Author Topic: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)  (Read 1487371 times)  

Offline Donna White Glaser

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1556
  • Gender: Female
  • The final mystery is oneself. -Oscar Wilde
    • View Profile
    • Donna White Glaser
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2015, 01:20:11 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 don't think riding the hot and trending list will secure me an Amazon contract, but it can't hurt. Besides, now that it's 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.


Good luck! I nommed Witch Ways during it's campaign. :)
  Suspense with a Dash of Humor

Offline AlexBack

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2015, 03:10:32 PM »
Any news, Kristy?

For the sake of contrast, I also enrolled my book TRIGGER CANDY in the Kindle Scout program, and on May 24th, I posted this to Writer's Cafe:

Quote
Subject: Begging for Clicks

Er. The subject says it all. Embarrassingly. My Kindle Scout book is open for nomination, and, yeah, well, erm ...

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3P8XN6TKX0X3F

A few people extremely kindly obliged, and TRIGGER CANDY received a lovely 'Hot' tag almost immediately. Then the moderators moved my post to some dead forum (because no promotion is allowed here, despite all the promotion that's allowed here  ...), and the Hot tag disappeared the next day. Since then, this is what I've done:

Nothing.

As of right now, there are nine days left to nominate the book. I will continue to do nothing. And we'll see if they offer a contract!

Offline Salvador Mercer

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2149
  • Gender: Male
  • Cleveland Ohio
    • View Profile
    • Salvador Mercer Website
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2015, 03:56:56 PM »
Alex,

I am almost done with a shorter novel in the Sci-Fi genre and plan to upload it to Kindle Scout as well.  Why not put it in your signature with the link to your book's nomination or landing page?  Personally I think you only need a small promo campaign as the Kindle team more than likely will vet anything anyway.  I honestly think a writer can get a lot of nominations and not be picked up if they just have a large social network and mediocre writing skills while a good author will land a contract as long as there is maybe just enough interest to get their attention.

All of this is purely my speculation based on what I know about the program.  I also wouldn't put much faith in the 'tag' if I were you.  I've seen tagged books not get picked up and other ones that were never 'hot' now showing as being in the publication process.

Good luck with your book, I'll have a look at it.  I'm all for free books (assuming the one's I nominate get published LOL)

Offline Donna White Glaser

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1556
  • Gender: Female
  • The final mystery is oneself. -Oscar Wilde
    • View Profile
    • Donna White Glaser
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2015, 04:03:22 PM »
Kitty's book, Witchy Ways, was picked up by Kindle Press. If you're curious about what books won contracts you can check the Published by Kindle Press tab at the bottom of the category menu. Also if you go to your campaign page you might be able to see statistics. I'm not sure about that though; that might only be post-win.
  Suspense with a Dash of Humor

Offline Kristy Tate

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
  • Orange County, CA
    • View Profile
    • kristystories.blogspot.com
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2015, 08:46:36 AM »
Witch Ways was picked up. Hooray! It's only been a few days. Just now I am filling out tax forms and such for Amazon. They're going to call on Monday to talk about my book. I hope they say nice things.

Offline Donna White Glaser

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1556
  • Gender: Female
  • The final mystery is oneself. -Oscar Wilde
    • View Profile
    • Donna White Glaser
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2015, 08:53:35 AM »
Ooops! Witch Ways, not Witchy. Sorry.  And they'll definitely be nice. They're incredibly supportive and excited about the program. :)
  Suspense with a Dash of Humor

Offline Carrie Rubin

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 567
  • Ohio
    • View Profile
    • The Write Transition
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2015, 09:20:19 AM »
Witch Ways was picked up. Hooray! It's only been a few days. Just now I am filling out tax forms and such for Amazon. They're going to call on Monday to talk about my book. I hope they say nice things.

Congratulations! That's wonderful news. Keep us posted on the process.  :)

Offline AlexBack

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2015, 11:13:23 AM »
I honestly think a writer can get a lot of nominations and not be picked up if they just have a large social network and mediocre writing skills while a good author will land a contract as long as there is maybe just enough interest to get their attention.

I'll test this! It does seem like there's so few books in Scout that the editors must look at everything. (Unless I'm mis-reading the site, somehow.)

