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Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 19, 2017, 09:56:52 AM »
My book has been in review for 11 this normal?  ???

I'm afraid so. Don't read too much into the delay. The Scout folks seem to be particularly busy lately.

The price is listed for $2.99 for only 37 pages? That might be the problem. No way I'd spend that much for 37 pages. But the other thing I noticed is that it's not listed on your author page? Not sure why. Is that something that connects after a few days?
It's not in KU either, as Richard says.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 17, 2017, 01:00:53 PM »
Would one of the more experienced Scouters on the list be willing to share with me how I should be judging the success of my campaign so far?
I'm on Day 10 of my campaign and I have no idea if my novel is doing well or not.
So far, I've had 4436 page views and 205 hours in Hot & Trending.
Is there a way to assess if this above or below the average?
I'm wondering if I should invest in Facebook advertising. Has anyone tried this for their KindleScout campaign? If so, did you find it useful?
Thank you so much for your feedback. I appreciate it!

You're doing great, but as many have said in the past, the stats aren't that important. My take is that it probably helps a bit to show some H&T and several thousand page views, but what you're really getting is a look from probably one editor. They either love it or they don't. If they do, maybe someone else has to love it, too, who knows? My overall stats were about 250 hours H&T and 7.1K page views.

The bottom line is they take very few books, and the benefits of being accepted aren't that terrific. So most people fail to get published, and those who do "win" often seem to be disappointed with the results. In other words, no worries about failing.

I think the best way to look at the Scout program is as a way to learn more about self-pub and get your book much more free exposure than it otherwise would receive in the Kindle system. I'm glad I participated, and I hope to do so again at some point. Best of luck to everyone.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 17, 2017, 08:23:01 AM »
It is Sunday. Later today my wife and I are going out to a big family Christmas bash. I've been going to this bash for an awful lot of years. For the first few years I always looked forward to a fine feed of rabbit pie. Then, the then-husband of my wife's sister decided that he couldn't eat that "poor little rabbit". He felt very strongly about that and made his feelings known in a loud enough fashion until someone finally relented and made a separate chicken pie for him to indulge in.

Then, as people tend to do, others decided to climb onto the bandwagon and make their displeasure known. After a year or two the bash went totally rabbit-free. My wife's father, who hunted all of his life, really misses the rabbit, as do I. This year my wife decided that because they had already announced that this was going to be a potluck event, purchased a few rabbits and is making a gigantic rabbit pie - which, in my opinion, is totally rock-the-boat brilliant!

There is also enough rabbit leftover to ensure that we get our own rabbit pie for Christmas dinner.

Poor little yummy rabbit...

My wife's brother always brings along some moose and venison tasties that he serves with chow, so this old meat-loving carnivore is going to have himself a heck of a feed.

So let's get on with today's list, shall we?

Remember - the campaigns that need nominations the most are the ones that are closest to the LAST DAY LEFT, 1 day left, 2 days left etc.

Updated List

4 days left Shadowed by Death by M.A. Adler
6 days left Winter City Wolf Moon by Elvis English
6 days left Want What You Have by Rishabh Jhol
8 days left to CHRISTMAS!!!
11 days left Lost In Atlantis by Briton Heitt
11 days left Hotel Murder by Luke Christodoulou
11 days left Burnt by the Flame by Sharon Robards
12 days left Soul Catchers by Carrie Pulkinen
12 days left The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village
13 days left Hold it Write There by S.A. Krishnan
19 days left Chinawoman's Chance by James Musgrave
20 days left Jericho Jaxon: Alien Hunter by Karen M. Bryson

I put this list up every morning and I strive to keep it up-to-date so that this thread needn't dissolve into a flurry of "NOMINATE MY BOOK, NOMINATE MY BOOK" posts. No one is under any obligation to nominate any of these books. I'm just trying to keep the thread clear of unnecessary clutter. This way once a day there is a complete list of current candidates and folks can readily check out the kboards members who have a book in the running and can make up their own mind. I try and stay nonpartisan about it - which is why I don't comment on any particular book by title. I just keep the list.
If I have missed anyone please let me know either with a PM or by posting a link here in the thread.

Happy scouting, folks!

Congratulations! In one shocking admission of truth you've managed to torpedo your publishing career. You can kill as many people as you like, but don't kill the rabbit. Merry Christmas

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 16, 2017, 06:53:05 AM »
Steve is wise in the ways of the world.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 15, 2017, 09:01:52 AM »
Iím sorry you had to go through that twice. All the best on your launch.

