Author Topic: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)  (Read 1478930 times)  

NADrake

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Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: April 20, 2015, 11:11:00 AM »
Hi. I thought I posted this question last night, but I don't see it in any of the threads, so I thought I would try again. I recently learned about Kindle Scout, and I would just like to hear about other authors' experiences. All opinions and stories welcome and appreciated. Thank you.

Offline dianapersaud

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 12:20:16 PM »
It's a new program, so there are few people who have experienced it. I thought there was a thread asking about it sometime last week.

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Offline Donna White Glaser

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 12:58:03 PM »
I've got a book in it right now-- A Scrying Shame in the mystery category. :) I can tell you that while the nomination process has been going on I've been a nervous wreck. I check the book's placement in the Hot & Trending list about once every 4.2 seconds. If you want to ask someone whose book has been accepted by Amazon Press you can contact Fiona Quinn. She's on FB under that name and has a website. She's in contact with several Scout participants so you can meet others as well. My book has 10 more days in the nom process. You can see it here if you're interested. https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3DINC9H95O80
  Suspense with a Dash of Humor

NADrake

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 02:33:56 PM »
Hi, Donna. Enjoyed the preview and nominated it. Good luck!

Offline Kristy Tate

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 02:49:52 PM »
Just nominated you. Please keep us posted. Super curious and sort of wanting to try it, but the thought of asking for nominations makes my belly ache.

NADrake

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 02:51:57 PM »
I agree with you, Kristy, but the thought of the advance turns that ache into a warm and fuzzy feeling. I hope to put my cozy mystery on Kindle Scout in June.

Offline B.A. Spangler

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 04:02:51 PM »
I submitted my book thirty days ago -- Killing Katie in my sig.
Today is my last day and then the decision goes to Amazon.

Overall the experience has been very positive. An immediate upside is exposure to new readers. A huge downside is the waiting game. You get thirty days to rack up nominations and hope that the Kindle Press editors select your book. 

Best of luck.

Offline Donna White Glaser

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2015, 04:42:25 PM »
I submitted my book thirty days ago -- Killing Katie in my sig.
Today is my last day and then the decision goes to Amazon.

Overall the experience has been very positive. An immediate upside is exposure to new readers. A huge downside is the waiting game. You get thirty days to rack up nominations and hope that the Kindle Press editors select your book. 

Best of luck.


Brian, I nominated your book weeks ago. It's an awesome premise and I've watched it doing very well in the Hot & Trending. Good luck!
And thank you to everyone who nominated Shame!  Can't tell you how much it means to me.  It hasn't been difficult to ask for nominations because 1) you have to do promotions anyway and 2) if readers nominate your book and AP accepts it into publication the readers get a free advanced digital copy. So win/win for them. And they're part of the process. It gives them a sense of ownership in the book which is WAY cool.
  Suspense with a Dash of Humor

Offline B.A. Spangler

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2015, 06:08:51 PM »
Brian, I nominated your book weeks ago. It's an awesome premise and I've watched it doing very well in the Hot & Trending. Good luck!
And thank you to everyone who nominated Shame!  Can't tell you how much it means to me.  It hasn't been difficult to ask for nominations because 1) you have to do promotions anyway and 2) if readers nominate your book and AP accepts it into publication the readers get a free advanced digital copy. So win/win for them. And they're part of the process. It gives them a sense of ownership in the book which is WAY cool.

Thank you.
Love the premise and cover of your book and have watched how well it's doing. Fingers crossed.

Although the squeamish type, I'm hoping Amazon rips the bandaid off fast in delivering the news to me. I'm super anxious and suddenly the world feels like it's been covered in bubble wrap. :-(

I'll report back the news (good or bad) as soon as I hear something.

Good point about marketing. When you submit a book, treat it like a new release and do all the same work. Think of the KS submission as a measure of all indie aspects: cover, writing, marketing, etc. and some luck.


NADrake

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2015, 09:36:35 PM »
Great information, Donna and Brian. Thank you for sharing.

Offline Donna White Glaser

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2015, 05:13:39 AM »

Love the premise and cover of your book and have watched how well it's doing. Fingers crossed.

Although the squeamish type, I'm hoping Amazon rips the bandaid off fast in delivering the news to me. I'm super anxious and suddenly the world feels like it's been covered in bubble wrap. :-(

I'll report back the news (good or bad) as soon as I hear something.

