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Flight of the Tarantula Hawk
by Michael Allan Scott

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On the IndieReader Best Book list and featured on NBC's Daytime Show, the second book in the Lance Underphal Mystery series is part of a new breed of supernatural thrillers which can be read and enjoyed in any order. Dark, different, featuring a damaged psychic, this is one of those disturbing novels that keeps you guessing.

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Supernatural Murder Mystery - Realtor Carla Simon has her first showing in nearly eighteen months. Recovering from a nervous breakdown, she arrives at the bank-owned foreclosure well ahead of her prospect. When her buyer pins her against the wall, it turns out to be the last house she'll ever show.

Looking for a new breed of supernatural thrillers? Paranormal mysteries of murder and suspense? Perhaps a psychic detective series which can be read and enjoyed in any order? Or maybe one of t...

Author Topic: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread  (Read 96354 times)  

Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2016, 05:13:29 AM »
Morning! Thank you Kay for the link and notification about the new page. Love it!! I believe this is going to be very helpful to those who have not had any luck with kindle scout and who are also possibly publishing their first book.♥ Hi to everyone, some of you i know.

Just quickly, I'll tell you that my kindle scout expectations where high but on the release day, i was disappointed. I strongly urge you NOT to put your book up for FREE on release day. You will not achieve anything. The high place you may get because all the kindle scout nominator peeps will snaffle your book, but once you put it up for sale..the ranking you achieved will be lost and you're back to the beginning. Also...the kindle scout nomination peeps want freebies, most of them...and i thought by putting up my book for 99c would help in that they'd think 99c isn't far off from free..but nope.

I'm trying to stay positive about the whole event and by that I mean out of it ive got some fabulous new friends♥
I feel the same way about the friends--best part of the process.

I second the not putting the book out for free part. I am considering the trying a $.99 intro price, which is what I normally do anyway, though your experience does give me pause. I should also check the promos I might want to try in the first thirty days. The ones who promote for reduced price often want the book to have been regular priced for a specific period of time before they'll promote it.


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Offline Michele Brouder

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2016, 05:22:55 AM »
Once you change the price back to $2.99, you can check 70%.
Thanks Bill! I'm loving this thread with all the KS alumni!

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Offline Cindy Rinaman Marsch

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2016, 05:46:33 AM »
Ooh, Ooh, that's me.  Not selected by KS. 8)

I'm really struggling with learning how to self-publish. It's even taking me a while to format my novel for ebook, let alone CreateSpace. Self-publishing my memoir anthology was so much easier, since it was only 22 pages, and I only did ebook for .99 cents.

Good luck with your launch, Kay. I will check it out when I get a chance.


Lori, one of the best things I've done getting started in this business (published January, and I've sold about 2k books and short stories now, and had freebie downloads of about 3k for my short story) was to join the Alliance of Independent Authors. You can read some of their stuff free at their site and on FB (that's how I learned KS had added a general lit category last fall so I did a December campaign), but joining gets you access to their FB group, which is where most of the real nuts-and-bolts help comes. I had one person offer to solve a CS formatting problem I was having, and I wound up doing a proofreading job for her press later - lots of relationships for networking and synergy! If you go to one of my websites linked below and click on the ALLi seal on the bottom to visit the site, if you then join (they have different membership levels), they give me a nice little kickback. Thanks! :-)

ROSETTE: A NOVEL OF PIONEER MICHIGAN and "Blizzard: A Story of Dakota Territory"
Cindy Rinaman Marsch | ROSETTE website for both books | Moraine's Edge Books for author services | KBoards Yellow Pages Entry

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2016, 05:49:52 AM »
      Lori, I wouldn't even think about CreateSpace until you get your ebook off the ground. One thing at a time. Good luck.
Actually Ruth--and Lori--I usually publish my CreateSpace book and Kindle version simultaneously. It's not really that hard to do and it's good to have 'hard copy' to sell at local events. Also gets you physically onto library shelves, and it's more impressive to send to the big newspapers and magazines for review.