Thanks for your kind thoughts and for those from everyone else. It really hasn't been too bad for me. This seems to be an awkward time for the Zon, both in Scout and the larger Kindle program. As someone else said, the Scout team seems small, and with the need to provide editorial comments for many submissions in November and December, they are probably stretched to the max.

Plus, it's the holidays, Happy Hanukkah! And Christmas is coming! This is my favorite time of the year, and everybody wants to take time off about now. This is no doubt Amazon's busiest time of the year, so its no wonder that things are falling through the cracks.

As for my launch, thanks to a few key purchases from folks on this forum and elsewhere, Forged by Fire has zoomed up in the ranks from 4.8 million to 23K at the moment. I am doing a soft launch, so I don't expect any better until mid-January when I release the second book in the series. I've scheduled some promotions with Book Rank that will kick in then. That's when I'll find out whether this new series attracts readers.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the season and watching with interest as other folks continue their Scout campaigns. And I'm writing the next book.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 14, 2017, 04:04:59 PM »
The sword fell, again. This time time they got the job done. Forged by Fire is not Scout material. I barely felt the prick the second time. Thanks for everyone's help. I'll still be following the thread and nominating folks. Best of luck to all.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 14, 2017, 11:49:57 AM »
The mystery about what is going on over at Kindle Scout deepens. Paul R. shot down Forged by Fire  a week ago in an email that began, "Thank you for submitting your novel Forged by Fire to Kindle Scout. We have read the book and have decided not to publish it, but we wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with some feedback that we hope you will find useful and encouraging."

As if that wasn't clear enough, Scout sent out an email to everyone who nominated me telling them of my book's failure to meet their high standards. But for the last week, my campaign page has said it's still in review. Two days ago, I asked them to fix the page so I could push the button to tell them I'd published the book and would they please tell the folks who nominated me.

Just now, I got a reply from Gabriel R. to my inquiry telling me my book is still in review. I've told  Gabriel R. about Paul R. in a reply to the recent email, and we'll see what happens. Their fifteen day review period is about up, so I should hear something definitive soon.

I presume that they will reject it again, but I'm not sure of anything anymore. There does seem to be some confusion over at the Scout shop. In the meantime, my book is for sale in the Kindle Store, and I'm not pulling it down while they get their act together. I have no idea what will happen next.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 14, 2017, 10:02:36 AM »
Hello everyone. My campaign for Tall Chimneys ended on 17th November. I wanted to share an update with you.

Maybe a lot of folks at Scout are taking off for the holidays. I got rejected a week ago, and my campaign page still says the book is in review. I sent an email to them about this two days ago, but haven't heard back.

The bottom line is your launch is doing great, and that's all that really matters. Now you benefit from a 70% royalty instead of 50%! Congrats.

Easy for you to say. Releasing into this mess is a little bit stressful.  ???
I don't know how you can honestly say releasing a new book in the present climate is stressful. I just released the first book in a new series, and it started with a ranking of 4.8 million in the Kindle Store. Couldn't have been easier.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 13, 2017, 09:11:36 AM »
I think this weird stuck-in-review scenario has never happened before. You would have gotten a boost from your nominators--if they knew it was up. Usually that's good for 10-20 sales, so you should get a little push when you get out of limbo.

I just bought a copy, so that should put you up to 3,000,000. (It doesn't take much in the lower ranges to move up a million or more.) :P
Thanks for the support. I knew there must be a reason why I felt myself zooming a minute ago! I'm sure it'll all get worked out eventually.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 13, 2017, 08:22:38 AM »
I'm stuck in limbo. My Scout page still says my book is in review, and it's been almost a week since they shot it down. I emailed them yesterday, but no response yet. Meanwhile, I put Forged by Fire up yesterday for $.99. My plan is to keep the launch low key, with little promotion until the second book comes out on 1/12/18.
The low key part is working, too well. It's currently at over four million in the rankings! Here the link:
All in all, I'm not too worried about the low ranking so far. The real test will come when I start a free run for book 1 on Jan. 12th in support of book 2.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 11, 2017, 07:06:40 PM »
I believe JK Rowling trademarked all the major names.

Publishers can license the right to the world in a book as well as the book itself, but I think that has to be licensed explicitly. In other words, I'm not sure a publisher gets the rights to any subsequent development of the character, world, etc. just by licensing rights to the one book. If they did, wouldn't Amazon just say to people who submitted a sequel of a previously accepted book to Scout, "Gee, thanks, but we already own the rights to this material."

