Author Topic: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread  (Read 91078 times)  

Offline Mark Gardner

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #100 on: November 03, 2016, 03:02:12 PM »
As far as that "minimum I have to charge" on CS, does that mean they won't let you sell it for any less than a certain price? Honestly, I pass up most paperbacks when they're priced too high, and I'm hoping I don't have to price mine too high.
How much is too high? Don't fall into the trap a lot of indies do and undercut your prices. By utilizing discount codes, you can sell directly to your fans for whatever price you want. The important part is getting as wide a distribution as possible.
I don't mean to sound harsh, but most of your paperback book sales will be to friends and family, and likely in person, so your list price is irrelevant, because you can reduce the price to what you want with discount codes.
The minimum price CS will allow is a dollar and change over your author purchase price, so a 300-page book is around $6.99 or so, but you couldn't do expanded distribution.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #101 on: November 03, 2016, 03:37:22 PM »
How much is too high? Don't fall into the trap a lot of indies do and undercut your prices. By utilizing discount codes, you can sell directly to your fans for whatever price you want. The important part is getting as wide a distribution as possible.
I don't mean to sound harsh, but most of your paperback book sales will be to friends and family, and likely in person, so your list price is irrelevant, because you can reduce the price to what you want with discount codes.
The minimum price CS will allow is a dollar and change over your author purchase price, so a 300-page book is around $6.99 or so, but you couldn't do expanded distribution.

I'll have to figure out how to use a discount code. That sounds like a great idea, and even though my CS screen says apply discount, I probably wouldn't have thought about sending customers directly to CS with a discount code. Even if a customer orders at a discounted price they have to pay shipping, so there goes most of the savings, right? I ordered a copy as soon as the book was finished, but used two day shipping, and it cost more than the copy my sister bought retail using Prime with free shipping. Granted, most buyers wouldn't use expedited shipping, but still . . .

The minimum permissible non-discounted price for my book was something like $14.50, so I set the price at $14.95. At 414 pages, and 6" x 9", the book is expensive because it's long. So, if my author cost is $5.81 per copy, where should I set my discounted price?

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #102 on: November 03, 2016, 03:53:46 PM »
How much is too high? Don't fall into the trap a lot of indies do and undercut your prices. By utilizing discount codes, you can sell directly to your fans for whatever price you want. The important part is getting as wide a distribution as possible.
I don't mean to sound harsh, but most of your paperback book sales will be to friends and family, and likely in person, so your list price is irrelevant, because you can reduce the price to what you want with discount codes.
The minimum price CS will allow is a dollar and change over your author purchase price, so a 300-page book is around $6.99 or so, but you couldn't do expanded distribution.
I have a somewhat different philosophy on paperback pricing. I look at my genre and see what the trad published bestsellers are selling for (usually around $9.99 the last time I looked, though obviously book length makes some of them a little more than that.) and try to avoid going over that unless the length of the book demands it. After all, I'm a relatively unknown author. Are people going to pay more for me than they would for a household-name bestseller? I'd have to say no.

That does mean I get a relatively low royalty, and I have to forego expanding distribution. However, I tried expanded distribution, and it killed my paperback sales on Amazon without netting me even one sale in the expanded channels, so eventually I dropped it. To illustrate the effect, I just tried switching on the expanded channels for my latest book, currently selling at $10.50 (minimum price is $9.97.) With expanded channels switched on, the minimum price jumped to $14.95, almost a $5.00 increase and $4.45 over the current price. Even on shorter books, it's usually a $3.00 or more jump. Of course, the extra is to pay the middlemen.

I also experimented with using a different edition for expanded distribution, so I had the benefit of a low price and Amazon and reach. However, I abandoned the idea when the more highly priced edition made not one sale over several months. All it did was irritate me by appearing first on Amazon for no apparent reason.