Of course, optimally, a writer would have a great promotion skills and be a great author, but who among us is so richly blessed? (*shakes fist at Kristy*)

It strikes me as an interesting balancing act, though. I mean, if you really enjoy engaging in marketing, why bother with Scout? You don't need to take a lower royalty percentage. But if you're as crappy at self-promotion, as I am, why should Scout bother with you?

But that is such exciting news, Kristy! I'm sure they'll say nice things. If they didn't like it, they would've have taken it! Keep us updated!


Offline Bbates024

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 864
  • Gender: Male
  • Phoenix
    • View Profile
    • Free The Blizz
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2015, 11:55:25 AM »
I really like the thought of the program for a couple of reasons.

If you win you will get exposure, that could help with selling other books you have written.

The advance would basically cover the cost of what I spent on editing and the cover.

The royalty split is not bad at 50% especially if you sell more books.

It might lead to offers on the next book or books in a series from kindle publishing.

It kind of seems like a win/win for a newer author.

The only downsides I see is losing control of promotions, and price changes.

Offline Salvador Mercer

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2149
  • Gender: Male
  • Cleveland Ohio
    • View Profile
    • Salvador Mercer Website
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2015, 12:06:24 PM »
Agreed with both of you and if not selected I will self-publish at 70%.  I think for a new/newer author it's a win/win no matter if/when an author gets/doesn't get selected.

Personally IF I were selected I'm counting on the Zon to hopefully get my book in front of ARC readers and despite what others are saying, they do some sort of marketing somewhere.  There is no way that they have 15 out of 20 books with rankings below 25k at full price, no 99 cent discounts or free givaways.  I'm lucky if my books get below 25k and when they do it's brief before they start to fall again.  (8 of their 20 books are ranked higher than 10k (higher as in lower number or better ranking)).

So I think any newer author should give it a try if they don't mind Amazon's Terms of Service for the program.

Regards,
SM  8)

Note, here is the link to a snapshot in rankings that I left prior, just in case someone wants to check the data I'm referring to. http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,214231.0.html

Offline AlexBack

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2015, 07:14:50 AM »
Those data are v. interesting, Salvador. Thanks. It strikes me that Scout follows the traditional publishing method of 'throw everything against the wall and see what sticks,' except with the added--quite savvy--step of trying to weed out writers (er, like myself) who are crap at self-promotion. So they're offering $1500 and editing services in exchange for a bigger cut and trying to lock down the writer as a marketing department?

Which actually leads me to wonder if 'Hot' and 'Trending' aren't more important than I'd expected.

Offline Kristy Tate

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
  • Orange County, CA
    • View Profile
    • kristystories.blogspot.com
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2015, 07:50:46 AM »
The sad truth is a really great book can't get up and walk on it's own two legs. Writers, especially indies, have to write well and promote hard to find and keep readers. Amazon knows how to find the readers much better than most--that's what makes the kindle scout program such a brilliant idea. I figured that even if it wasn't selected, it would still put my book in front of a bigger audience than I could muster up, and I'd be just that much further ahead when I did publish. The only downside I could see is that it would tie my book to Amazon. That would be a problem if I only had one book, but I have a 15 on my shelf and probably a thousand in my head.

It makes me really sad when I see great books by talented writers languishing, but I have to remember that those authors are probably just as introverted as me, they probably majored in literature (like me) and not marketing or business. That's why it makes sense to hook up with someone who knows the book selling business (but not totally rely on them. I don't think I can afford to get lazy.)

Offline Nick Marsden

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 385
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Nick Marsden Author
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2015, 08:09:39 AM »
All this is making me think I'll submit my new Paranormal Thriller/Horror to Kindle Scout when it's done.

Epic Fantasy Author
Nick Marsden | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Offline Salvador Mercer

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2149
  • Gender: Male
  • Cleveland Ohio
    • View Profile
    • Salvador Mercer Website
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2015, 10:47:42 AM »
There is one advantage we all have as writers period.  We can write another book.  Amazon doesn't own us, they may have the right to just the one book we submit and that is that.  The advance at first, $1,500 didn't look particularly large until I realized just how much my book was making its first month at 99 cents and ranking on average around 250k.