Good point about marketing. When you submit a book, treat it like a new release and do all the same work. Think of the KS submission as a measure of all indie aspects: cover, writing, marketing, etc. and some luck.

Oh my gosh, I totally understand feeling super anxious. I haven't been able to write since I put Shame into Scout. Hope you hear soon!!
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Offline Anya Monroe

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2015, 10:07:23 AM »
I had a book in Kindle Scout and while it remained *hot* throughout the campaign, it wasn't awarded a contract. I had never published before I applied, although I had spent a long time with an agent hoping for a book deal. After the rejection from Scout I had this realization that I was tired of waiting for other people to make my dreams come true. I can't say I haven't looked back doing this on my own is freaking hard! The  hand holding that would have come with a contract is appealing on the days when I'm fumbling with organizing promo and trying to figure out what sort of book cover is appealing.

Still, I am so glad I went for Scout. It helped me see that I had options and control. Honestly, not getting accepted changed my life. I have now published seven of the novels I sat on while waiting for someone to pick me.

Though some may say it's cheesy, I think it's true: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." <3

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2015, 11:36:44 AM »
Hello, Anya. I don't think believing in your dreams is cheesy; I think it's everything!
Good for you for self-publishing seven books! Wow. That's awesome.
The thing that appealed to me with Scout was the advance. I'm going to be honest. But...I am totally prepared for rejection. I have heard "no" a lot. But even if it is rejected, I'll still have my first cozy mystery completed, and if people like it, maybe it will turn into a series. I sure hope so. I also like Kindle Scout because unlike the small press I signed a contract with, Scout doesn't demand first right of refusal on sequels. So, if my first mystery is accepted and does okay, I can self publish the next one. The e-book royalty of 50% is higher too than the small press I currently have a contract with. Also, I like working with an artist to design the cover art. Who knows the book better than the author?!? Sheesh. So, those things appealed to me.
And once my book is accepted and waiting for nominations, I plan on writing another book in a different genre. I hope I won't watch the Kindle Scout page with fear and trepidation. Okay. I probably will. But meanwhile, I'll be writing my first historical romance.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with Kindle Scout.

Offline Carrie Rubin

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2015, 05:56:21 PM »
My book is on Kindle Scout right now. The wait is a bit stressful, no doubt. It's tempting to check the 'Hot and Trending' list all too frequently. Mine is in the mystery/thriller category and involves a fight with the food industry that turns deadly. Here's the link if anyone's interested: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/GEBLLHAQ3XY5

It's a nice program Amazon has, and even if my book doesn't get selected, I'd still do it again. Seems those who have been published by Kindle Press are happy with the arrangement.

Offline Mark Gardner

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2015, 05:58:13 AM »
My book is on Kindle Scout right now. The wait is a bit stressful, no doubt. It's tempting to check the 'Hot and Trending' list all too frequently. Mine is in the mystery/thriller category and involves a fight with the food industry that turns deadly. Here's the link if anyone's interested: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/GEBLLHAQ3XY5

It's a nice program Amazon has, and even if my book doesn't get selected, I'd still do it again. Seems those who have been published by Kindle Press are happy with the arrangement.
nominated! Good luck!

Offline Kessie Carroll

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2015, 06:15:06 AM »
What I'm most interested in is what nobody talks about--how are sales and marketing for Scout books? It's been speculated that Amazon would advertise them pretty heavily, but nobody has said anything.

Do Scout books SELL? Or are you better off staying out, keeping royalties, and doing all the marketing yourself?
K.M. Carroll | blog | facebook | twitter

Offline Nick Marsden

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2015, 06:20:35 AM »
I would think that the experience would be similar to other authors in Kindle Imprints, which I've heard nothing but positive things about.

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Offline Donna White Glaser

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2015, 07:06:56 AM »
What I'm most interested in is what nobody talks about--how are sales and marketing for Scout books? It's been speculated that Amazon would advertise them pretty heavily, but nobody has said anything.

