Author Topic: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.  (Read 9660 times)  

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2017, 04:22:12 AM »
Does that work? Do free downloads count as verified purchases?

Yes, I believe so. So as an author you could do a soft (unannounced) and use a select day and tell your beta readers to get it on those days.

Now that I think of it, in order to get the gifted book registered as a verified purchase, I think you'd have to give them a gift card (credit) for the amount and have them purchase it.

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2017, 04:52:27 AM »
Lat night, I got my final edits back from my editor.

I use scrivener as my writing platform and I plan to compile a word document from it and upload it to Vellum (Mac only) ($30?)  to create beta versions that I will make available through Instafreebie (using free option)  to my beta readers via epub or mobi. If anyone has a better solution that doesn't involve hours and hours of technical work, I'm all ears.

Non-Fiction Selling Point

My novel (a legal thriller) uses the fracking controversy as a backdrop for telling my story: pipelines and bomb trains. Although entertainment is my main objective, the novel will raise awareness of the dangers of fracking.I did a lot of science-based research for the book. I had two experts review my science to make sure it's accurate.

Thus, a marketing campaign was born: "Fight Fracking Through Fiction." There's opportunity from "Frack That!" posts or "A Fracking Good Novel" ads but we'll see.

I plan to use this as a Headtalker campaign: "Help raise awareness of fracking through fiction. Nominate this novel on Amazon in 1 sec. Then get a FREE copy. #RT." More on Headtalker another day.

Good news of the homefront. I have a speaking engagement right smack in the middle of planned Kindle Scout campaign. It's in front of an environmental group. I'll put my marketing campaign to work.  I'm sure I'll get some nominations from it.  I'll ask to access their email list as well with a mailing to supplement my talk.

I will use that speaking engagement to leverage other opportunities to speak during the campaign. It will also help me to gain support from the town. (See an earlier post)

Takeaway: Look for a non-fiction tie in for your novel and try to gain exposure.

Kindle Scout Copy (Blurb)

Over the past few months, I've been working on my 45 character (with spaces) tagline and  500 character blurb (with spaces) for the Kindle Scout program. I find that the character limit has forced me to be more concise. I've been getting feedback on the blurb on the net and am trying to refine it as I go.

I'm also woking on my bio (500 characters including spaces) and answering three Kindle Scout question prompts (300 characters with spaces). Kindle Scout gives you a list to choose three from.

Stay tuned . . .
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 05:33:10 AM by Tom Swyers »

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2017, 03:46:42 AM »
The Thank You Note

Win or lose, Kindle Scout will send a thank you note to your nominators on your behalf. You have to craft it before the campaign begins. There is a 500 character limit including spaces.

I've read a hundred over the past few months. My number one takeaway is not to write one starting with "Thank you."

The "thank you" is usually followed by a sentence or two of sincere gratitude. 

It's not that the author isn't genuine in his thanks, it's just that if you read enough of them, they all tend to blend together. I bet many people don't even read the entire note before deleting it.

So, I won't start off with a "thank you." That'll come at the end and it will be brief.  I'll start with something else.

Also, many of the notes I've read don't include contact information for the author. I think that's a missed opportunity.

Stay tuned . . .
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 03:57:53 AM by Tom Swyers »

Offline cmstafford

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2017, 07:06:00 AM »
I'm pretty sure I started with Thank you. Darn it. It's only a few lines long, too. :( Now, after I've submitted mine, I see all these awesome ones. I really wish I could go back and change it.

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2017, 07:16:06 AM »
I'm pretty sure I started with Thank you. Darn it. It's only a few lines long, too. :( Now, after I've submitted mine, I see all these awesome ones. I really wish I could go back and change it.

Hey, you are on hot and trending. Congratulations!

No sad emoticons for you! :)


Offline cmstafford

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2017, 07:22:43 AM »
Hey, you are on hot and trending. Congratulations!

No sad emoticons for you! :)

Thanks  :) Live and learn and do better next time,  right? I'm definitely learning a lot from your posts.

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2017, 08:00:49 AM »
Thanks  :) Live and learn and do better next time,  right? I'm definitely learning a lot from your posts.

Yeah, this site is a great community where people learn from each other.

I like your cover. You might want to think about making it your profile picture.


   

Offline cmstafford

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2017, 09:01:40 AM »
Yeah, this site is a great community where people learn from each other.