It sounds as if you sell more paperbacks than I do just in general. I don't really look at the paperbacks as a revenue source. I look at them as a way to get more books into the world (via Amazon giveaways, for example) and a way of satisfying the crowd that doesn't think you're a legit writer without a physical copy. I do sell a few, as long as I keep the price relatively low. Selling a few is better than selling zero.



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Offline Mark Gardner

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #103 on: November 03, 2016, 03:57:57 PM »
I'll have to figure out how to use a discount code. That sounds like a great idea, and even though my CS screen says apply discount, I probably wouldn't have thought about sending customers directly to CS with a discount code. Even if a customer orders at a discounted price they have to pay shipping, so there goes most of the savings, right? I ordered a copy as soon as the book was finished, but used two day shipping, and it cost more than the copy my sister bought retail using Prime with free shipping. Granted, most buyers wouldn't use expedited shipping, but still . . .

The minimum permissible non-discounted price for my book was something like $14.50, so I set the price at $14.95. At 414 pages, and 6" x 9", the book is expensive because it's long. So, if my author cost is $5.81 per copy, where should I set my discounted price?
I assume that at $14.95, your expanded distribution royalty is somewhere around 40 cents. An increase of your list price to $16.99 would give you another $2.00 in expanded royalties. At that price, you can offer a discount of $10, so that friends and family can purchase it for $6.99.

414 pages at 6x9 is a pretty hefty word count. My space disaster collaboration weighed in at 91k, and it's only 390 5x8 pages with easily readable text. What's the word count on your book?

Offline Mark Gardner

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #104 on: November 03, 2016, 04:17:48 PM »
I have a somewhat different philosophy on paperback pricing. I look at my genre and see what the trad published bestsellers are selling for (usually around $9.99 the last time I looked, though obviously book length makes some of them a little more than that.) and try to avoid going over that unless the length of the book demands it. After all, I'm a relatively unknown author. Are people going to pay more for me than they would for a household-name bestseller? I'd have to say no.

That does mean I get a relatively low royalty, and I have to forego expanding distribution. However, I tried expanded distribution, and it killed my paperback sales on Amazon without netting me even one sale in the expanded channels, so eventually I dropped it. To illustrate the effect, I just tried switching on the expanded channels for my latest book, currently selling at $10.50 (minimum price is $9.97.) With expanded channels switched on, the minimum price jumped to $14.95, almost a $5.00 increase and $4.45 over the current price. Even on shorter books, it's usually a $3.00 or more jump. Of course, the extra is to pay the middlemen.

I also experimented with using a different edition for expanded distribution, so I had the benefit of a low price and Amazon and reach. However, I abandoned the idea when the more highly priced edition made not one sale over several months. All it did was irritate me by appearing first on Amazon for no apparent reason.

It sounds as if you sell more paperbacks than I do just in general. I don't really look at the paperbacks as a revenue source. I look at them as a way to get more books into the world (via Amazon giveaways, for example) and a way of satisfying the crowd that doesn't think you're a legit writer without a physical copy. I do sell a few, as long as I keep the price relatively low. Selling a few is better than selling zero.
major publishers don't do POD. They purchase 1000s or 10,000s of books at a time, so they get them printed dirt cheap. If you try to compete with them, they'll win every time.

Stop calling yourself an unknown author. Every author is unknown until they're not. You absolutely must believe in yourself if you want anyone else to believe in you too. Live by the adage, "Fake it to you make it."

I love hustling paperbacks at events, etc, so the list price of the book is irrelevant. I offer them at $10 - $15, depending on the book. To me, it's all about interacting with the fans and bibliophiles.

To be honest, I'd rather sell zero than undersell my product. Just as I would never do freelance computer work for less than a dollar a minute. I refuse to sell a paperback for less than a $3.00-ish royalty. My method and thinking isn't for everyone, but I do pretty well. I don't begrudge anyone for doing it otherwise.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #105 on: November 03, 2016, 04:51:35 PM »
major publishers don't do POD. They purchase 1000s or 10,000s of books at a time, so they get them printed dirt cheap. If you try to compete with them, they'll win every time.

