Author Topic: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread  (Read 110936 times)  

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #325 on: November 18, 2016, 05:40:43 AM »
Status update: Yesterday was not a good day. I had made a mistake on my Ebook Soda form, so that my regular price showed rather than the intro price. There's not much point in advertise a "bargain" that looks like it isn't one. I was in the top slot on the email, too! :'( I got three sales anyway, but I'm sure I would have gotten more had the right price been showing (so don't let that number put you off trying Ebook Soda).

Of course, the one review is still staring mockingly at me. I'm hoping it was coincidence my KENP pages fell to the lowest point I've had since the release. This morning they are already almost as high as the total for yesterday, so that's a good sign.

Today I have Betty Book Freak, and tomorrow Book Sends, which should be good tests of whether or not the book is going to recover from that review or not. We'll see. If people actually read the review, I'm not worried. I am worried if they see the two stars and flee without reading the review, which is the way some people would respond.


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Offline jcarter

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #326 on: November 18, 2016, 05:53:54 AM »
I won't have sales data for my promos till tomorrow and I'll be headed off for my hip surgery in the morning, so I'll settle for posting some sales rank data tonight.



I hope your surgery went well, Kay, and that you are resting comfortably now!
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 06:01:50 AM by jcarter »

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Offline jcarter

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #327 on: November 18, 2016, 06:01:16 AM »
Status update: Yesterday was not a good day. I had made a mistake on my Ebook Soda form, so that my regular price showed rather than the intro price. There's not much point in advertise a "bargain" that looks like it isn't one. I was in the top slot on the email, too! :'( I got three sales anyway, but I'm sure I would have gotten more had the right price been showing (so don't let that number put you off trying Ebook Soda).

Of course, the one review is still staring mockingly at me. I'm hoping it was coincidence my KENP pages fell to the lowest point I've had since the release. This morning they are already almost as high as the total for yesterday, so that's a good sign.

Today I have Betty Book Freak, and tomorrow Book Sends, which should be good tests of whether or not the book is going to recover from that review or not. We'll see. If people actually read the review, I'm not worried. I am worried if they see the two stars and flee without reading the review, which is the way some people would respond.

I started reading Differently Lee last night, and part of what irks me about that 2 star review is that it's WRONG. Force fed a name? Whatever. The use of the name is fluid and natural, and the story is dang interesting!

If there's anything "good" about this review it's that people who are curious will read it, look inside, and see that the reviewer is wrong. But it's still annoying that it's there and that it's the first one.  I'm sorry about that.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #328 on: November 18, 2016, 06:12:12 AM »
I started reading Differently Lee last night, and part of what irks me about that 2 star review is that it's WRONG. Force fed a name? Whatever. The use of the name is fluid and natural, and the story is dang interesting!

If there's anything "good" about this review it's that people who are curious will read it, look inside, and see that the reviewer is wrong. But it's still annoying that it's there and that it's the first one.  I'm sorry about that.
Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you're enjoying the book so far. I think it's a good read, but I'm prejudiced. :P

I went back and counted the uses of the name in the first few pages. There are far more uses of he than DL. DL occurs a couple of times in the description. It almost makes me wonder if the person actually read the book at all. To be fair, though, none of his other reviews seem to be based just on the product description, but there are people out there who review based just on that. I've never been able to figure out why.


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Offline jcarter

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #329 on: November 18, 2016, 06:30:34 AM »
Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you're enjoying the book so far. I think it's a good read, but I'm prejudiced. :P

I went back and counted the uses of the name in the first few pages. There are far more uses of he than DL. DL occurs a couple of times in the description. It almost makes me wonder if the person actually read the book at all. To be fair, though, none of his other reviews seem to be based just on the product description, but there are people out there who review based just on that. I've never been able to figure out why.

The review is useless and ridiculous. I started reading the book "on the look out" for what the person meant, and I couldn't find it. The ratio of name to pronoun was spot on.  Anyone who looks at the first page will see that.

It's always baffled me that anyone would take the time to write something so inane. It's one thing to have a legitimate point, but this reviewer didn't have one. The pronouns prove it! And I think the name DL is awesome. :)

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Offline LoriDRV

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #330 on: November 18, 2016, 08:11:04 AM »
Thank you Bill & Kathy, for your encouragement, and thanks Bill, for answering my question. Now I know how to proceed regarding KS.

I'm pretty confident in this novel, but not so much in all the formatting and publishing work.

