Kindle Scout has officially rolled out!

KindleScoutKindle Scout is a “reader powered” publishing program offered by Amazon where authors can submit their new never-been-published books and be considered for a publishing contract by Kindle Press.

Books that make the cut will be published by Kindle Press.  They’ll receive a publishing contract with 5-year (renewable) terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, and Amazon’s “easy rights reversion” so you can get your book rights back when you’re done.

What makes this program unattractive is the 20% lower royalty rate than if you’d published through Kindle Direct Publishing yourself.  This rate is still 35% higher than if you’d published through a traditional publisher, so it’s kind of a push in my book.

What makes this program something you should look at is the advance (it’s not much, but it’s more than you’d get if you published yourself) and the all important “featured Amazon marketing.”  If you’re an author, you know that writing the book isn’t the hard part; it’s getting people to know you’ve written a book.  Amazon – the 800 lb. gorilla in the room when it comes to selling books and eBooks – sells more books than everyone else combined.  If they’re going to feature your book, then – by all means – you should welcome that!

Currently, Kindle Scout is looking for “English-language books in Romance, Mystery & Thriller and Science Fiction & Fantasy genres.”

If you’re an author whose got a valid U.S. bank account and a U.S. social security number or tax identification number, you’re eligible to try for the golden Amazon ring!

According to Amazon, you’ll need:

Complete, never-before-published manuscript – “We’re looking for a manuscript of about 50,000 words or more in Word format. While readers will preview only the first pages of your book, make sure the entire book is ready to publish.”

Great title & book cover image – “Having a title and cover image that reflects the essence and uniqueness of your book – its setting, characters and plot – gets readers to jump in and start reading.”

Book one-liner of 45 characters or less – “This will be used throughout the Kindle Scout website. Think of examples like ‘Space opera meets the Middle Ages’ or ‘How far would one woman go for her dreams?'”

Book description of 500 characters or less – “Summarize your book for potential readers. Keep it compelling and remember — building an audience starts here. This is a reader’s first experience with your book.”

Your bio & photo – “A short bio (500 characters or less) and your photo give readers a chance to connect with you. You will also have a chance to answer questions about your book and personal story in a short Q&A section.”

Thank you note – “Readers who nominate your book will appreciate hearing a word of thanks from you. Consider including ways for them to keep in touch with you via social media or email lists. We will send the note to your readers on your behalf at the end of your Kindle Scout campaign.”

You can read their complete eligibility and content guidelines HERE.

Check out Kindle Scout HERE.