Stop calling yourself an unknown author. Every author is unknown until they're not. You absolutely must believe in yourself if you want anyone else to believe in you too. Live by the adage, "Fake it to you make it."

I love hustling paperbacks at events, etc, so the list price of the book is irrelevant. I offer them at $10 - $15, depending on the book. To me, it's all about interacting with the fans and bibliophiles.

To be honest, I'd rather sell zero than undersell my product. Just as I would never do freelance computer work for less than a dollar a minute. I refuse to sell a paperback for less than a $3.00-ish royalty. My method and thinking isn't for everyone, but I do pretty well. I don't begrudge anyone for doing it otherwise.
Yes, we both agree that one size doesn't fit all.

I'm well aware the major publishers don't do POD, and that's why they can keep production costs low--but consumers don't care. I know there would be ways to sell more cheaply to family and friends, but as I have no family and don't advertise to my friends, that really doesn't matter to me. I haven't done that many live sales, though I may some day. However, the fact that you sell the books at live sales for less than the list price kind of supports my point. Anyway, what sales I get, I get from online customers who are going to be staring at the full sticker price. Our situations are different, which explains our different approaches.

In general, more established writers, whether indie or trad, tend to be able to command higher prices. If one takes an as-much-as-the-market-will-bear approach to pricing as I tend to, I don't see what I'm doing as underselling. I tested at higher price points, and paperback sales fell off a cliff. Since you evidently can get that price, though, for you selling at rates that I do could be regarded as underselling, so I see your point with regard to your own circumstances.


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Offline RWhite7699

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #106 on: November 03, 2016, 04:57:25 PM »
You know, I'd love to read and review books on my blog for other authors for free. It's something I've been thinking of for a while. Perhaps others who haven't made it to Kindle Scout either? Might be an idea...

Ziv, thanks for your offer. I would really love to have an honest review of my book, Lily of the Valley (Mansions of Karma, book 1). It has been out there awhile without much success, but I feel in my gut that it deserves more. Of course, we all feel that way about our books. I'll say no more about it, and let you decide - honestly, as I know you will. The link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS9W1DU. It will be free this Saturday, Nov 6. Let me know if you want a reminder on Saturday. Thank you.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #107 on: November 03, 2016, 05:10:30 PM »
Sorry, my head is not well-attached today. Lily of the Valley is free on SUNDAY, Nov 6, not Saturday. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS9W1DU

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #108 on: November 03, 2016, 05:41:07 PM »
I assume that at $14.95, your expanded distribution royalty is somewhere around 40 cents. An increase of your list price to $16.99 would give you another $2.00 in expanded royalties. At that price, you can offer a discount of $10, so that friends and family can purchase it for $6.99.

414 pages at 6x9 is a pretty hefty word count. My space disaster collaboration weighed in at 91k, and it's only 390 5x8 pages with easily readable text. What's the word count on your book?

My word count is around 114,000. (The next book, currently in first draft, is so long I had to divide it into two.) I don't write short books, LOL.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #109 on: November 03, 2016, 05:48:31 PM »
Ziv, thanks for your offer. I would really love to have an honest review of my book, Lily of the Valley (Mansions of Karma, book 1). It has been out there awhile without much success, but I feel in my gut that it deserves more. Of course, we all feel that way about our books. I'll say no more about it, and let you decide - honestly, as I know you will. The link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS9W1DU. It will be free this Saturday, Nov 6. Let me know if you want a reminder on Saturday. Thank you.