Publishers (or sometimes studios, if there's been a movie adaptation) might want to license the rights to any subsequent development, but they'd have to pay for that, would they not? Lucas got a bundle when Disney bought the Star Wars franchise, in part because they weren't buying a specific movie or even a certain number of movies in the future. They were buying the whole creation and any possible derivatives of it.

Anyone know for sure?
Authors can and often do give up additional rights as part of publishing contracts, but the Scout contract doesn't require an author to avoid writing additional books in a series or using earlier characters.

TV and movie deals often broadly restrict future work in a series by an author to prevent creative conflicts between screenwriters and the author. But these contracts only restrict the parties to the agreement, not everyone else. The only way publishers and TV and movie producers can prevent third parties from using similar story ideas or fictional characters in new creative works in the US is through copyrights and trademarks. I think the UK has broader protections for artistic works to  protect authors.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 11, 2017, 01:09:11 PM »
If they reject your book 2 (or if you don't even submit it to Scout), can you still self-publish it, even though it's the same characters/world?
I'm sure you can self-pub book 2, particularly in the US. Lots of authors have published book 2 of a KP book one successfully.

The copyright is only for the words in the first book, not for the ideas, characters, places, plots. Moral rights to the integrity of books are only weakly enforced in the US, so you can name your character Harry Potter and send him on magical adventures as long as you don't plagiarize parts of Rowling's books or infringe on trademarks (I haven't checked to be sure Harry's name hasn't been trademarked, which would be a good idea before using it). Things might be different in the UK where moral rights are stronger.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 11, 2017, 08:30:19 AM »
I've gone ahead and sent the 'Tell my Scouts' email with the pre-order link for Feathered, even though Scout said they only link to fully-published books. Well, other authors have done it, so why can't I?

It worked. I just got the notification email from Scout. Good luck with your launch.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 09, 2017, 05:46:28 PM »
That's good to hear. While in long term edit mode for my upcoming one, I was hesitant to delay it further by trying kindle scout. But, am hearing better things about the experience recently, so may give it a go in January.

Please note that Scout is only promising editorial letters for some books launched in November and December. Of course, they could continue the program.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Launching a new author (Semi Successfully)
« on: December 09, 2017, 03:38:20 PM »
It sounds like you're doing great. Many series don't take off until at least three books are out. I'd promote the first book at the time of each new release in the series and then try to minimize ads otherwise.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 09, 2017, 10:09:20 AM »
The more I hear about everybody waiting until January, the more inclined I am to jump in and publish right away!

Forged by Fire is ready to go, but I want to add the first chapter to the followup book, Infernal Justice, to the end of the first book. I'm just waiting for the final proofread on the second book to come back, and then I plan to launch book one and set a preorder for book two. Also, for some reason, Scout thinks my first book is still in review, so I don't have the ability to notify those who nominated me about publishing yet. When book one does come out, it will be $.99.

Am I crazy to launch in the Christmas season? Sure, but I also think we overplay the marketing angle. I worked my butt off to make the book as good as I could, and in the end, that's the best promotion tool. Plus, I've lined up ads for the release of book two in mid-January at $2.99. That's when I hope to earn a few bucks back on this crazy effort.

Best of luck to everybody, however, they go forward.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Positive KU experience?
« on: December 08, 2017, 08:28:43 AM »
Nothing gets folks on Kboards riled up faster than those two little letters, KU.

Here's my perspective. For certain genres, like urban fantasy, KU is a godsend that connects authors with readers like no other platform. About two-thirds of my income is from KU, and it's more consistent than my sales which tend to fluctuate for no reason I can discern. I particularly like the fact that I don't need to advertise constantly, maintain a presence on Facebook or Twitter, do newsletter swaps, manage street teams, ARCs, blogs, bots, or engage in other forms of marketing. Instead, I spend most of my author time actually writing books instead of administering some complicated program designed to connect with readers.

For lots of other authors, however, KU is a big disappointment. I don't know why, but I think that its important to look at the genre of the books you intend to put into KU. I think it works best for certain clearly defined, genre-appropriate books, and you can tell which genres by looking at bestseller lists. If most of the bestsellers in a given category are in KU, then you know KU readers are seeking more of those kinds of books.

As for the problems people cite, like exclusivity, page flip, putting all your eggs in one opaque basket, and low per page payment rates, I have no doubt those are legitimate concerns, but for me, they are vastly outweighed by the benefits of being able to connect with a huge number of readers available nowhere else.

