I’ve been thinking about this and kicking it around with peeps I know and trust, so I just went and re-read Amazon’s page describing how kindlescout works. I’ll pass. It’s all the work that I would do anyway to promote a novel. TWICE. Once to get people to vote for it and (if Amazon puts it under contract) then AGAIN to get OTHER people to buy it to earn out the advance . . . because the people who voted for it get a free copy anyway. Unless Amazon is going to feature their own in a way that guarantees more sales (I wouldn’t believe a guarantee anyway), I think I’ll be happier the indie way, even if it takes me longer to get $1,500.
I understand why they’re demanding unpublished work and I know they’re trying to cherry pick pieces of the Kickstarter “viral social” model (without the upfront cash commitment of the crowd), but Amazon (and the author community) would be better served by opening up nominations of authors with already published work and finding a way to put those under contract instead. Or offer already published authors an advance on future work.
Kickstarter and Patreon work because people vote with real dollars, not imaginary “free” (as in beer) votes that Amazon gives them (like UserVoice). I think Amazon missed that (very important) little part.
Amazon thinks they know better than the dinosaur publishers, let them prove it by developing their own stable of exclusive talent. I don’t expect that the kindlescout net will pull in the kind of authors that they’re looking for. I hope for everyone’s sake that I’m just a pessimistic curmudgeon and wrong. I’ll be happy to jump on the kindlescout bandwagon when I see at least one massive bestseller pop out of their pipeline.
Just my $0.02US (unadjusted for inflation).