Kathy Cecala

Offline Michele Brouder

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2016, 05:58:40 AM »
Actually Ruth--and Lori--I usually publish my CreateSpace book and Kindle version simultaneously. It's not really that hard to do and it's good to have 'hard copy' to sell at local events. Also gets you physically onto library shelves, and it's more impressive to send to the big newspapers and magazines for review.

How do you go about getting your book onto library shelves?

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Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2016, 06:24:10 AM »
Lori, one of the best things I've done getting started in this business (published January, and I've sold about 2k books and short stories now, and had freebie downloads of about 3k for my short story) was to join the Alliance of Independent Authors. You can read some of their stuff free at their site and on FB (that's how I learned KS had added a general lit category last fall so I did a December campaign), but joining gets you access to their FB group, which is where most of the real nuts-and-bolts help comes. I had one person offer to solve a CS formatting problem I was having, and I wound up doing a proofreading job for her press later - lots of relationships for networking and synergy! If you go to one of my websites linked below and click on the ALLi seal on the bottom to visit the site, if you then join (they have different membership levels), they give me a nice little kickback. Thanks! :-)
That's a great tip, Cindy. I haven't got too much time to explore all the resources available right now, but I just joined, and I'm looking forward to checking it out in more detail in the future.


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Offline Cindy Rinaman Marsch

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2016, 06:33:24 AM »
How do you go about getting your book onto library shelves?

Michele, Self-E is the one I know about, but I know an author who has put her work into that program and had tens of thousands of downloads to libraries, but no money from any of that, and little buy-through. As she says, library patrons are not necessarily book buyers - it's a different segment of the population.

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Offline Cindy Rinaman Marsch

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2016, 06:34:50 AM »
Actually Ruth--and Lori--I usually publish my CreateSpace book and Kindle version simultaneously. It's not really that hard to do and it's good to have 'hard copy' to sell at local events. Also gets you physically onto library shelves, and it's more impressive to send to the big newspapers and magazines for review.

Or publish the ebook first, then let it simmer while you wrestle with the paperback formatting and such. I got my paperback out a month after the ebook, and I think it helped sales of both. At least it gave me something else to talk about to get the word out. :-)

ROSETTE: A NOVEL OF PIONEER MICHIGAN and "Blizzard: A Story of Dakota Territory"
Cindy Rinaman Marsch | ROSETTE website for both books | Moraine's Edge Books for author services | KBoards Yellow Pages Entry

Offline Michele Brouder

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2016, 06:38:13 AM »
Michele, Self-E is the one I know about, but I know an author who has put her work into that program and had tens of thousands of downloads to libraries, but no money from any of that, and little buy-through. As she says, library patrons are not necessarily book buyers - it's a different segment of the population.

Thanks Cindy, I'll look into this!

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Offline evdarcy

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2016, 06:45:42 AM »
//Waves

KS reject here too!  I published one book, highest rank was 6k UK and just over 2k on the .Com.  I've decided to go wide across all retailers now, before I have a backlist. That probably sounds so strange to most, but the reason being is that I believe that Amazon is not the be all and end all. I believe that if iBooks sorts out web access to their book store they could easily over take the zon (and I don't even like Apple!).

Anyway, I decided I'd rather try and make it in the whole ocean than in a sea... After all there's more room in the Ocean!

My second book is due the end of December and I'm not bothering with KS again.  I don't actually think it's worth much -- even though it did generate a few of my earlier sales.

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Offline Michele Brouder

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2016, 06:53:14 AM »
//Waves

KS reject here too!  I published one book, highest rank was 6k UK and just over 2k on the .Com.  I've decided to go wide across all retailers now, before I have a backlist. That probably sounds so strange to most, but the reason being is that I believe that Amazon is not the be all and end all. I believe that if iBooks sorts out web access to their book store they could easily over take the zon (and I don't even like Apple!).

Anyway, I decided I'd rather try and make it in the whole ocean than in a sea... After all there's more room in the Ocean!

My second book is due the end of December and I'm not bothering with KS again.  I don't actually think it's worth much -- even though it did generate a few of my earlier sales.

Waves right back>>
I too don't think I'd do Kindle Scout again. The campaigning was time consuming and I'd just rather write and release. I'm thinking of going wide eventually but for now I'll stay with Kindle Select until I have more out there.

