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Crowd-sourcing hits the bookshelf

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Next month, Amazon’s Kindle Scout will publish its first set of books. The platform was launched in October, and was quickly dubbed a publisher’s version of crowd-sourcing – readers vote for books to be published based on excerpts.

Steve Gannon’s cop thriller, L.A. Sniper, is among the 10 titles that will be released in March. Gannon had been publishing books on Kindle for a while when he decided to try out Kindle Scout. One advantage of publishing online that he enjoys is interacting with the reviews.

“Reviews on Amazon are so immediate,” says Gannon. “I can reply too. I like that.”

He’s also had readers point out typos and parts of a storyline that don’t make sense. One reader wrote about a hole in a plot line and said, “I know a lot of writers put that in there just to see if anyone is paying attention!”

Gannon’s response? “I said, ‘I wish I could say that, but you caught it, and I fixed it.’”

“It’s good to get a really broad viewpoint from readers,” he says. “They keep you on your toes.”

For all the recent friction between Amazon and authors, Gannon is quite optimistic. He sees it as a great partnership for independent authors like him who need the publicity that a big company like Amazon would bring.

“They are able to lift you from the other hundred-thousand independent authors out there,” says Gannon.



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