I'll happily vouch for Ruth's writing. I read the The Blues of Lotus Hall recently and loved it. I downloaded Hanging with Ecila when it was free not long ago, hoping to read it before too long, and I'll make sure to get Lilly of the Valley next.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #110 on: November 03, 2016, 07:27:46 PM »
For people thinking about making their own covers-- if you think you will be making multiple covers throughout your career, you might want to download GIMP which is basically just free Photoshop. It's not worth learning if you're only going to make one cover in your life, but if you foresee making several, it's worth learning. (I made all of my covers, below, the better ones I made on GIMP.) There are a bajillion tutorials on how to do stuff in GIMP, and, it has it's own chatroom ("Gimpchat") where newbies are helped very quickly.

https://www.gimp.org/

Lorain O'Neil

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #111 on: November 03, 2016, 10:42:52 PM »
Hey, good friends. My latest effort, Serendipity, is free today, Friday, Nov 4.  Please grab a free copy by clicking on the cover below - second image. And please feel free to leave an honest review. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Offline ZivGray

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #112 on: November 04, 2016, 02:57:11 AM »
Ziv, thanks for your offer. I would really love to have an honest review of my book, Lily of the Valley (Mansions of Karma, book 1). It has been out there awhile without much success, but I feel in my gut that it deserves more. Of course, we all feel that way about our books. I'll say no more about it, and let you decide - honestly, as I know you will. The link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS9W1DU. It will be free this Saturday, Nov 6. Let me know if you want a reminder on Saturday. Thank you.

Looks like it's available through Kindle Unlimited, so I've downloaded it. I'll give it a read and leave a review on Amazon!
Dance of Dark and Light #2: 70%
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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #113 on: November 04, 2016, 03:55:58 AM »
Hey, good friends. My latest effort, Serendipity, is free today, Friday, Nov 4.  Please grab a free copy by clicking on the cover below - second image. And please feel free to leave an honest review. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Got it. Thanks.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #114 on: November 04, 2016, 05:51:48 AM »
Hey, good friends. My latest effort, Serendipity, is free today, Friday, Nov 4.  Please grab a free copy by clicking on the cover below - second image. And please feel free to leave an honest review. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Got it also.


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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #115 on: November 04, 2016, 05:54:49 AM »
For people thinking about making their own covers-- if you think you will be making multiple covers throughout your career, you might want to download GIMP which is basically just free Photoshop. It's not worth learning if you're only going to make one cover in your life, but if you foresee making several, it's worth learning. (I made all of my covers, below, the better ones I made on GIMP.) There are a bajillion tutorials on how to do stuff in GIMP, and, it has it's own chatroom ("Gimpchat") where newbies are helped very quickly.

https://www.gimp.org/
I must say the color schemes on your covers are very eye-catching (which isn't always easy to do in thumbnail). I imagine they definitely help your sales.


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Offline Mark Gardner

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #116 on: November 04, 2016, 05:57:18 AM »
Looks like it's available through Kindle Unlimited, so I've downloaded it. I'll give it a read and leave a review on Amazon!
Be sure to pick it up on Saturday when it's free, that way your review will have the "verified purchase" tag.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #117 on: November 04, 2016, 06:04:48 AM »
Well, I just clicked publish on Different Lee, which gives me another page to constantly refresh (the bookshelf in this case) to see when it goes live.

Interestingly, though I thought I had proofed the material very meticulously before submitting to Scout, I found quite a few small errors. (This is after a complete readthrough before sending it to a professional editor and two readthroughs after it got back (one to incorporate the editor's changes while checking the context, and another after that to make sure I didn't miss anything during the preceding reading). I also found a couple of continuity problems (like apparently forgetting a particular character is present while I was writing a scene, with the result that the character just disappears).  I also spotted a couple of places I had thought were clear that really weren't. :( Needless to say, I'm glad I did one more reading--but now I can always wonder if I'd caught all those things first, would it have made a difference in the Scout selection? I'll never know...

Anyway, I'll let you know when it goes live.


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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #118 on: November 04, 2016, 06:06:15 AM »
Be sure to pick it up on Saturday when it's free, that way your review will have the "verified purchase" tag.
Yes, it's high time Amazon rolled out a "verified borrow" label. The distinction between purchases and KU borrows makes little sense.