I wanted to tell you guys that I just opened a new Amazon account simply for writing reviews. My critique group writes their reviews for each other under a different account name from their author name so it doesn't look like they're exchanging reviews.

I apologize that I haven't been able to get to your books for reading yet. I'm learning that I'm not good at multi-tasking. I can't write, read, promote, and try to learn how to format for publishing all at once. Not to mention real-life responsibilities. But, I do plan to get to them eventually. Hopefully, others who read your book, Bill, will get to putting up good reviews so that one doesn't stick out. I've been only reading 10 to 20 minutes before going to bed, so that doesn't leave me much time to get to books. I'm reading a blogging-author friend's book right now. A thriller.

BTW, I won't do a review for any author unless I believe it merits 3 or more stars. I might say a book is fair to great, but I won't put up a bad review. I know some authors can learn from a bad review, but there are plenty other reviewers who will let them know. I just won't do to someone what I wouldn't want done to me.

Good luck everyone. I'll be back Monday with the info on my book. Thank you so much for your support.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #331 on: November 18, 2016, 11:18:46 AM »
I wanted to tell you guys that I just opened a new Amazon account simply for writing reviews. My critique group writes their reviews for each other under a different account name from their author name so it doesn't look like they're exchanging reviews.

I apologize that I haven't been able to get to your books for reading yet. I'm learning that I'm not good at multi-tasking. I can't write, read, promote, and try to learn how to format for publishing all at once. Not to mention real-life responsibilities. But, I do plan to get to them eventually. Hopefully, others who read your book, Bill, will get to putting up good reviews so that one doesn't stick out. I've been only reading 10 to 20 minutes before going to bed, so that doesn't leave me much time to get to books. I'm reading a blogging-author friend's book right now. A thriller.
With regard to the first paragraph, I suspect Amazon wouldn't be happy with that if it figured out it was happening.

As far as getting to people's books, I feel the same way, so don't worry. I've got so much going on that I don't get very much time to read, either. Sigh!


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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 #332 on: November 18, 2016, 03:24:31 PM »
Thanks for all of your support during the odd review situation. It made me feel much better. (I am a worrier by nature.)

Since the book had been selling so well initially, I had hopes someone would finish it and leave a review, which thankfully someone now has. Fortunately, that person really liked the book. As a result, the product page is not going to send a star counter automatically screaming away. With a Booksends promotion coming up tomorrow, I'm hoping the book will get back on track.

I just approved the proof for Different Lee, but I had to make corrections from the first proof that suggest CS is doing something different with the binding. I had already added a tenth of an inch to the inside margin because I thought my last book looked just a little too close on the inside--still readable, but not quite as good a visual effect as I would have liked. That book was exactly the specs CS suggested, so I figured adding .1 would do what I wanted. Much to my surprise, the first proof on this one actually had the text look even closer on the inside than the previous book. I added another .1, compensated by subtracting .1 so as not to throw off the number of pages and have to redo the spine width. Now the book looks about as it should have in the first place. My recommendation in formatting now would be to add about .2 to the CS suggested dimension on the inside margin (gutter). If you don't want to do that, I would recommend giving yourself enough leeway on the outside margin that you can adjust appropriately if your proof doesn't quite come out without having to redo the cover.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 06:15:35 AM by Bill Hiatt »


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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 #333 on: November 18, 2016, 06:50:44 PM »
I just approved the proof for Different Lee, but I had to make corrections from the first proof that suggest CS is doing something different with the binding. I had already added a tenth of an inch to the inside margin because I thought my last book looked just a little too close on the inside--still readable, but not quite as good a visual effect as I would have liked. That book was exactly the specs CS suggested, so I figured adding .1 would do what I wanted. Much to my surprise, the first proof on this one actually had the text look even closer on the inside than the previous book. I added another .1, compensated by subtracting .1 so as not to throw off the number of pages and have to redo the spine width. Now the book looks about as it should have in the first place. My recommendation in formatting now would be to add about .2 to the CS suggested dimension on the inside margin (gutter). If you don't want to do that, I would recommend giving yourself enough leeway on the outside margin that you can adjust appropriately if your proof doesn't quite come out without having to redo the cover.

