish by Rose David

Another book that is quickly garnering support is David's I Dream of Genie-meets-John Hughes romance about a genie that is falling for her "master."

Black Mountain Justice by Joy Ann Coll

Coll's military suspense story puts a female special ops agent at the front and center:

There's still 29 days to vote for your favorites and help others rise into the trending category. And because new manuscripts will be added every day, it might be a struggle to choose which is most deserving of a slot in your final three nominations.

Image: Kindle Scout