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Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2016, 07:03:55 AM »
Lori, one of the best things I've done getting started in this business (published January, and I've sold about 2k books and short stories now, and had freebie downloads of about 3k for my short story) was to join the Alliance of Independent Authors. You can read some of their stuff free at their site and on FB (that's how I learned KS had added a general lit category last fall so I did a December campaign), but joining gets you access to their FB group, which is where most of the real nuts-and-bolts help comes. I had one person offer to solve a CS formatting problem I was having, and I wound up doing a proofreading job for her press later - lots of relationships for networking and synergy! If you go to one of my websites linked below and click on the ALLi seal on the bottom to visit the site, if you then join (they have different membership levels), they give me a nice little kickback. Thanks! :-)
Cindy, a quick question about ALLi. I was creating my profile info and noticed the books section. When the form asks for book info, that's like a short teaser, or is the expectation greater than that? I thought I should be able to look at samples easily enough, but I can't figure out where I'd even see other members' profiles. (There is a mention that the profile is public, but no sign of any kind of display; I was expecting a directory or something like that. Maybe inputting book information isn't really that important. I can't tell.)

Also, since the organization is international, would something like booklinker links be a good choice for purchase URL, or does that not work in their system? (Booklinker redirects readers to the correct Amazon store for their area.)


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Offline Michele Brouder

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2016, 07:10:04 AM »
Cindy, a quick question about ALLi. I was creating my profile info and noticed the books section. When the form asks for book info, that's like a short teaser, or is the expectation greater than that? I thought I should be able to look at samples easily enough, but I can't figure out where I'd even see other members' profiles. (There is a mention that the profile is public, but no sign of any kind of display; I was expecting a directory or something like that. Maybe inputting book information isn't really that important. I can't tell.)

Also, since the organization is international, would something like booklinker links be a good choice for purchase URL, or does that not work in their system? (Booklinker redirects readers to the correct Amazon store for their area.)
Thanks Bill! You are a trove of useful information. Never heard of Booklinker. So now that I've learned 2 new things today (Booklinker and Self-E) I guess I can go to bed for the day. Even though it's only 2pm.

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Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2016, 07:19:11 AM »
Thanks Bill! You are a trove of useful information. Never heard of Booklinker. So now that I've learned 2 new things today (Booklinker and Self-E) I guess I can go to bed for the day. Even though it's only 2pm.
Booklinker is free, and it also provides stats by country on how many clicks you get. Thought most of mine are in the US anyway, a good-sized group (on some books 20% or more) are in other countries for which a .com link isn't going to be helpful. I figure it might be one small way to encourage international sales, since in my experience every additional click a potential buyer has to make creates a greater likelihood they won't get all the way there. A really motivated buyer will switch to his or her country's store to make the purchase, but someone a little less motivated may not.

If you make a lot of use of your author page on Amazon, Booklinker also creates universal links for those as well.


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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2016, 07:22:48 AM »
Got my second rejection from Scout today, so I feel like a battered Scout Warrior.

Is there anyone out there who has had a successful launch and can offer advice? I've been through the forums and the methods seem to vary. I'm thinking of putting the book on pre-sale just to get the ASIN, then running an AMS ad for it, then trying to get bargainbooksy or something for when the book goes live. Was toying with the idea of having the presale at .99 then going to 2.99 or 3.99 after launch.

I'm also very much on the fence about going into Select now with all the problems that have been reported with no news on the horizon as to when it'll get fixed.

All other books I've had, I just literally hit the publish button and let it go.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2016, 07:31:14 AM »
Waves right back>>
I too don't think I'd do Kindle Scout again. The campaigning was time consuming and I'd just rather write and release. I'm thinking of going wide eventually but for now I'll stay with Kindle Select until I have more out there.
I think I'm going to give Kindle Scout at least one more shot. The campaign was time-consuming for me, too, but now that I'm pretty sure the stats don't really matter, I might just use Lexi Revellian's set-it-and-forget-it model. I'd lose the benefit of extra sales from nominators perhaps (though that doesn't seem to be panning out for everyone), but I'd gain back the time and nervous energy (and advertising) I poured into the campaign.

