Author Topic: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)  (Read 1191673 times)  

Offline Kenzi

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #175 on: August 26, 2015, 11:27:46 AM »
I got the email, too, and came here to check others' experiences with it. My initial reaction was that 1500 was very low, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's easy to earn out, so you'd see profits soon, and you'd be saving the expenses for editing, cover art, formatting, and at least some marketing. ETA: is the 50% rate (just checked the email again) on net or cover price--does anyone know? ETA 2: for anyone else interested, I just found this in the terms and conditions on the website: If we select your book for publication, you will be entitled to a $1,500 advance and royalties on net revenues at a rate of 50% for eBooks, 25% for audio editions and 20% for translations.

The big benefit, in my eyes, is that it gets your foot in the door with Amazon and could lead to a chance for other publishing opportunities with them. Of course, if you have no intentions of going hybrid, it's less of a selling point.

If I had a book ready, I'd try this out. Maybe in the next few months...

Now I'm going to go nominate some books! If any of you have current campaigns up, please link them. :)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 11:40:16 AM by Kenzi »

Offline LizB

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #176 on: August 26, 2015, 11:31:42 AM »
Question about genres: I know they accept romance, but do they accept gay romance?
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Offline John Van Stry

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #177 on: August 26, 2015, 11:59:59 AM »
I got the same email today. Also wondering why I would choose Kindle Scout. It sounds like you must do a lot of heavy promoting anyway. I would think the point would be to have the Amazon machine behind your book.

Back in February I had the Amazon machine behind one of my books. End result, lot more sales, but less royalty. So income wise, it was a wash. Amazon's promotional services just don't seem to be doing the job any better than I am myself. Now in time that might change, but the only thing that Amazon does, is list the top 100 books in a category. Which helps you stay there, once you get there.

So I really don't see the benefits, at this time, to this program. I'm happy that they invited me, but I won't sign up for it, or put my next book in it, until I see a benefit. Especially as I could be earning bank in those 30 days they want me to wait.

Offline LizB

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #178 on: August 26, 2015, 12:07:54 PM »
Also, if your book needs a cover and copy editing, what are you getting from the program?
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Online Jill Nojack

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #179 on: August 26, 2015, 12:21:47 PM »
Also, if your book needs a cover and copy editing, what are you getting from the program?

Visibility. Merchandising. Promotion. A publishing team that is excited about your book and wants it to succeed.

On my own, my book would never appear in New and Notable or other Amazon merchandising. I wouldn't get reviews by the people who got the book free during the preorder period. I would not have alsobots already in place at launch due to the Scout winners getting a free copy of the book.

I get being eligible for Amazon promotion without having to tip a magic algorithm.

I get camaraderie and support from my fellow winners, who are a very supportive bunch.

I only make a couple hundred a month on my current books despite being a reasonably competent writer and marketer. I have a tendency to believe that with Kindle Press as my publisher, my potential has increased for the success of the book they selected.

If you are already a big seller, then don't submit. If you are a good writer who hasn't yet gotten the elusive lucky break, Kindle Scout might just provide it. My advance on my Scout book already doubles my writing income this year. I like that.

So, that's what you get in exchange for doing the things you would normally do to publish (copyediting, cover, and telling a good story). If you are already successful, you don't need it.

But me? I'm looking forward to my launch which has been engineered by experts for my success.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 12:26:34 PM by Jill Nojack »

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Offline LizB

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #180 on: August 26, 2015, 12:26:33 PM »
Visibility. Merchandising. Promotion. A publishing team that is excited about your book and wants it to succeed.

On my own, my book would never appear in New and Notable or other Amazon merchandising. I wouldn't get reviews by the people who got the book free during the preorder period. I would not have alsobots already in place at launch due to the Scout winners getting a free copy of the book.

I get being eligible for Amazon promotion without having to tip a magic algorithm.

I get camaraderie and support of my fellow winners, who are a very supportive bunch.

I only make a couple hundred a month on my current books despite being a reasonably competent writer and marketer. I have a tendency to believe that with Kindle Press as my publisher, my potential has increased for the success of the book they selected.

If you are already a big seller, then don't submit. If you are a good writer who hasn't yet gotten the elusive lucky break, Kindle Scout might just provide it. My advance on my Scout book already doubles my writing income this year. I like that.

So, that's what you get in exchange for doing the things you would normally do to publish (copyediting, cover, and telling a good story). If you are already successful, you don't need it.

But me? I'm looking forward to my launch which has been engineered by experts for my success.


I think that is fantastic. I will absolutely do that if they accept my genre.
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Online Jill Nojack

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #181 on: August 26, 2015, 12:37:21 PM »
I think that is fantastic. I will absolutely do that if they accept my genre.