If your book is 300 pages, they'll add the proof page, kicking your book to 301+ range, thus needing the .625" gutter. The actual 300-page book won't have the proof page, and you're good with the .5 gutter.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 06:52:49 PM by Mark Gardner »

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #334 on: November 19, 2016, 06:18:35 AM »
If your book is 300 pages, they'll add the proof page, kicking your book to 301+ range, thus needing the .625" gutter. The actual 300-page book won't have the proof page, and you're good with the .5 gutter.
300 is the Kindle estimate of print length, which always seems to be high. The book is actually 249, and the Proof notation appears on the back of the last page rather than requiring a page of its own. That was a good theory, but something else must be going on.


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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 #335 on: November 19, 2016, 06:31:19 AM »
Status update: Yesterday Betty Book Freak netted me two sales. :'( Again, that's not a reflection on the promoter, but on the way the product page looked with one two star review being the only one. KU reads have also dropped off substantially since that review went live. The second (much more positive one) one came up relatively late yesterday, so its effect hasn't really had time to be felt.

Today I have Booksends, which has a good reputation for getting results, the product page no longer looks so scary. Booksends puts up the new ads at about 1 pm Eastern, or about 10 am my time, so I'm hoping that will get Different Lee back on the right path. If not, well, at least this launch has still been bigger than any of the others.

The experience has me thinking I should do more to elicit early reviews. I haven't done much in the past because I knew people didn't expect a new book to have reviews yet, but getting some would protect me against this kind of disruption in the future. It would also enable me to go after a few promoters who don't really give new releases a break and insist on x number of reviews for any book they promote.

Live and learn...


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Offline lauramg_1406

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #336 on: November 19, 2016, 07:07:30 AM »
Thank you for your promo updates Bill, they're really helpful for trying to work out the best things to do!

Also don't worry about the 1 star! In a few weeks time, when the great reviews are rolling in, it will be validation to purchasers that your reviews are trustworthy!

My own status update is that What Lies Beneath the Mask is now up for preorder! (https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Lies-Beneath-Laura-Greenwood-ebook/dp/B01N778J7W/). Now just to set the ball rolling on promos before release day!

I also have some feelers out for reviews, will let you know if it works!

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Offline Kay7979

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #337 on: November 19, 2016, 07:42:23 AM »
Status update: Yesterday Betty Book Freak netted me two sales. :'( Again, that's not a reflection on the promoter, but on the way the product page looked with one two star review being the only one. KU reads have also dropped off substantially since that review went live. The second (much more positive one) one came up relatively late yesterday, so its effect hasn't really had time to be felt.

Today I have Booksends, which has a good reputation for getting results, the product page no longer looks so scary. Booksends puts up the new ads at about 1 pm Eastern, or about 10 am my time, so I'm hoping that will get Different Lee back on the right path. If not, well, at least this launch has still been bigger than any of the others.

The experience has me thinking I should do more to elicit early reviews. I haven't done much in the past because I knew people didn't expect a new book to have reviews yet, but getting some would protect me against this kind of disruption in the future. It would also enable me to go after a few promoters who don't really give new releases a break and insist on x number of reviews for any book they promote.

Live and learn...

I was so outraged over your bad review I moved your book to the top of my reading pile. I'm up to chapter 7: 38% and I like it very much. I'm trying to hurry through so I can post a review, but if for some reason you need another good review ASAP I could write something based on the part I've already completed. Just let me know.

Offline TiffanyNicole

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #338 on: November 19, 2016, 09:08:09 AM »
Hi everyone.

It's great to read what everyone is doing post Kindle Scout. My second attempt was a fail in mid-October. I've decided to hold the book back until books two and three of the series are done so that will be a couple of months. Also, I need to save some money up for promo. I know it's a good idea to publish right away while your book is fresh in Scouter's minds, but my page views were so dismal, I really don't think it will make much difference. I think it's much more important to have the next books ready to publish and promo money. I'll keep checking in here and updating my progress if anything interesting happens.

Offline lauramg_1406

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #339 on: November 19, 2016, 09:58:10 AM »
Okay, so now pre-order is live, and I've managed to sit down at my computer again (to effectively ignore my NaNo project it seems!), I've started organising my promos.

The email has been sent to my KS nominators, so*hopefully* that should do something towards helping! I also bit the bullet and booked a genre crave promo. It's pretty much wiped out my entire budget, but I was told by an author friend that it was 100% worth it, so fingers crossed!