Do Scout books SELL? Or are you better off staying out, keeping royalties, and doing all the marketing yourself?
Hi Kessie,
I've had a book accepted by the Scout program, which will be published by Kindle Press in the next few weeks. I'm just finishing up their editing process. (Yes, they definitely edit!) They also promote the books within their program, although the type and amount of promotions vary by individual book just like trad press. If you're curious about sales, then I suggest going to the Scout site and researching the books already published. You can do that by clicking Browse Categories, and then clicking the bottom menu option: Published by Kindle Press. There's a list there of all the books they've accepted and when. Mine is A Scrying Shame, so you'll see it was accepted May 1st. If you go to the books that have already launched you can find the link to their Amazon page and check out their ranks. You'll find a lot of variability because of differences in genre and whether the author has other series out or an established platform. I will say that from my tracking of their results (and you can believe I was doing that both before and after my campaign) the Kindle Press books tend to have a higher selling rate, although the variable of genre, platform, individual marketing reach all factor in just like anywhere else. I do think that since Scout has only been up and running for about 9 months or so that they're still working out kinks and figuring out what they can do marketing-wise.

I've been super happy every step of the way so far. The editing team are incredibly nice and responsive to questions. My fellow Scout winners are in contact with each other and extraordinarily supportive. My book is tentatively scheduled to go up for preorders on the 22nd and launch wide on July 7th. So from the time I put it in Scout (Apr 1st) til publish will have been a tad over 3 months. No complaints there at all!
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Offline Carrie Rubin

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2015, 07:18:40 AM »

Offline Carrie Rubin

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2015, 07:19:53 AM »

I've been super happy every step of the way so far. The editing team are incredibly nice and responsive to questions. My fellow Scout winners are in contact with each other and extraordinarily supportive. My book is tentatively scheduled to go up for preorders on the 22nd and launch wide on July 7th. So from the time I put it in Scout (Apr 1st) til publish will have been a tad over 3 months. No complaints there at all!

Thanks for this info. Really helpful for those of us trying this route.

Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2015, 07:24:02 AM »
Thank you.
Love the premise and cover of your book and have watched how well it's doing. Fingers crossed.

Although the squeamish type, I'm hoping Amazon rips the bandaid off fast in delivering the news to me. I'm super anxious and suddenly the world feels like it's been covered in bubble wrap. :-(

I'll report back the news (good or bad) as soon as I hear something.

Good point about marketing. When you submit a book, treat it like a new release and do all the same work. Think of the KS submission as a measure of all indie aspects: cover, writing, marketing, etc. and some luck.



Congratulations, you won!

Al Macy | Web Site | Facebook | Twitter

Offline Nick Marsden

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2015, 04:07:20 PM »
Congrats on the win, Donna. I really love that title!

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Offline Donna White Glaser

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2015, 04:35:24 PM »
Thanks, Nick! The next book will be called Scry Me A River. :)
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Offline Salvador Mercer

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2015, 04:47:37 PM »
Aimeeesterling posted a snapshot of the current Kindle Scout books and their rankings dated May 7th.  The thread can be read here:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,214231.0.html

I found it very helpful as I almost put The Black Dragon in the program, but instead self-published it.  I'll have a Sci-Fi book ready in a week or two written specially for that program because of the rankings.  Some are actually not as good as my own book now, but many are better and a few are much better.

I thought I'd give it a shot and I don't see any real downsides to making the effort at least once.  At the very least it will be a learning process and as Anya said, if they don't pick me I'll just self-publish the book anyhoo.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 04:49:54 PM by Salvador Mercer »

Offline Kristy Tate

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2015, 12:26:15 PM »
A month ago I enrolled my book Witch Ways in the kindle scout program. You can read about that here: http://kristystories.blogspot.com/2015/05/curious-about-kindle-scout-program.html

I pretty much hate promoting my books and I knew that to be successful in the program, promoting would need to happen. This is what I did:

I sent out a newsletter telling people that if they nominated my book they could potentially get it for free.

I posted the same thing on about 40 Facebook promote your book here pages.

I made up business cards and handed them out to people.

For about two weeks my book rode the hot and trending list. When it fell off, I:

Contacted the 300 plus people who had signed up for my book in a recent online contest.

Sent an email to friends and family.

Posted a link and a plea on Facebook.

Contacted more than 100 Goodreads people.

My book returned to the Kindle Scout hot and trending list and it stayed there for the duration. (My campaign is over now. I should hear yea or nay from Amazon in a few days.)

I dont think riding the hot and trending list will secure me an Amazon contract, but it cant hurt. Besides, now that its over, I can honestly say I did my part. I played hard.

I know promotion is a necessary evil in the indie publishing game. But I also know I'll be more successful with Amazon on my side. So, we'll see what they say.