Amazon’s crowdsourced publishing platform will launch soon for mystery, romance and sci-fi authors

Amazon is hoping to tap the power of the crowd to determine which ebooks it should publish. On Thursday, a few more details about its upcoming program emerged.

The Digital Reader first reported on the program a couple weeks ago, with Amazon confirming details. It’s somewhere between Amazon Publishing’s “traditional” imprints and self-publishing platform KDP: Authors whose books are selected get a $1,500 advance and 50 percent royalties on net ebook revenue. The contracts are for ebook and audio rights, with authors retaining print rights; initial contract terms are 5 years.

Amazon sent out an email on Thursday with some more details about the program. I found the email via Gary Price at Infodocket. Full text:

Dear Author,

Thanks for subscribing to receive updates on Amazon’s new publishing program! We’re excited to announce that we’ll be opening for submissions in a couple weeks. We’ll be welcoming submissions for English-language books in Romance, Mystery & Thriller, and Science Fiction & Fantasy genres.

Any adult with a valid U.S. bank account and U.S. social security number or tax identification number is eligible. It only takes 15 minutes to complete a submission.

Here are the things that you should prepare to successfully submit your book:

Complete, never-before-published manuscript & book cover image

We’re looking for 50,000 words or more in Word format and a book cover image that reflects the essence and uniqueness of your book. Make sure your work is ready for others to read. Only the first pages will be posted to the website (approx. 3,000 words).

Book one-liner – A very short pitch (no longer than 45 characters) for your book that will be used on the homepage and throughout the website. Think of examples like “Space opera meets the Middle Ages” or “How far will one woman go to save her family?”

Book description- Help readers understand the content and quality of your book. Keep the description to 500 characters or less.

Your bio & picture – Give readers a chance to learn more about you. You will also have a chance to answer relevant questions regarding your book and personal story in a short Q&A section.

We’ll also ask you to review and accept our submission and publishing agreement that grants us a 45-day exclusivity period to post your excerpt and tally nominations.


Earlier, I reported that this program was called “WriteOn.” However, Amazon spokeswoman Susan Stockman told me on Thursday that they are not the same thing — WriteOn is a “totally separate” program. Here’s Amazon’s statement:

“Write On and the new publishing program referred to in an email today are separate and unrelated programs. Write On is a new community where writers and readers share in the creative process. It’s been rolling out slowly and will continue to ramp up over the coming months. “

[company]Amazon[/company] has launched a Kindle WriteOn site but is requiring access codes to get in, and I don’t have one (yet).

WriteOn Kindle screenshotThis story was corrected Thursday to note that WriteOn and the crowdsourced publishing program are separate initiatives.