You mean like this one?

Romance > Gay Romance: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/search?q=gay

:-)

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Offline EllieKeaton

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #182 on: August 26, 2015, 01:16:48 PM »
Visibility. Merchandising. Promotion. A publishing team that is excited about your book and wants it to succeed.

On my own, my book would never appear in New and Notable or other Amazon merchandising. I wouldn't get reviews by the people who got the book free during the preorder period. I would not have alsobots already in place at launch due to the Scout winners getting a free copy of the book.

I get being eligible for Amazon promotion without having to tip a magic algorithm.

I get camaraderie and support from my fellow winners, who are a very supportive bunch.

I only make a couple hundred a month on my current books despite being a reasonably competent writer and marketer. I have a tendency to believe that with Kindle Press as my publisher, my potential has increased for the success of the book they selected.

If you are already a big seller, then don't submit. If you are a good writer who hasn't yet gotten the elusive lucky break, Kindle Scout might just provide it. My advance on my Scout book already doubles my writing income this year. I like that.

So, that's what you get in exchange for doing the things you would normally do to publish (copyediting, cover, and telling a good story). If you are already successful, you don't need it.

But me? I'm looking forward to my launch which has been engineered by experts for my success.

Fantastic post. I would absolutely go for it if they opened it to non us authors - we can't even vote or nominate books.  And I thought Americans loved the Irish ;D.

Really sorry to hear your book didn't make it Salvador - I was hoping it would - I love your posts and attitude on here.  Better luck next time :-)


Offline Natasha A. Salnikova

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #183 on: August 26, 2015, 01:26:17 PM »
-++++++++

Offline Salvador Mercer

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #184 on: August 26, 2015, 06:44:22 PM »
Thanks again for the well wishes.  I actually think (though I could be wrong) that if enough scouts signed up for release news then I may get a benefit from being in the program despite not being selected.  Also it gave me a bit of discipline in the fact that I'm submitting my Scout book tonight for a pre-order status and if able to align the stars, I'll get a few ARCs and a promo lined up for a September 24 launch date.  We'll have to see how it goes and in the spirit of kboards and the author's caf, I'll report on my experience.

I am also thinking that there is always a chance that I'm not a very good writer.  I think the mere fact that we write somewhat shows a level of self confidence not normally found in the general population. It is challenging enough to be an indie writer, and for myself this program would have been at least one way to validate whether or not I have that skill set.  Still, since I'm an old fart around here, I don't shirk from challenges and, despite the many wonderful compliments about me being a gentleman,  :P  I will say that not being selected has lit a fire under my ass and I'm excited to see what this book can do with a good launch.

Long term, I'm going to write all the books in my series, so at least 8 more coming no matter what.  Some success, enough to pay for the expenses I incur in writing them, is very welcome and indeed in three more days I'll finally receive those royalties from June and break even.  It's pretty much all gravy after that (unless I tank really badly).  So for myself I'd say my number one reason for submitting was a validation test and for me it is a win/win as even a rejection motivates me to do better.  Also it was a great feeling to know what those many trad published authors had to go through with dozens of query letters.  By comparison I had it so easy.  A few clicks, some typing for the program and in 32 days I got the same experience  :o

I'll be sure to post on my launch and also I'm rooting for the scouts behind me.  I don't think I'll submit again until after I complete my two fantasy series and that is 8 more books.  Thanks again for the wonderful support!  :)
 

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #185 on: August 26, 2015, 07:56:07 PM »
I decided today to publish my cozy mystery, "Death Goes to the County Fair," on my own rather than submit to Kindle Scout. The book isn't long enough; the manuscript is currently about 25K and I see it ending about 30K. I would rather publish a small book I'm proud of than try to jam it with more. Also, I don't like the idea of campaigning and stressing as to whether the book is accepted. It's kind of fun though to realize this is my fifth published work.

Offline richard.r.fox

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #186 on: August 27, 2015, 07:28:45 AM »
The discussion here was enough for me to take the plunge and put my YA SF action book up on Kindle Scout. If anyone's interested in seeing it:
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1BJREYTNOP2SM

I went with a pen name so as not to confuse my military SF audience that I'm building up.

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Offline Vickie Britton

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #187 on: August 27, 2015, 09:37:15 AM »
Eight days left of the Kindle Scout campaign for Jeff McQuede mystery Crying Woman Bridge.  Would I do it again...it's been nerve-wracking as it goes into hot and trending, then off, then on again.  The big advantage is not so much the advance, but Amazon can do so much more for advertising a book than the author can.  Please check out Crying Woman Bridge at this link:
 https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2OJCOUR5XXLDE
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Offline D. Hall

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #188 on: August 27, 2015, 10:23:59 AM »
My concern about the Kindle Press contract is that it gives Amazon never-ending exclusive rights over ebook and audio--in other words, as long as your book makes a certain amount of money during each 5-year term, Amazon will legally hold rights to your work indefinitely. I think this could be harmful to writers. Thoughts, anyone?

