Amazon unveils its “reader-powered” publishing program Kindle Scout, the second of two new experiments in crowdsourcing content.
Kindle Scout allows readers to nominate books for publication by Kindle Press, a new imprint under which Scout-selected titles will be released.
Authors whose work is chosen for publication receive a five-year contract, $1,500 advance and 50% ebook royalty. The program kicks off with a call for genre fiction in romance, mystery/thriller and sci-fi/fantasy categories.
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Kindle Scout Shouldering Literary Agents Aside? (Mashable)
An observer sees the drive to cut some of publishing’s established gatekeepers out of the equation as a key motivation behind the launch of Kindle Scout. But you say much the same thing about the entire world of self-publishing, to which agents have largely adapted.
Google Takes on Amazon Prime (WSJ)
Google expands it shopping service to include a subscription-based offering. Google Express (née Google Shopping Express) costs $10 a month or $95 a year for unlimited same-day and overnight deliveries in select metropolitan areas. Make no mistake: it’s a direct play on Amazon Prime.
Pricier Ebooks Selling Briskly (DBW)
More than a third of the ebooks on this weeks’ best-seller list cost more than $10. Higher-priced titles are performing remarkably well alongside cheaper competitors at a time when ebook pricing remains a hot-button issue.
Aspen Institute Commends Libraries’ Digital Transition (DBW)
A new study by the Aspen Institute assesses how U.S. libraries have adapted to the pressures of the digital age and reports a remarkable degree of progress. But much work still remains to be done.
Related: Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson on Digital Innovation
In Defense of Amazon (The Digital Reader)
The recent New Republic cover story calling Amazon a monopoly roused quite a lot of chatter this week. Whatever your take on the piece’s merits, here’s a roundup of the most compelling counter-arguments put forth in its aftermath.
Enhanced Educational Content Goes Global (Pub Perspectives)
Education and professional publishers are working hard to incorporate multimedia into the digital content they bring to market, with publishers in emerging markets in some cases leading the charge. An Indian publisher launches a 300-title digital library of enhanced medical content featuring video, images and more.
Related: DBAs Celebrate the Cutting-Edge in Digital Innovation
Frankfurt Book Fair Attendance Down Slightly (PW)
The annual book industry event drew about 2% fewer attendees this year than last. Attendance to Frankfurt remains down since the effects of the global recession began to take hold in 2009.
Australian Author Wins Booker Prize (PW)
Richard Flanagan wins the 2014 Man Booker Prize for his historical novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
Related: The Man Booker Prize’s Waning Influence on Readers and Publishers