I have a couple of headtalker campaigns set up (which is the first time I've done one, so this could be interesting!)
https://headtalker.com/campaigns/0-99-what-lies-beneath-the-ma/
https://headtalker.com/campaigns/what-lies-beneath-the-mask/

I also have a book blitz with Obsessive Pimpettes scheduled. I've done one with them before and its gained me a couple of reviews, but it's free so worth a shot regardless really! Especially if it gets me some early reviews!

I've also set up an instafreebie, to try and get some early reviews. (https://www.instafreebie.com/free/L3P4W). Hopefully it should help add to my newsletter subscribers too! But I'll let you know how that gets on!

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #340 on: November 19, 2016, 12:43:41 PM »
Thank you for your promo updates Bill, they're really helpful for trying to work out the best things to do!

Also don't worry about the 1 star! In a few weeks time, when the great reviews are rolling in, it will be validation to purchasers that your reviews are trustworthy!

My own status update is that What Lies Beneath the Mask is now up for preorder! (https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Lies-Beneath-Laura-Greenwood-ebook/dp/B01N778J7W/). Now just to set the ball rolling on promos before release day!

I also have some feelers out for reviews, will let you know if it works!

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Thanks for your support!
I just preordered. I'll be waiting for December 1!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 12:57:36 PM by Bill Hiatt »


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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 #341 on: November 19, 2016, 12:50:11 PM »
I was so outraged over your bad review I moved your book to the top of my reading pile. I'm up to chapter 7: 38% and I like it very much. I'm trying to hurry through so I can post a review, but if for some reason you need another good review ASAP I could write something based on the part I've already completed. Just let me know.
I'm touched that you're worrying about me so soon after your surgery. There's no need to rush out a review based on what you've read, and I wouldn't want to put pressure on you even if there was. So far today I've picked up 16 sales from the Booksends promo, which suggests the product page is not as frightening now that one other review is up. One two star might be a signal to run, but a two star and a five star would probably be a reason to at least look at them if the person is even remotely interested in the book. As long as people read that review, I have nothing to worry about.

I'm glad you're enjoying the book, though. Hopefully, you will find the rest just as enjoyable.


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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 #342 on: November 19, 2016, 12:56:29 PM »
Hi everyone.

It's great to read what everyone is doing post Kindle Scout. My second attempt was a fail in mid-October. I've decided to hold the book back until books two and three of the series are done so that will be a couple of months. Also, I need to save some money up for promo. I know it's a good idea to publish right away while your book is fresh in Scouter's minds, but my page views were so dismal, I really don't think it will make much difference. I think it's much more important to have the next books ready to publish and promo money. I'll keep checking in here and updating my progress if anything interesting happens.
That does sound like a plan. As I'm learning, promos are pretty important for a new release. Even with good KS stats, I think you'd get an initial flurry, but it would probably die down relatively quickly without something to keep it going. I've never been one to line up a huge mass of promos for a release, but I have to say it makes a positive difference to keep feeding that momentum, especially during the first thirty days.

I wish I had the self-control to hold off on a release like that. Sadly, I have a hard time not releasing one book as soon as it's ready to go.


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Offline TiffanyNicole

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #343 on: November 19, 2016, 03:22:18 PM »
That does sound like a plan. As I'm learning, promos are pretty important for a new release. Even with good KS stats, I think you'd get an initial flurry, but it would probably die down relatively quickly without something to keep it going. I've never been one to line up a huge mass of promos for a release, but I have to say it makes a positive difference to keep feeding that momentum, especially during the first thirty days.

I wish I had the self-control to hold off on a release like that. Sadly, I have a hard time not releasing one book as soon as it's ready to go.


It's definitely hard to wait! This is actually the first time I'm trying this strategy. I'll probably release books 1 & 2 at the same time and put book 3 on pre-order. I figure what I've been doing isn't working so I'm going to try some different things in 2017.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #344 on: November 19, 2016, 06:39:41 PM »

It's definitely hard to wait! This is actually the first time I'm trying this strategy. I'll probably release books 1 & 2 at the same time and put book 3 on pre-order. I figure what I've been doing isn't working so I'm going to try some different things in 2017.
If I might offer a suggestion, release book 2 thirty days after book 1 instead of simultaneously. That way book 2 comes out just as book 1 is falling of the 30 day cliff. Then release 3 thirty days after that. That way you maximize the visibility of your author brand. The way you're thinking of doing it might be good for fans who are impatient for the sequel, but it has two books lose exposure at the same time an the third following suit two weeks later. That gives you 45 days  or so of top exposure when you could have had 90.


