Sunday 27 November 2016

Kindle Scout—Another Publication Option for African Genre Fiction by P. Zoro

Getting a literary agent is next to impossible, and traditional publishing deals remain an unattainable dream to most writers. Markets are also limited to the writer’s local country except where the writer is signed on by an international publisher. However, over the last decade, African writers like Nnedi Okorafor have expanded into genre fiction. The advent of e-books and self-publishing platforms like Amazon and Smashwords have also changed the landscape. 

Kindle Scout might just change everything for African writers. Kindle Scout is a
program where a writer submits work written in English in the specified genres and Amazon and the readers decide for themselves if the book is interesting without the traditional publishing industry acting as a gatekeeper.
In October, Catriona Ross from South Africa campaigned for her Sci-Fi novel “The Last Book On Earth”. Currently, P. Zoro from Zimbabwe has an ongoing campaign for her fantasy “The Sleeping Pool II (Destinations Series Vol. 2)” which may be viewed here.

Whether they publish the books or not, the fact that Kindle Scout accepts works from African writers for genre fiction is exciting and should be an inspiration for those creative minds to write that Sci-Fi, fantasy, thriller, mystery, or romance novel, knowing there is a possible publication avenue for it.
The author gets a campaign page with their excerpt, a blurb, a one-liner, the book cover, social media links and answers to selected questions. The readers go through all that and nominate the book if they think it’s something they would like to read. If Amazon’s Kindle Press publishes the book, the author gets a contract with a USD1,500.00 advance and other perks. The reader gets a free Advance Review Copy or notification if the book is published by other means. There is no limit on how many books a reader can receive through the program though they can only nominate three books at a time.

Initially limited to the USA, Kindle Scout opened up to other countries. Authors from eligible territories can submit an unpublished and copyedited book of 50K words and above. 

There are key factors that may assist in Kindle Scout campaigning. Social media is critical. Readers are not confined to one country and hence there is a need to develop networks with readers and other authors. Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook are the ideal platforms for the aspiring African author. Though internet access, affordability, and speeds are limited in most countries in Africa, the writer must work on the social networks because they form a foundation for a successful Kindle Scout campaign and book marketing. Kboards, especially the Writer Café, is also a major source of information and support from other authors. 

We hope Kindle Scout accepts more African writers and publishes some of the books, if not all!

Twitter @ZorodzaiP

For more inquiries please e-mail pzoro77(at)gmail(dot)com.

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