I like your cover. You might want to think about making it your profile picture.


 

Good idea, esp. since I can't add it to my signature yet until it's published (I think, not very forum savvy). Thanks! :)

Online JulianneQJohnson

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2017, 10:20:01 PM »


In the meantime, I developed a flyer using a template from Microsoft. It's a tear away flyer that will have my Kindle Scout link on it instead of the phone number. I'm making a list of all the bulletin boards in the area to post it on. Here is the template I'm working off of now:

https://templates.office.com/en-us/For-sale-flyer-TM00002092


The tearaway is great, but you might want to add a QR Barcode to the flyer as well.  Very useful to folks with smartphones, and there are free QR Barcode generators online.
                

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2017, 02:30:31 AM »
The tearaway is great, but you might want to add a QR Barcode to the flyer as well.  Very useful to folks with smartphones, and there are free QR Barcode generators online.

Hi Julianne,

That's a great idea! Thank you.

Here's a link for an article reviewing the best 7:


https://designsmaz.com/best-free-online-qr-code-generator/


The other idea I should have mentioned was to make sure to shorten the Kindle Scout link in the tear away flyer. You may want to use a bitly link to shorten it and track it.

Tom



« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 02:39:33 AM by Tom Swyers »

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2017, 05:05:19 AM »
HeadTalker

Free.

Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGqpjnOUiws
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6nYdpNyp8c&t=6s


Headtalker is a one and done promote-message platform.

You have 115 characters to say something (plus link), and people then can share what you said though various social media outlets at a set time and day.

Here's one I've drafted for use for me: "#RT Like John Grisham? Get a #FREE copy of this #thriller by nominating it on Amazon Kindle Scout. Takes 2 secs!"

You can draft your campaigns (image and text), save them on the site, and have them ready to go. (Throw in any link for now to get the system to take it. You can always change the link).

I like using hashtags in case someone shares it on twitter. #RT = retweet.

You set the time and day the message goes out.

Key: Make sure you don't use the default settings. Give real thought to the time and day. Don't have your message sent when everyone is asleep.

https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-facebook-twitter-instagram/

Most authors post in the "Literature " section but check out the other categories in case you might fit better elsewhere.

You can do a Headtalkers several times during a Scout campaign. When one is done, set up another. Or run a few at the same time. But have it all set up before you start the campaign so all you have to do is add the Scout link. You'll need time to build support (need at least 25 supporters--see below)so the message can be sent.

You should have a profile image prepared.

Key: Make note of this because this info not available. The size should be 600 x 400 pixels. On the site, you'll see some images that don't fit. They overurn the borders. Not good since this image will be shared.

Key: Less is more. Too many ads trying to jam to much text in them. Make it simple.

You can have a background image too. The proper size is  1908 x 768 pixels for the background image.

You have the option to embed a youtube video too.

Set your goal for 25 people in order for your message to go out. You can increase it if you want later.

Key: You'll feel a huge rush when you start a campaign. You'll immediately get 7 supporters. You'll think you're going viral until you realize these are all HeadTalker sponsored or related supporters. Everyone gets them. So, in reality, you need 25-7= 18 real supporters to get your message shared.

Takeaway: A good free option (don't pay for reach) to use. But have it ready to go on day one so you can use it multiple times during the campaign.
 
 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 02:36:05 AM by Tom Swyers »

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2017, 04:58:45 AM »
Twitter Cards

Free.

People haven't had too much success with twitter in Kindle Scout. I think I can make it work. Keep in mind I have 10k followers.

I plan to use twitter cards in my campaign. Look at this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AFhE7raJo4

Make the "read more" button = your Kindle Scout link

Get the link for the card and tweet it people or tweet it on your feed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AFhE7raJo4

Then Co-promote it from your feed! 

This is an untested, original idea.

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2017, 05:16:08 AM »
Today I posted my tag line and blurb for feedback on this thread:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,246605.0.html




Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2017, 01:20:27 PM »
Blurb Development


My novel is a legal thriller. The most respected author today in this genre is John Grisham. He's a brand name author and he has an entire marketing team behind him.

I'm a nobody. My team is me.

But I've been using John Grisham's marketing team. They have been very helpful.

How?

I studied his team's marketing habits and I tried to imitate them insofar as they applied to my novel.

Recently, I studied the release of his novel The Whistler..

I followed their ads, viewed read blurb, and watched their book trailer.

