Amazon wants YOU to LOOK OVER its BOOKS – its slush pile, that is

You're a book scout, and you're a book scout, EVERYONE'S a book scout!

Amazon wants you to help it figure out what books it should publish and sell on its e-book store.

The company said on Monday that its Kindle Scout platform will enlist readers to review excerpts of unpublished books and vote for which ones should be published by Amazon's Kindle Press division.

According to the company, any US-based customers with valid Amazon.com accounts will be able to supply the nominations, although final decisions about what to publish will be made by Amazon's Kindle Scout team.

An author whose work is picked up will receive a contract with Kindle Press and will be paid a $1,500 advance and 50 per cent royalties on ebook sales.

"Amazon customers are passionate readers who have long influenced which books become breakout best sellers," said Amazon senior vice president for Kindle Russ Grandinetti. "With the launch of Kindle Scout, readers now have an even more direct say in what gets published and can get free books and discover new favorite authors in the process."

Each submitted book has 30 days to garner nominations. After the 30-day period, Amazon will review the most-nominated books and select which will be awarded contracts and published through Amazon – sort of like how Walt Whitman got started.

Readers who vote for the winning titles, meanwhile, will receive a free Kindle copy of the full-length book ahead of its general release.

We see no way in which this could possibly go wrong and be gamed for nefarious ends, perhaps by the same enterprising likes who named "Moot" man of the year or insisted NASA use a TV comedian as the moniker for a space station. ®


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