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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 #345 on: November 20, 2016, 05:42:16 AM »
I'm pleased to report that the five-star review apparently blunted the two-star's impact enough to get people to take a look at the book. Booksends promotion netted me 34 sales yesterday and 5 so far today. My KU pages also started recovering. With more reviews on the way, I think I can stop worrying about the two-star. (Sigh of relief)

By the way, this is my first time using Booksends, but they have a good reputation, and they are now my second most effective promotion. (Bargain Booksy still holds the top spot.) As with many promo sites, to use them for a new release book, you need to have other books with good reviews, so they wouldn't really work for a debut novel (unless you pulled in a lot of ARC reviews or otherwise ended up with a pile of reviews very early on). In other circumstances, they look like a good deal.

My goal, of course, is to make the Kindle Scout folks say, "Wow! We really missed an opportunity!" :P I don't know if that's really possible, but one can dream. In any case, I'm certainly happy with the results so far. My numbers are modest compared to the really successful self pubbers, but at least they're growing, and I am breaking all kinds of personal records this month. Different Lee has already surpassed the record for most books sold in a month (both for an individual title and for the total for all books), and most KU pages read in a month for an individual title. It hasn't yet beaten most books sold in a day, but with EReader News today coming up on 12/2 (the same promoter that helped Living with Your Past Selves make the record in the first place), anything could happen.

Thanks again for all the support. It's always good to have during the rough patches we all inevitably face. Self publishing is very rewarding, but it does have its ups and downs, and you're all good people to have one's back during the downs.



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Offline Kay7979

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #346 on: November 20, 2016, 05:58:07 AM »
I'm pleased to report that the five-star review apparently blunted the two-star's impact enough to get people to take a look at the book. Booksends promotion netted me 34 sales yesterday and 5 so far today. My KU pages also started recovering. With more reviews on the way, I think I can stop worrying about the two-star. (Sigh of relief)

By the way, this is my first time using Booksends, but they have a good reputation, and they are now my second most effective promotion. (Bargain Booksy still holds the top spot.) As with many promo sites, to use them for a new release book, you need to have other books with good reviews, so they wouldn't really work for a debut novel (unless you pulled in a lot of ARC reviews or otherwise ended up with a pile of reviews very early on). In other circumstances, they look like a good deal.

My goal, of course, is to make the Kindle Scout folks say, "Wow! We really missed an opportunity!" :P I don't know if that's really possible, but one can dream. In any case, I'm certainly happy with the results so far. My numbers are modest compared to the really successful self pubbers, but at least they're growing, and I am breaking all kinds of personal records this month. Different Lee has already surpassed the record for most books sold in a month (both for an individual title and for the total for all books), and most KU pages read in a month for an individual title. It hasn't yet beaten most books sold in a day, but with EReader News today coming up on 12/2 (the same promoter that helped Living with Your Past Selves make the record in the first place), anything could happen.

Thanks again for all the support. It's always good to have during the rough patches we all inevitably face. Self publishing is very rewarding, but it does have its ups and downs, and you're all good people to have one's back during the downs.

I'm thrilled with your success. I think you're turning a corner and have great days ahead!

Offline KCecala

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #347 on: November 20, 2016, 06:14:12 AM »
Go Bill! I feel you will do very well with Different Lee in the months to come. And that's the beauty of self-publishing: There is always the possibility of success, even months after publication. I don't think we should beat ourselves up too much over promotion: you do the best you can and hope for the best. And I think we're all doing our best!

Kathy Cecala

Offline TiffanyNicole

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #348 on: November 20, 2016, 07:28:34 AM »
If I might offer a suggestion, release book 2 thirty days after book 1 instead of simultaneously. That way book 2 comes out just as book 1 is falling of the 30 day cliff. Then release 3 thirty days after that. That way you maximize the visibility of your author brand. The way you're thinking of doing it might be good for fans who are impatient for the sequel, but it has two books lose exposure at the same time an the third following suit two weeks later. That gives you 45 days  or so of top exposure when you could have had 90.


Good points. I'll definitely consider that.

Offline SG

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #349 on: November 20, 2016, 08:28:28 AM »
Woohoo Bill!!! That's an amazing success story you're creating. And thanks for sharing the details of your journey with us :)

Don't worry about the reviews too much, people buying a book read them and draw their own conclusions which in this case will definitely be in your favor.