Please help me welcome Ann Everett with a fantastic article about Kindle Scout, which I was anxious to read myself. I don’t fully understand the process, so it is great to hear from someone with experience. (I was supposed to post this on Sunday and did not, so I am posting it in place of my Tuesday Two-Minute Tip blog, which will return next Tuesday)
Take it away, Ann…
IS KINDLE SCOUT RIGHT FOR YOU??
Back in 2014, when I decided to leave the small press publisher I was with, I never thought I’d consider signing another publishing contract. Well…never say never!
For my latest book, a new adult romance, I decided to submit to Kindle Scout for consideration. For those of you unfamiliar with the program, here is a brief run-down.
- It is for new, never-before-published books, at least 50,000 words.
- Readers help decide if a book gets published.
- If selected, the book will be published by Kindle Press and receive a $1500 advance.
- You must sign a 5-year renewable contract.
- 50% e-book royalty rate.
- Featured Amazon marketing provided.
- Must have an Amazon account.
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Must reside in Kindle Scout-eligible country.
- Submissions are open 365 days per year.
- Categories currently accepted are: Romance, Mystery & Thriller, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult, and general Literature & Fiction.
You can find out all about it at: https://www.kindlescout.amazon.com/about
Here’s how it works:
Go to their site where you will agree to a 45 day commitment/campaign, then upload your entire manuscript, cover, along with a limited word count blurb, tag line, and bio. You’ll also choose three questions to answer from a list provided and add a thank-you note to those who nominate your book. KS will send those for you.
Once all of that is submitted, KS will review, then your campaign will go live. You will have 30 days for readers to “nominate” your book. They will also get to read the first 5000 words of your story.
You’ll be able to see how many nominations you’re getting each day and if your book is making it into the Hot and Trending section.
At the end of that period, the Scouts will notify you within the following 15 days if your book has been chosen.
I wish I could give you a formula for success, but honestly, there is no way to tell what has the most influence on selection. Before I submitted, I researched KS articles, and even reached out to one winner who had a lot in common with me. She already had several books published, and she wrote romance. She had many positive things to say about the program which convinced me to go forward with it.
WHAT I DID TO GET NOMINATIONS
- Sent personal emails to my mailing lists, classmate list, beta readers, critique partners, basically everyone I could think of! I sent about 600.
- Did a targeted paid FB promotion for $10. It went out to about 450 people.
- Put a request on Google+ and Linked In, two times.
- Posted on Twitter once a week for the 4 weeks.
- Did just a regular post on FB once a week for 4 weeks.
In my research, I found one author who had gotten 2400 nominations, which would have put her in Hot and Trending for most of her campaign, but she still didn’t get chosen! So, clearly, it isn’t just about getting votes.
Here are the three things I focused on:
- Well written story
- Good editing
- Eye-catching cover
I received 967 nominations and stayed in Hot and Trending about 35% of my campaign which ran from November 27-December 27. On January 3, I was notified that Chirp had been selected!!
For their effort, all those readers who nominated Chirp, will receive a free digital copy of the book when it is published from Kindle Scout.
My main purpose for submitting to the Scout program was the marketing they do for their books. As an Indie author, I spend a huge amount of time promoting my work. So the promise of someone doing that for me, certainly got my interest. From everything I’ve read, KS keeps that promise. They promote through Kindle Countdowns, both in the US and other countries, and use outside promotional sites such as BookBub, and utilize all the marketing features of Amazon. On top of all that, they furnish editing. Hopefully, my book won’t need much since I’ve had it edited, but we’ll see.
I’m currently in the honeymoon stage of the process, just about to be carried over the threshold, so six months into it, I’ll have more information of how things have gone for me. Hopefully, I’ll still be happy with my decision.
Award winning and Amazon Best-Selling author, Ann Everett embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth. When speaking at conferences and to writing groups, businesses, book clubs, and non-profit organizations, she incorporates her special brand of wit, making her programs on marketing, self-publishing, and the benefits of laughter, informative and fun.
Her short stories have appeared in The Green Silk Journal, Snag Today, and Story Teller Magazine.
A top reviewer on thenextbigwriter.com, she lives on a small lake in Northeast Texas where she writes, bakes, and fights her addiction to Diet Dr. Peppers.
She’s been featured on:
Proud of East Texas with Joan Hallmark, KLTV-TV, Tyler, Texas
East Texas Live and Mid-day, KETK-TV, Tyler, Texas
KTSS-TV, Hope, Arkansas
The Authors Show with Don McCauley, Internet radio show
The Chandler & Brownsboro Statesman, Chandler, Texas
The Daily Tribune, Mt. Pleasant, Texas
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler, Texas
InMagazine, East Texas
Ten things you won’t know about Ann by reading her bio:
She’s been married to her high school sweetheart.
She loves shopping at thrift stores.
She doesn’t remember her first kiss.
She hates talking on the telephone.
A really sharp pencil makes her happy.
She secretly wants to get a tattoo.
A charter member of National Honor Society in high school remains one of her proudest moments.
She’s thankful wrinkles aren’t painful.
She sucks at math.
Tizzy/Ridge romantic suspense trilogy
Laid Out and Candle Lit
You’re Busting My Nuptials
Tied With a Bow and No Place to Go
Contemporary romance companion books
Tell Me a Secret
Two Wrongs Make a Right
Say You’ll Never Love Me
Strong Verbs Strong Voice: A quick reference to improve your writing and impress readers (Amazon best seller)
Body Language: A quick reference for character action and description
Sweet Thangs: Southern Sweets from Two Sassy Sisters