The latest Author Earning Report shows Amazon Imprints as the fastest growing segment of Amazon's US ebook sales. Such a finding suggests that Amazon's promotion of Scout books (which are most of the new Amazon imprint titles) is effective. The Scout authors also seem to be happy with their results. Since the waiting period including the campaign is only five weeks at most, that's not a significant release delay, and it seems worth it for the easiest access to trad publishing anyone is ever likely to offer.


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Offline editorjmv

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2016, 07:44:48 AM »
I, too, was not selected after a Kindle Scout campaign this past March. I then published my science fiction novel, Modern Surprises, on Kindle and CreateSpace. I had some sales at first, but no sales lately.


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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #42 on: November 02, 2016, 07:46:35 AM »
Got my second rejection from Scout today, so I feel like a battered Scout Warrior.

Is there anyone out there who has had a successful launch and can offer advice? I've been through the forums and the methods seem to vary. I'm thinking of putting the book on pre-sale just to get the ASIN, then running an AMS ad for it, then trying to get bargainbooksy or something for when the book goes live. Was toying with the idea of having the presale at .99 then going to 2.99 or 3.99 after launch.

I'm also very much on the fence about going into Select now with all the problems that have been reported with no news on the horizon as to when it'll get fixed.

All other books I've had, I just literally hit the publish button and let it go.
I'm so sorry to hear that your book wasn't accepted--though it doesn't shake my confidence you will be very successful at some point.

Here's a link I bookmarked about promo sites that will take new releases: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,236763.0.html It has a lot of information.

I haven't done preorders before, but I always have started out with a $.99 intro price, and that does seem to encourage sales.

AMS ads work, though they take experimentation to stay within reasonable costs but still generate enough clicks to get sales. They do move books, though.

I have tried online release parties (Facebook events), and I have mixed feelings. The first couple I did definitely boosted sales and early reviews. The last one didn't, and I haven't tried since. It is a bit of a cash investment, since the most common ways to get people to engage are games with prizes and small giveaways.

Fun fact: if you do an FB release party, there's a way to have your guests interact with the book characters! You can create an FB page for a fictional character. If you then make any character pages cosponsors of event, those pages can post as if they were real people. It does create an interesting effect. If you don't go the release party route, you can use the same technique on your author page and sometimes post as your characters. Depending on your audience, that can sometimes give engagement and the book you're advertising a little boost.

I haven't tried this, but I've known people who did a reading of the first part of their book and posted the result on YouTube. (The visual is usually a montage with the cover and other suitable images.) They claim to have gotten some extra traffic that way, and it doesn't cost anything.

As far as Select is concerned, I firmly believe every author should experiment. Some people make almost no sales outside Amazon, but some people make significant sales that way. I've tried going wide twice, and both times I made less in a year on all the other outlets than I make in one month through KU (even currently wonky KU). However, I know other people who get 20 or 30% of their income from other sites, in some cases even more.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 09:07:50 AM by Bill Hiatt »


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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #43 on: November 02, 2016, 07:48:32 AM »
I, too, was not selected after a Kindle Scout campaign this past March. I then published my science fiction novel, Modern Surprises, on Kindle and CreateSpace. I had some sales at first, but no sales lately.


Yes, I often liken selling books to mining. It feels as if you have to dig every single sale out of the rocks. I've found that if I'm not promoting almost constantly, I'm not selling.


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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #44 on: November 02, 2016, 08:31:53 AM »
WOW! Lots of activity here! I guess starting this thread WAS a good idea!

Update: Day 1 of "going public." My KS notification email went out yesterday at 4:17 PM EDT. I got a whopping three sales last night, all of which could have come from my FB post announcing that my book is available, since I included the link.

This morning I resurrected my CoPromote account, which I used exactly once, the last day of my KS campaign. I added Bill and Michele B and a few others here.

My paperback proof copy arrived this morning and the book looks good, but the cover is darker than I expected. I'm not sure if there's anyway I can alter that, as Createspace uses a PDF file for the cover art.

As for how the artwork appears online, my sister Marie, the tech-savvy member of the family, lightened the cover by 40% for the eBook version, and if you look on Amazon and compare the Kindle and paperback versions, the paperback is darker and rather hard to see in thumbnail size. I doubt I can do anything about that either, but most potential buyers will be looking at the eBook version.