Next, if in five years your book doesn't make at least $25k ($5k a year), you can request your rights back.  Amazon does have an incentive to at least earn an author out so it doesn't lose money.  If one book there helps with my name recognition and/or helps me to have something published by the Zon's imprint, then I think that is a win.  I can always write another book in the meantime and if any author thinks they can do better there is no mandatory requirement to submit hehe, it's just another tool in the toolbox for any author.

We'll see how my experiment goes.  I'll be sure to report back as well, accepted or rejected.  Congrats to the OP and others who were accepted.

Regards,
SM  8)

Offline Mark Gardner

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1586
  • Gender: Male
  • Arizona, USA
    • View Profile
    • Article 94
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2015, 10:41:00 AM »
I too am looking forward to more reporting in the KS universe. I'm eager to submit 16Sunsets to the program in October to see if I can get some momentum.

Offline Kristy Tate

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
  • Orange County, CA
    • View Profile
    • kristystories.blogspot.com
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2015, 10:28:41 AM »
I talked to two Amazon editors on Monday. They were great, and it was a thrill to talk to someone who seemed excited about my book with suggestions on how to make it stronger. (They suggested I make three fairly easy story tweaks.)

I asked if they could tell me how many nominations my book received and they said that there are a lot of factors and considerations that go into their decision on whether or not to accept a book for publication. I know that's not very helpful, but I understand their POV. But I can tell you that my book was on the hot and trending list about 2/3 of the time and had 1.2k page views.

Offline Salvador Mercer

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2149
  • Gender: Male
  • Cleveland Ohio
    • View Profile
    • Salvador Mercer Website
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2015, 03:24:31 PM »
Thanks for sharing, good info to know!  :)

Offline AlexBack

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2015, 07:22:25 AM »
my book was on the hot and trending list about 2/3 of the time and had 1.2k page views.

Sweet Holy Gods of Zon! I have it on good authority that my book has has 283 page views, and has been on the Hot list for exactly 6% of the time! And only three days left now.

So here's my sig:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3P8XN6TKX0X3F

Three story tweaks is nothing! That's awesome news. Did you discuss the cover, at all?

Offline Jill Nojack

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 662
  • Gender: Female
  • Sixth Circle
  • Introverts Unite (Separately)
    • View Profile
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2015, 08:50:33 AM »
My publishing plan forces me to hold on to a finished first-in-series right now until the second one is ready to go. So, because I completely dig rejection--seriously, it's practically a lifestyle--I'm going to put it in Kindle Scout this weekend now that I've had the final "yeah, that doesn't suck" from my grimmest beta reader.

The one thing that has confused me is whether or not Amazon keeps 50% of the Kindle Unlimited money earned. Can someone who has been accepted clear this up? Here is what it says about it on the Kindle Scout page:

"Net Revenue for your Work from participation in a subscription or other blended fee program will be determined in accordance with the standard revenue allocation methods for that program that are applicable to Kindle Press books. "

To me, that sounds like the KU payment could also be 50%  just like the royalty is 50% of net earnings. Which then makes the potential earnings calculation a lot less than one might think, particularly if the books are heavily promoted for KU.

Can anyone clarify? Obviously, I could contact Amazon, but it's more fun to discuss it here :-)

THE FAMILIAR and THE INNOCENT DEAD are Kindle Scout Winners |  Jillnojack.com

Offline Kristy Tate

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
  • Orange County, CA
    • View Profile
    • kristystories.blogspot.com
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2015, 09:11:59 AM »
I love my cover, so I was holding my breath. It's made from a stock photo, so I was worried there might be another book with a similar cover, but they didn't mention it. (So of course I didn't say anything.)

As to the royalty, I don't care. If Amazon promotes my one book, then it's darn good for all of my books. I'm following my son's advice, "Whatever they ask, say yes." I feel okay about that attitude, because as I said previously, I have a slew of books on my shelf and a thousand in my head. I can give one to the mighty Zon, even if I got nothing in return (which I don't think will be the case) it would be worth the experience.

Also, someone said that I can now call myself a hybrid author. That means diddly to me, but it might to others.

