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Kindle Scout

By / December 22, 2014 / no comments

Guest blog by Will Spero

Scouting the Next “Diamond in the Rough”

First coined in a 17th century play, the saying takes its origins from the process of cutting and polishing what resembles rock salt and turning it into a coveted diamond. But in the world of books, it’s even more magical. It’s discovering the type of novel which at first glance may not appear like anything special–until you’re hooked.

With over 300,000 works published yearly, picking up that book which is going to make the day melt away is harder than ever. Most of us stick with authors we know, novels recommended by friends, and of course reviews from trusted sources. But that often leaves out a myriad of fantastic new novels by independent authors, the diamonds in the rough.

With the deluge of novels available, they’re easy to miss. And now the most popular book review sites have decided not to feature unknown independent authors (there are just too many novels to wade through to find ones that are worthwhile).

Say it Ain’t So…!

What would have happened to Anthony Ryan’s debut novel if there were no trusted sources to review his work? It might have languished in obscurity for years rather than becoming a bestseller and picked up by a major publishing house.
Of course there is the theory that outstanding writers will always rise to the surface regardless, but with so much competition to be noticed, I’m not so certain.

The Big “A” to the Rescue

AmazonAmaz-Logo’s new Kindle Scout program aims to change all of that. Their plan is to give independent authors a chance to showcase their never before published work. Everyday readers pick which books they would like to read, and of these, Amazon signs the authors they believe are the most marketable. It’s crowdsourcing at its best with readers helping to decide who becomes the next great indie author.

How it Works

Go to Kindle Scout and search through the books that are currently available. Find ones that sound interesting and read through the free chapters Amazon makes available (usually about two or three). If you enjoy what you’ve read, Nominate the book!

Nominate Me

If a book you Nominate gets “picked up”by Amazon’s Kindle Press, you receive it absolutely free. The only catch is that you can only have 3 books nominated at a time. Each book is only on Kindle Scout for 30 days. When a book you nominate is removed from Kindle Scout, you get to nominate a new book.

What this Means for Independent Authors

Amazon offers authors exposure they would not ordinarily receive, and if the novel is picked up by its Kindle Press division there is the assumption that Amazon will favor it over other independent publications.

Golden Handcuffs

The possible downside for authors is that their novel becomes exclusive with Amazon and their royalties are only 50% of the Kindle book’s revenues (after transmission fees), instead of the normal 70% (and are even worse with audio books and translated books). The contract is a 5-year deal that becomes self-renewing if the author averages at least $5K a year in royalties.


If you’re an avid reader of fiction and enjoy discovering new authors, you should give Kindle Scout a try! Where else are you going to discover the next Hugh Howey and get up to three free books a month?

Kindle Scout

If you’re an aspiring writer, you can either wait to see how other authors find the experience, or jump in with both feet. I decided to go with the latter!

If you enjoy epic fantasy books, check out my 200K word tome on Kindle Scout, Tendrils of Darkness. It goes on sale in January for $9.99, but if Amazon picks it up, those who Nominate the book on Kindle Scout (by January 16th) will get it free.

Take care and happy reading!

Will Spero

Will Spero is an author currently at work on book 2 of the The Black Trilogy. You can find his first novel, Tendrils of Darkness available on Amazon’s Kindle Scout Platform.

About the author


Blog editor, admin and founder of BestFantasyBooks.comYou'll find me on the BestFantasyBook forums and spending my spare time reading fantasy books and writing lists for this site. In fact, I have no spare time -- running this site IS my spare time!


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