Offline Bbates024

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #189 on: August 27, 2015, 11:33:45 AM »
I have my book on Kindle Scout 15 days left before they decide https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1K3H6W4OEKYS9

I think the thing I was looking for most was exposure to new readers, fact is if you have one or two books out sometimes it isn't easy to get that exposure unless you have ten reviews and surprisingly getting friends and family to write reviews was harder than I thought even with the offer of a free book. Anyways the exposure of having Amazon behind a new author can be huge, and some of the books have done pretty darn good. Not to mention KDP and that you retain rights to publish in print versions.

The 1500 dollars, to me, wasn't much that covers editing and the cover for most of my stuff, but getting my work in front of people is just to go to miss out on. I had one person contact me on Facebook that read the preview and said they can't wait to buy it. Plus if you have other books out and they like this one who knows you could get a bump in sales.

As for the worried about your rights, I'm not worried at all. Any year your book makes less than 500 in a single year or if it makes less than 25k over a 5 year period you can request your rights back. Right now on one book I would take five grand a year hands down and if it lead to sales of other books in either series and you made more even better.

Richard as soon as Crying Woman Bridge comes down I will nominate your book! I hope everyone that enters on Kindle Scout from Kboards gets a chance to taste victory. Also awesome cover!

I'm 50% done with my Campaign and have 106 hours in H&T and 466 page views. Traffic: From promotional efforts vs. from KindleScout site:  45% / 55%Just to give an idea on stats. Will it be enough who knows :-)
I really hope I win but if not I'll be sticking my SYFY book that I plan on writing during NaNoWriMo back in the program. It's been a fun experience and has really let me leverage the small mailing list I have. Also have had a pretty decent return on Facebook ads I set up 30.00 to go over 14 days. I really think having your own following back you is just a tiny part of the process, one writer here had numbers I would love and wasn't selected.

Jill had and was selected "Page hits: 1664
Hot and Trending: 382 of 720 hours (53%)
Traffic: From promotional efforts vs. from KindleScout site:  42% / 58%"

Anya had and was not selected
"639 Hours in Hot & Trending
1.4K Total page views"

Salvador had and was not selected  " 90 hours in the H&T category and only 544 page views."
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 11:46:34 AM by Bbates024 »

Offline Salvador Mercer

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #190 on: August 27, 2015, 12:00:20 PM »
Salvador had and was not selected  " 90 hours in the H&T category and only 544 page views."

Hehe, but looky what I have in my signature line...  :P

Yeah baby, she will see the light of day (as soon as the Amazon eclipse is over!)  :o
 

Offline Bbates024

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #191 on: August 27, 2015, 12:56:51 PM »
I'm going to preorder it right now! Very nice!


Your Amazon.com pre-order of "Lunar Discovery: Let the Space Race Begin" is confirmed
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 01:02:38 PM by Bbates024 »

Online Jill Nojack

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #192 on: August 27, 2015, 01:56:11 PM »
Hehe, but looky what I have in my signature line...  :P

Yeah baby, she will see the light of day (as soon as the Amazon eclipse is over!)  :o

Yeah! I will put it on my KU TBR, since I am in a "I am subscribed to KU" month. Of course, I bought Mr. Bate's Ascendency weeks ago and I still haven't gotten to it...

Sigh. But some day I will read all the books...as soon as I get the two books I'm writing published, and I learn how to live entirely without sleep...

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Offline Salvador Mercer

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #193 on: August 27, 2015, 08:49:22 PM »
I'm going to preorder it right now! Very nice!

Your Amazon.com pre-order of "Lunar Discovery: Let the Space Race Begin" is confirmed

Ah, so you're the guilty party, LOL.  Yes, it shows that I have 1 single pre-order.  Now if this eventually sells a million copies (say by 3016), then how special is that?  LOL.

Yeah! I will put it on my KU TBR, since I am in a "I am subscribed to KU" month. Of course, I bought Mr. Bate's Ascendency weeks ago and I still haven't gotten to it...

Sigh. But some day I will read all the books...as soon as I get the two books I'm writing published, and I learn how to live entirely without sleep...

Me too.  I get your book for free and in advance :)  I'm lucky that I'm under 10 in my KU TBR list hehe.
 

Offline Cap'n Crunch

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #194 on: August 27, 2015, 09:13:22 PM »
I've thrown my hat into the ring :) I have a cozy mystery I'd written as an experiment and this is the perfect place for it since my regular followers are from a very different genre. Here's hoping cozy mysteries are popular!

