Category Archives: amazon

Sword and Chant — Now Is the Time…

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If you haven’t yet checked out Sword and Chant, now you can read it for free!

For a limited time, Sword and Chant is available exclusively through Kindle Unlimited at Amazon.  If you’re already a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read the novel for free.  If you’re not a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial membership, and then read Sword and Chant (along with other cool novels) for free!

“Vivid, evocative prose, strong characters, definitely not for the faint of heart…. It’s rare, after reading fantasy for more than fifty years, that I couldn’t predict where a story is going, but this was one.” — Sherwood Smith, author of Inda

“Beautifully crafted world with engaging, unpredictable characters and conflict. The situations felt so life-like, it seemed like I was reading something written by veteran returned from one of our desert wars.” — Goodreads reviewer

SerpentCoverBut wait, there’s more!

Serpent Heart is also available through Kindle Unlimited!

#SFWApro

A Window To Kindle Scout Perspectives

CliffWindowI really didn’t want to blog about Amazon’s Kindle Scout—I’m not interested in the good/bad debate—but I do think the conversation about the program is highlighting perfectly the business divide between self-publishers and (most) hybrids, and those who are focused solely (or overwhelmingly) on landing or keeping a contract with a “traditional” publishing contract.

In short, as Jim Hines says, Kindle Scout crowdsources the slush pile.  Writers submit their work and are encouraged to publicize their participation.  Readers nominate their favorite books.  The books with the most nominations are “more likely,” in Amazon’s words, to be reviewed by Amazon.  Amazon will then select the books it wants to publish.

I emphasize that last point because some have wrongly claimed Amazon will publish books with the most votes.  Nope.  Votes garner attention, not contracts.

My intent isn’t to rah-rah for or against Kindle Scout, but to look at why different writers with different perspectives have different reactions and opinions.  Personally, I want to see what shakes out in the next three months before I make a decision.

One issue that has caused a minor stir is that writers who enter Kindle Scout agree, at the moment of entry, to the contract terms.  To my knowledge, that’s similar to many contests.  I don’t believe the contracts for Glimmer Train’s competitions are negotiable, for example, but I’m willing to be corrected.  I’d also be interested in knowing if past contracts offered under contests like Warner Aspect’s First Novel Contest were negotiable.

I personally don’t much like things I can’t negotiate–my knee-jerk hang-up.  I’d love to see, say, SFWA and RWA look at the terms and make professional recommendations to Amazon.  For example, I’ve seen some opinions on the Scout indemnity clause that make me wonder enough to want the opinion of a pair of legal eyes, as well as a comparison to trade-publishing’s indemnity clauses.

On the other hand, the contract terms are right out in the open.  There aren’t surprises.  You either like them or you don’t, and if Amazon doesn’t select your work within 30 days, you’re still free to publish it on your own.

In contrast, Amtrak’s recent contest rules stated all submitted materials became immediately the property of Amtrak—including the work of those who didn’t win.  Many writers—self-published and trade-published—spoke out against that rule.  And many writers decided the mere chance of winning a train ride was worth losing exclusive rights to their submitted work.  As far as I could tell, those sides didn’t fall along self/trade lines.

So what about the Kindle Scout issues that do?

Continue reading A Window To Kindle Scout Perspectives