When I look at a large version of the original artwork on my computer it doesn't seem too dark, and the detail is much sharper than on the paperback cover. I spent a lot of money on this cover art, so it's a bit disappointing. The scene shown on the cover occurs at night, so I wanted it to be sort of dark, but not so dark you can't appreciate the details.

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Offline Kay7979

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #45 on: November 02, 2016, 08:34:55 AM »
Thanks so much for starting this thread. I just picked up your book, though it may take me a little time to actually read it at this point.

Thanks Bill! I know you already have a daunting reading list ahead of you!

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Offline editorjmv

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #46 on: November 02, 2016, 08:41:54 AM »
Yes, I often liken selling books to mining. It feels as if you have to dig every single sale out of the rocks. I've found that if I'm not promoting almost constantly, I'm not selling.

And I have found that even if you do promote yourself constantly, you still can have zero sales.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #47 on: November 02, 2016, 08:44:35 AM »
WOW! Lots of activity here! I guess starting this thread WAS a good idea!

Update: Day 1 of "going public." My KS notification email went out yesterday at 4:17 PM EDT. I got a whopping three sales last night, all of which could have come from my FB post announcing that my book is available, since I included the link.

This morning I resurrected my CoPromote account, which I used exactly once, the last day of my KS campaign. I added Bill and Michele B and a few others here.

My paperback proof copy arrived this morning and the book looks good, but the cover is darker than I expected. I'm not sure if there's anyway I can alter that, as Createspace uses a PDF file for the cover art.

As for how the artwork appears online, my sister Marie, the tech-savvy member of the family, lightened the cover by 40% for the eBook version, and if you look on Amazon and compare the Kindle and paperback versions, the paperback is darker and rather hard to see in thumbnail size. I doubt I can do anything about that either, but most potential buyers will be looking at the eBook version.

When I look at a large version of the original artwork on my computer it doesn't seem too dark, and the detail is much sharper than on the paperback cover. I spent a lot of money on this cover art, so it's a bit disappointing. The scene shown on the cover occurs at night, so I wanted it to be sort of dark, but not so dark you can't appreciate the details.
I was surprised with some of my early covers being darker than I thought. Looking at a design on the computer screen is different than seeing the same design implemented in the real world with real ink. (The layers produce an unavoidable darkening.

Lightening the image you send to them might help, but you'd probably have to experiement--which means more proof copies--to get exactly the right effect.


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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #48 on: November 02, 2016, 09:34:52 AM »
I found the Scout campaign very emotionally draining. I was exhausted by the end of it! I just don't like asking for votes, and then having gotten a bucket load I still didnt get picked. I was lucky to start out in a strong position in that I already have a large engaged mailing list. So I emailed them at a rate of 200 people per day right the way through my campaign. That enabled me to always stay on the H&T list because I know a huge amount of them voted. I feel a lot of sympathy for people who don't already have a fan base and have to scramble on facebook etc to let people know about their campaign. If you are an introvert like me (and I think a lot of writers are) then it really is draining.  I just don't think I could go through it again. Not unless I just set and forget, but that defeats the point of the "campaign".

Offline ZivGray

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #49 on: November 02, 2016, 09:53:48 AM »
I was surprised with some of my early covers being darker than I thought. Looking at a design on the computer screen is different than seeing the same design implemented in the real world with real ink. (The layers produce an unavoidable darkening.

Lightening the image you send to them might help, but you'd probably have to experiement--which means more proof copies--to get exactly the right effect.

I just received my proof copy of Rise of the Darkwitch today and it was a lot darker than I anticipated. I think I'll do as you suggest and lighten the image. It's worth ordering multiple proofs to ensure the reader ends up with a quality product.

Also, I'm a Kindle Scout reject, too! It was hectic keeping on top of the campaign, but I mostly wanted to do it to make some noise about my book release, which was on Monday. I've shifted more copies already than I anticipated, which is great! Not loads, but more than I expected.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 09:55:21 AM by ZivGray »
Dance of Dark and Light #2: 70%
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