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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #119 on: November 04, 2016, 06:14:04 AM »
Interestingly, though I thought I had proofed the material very meticulously before submitting to Scout, I found quite a few small errors. (This is after a complete readthrough before sending it to a professional editor and two readthroughs after it got back (one to incorporate the editor's changes while checking the context, and another after that to make sure I didn't miss anything during the preceding reading). I also found a couple of continuity problems (like apparently forgetting a particular character is present while I was writing a scene, with the result that the character just disappears).  I also spotted a couple of places I had thought were clear that really weren't.
I just got a communication from a reader that my superhero novel, Sixteen Sunsets, I had one of the characters wearing a "petticoat." I obviously meant a "peacoat," but an editor, 2 proofreaders, and several beta readers didn't pick up on that. Sigh...

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #120 on: November 04, 2016, 06:29:39 AM »
I just got a communication from a reader that my superhero novel, Sixteen Sunsets, I had one of the characters wearing a "petticoat." I obviously meant a "peacoat," but an editor, 2 proofreaders, and several beta readers didn't pick up on that. Sigh...
For several years I was the sponsor of the literary magazine at the high school where I worked. The final publication was usually around 60 pages, and it was proofed by me and several students on the staff, mostly people in honors and AP English classes. No matter how many times we proofed (and sometimes we did about fifteen readthroughs) there were still errors in the finished product.


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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #121 on: November 04, 2016, 06:33:56 AM »
I just got a communication from a reader that my superhero novel, Sixteen Sunsets, I had one of the characters wearing a "petticoat." I obviously meant a "peacoat," but an editor, 2 proofreaders, and several beta readers didn't pick up on that. Sigh...

Petticoat, LOL!!!!!

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #122 on: November 04, 2016, 06:36:53 AM »

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #123 on: November 04, 2016, 06:42:55 AM »
Well, I just clicked publish on Different Lee, which gives me another page to constantly refresh (the bookshelf in this case) to see when it goes live.

Interestingly, though I thought I had proofed the material very meticulously before submitting to Scout, I found quite a few small errors. (This is after a complete readthrough before sending it to a professional editor and two readthroughs after it got back (one to incorporate the editor's changes while checking the context, and another after that to make sure I didn't miss anything during the preceding reading). I also found a couple of continuity problems (like apparently forgetting a particular character is present while I was writing a scene, with the result that the character just disappears).  I also spotted a couple of places I had thought were clear that really weren't. :( Needless to say, I'm glad I did one more reading--but now I can always wonder if I'd caught all those things first, would it have made a difference in the Scout selection? I'll never know...

Anyway, I'll let you know when it goes live.

Yay!  Best of luck. You'll probably do quite well as you have an established readership. I'm on day 3 after the KS announcement email and it's crickets, so aside from the wonderful contacts I made on the KS thread, I'd say KS was a bust for helping me sell my book. I realize that the 2100 page views don't reveal much about nominations, but I know a lot of my personal contacts nominated me and they haven't come through now that they actually have to PAY for the book. I'll probably get a few more sales over the weekend, but still. Sigh. I have a feeling most people nominating "internally" elect not to receive the notification email since they get bombarded with announcements of self-published books.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #124 on: November 04, 2016, 06:51:03 AM »
I'm on day 3 after the KS announcement email and it's crickets, so aside from the wonderful contacts I made on the KS thread, I'd say KS was a bust for helping me sell my book.
The secret, and I know it's difficult to implement, is to not care if you're selected. If Kindle Press passes on Retaliation, the moment I get that notification, the ARCs go out, the foreign language translation begins, the audiobook gets recorded, and I move on to my Murder Mystery, Score of Silence.

As an aside, I'm getting pretty darn close to my 300th rejection, and when I do, I'm going to compile them into a 300-page book and sell it on Amazon.