According to a Kindle Direct Publishing forum user, Amazon is quietly rolling out a way to find diamonds in the proverbial publishing rough. The unnamed project would bring a crowd approach to the acquisition of new titles using a voting system that ranks new books based on crowd favorites.
The forum posting notes that some KDP authors (essentially indie authors using the platform) have received an email describing the following program:
Users are pointed here to sign up.
It’s a fascinating proposition: social media and web-savvy authors will get top billing in these contests, to be sure, but it will also surface books with underground or unformed followings as well as potentially improve the quality of indie writing as a whole. Given the low advance numbers – and those are low advances – it’s not a particularly large investment by Amazon however I suspect the royalty clause will encourage the company to put some of its marketing might behind these books. According to Nate Hoffelder at the Digital Reader, this would be a “new program” unaffiliated with KDP.
“This program will be neither KDP nor Amazon Publishing, but something new. Unfortunately the program is so new that she was unable to provide much additional information,” he wrote.
It’s interesting to note that these are ebooks only and it is similar in the way Amazon was originally supporting Prime video content. But literary purists take note: the question of whether or not these books rise to meteoric critical success might be moot when the crowds start speaking. I’ve reached out to Amazon for more details.