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Offline HN Wake

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #195 on: August 28, 2015, 11:43:31 AM »
Just a quick update.  My stats are pretty bleak.   :'(    Perhaps cover?  Perhaps spy genre? 

That being said, KindleScout was such an easy process that, for me, it was almost a no brainer.  I'm learning a ton as a newbie.

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Offline verb

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #196 on: August 28, 2015, 12:29:33 PM »
Just a quick update.  My stats are pretty bleak.   :'(    Perhaps cover?  Perhaps spy genre? 

That being said, KindleScout was such an easy process that, for me, it was almost a no brainer.  I'm learning a ton as a newbie.

My stats aren't great either. I'm posting a journal of my experience with Kindle Scout at http://ow.ly/RvPG1 -- so far, mostly what the submission/acceptance process jolted me into learning & doing.

I really like your sample, HN, & I nominated your book. But I'm finding that a lot of my fans are literary Luddites. One response to my Facebook post about Zapped's KS campaign: "We'll wait for the hardcover." Like asking for 1 finger on 1 key is too much of a stretch?!?

But as I noted on another KS thread, my impression is that Amazon's goal with Scout is to corner the fast-food end of the genre-fiction market, i.e., the one segment of publishing that's booming, especially among indies, but hasn't gotten much attention from traditional publishers. Your book & mine are both a little more mainstream -- e.g., Crime Wave Press probably would be happy to publish yours. I'm very curious to see if we get picked, for what that says about the larger Scout plan. If they don't think Zapped is a good match for them, that's useful info & probably true.

Salvador, I totally agree with your comments about what you've found out & how useful the KS experience is for your future plans. Go!!!

Bottom line, I'd love to have Amazon steam behind the series Zapped is part of. But I have a Plan B either way. If Scout takes Zapped, self-publish it in paperback (I've already ordered ARCs as raffle prizes for the reading I'm doing in 2 weeks), in hopes of boosting my whole list for the holidays, & if not, try a different kind of book for Scout, & either a small press or a group like Booktrope for my next mystery.

Offline Marian

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #197 on: August 28, 2015, 12:30:48 PM »
My concern about the Kindle Press contract is that it gives Amazon never-ending exclusive rights over ebook and audio--in other words, as long as your book makes a certain amount of money during each 5-year term, Amazon will legally hold rights to your work indefinitely. I think this could be harmful to writers. Thoughts, anyone?

It's a terrible contract to sign. If your book is good, they'll have a stranglehold on it forever. And if it's good, you can market it successfully on your own. Marketing will be hard work, but the profits will be ALL yours, not Amazon's in perpetuity.
 

Offline HN Wake

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #198 on: August 28, 2015, 01:53:54 PM »
Thanks CJ!  (I nominated ya when you first went up.  Grin.)

What I find super interesting is that the KindleScout audience is presumably a cross section of the wider reading population.  (Actually, maybe I'm wrong on that.)  So what I'm learning is that I need to laser focus on my audience because CLEARLY I'm not appealing at first blush to the wider population.

1.  I'm revisiting the cover.  Am hiring a designer.  Building a focus group of my thriller/suspense friends and polling them.  We'll see what that turns up.  One friend said she detested the waterfall on my current cover.  Wow.  That's a strong word.  ha ha ha.  But mind you, others said they loved it.  Go figure.  The majority vote in my poll will win.
2.  Delving into my genre.  I write spy novels that are...thoughtful and political.  So am researching how many folks read spy novels that aren't action adventure.  (I have a great Goodreads thriller/suspense group and a LOT of them say they would never pick up a spy novel.)  Hmmmm....Perhaps time to revisit the packaging/blurb?  Focus more on the mystery and less on the espionage?
3.  And I reached out to a very highly recommended editor from here on Kboards.  If KindleScout doesn't pick this novel up, I'll definitely collaborate with her.  She did a sample for me and I really loved her edits/ideas.

So, the upshot: my KindleScout stats are bleak -- which stung at first -- but I'm feeling very excited about the book.  I learn something new everyday and that keeps me on my toes.  And so far all this market research and feedback loop was for free.  I am not complaining.

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Offline HN Wake

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Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #199 on: August 28, 2015, 02:00:28 PM »
It's a terrible contract to sign. If your book is good, they'll have a stranglehold on it forever. And if it's good, you can market it successfully on your own. Marketing will be hard work, but the profits will be ALL yours, not Amazon's in perpetuity.

I hear you, Marian.  But almost every well known self-pubbed author--from Hugh to Konrath--that is with an Amazon imprint is extremely happy.  For me, this seemed like a solid way to get my toe in that door. 

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