Takeaway: Follow the leading author in your genre. Use their marketing research as it applies to your book.

In developing a blurb,  I recommend getting Bryan Cohen's cheat sheet at this address

https://www.sellingforauthors.com/

I also recommend following his facebook group. 
 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 04:17:06 AM by Tom Swyers »

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2017, 04:46:50 AM »
Instagram

I'm not a user of Instagram, but Co-Promote (see prior post) uses it.

Recall, in the free program you can have one post going at a time on Co-Promote for each of the social media sites it links to: Facebook, Twitter, Tubmlr, Instagram, Youtube and Vine.

So I looked into Instagram. It's a lot like Twitter.

I didn't like the fact that you had to use your cellphone to post Instagram content. I'm a desktop kinda guy.

Solution: Crowdfire (free). Google them. You can post twitter content and Instagram content.

You'll need to put your Scout link into the link provided in your Instagram profile. You'll need to refer people to it. I don't think you can put clickable links into an Instagram post.

You can post images through Crowdfire. 1080 x 1080 recommended.

You can post 2200 characters but cuts off after three lines.

You can have a 150 character bio.

Key: Need to search for up to 30 hashtags to use to spread the word.

Key: Plug in the hashtag you have in mind in the Instagram search feature to see how many posts it has generated over time.

So #kindle has 1.2m posts and #kindlescout has 618. Use the hashtags with higher reach, especially if you don't have many followers.

Then Co-Poromote one of your Instagram posts when your campaign begins.
 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 04:48:24 AM by Tom Swyers »

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2017, 12:11:35 PM »
I'm back exploring home base opportunities . . .

Product/Service Placement

I've been going to the same barber for over twenty years. I actually helped him get started in a small way.

So when he asked if his shop could be in my next book (set in my hometown, in part), I said sure thing.

Today I brought in my Kindle Scout draft. All the barbers were excited about it. They wanted to know when the book was available.

I said they'd have the opportunity to get it for free. I explained to them about the Kindle Scout process. They all want to help. They think it's cool that the shop is mentioned.

So I'll bring in plenty of flyers and they'll hang them around the shop.

They get 465 customers per week there--mostly men. That's 1860 potential page views (hundreds of potential nominations) during the 30 day campaign

Cost: Free.

I'm sure I'll get some nominations.

Takeaway: You really never know what's going to pan out. So you develop some strategies. Then when the campaign starts, you adjust depending upon the results.   

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2017, 05:14:00 AM »
Top 30 Hashtags for  Authors on Instagram


I did this research myself.

The total number of posts on Instagram with the accompanying hashtag as of two days ago.


#book   20,264,361
#reading   11,044,570
#books   8,307,000
#bookstagram   8,300,000
#bookworm   5,812,938
#read   5,649,000
#bibliophile   2,433,000
#reader   1,512,580
#bookaddict   1,434,170
#novel   1,387,850
#thriller   1,070,739
#bookshelf   859,000
#bookshelf   858,518
#goodreads   843,000
#ilovebooks   701,000
#ebook   615,886
#booklovers   600,000
#bookstagrammer   557,000
#booksofinstagram   490,759
#bookclub   434,330
#readingtime   408,000
#readers   383,867
#amreading   310,000
#novels   277,342
#ebooks   276,826
#goodreads   266,000
#readit   184,087
#readit   184,000
#readabook   181,000

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2017, 05:45:05 AM »
Yesterday, I met with the Town Mayor and he's very supportive.

He's going to work on getting a newspaper article set for release when the campaign begins. Don't want to do it before the campaign begins because there's nothing to link to.  It will be on-line and in print. I'll consider linking the article in a facebook ad targeted at my hometown

He'll also work on having me speak at the local library during the campaign.

I'll also be speaking with a regional environmental group during that time.

I'm sending out an ARC to my book to my 34 beta readers this morning. That will get it in their hands two months before the earliest release date with or without Kindle Scout. 

My first real instagram post went up. It was a simple picture of Yale's Special Collections library.  I Co-Promoted it to 21,000 people. So that platform has some promise even though I have only a handful of Instagram followers.

