After months of combing through my manuscript (right after I received it back from the editor) making it as clean and error-free as possible, My Runaway Bride, the second book in the Spoiled Brats series was finally finished and ready to self-publish. Then I read about Kindle Scout; a remarkable opportunity for both established and aspiring authors. Intrigued, I decided to check it out.
According to their website, “Kindle Scout is a reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.”
I thought ‘wow.’ This is a great exposure for my new novel and other books I published through Amazon. If my book get chosen for publication, it will be a Christmas bonus.
Here’s how it works:
(Important: You must have an amazon account to enter. If you don’t have one, signing up is free and easy).
Submit your new, never-before-published, English-language book of 50,000 words or more to Kindle Scout and be considered for a publishing contract with Kindle Press in 45 days or less in the following categories: Romance, Mystery & Thriller, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult, and general Literature & Fiction.
• Complete, copyedited, never-before-published manuscript
• Great title & book cover image
• Book one-liner of 45 characters or less
• Book description of 500 characters or less
• Your bio & photo
• Thank you note of 500 characters or less
You can find out more by visiting https://kindlescout.amazon.com/submit
Once your book is submitted and approved for the campaign, it stays on Kindle Scout’s website for 30 days. During this 30-day nomination period, the goal is to get as many people to nominate your book as possible to push it into Hot and Trending list.
I believe I rushed into clicking the submit button without doing further research. I didn’t have a lot of twitter followers (I don’t even know how to hashtag) and social media presence, so it was tough to garner a lot of votes. I was getting frustrated when I read an article about someone’s Kindle Scout experience that even if we generate a gazillion page views and stay in the Hot and Trending category for the entire thirty days of campaign, there is still no guarantee of being offered a contract. I thought I had a fair chance. It’s not popularity contest after all.
My goal for this campaign is to hit at least 100 hours in Hot and Trending before my campaign ends. Since I had no idea how Kindle Scout works, I was quick to learn to tweet and post. I rustled up as many nominations as I could; announcing, posting and tweeting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and my web page. There were times I was tempted to ask others who stayed HOT and Trending since day one of their campaign on what their secret was, but I didn’t. I want to see if I could do it myself and where it would take me, but, honestly, I am excited to see the result of my hard work. It’s a great challenge.
If you decide to promote your book yourself like I did, fair warning: Here comes the most difficult part of the campaign. Be ready to work really hard as you will be up against stiff competition. Remember to stay calm as you interact with your friends, family, social media friends and strangers because you will quickly learn to beg; pleading with them continuously to nominate your book. Do whatever it takes.
I didn’t announce my campaign until the day before. I guess I wanted to surprise my family and friends that I had enter a book contest. I printed some flyers and handed them out to my co-workers. At night, I tweeted and posted on FB to my book groups being live the next day.
Early morning, I tweeted and posted on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook (personal and author page). I posted on every book groups I had on Facebook. Throughout the day, my tweeting and posting produced more friends request than I could handle. I repeated my campaign from day one. All day, I sent out a follow-up messages regarding my book campaign. I also ran a free book on KDP for two days only for My Amnesia Girl, the first book in the Spoiled Brats series.
During my posting, tweeting, and messaging, a message popped up with an explicit video from one of my FB friends. I immediately blocked him. I lost my concentration. I was disturbed by the video and left me shaking and unnerved. Why would anyone do that? I didn’t do any campaigning that day.
One morning, I received a message from a fellow author from FB letting me know that he just nominated my book. My book was NOT on Hot and Trending at that time, but an hour later, I was back on Hot and Trending. I wonder if one vote means one hour of Hot and Trending?
Thanksgiving weekend was the best of the best stats ever! My friends and family shared my posting, and somehow, it garnered a lot of votes. I stayed in hot and trending for 82 hours.
All in all, I was on Hot and Trending for 176 hours (Nov 11-26), 5,200 page views. Not too shabby considering there’s no paid advertising and/or promotional service. My goal was to reach 100 hours on H&T before my campaign ends, so this is actually amazing because I did it all on my own.
The next fifteen days is another story. I pretty much ran out of friends and family to connect. And I hate to keep pestering my book groups, friends, family, and co-workers, posting about my book; nominate me, nominate me, please. Oh well, we’ll see what happens. At least I challenged myself that I could do it and I did. I exceeded my goal expectation.
Here’s my stats:
DAY ONE: November 11 Friday: Veteran’s day. (YOUR HARDWORK IS NOT VISIBLE HERE UNTIL THE NEXT DAY).
DAY TWO: November 12 Saturday: 0 HOURS ON HOT AND TRENDING.
DAY THREE: November 13 Sunday: 2 HOURS ON H&T.
DAY FOUR: November 14 Monday: 12 HOURS ON H&T.
DAY FIVE: November 15 Tuesday: 22 HOURS ON H&T.
DAY SIX: November 16 Wednesday: 4 HOURS ON H&T.
DAY SEVEN: November 17 Thursday: 19 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING.
DAY EIGHT: November 18 Friday: 8 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING.
DAY NINE: November 19 Saturday: 2 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING
DAY TEN: November 20 Sunday: 22 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING
DAY ELEVEN: November 21 Monday: 3 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING
DAY TWELVE: November 22 Tuesday: 24 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING
DAY THIRTEEN: November 23 Wednesday: 24 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING
DAY FOURTEEN: November 24 Thursday: 2 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING
DAY FIFTEEN: November 25 Friday: 16 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING
DAY SIXTEEN: November 26 Saturday: 16 HOURS IN HOT AND TRENDING
What did I learn halfway through my campaign? It’s a lot of work. While having a good number of page views, and managed to be on Hot and Trending list, I realized one thing: Page views do not equal Hot and Trending—number of nominations matters. I still have a lot to learn.
The best part of this campaign? I met many new friends, especially on KBoards who are very supportive of one another.
If you would like to nominate My Runaway Bride, A Spoiled Brats Romance Novel, there is still time. Please visit: http://amzn.to/2fDQZN4
MY KINDLE SCOUT EXPERIENCE-PART 2
I am finally down to my last 5 days of my Kindle Scout campaign, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those people who nominated my book. Out of 720 total hours of Hot and Trending, my book managed to stay on the list for 176 hours. The best stats ever was during the Thanksgiving weekend. Unfortunately, my campaign took a dive and fell off the list after that while other books remained on Hot and Trending the entire time.
I’ve read in a lot of blog posts that there appears to be some sort of secret algorithm that Kindle Scout uses in the selection process, and the authors have no way of knowing what the Kindle Scout team is actually looking for in making their decision. If Amazon’s algorithm to select a winner(s) is based on numbers of nomination, or hours on Hot and Trending, then my book has no chance of winning. How could I compete with books that had 600-700 hours in Hot and Trending while mine is just a small fraction of the votes? We don’t know for sure how they select the winners, so fingers crossed.
Whatever happens, win or lose, I gained a lot of knowledge on how to promote and market my book. I found a lot of friends from KBoards who are very supportive of one another. I will definitely use the knowledge I learned the next time I enter my next novel to Kindle Scout. It was a great challenge and experience, especially for an aspiring author like me.