Offline Salvador Mercer

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2149
  • Gender: Male
  • Cleveland Ohio
    • View Profile
    • Salvador Mercer Website
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #45 on: June 18, 2015, 02:19:54 PM »
I agree, though the question is a good one.  I guess someone needs to ask KDP or maybe someone already on Kboards who has a book published with Kindle Press can clarify?

Offline Jill Nojack

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 662
  • Gender: Female
  • Sixth Circle
  • Introverts Unite (Separately)
    • View Profile
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2015, 03:38:40 PM »
I agree, though the question is a good one.  I guess someone needs to ask KDP or maybe someone already on Kboards who has a book published with Kindle Press can clarify?

I sent a question from the Scout contact page. It's really just curiosity. It will make no difference to me because I wouldn' t expect it to be selected for Kindle Press. I like to know everything about everything just because it's interesting. I'll still put my book in no matter what they tell me.

I'll report back when I have the scoop.

THE FAMILIAR and THE INNOCENT DEAD are Kindle Scout Winners |  Jillnojack.com

Offline Jill Nojack

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 662
  • Gender: Female
  • Sixth Circle
  • Introverts Unite (Separately)
    • View Profile
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2015, 01:29:27 PM »
Well, looks like I got the scoop on the second try. The first time, I got the canned response about the changes to the KU program.

However, this is interesting, right?

----------------------------------

Kindle Scout does not plan on changing our royalty calculations or payment for Kindle Unlimited reads or Kindle Owner�s Lending Library.  You will continue to receive the full digital royalty rate stipulated in your contract.

After publication and specifically for Kindle Unlimited, customer reads through the Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscription service. Every time a unique KU customer reads more than 10% of your book (about the size of the current free samples available for Kindle books), you earn your full e-book royalty rate multiplied by the average sales price for the month (or the customer price if you had no sales).

---------------------------------

So - looks like Kindle Scout pays the 50% royalty rate times the average sales price per month if more than 10% of the book is read. Does that sound like the right take from what they wrote? Will not be on page reads. That could be either good or bad depending on the length of the book and how engaging it is.

There are no answers that would have changed my mind about putting the book up for Scout, I just like knowing stuff.

But I do find it even more attractive now. Not that I will be selected, but a gal can dream  8)

Hope the info helps others!

Jill

THE FAMILIAR and THE INNOCENT DEAD are Kindle Scout Winners |  Jillnojack.com

Offline Salvador Mercer

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2149
  • Gender: Male
  • Cleveland Ohio
    • View Profile
    • Salvador Mercer Website
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2015, 02:14:31 PM »
That sounds like a completely different system than KU even though the book will be in it.  So if a book is priced at $3.99 (say 4 dollars to make this example simple), I'm understanding that any KU read would net $2.00.  Is that what you understand or is my understanding wrong?  That seems to be a good deal, so I'm naturally thinking that I am misunderstanding something here.

Offline Jill Nojack

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 662
  • Gender: Female
  • Sixth Circle
  • Introverts Unite (Separately)
    • View Profile
Re: Kindle Scout experiences, anyone?
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2015, 02:24:05 PM »
That sounds like a completely different system than KU even though the book will be in it.  So if a book is priced at $3.99 (say 4 dollars to make this example simple), I'm understanding that any KU read would net $2.00.  Is that what you understand or is my understanding wrong?  That seems to be a good deal, so I'm naturally thinking that I am misunderstanding something here.

Salavador, I think we are reading this the same - basically, the author is getting paid under the Scribd model (% of book price per borrow) rather than the KU model. Since my current series is on Scribd rather than KU, this is a model I obviously like.

Then again, I haven't seen a contract, so I don't know what it says, and oftentimes Amazon responses can be conflictual and confusing when the question is something out of the ordinary. However, the second response was from Kindle Scout staff rather than just generic Amazon support like this first.

To me this looks like a "trad pub" model rather than an "indie pub" model. This would makes sense since Kindle Press is offering a publishing contract.

P.S. How are you enjoying the (marginally) cooler weather today? I'm a bit south of you down here in Kent.

THE FAMILIAR and THE INNOCENT DEAD are Kindle Scout Winners |  Jillnojack.com