Note: When I Co-Promoted the Instagram post, I got a pop-up offer from Co-Promote for 500,000 more reach per month at $19.99 or 80% off their regularly priced offering of $99.00. It's something worth considering if it's available once my campaign begins because they give paid people priority placement on the site. It can be difficult finding content to Co-Promote sometimes. I saw that in trying to find the Instagram post that I was Co-Promoting  on the site using my tags. It also would allow me to post more than one post from all the different media groups they support. The free plan only allows for one post per social media outlet at a time.

I have accumulated over 5 million Co-Promote share points at this time.

Things are coming together . . .

If anyone has any questions, feel free to post them.   
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 05:46:50 AM by Tom Swyers »

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2017, 05:54:15 PM »
I've ben having a running conversation with myself and others (thank you) on Kboards over the blurb for my Kindle Scout offering. It had come down to two approaches in my mind. So, I decided to bite the bullet and run the two through PickFu (see below). I limited the responses to people over 35 who read one or more books per month.

Key: Get 50% PickFu off by using coupon code: MYWIFEQUIT

The report was inconclusive statistically, but I'm going with the type A approach. The responses there echoed what I was looking to convey and they seemed more thought out overall.  But I included some type B info (birdwatching) that seemed to generate interest and works with the cover.

Here's my final  8)  answer: Burned-out lawyer David Thompson is on a mission to prove his innocence. Falsely accused of murder, he must desert his family to discover the truth from a secret bird-watching society. When the homicide rap escalates into a terrorism charge, the death penalty looms and hes on the run from the law and the real killer. Hes thrust on a thrill ride through the oil fields of North Dakota where his race to save himself becomes a race to save the nation from a deadly tidal wave of terror. Buckle up!
 

 

« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 03:57:21 PM by Tom Swyers »

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2017, 03:51:59 AM »
Kindle Scout tag line (45 characters including spaces) finalized: 

Go to bed as a lawyer -> Wake up a terrorist!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 03:55:47 PM by Tom Swyers »

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2017, 04:34:33 AM »
Categories finalized.

You get to choose up to four.

I say use them all if you can.

If your book fits into more than one broad category, use them for more exposure on the site. Here are the broad categories.

Literature & Fiction
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Romance
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Teen & Young Adult

Mine fits into the first two.

Here are the specific categories I chose:

Literature & Fiction    Action & Adventure    Mystery, Thriller & Suspense    Mystery
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense    Thrillers    Financial
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense    Thrillers    Legal
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense    Thrillers    Terrorism

If you can, I think you should find categories that have some room for you to be a top 100 book and that show some reader demand.

You can do that by looking at where book #100 ranks in a category.

For me, it was:
 
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Financial (#100 is at 53,000)

I think my work fits into that category and can compete in it. I think there's enough room for me to get in the top 100. My other categories have the #100 book at 7-9,000.

This is good information to have whether you go with Kindle Scout or not.

   

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2017, 03:46:01 AM »
I got a  break out of nowhere yesterday, I was asked to be a featured speaker at a big city library.

They even plan to pay me? That's a first.

What's interesting is that a good part of my novel is set in this city. I'll use that in my bio set to be released to the media.

The day of the talk is set for March 26th.

I might move the start date of my Kindle Scout campaign back to the end of February so that my 30 day campaign run encompasses my speaking engagement.

I plan to hand out a sheet of paper with the Kindle Scout link to attendees.




   

Offline cmstafford

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2017, 05:52:16 AM »
Congrats! That's great. I think you're right that it'd be a good idea to move your date up to encompass your speaking engagement. That way you can use that momentum for your campaign.

Thanks for chronicling your journey, I'm definitely learning for my next KS experience sometime this fall.

Offline Tom Swyers

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2017, 06:27:35 AM »
Congrats! That's great. I think you're right that it'd be a good idea to move your date up to encompass your speaking engagement. That way you can use that momentum for your campaign.

Thanks for chronicling your journey, I'm definitely learning for my next KS experience sometime this fall.

I'm so glad this is helping you out.

Some days I think I'm talking to myself!

Thanks for your support.

Tom 


Offline cmstafford

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Re: The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper.
« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2017, 06:38:54 AM »
Another thought: Would your local newspaper be interested in running a feature article about your speaking engagement? I've done a few local author articles like that. Our paper has always been more than happy to run something, as long as I write the article, snap a few pics, and send it in. Also, you might consider running your campaign so your event is right smack dab in the middle. From what I've read, that's when some campaigns tend to lag, and the boost from the event and the newspaper article might help you avoid that. Just my two cents :)