Amazon has come out with many new tools and programs for authors and publishers the last few years. There are now whisperings of a new program that merges the benefits of traditional publishing, crowdsourcing and the social abilities of the Internet. This program is so new that it doesn’t even have a name yet, but many are referring to it as “Amazon Crowdsourcing” and other, similar titles.
What is It?
The truth is that no one really knows what this crowdsourcing program is because Amazon has been very tight-lipped about the whole thing. While they have spilled a few beans, there is still a lot to wonder about. The main premise is this: authors will be allowed to upload a new book or cover. The book cannot be published, so it has to be a fresh piece of work.
A few days after being uploaded, a few pages will be available to readers so that they can see what the book is about and to get a sense of whether they would like it or not. These readers are then able to vote on their favorite books.So, what happens to these books? Those that are gaining the most votes will be reviewed by a team of professional publishers for the reward of being published.
There is also an incentive for readers and voters. If you vote on a book that is published, then you will receive a free copy just before the book is published.
As stated above, this program really merges traditional publishing and the Internet’s abilities. It uses the Internet by exposing many people to your book and allowing them to vote on it. The program takes from traditional publishing by offering you all of the benefits of going through a publishing house. Books that are selected will receive a $1,500 advance and 50% of all royalties. However, the terms are very relaxed when compared to a traditional publisher.
For example, you can revert the rights back to you for any unpublished language or format (let’s say a Korean audiobook of your novel) after two years. Speaking of formats, your book will be published as an ebook, print book and audiobook. If your book doesn’t gain $5,000 in royalties within five years, then you can request to have the rights transferred back to you.
Amazon or Kindle?
Since Amazon’s Kindle program is a published giant for indie authors, you might expect this program to be an extension of Kindle, or even part of Amazon itself. While this might change when the program is officially released, the program is currently a standalone entity. It doesn’t belong to Kindle, even though the program involves ebook publishing.
While this might make it harder for Amazon to send readers to the website for voting, it also allows them to market the website to a specific demographic. It also makes sense because ebook publishing is only part of the equation. But, until the program is actually released and running, it’s hard to tell if this is a good or bad decision on Amazon’s part.
Joining the Fray
Perhaps the major question is whether or not you should join the program when it’s released. The truth is that there really isn’t any downside to participating. The only drawback, and it’s a small one, is that the book you upload has to be an unpublished piece. You can always make the best of it by putting your book up first to see if it will gain any votes, and then upload it to Kindle if you don’t have any luck.
Taking advantage of the first few days might work in your favor since there won’t be as much competition, so consider making a book that people will find interesting. Who knows, you might get a publishing deal through Amazon that can launch your career as a professional author.
Amazon is always trying to grow and satisfy its long list of customers. This new program allows them to look for talent while giving authors the ability to get published in various formats. The barrier of entry sounds lower than regular publishing, and you’ll even gain a good advance as well.