I can publish a book, run a quick series of initial ads to get it noticed, and maybe spend a few bucks a day on AMS sponsored products. Then I turn to writing the next book. So far, knock on wood, that approach has worked great. Who knows how long it will continue, but for now, KU is terrific.

Writers' Cafe / Re: To Pen Name Or Not To Pen Name - That is the question!
« on: December 07, 2017, 01:27:28 PM »
I think a pen name may not really be necessary in this case. If your space opera will have a lot of action and suspense you could well wind up with crossover.

I think pen names are really only needed when there are big differences in heat level between genres, or large differences in your <em>essential style.</em>

Essential style is what your readers really read you for. It isn't present past tense, first person or third person POV, it's what really grips them. For me, it's emotions. The thing people say about my work is how much it makes them <em>feel.</em> (My sense of humor also gets comments, but feelings are first.)

If your space opera is going to have what makes your books stand out--maybe it is the heart pounding suspense--I would keep them under the same name. You <em>will</em> get cross over readers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 07, 2017, 12:33:37 PM »
Well, Forged by Fire got shot down. The same email telling me that fact included a page or two of specific comments, which will be very helpful to me but probably won't mean much to someone who hasn't read the book.

There were several general themes that I can share, however, that might prove useful to others. The main one was that the editor mentioned specific places where the characters reacted in a way that didn't seem realistic. In addition, the editor thought I went too far out of my way to avoid word repetition, particularly with regard to names. He also didn't like the inconsistent use of profanity in the story. In addition, there were places where I should've shown more and told less. Finally, he liked the cover, but he thought the main character looked too young. In the book he is described as mid-twenties, but looks younger.

My first reaction in reading the letter was, that's all? It'll probably take me a few hours to address these issues. Upon reflection, though, I have to assume that these were simply examples of more widespread problems, although the email doesn't say that. Rather than being a developmental edit, the comments seem to be more along the lines of, here's what really jumped out at me while I was reading. I hope it helps.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my Scout campaign, and the next time I have a first in series book, I will seriously consider campaigning again. It was a lot of fun to interact on this thread, and their editorial comments will be very helpful to me in finalizing the book for self-publishing. Plus, I had the chance to show my cover and blurb to over seven thousand people.
It's all for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Forged by Fire will be better because of Scout.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 06, 2017, 05:13:42 PM »
I just got (very thorough feedback). A lot of it is really specific to that particular book, so there's not too much point in reproducing it here, but I do have one interesting takeaway to share.

That's terrific news. It's worth submitting for that kind of independent feedback alone.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 06, 2017, 08:00:17 AM »
As many of you probably already know, Haunted by the Devil was not selected. For those of you interested in the process, this is another example that would suggest they have little to no effect. 701 hours (98% of the time) in Hot and Trending and 10,414 views would surely have gotten the book selected if that were what mattered.

That said, I'm glad Scout isn't just a popularity contest. The whole program has more credibility if it isn't, and the whole thing would fall victim to click farms if it was. I know what we're doing is recruiting more people for the Amazon ecosystem, but I'm OK with that. That helps everyone get more exposure for their new releases.

Congratulations on a terrific campaign. I think you hit the nail on the head with the real purpose for Scout, helping everyone get more exposure for their new releases. I'm looking forward to reading your book. When do you plan to self-publish? I've been wondering about the timing of that because I expect to be in your shoes soon.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 05, 2017, 10:13:31 AM »
So here I am at day 11 in the waiting room.

I'm now the living embodiment of the old expression about the grass being greener on the other side. I was upset that my first try got rejected so fast. Now I'm fidgety because I'm still waiting, as are the other two people who ended the same day. (It looks as if there are several others waiting as well.)

We all know how long you wait means absolutely nothing. People have gotten accepted or rejected after waits of various lengths.

I did have one positive thought: maybe the waits have been longer recently because of the editors writing feedback. If the process is slower because of that, it's well worth it.

What often happens is that a whole bunch of people hear on the same day, so I wouldn't be surprised if a whole lot of our heads rolled at once.

The waiting room is crowded. I imagine it's going to be like the French Revolution. Once they start lopping heads off, they won't be able to stop themselves. I hear it only hurts for an instant! At least that's what I tell myself.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Fiverr Beta Reader Service
« on: December 04, 2017, 08:48:55 AM »
How much does Lisa charge for a beta read?

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