Reprinted from Kathrin Lake’s blog with her permission.
So what is Kindle Scout exactly and how are you, me and the proverbial lamppost supposed to use it to publish our books? Well I am going to show you in real time because my Kindle Scout Campaign was just approved to start, GULP, today!
YES, YOU COULD BE ONE OF THE FIRST TO NOMINATE MY BOOK
Kindle Scout is for fiction writers to possibly get a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing for ebook and audible book rights only (guidelines link here). You retain the print rights to your book. Since my book, The Happy Hammock, is based on my life and real estate foibles in Mexico, but it is fictionalized, it counts in the general literature and fiction category and a few other genres like romantic comedy as well.
In essence a Kindle Scout campaign gives you 30 days to accumulate NOMINATIONS (votes) from readers on the Kindle Scout website in order to win that publishing contract.
For readers, they will get a FREE kindle copy of a book they nominate when/if it is successful, yes, including mine. To be a reader who can nominate, FAQs are here, but essential things to know:
- You will have to have an Amazon account or sign up for one
- You only have three votes to use on different books per cycle – so do look at my page today or before Sept. 29 before casting all your votes – you have a 5000 word preview.
My campaign is from August 30th to September 29th, 2017 (my birthday is on Sept. 30th so going to be a tense birthday waiting for a yes or no email that day)
My goal: try to get as many daily nominations- consistently- over the course of 30 days and stay in the hot and trending category for as many hours as possible.
That means different people click the blue, nominate me button on my page everyday. The goal is not only to get a lot of votes as it is to get a consistent flow of votes daily as the mysterious algorithm that Amazon uses to make choices is based on your ability to promote yourself consistently. One big spike of voters is not going to do it. And voting isn’t the only thing. Kindle Scout Editors will be reviewing my entire manuscript and deciding if it is ready enough (before they ask for edits). Oh yes. This is an actual publishing contract with a $1500 advance, some work you do to polish and some guarantees of modest income (that can go much higher with your royalty being 50%).
I will check in and blog regularly and show you my stats in screenshots from my campaign dashboard that normally I am only privy to. A little scary. What are the kind of things I have to do to be successful? This is what I have done and am planning:
1) Have a kick-ass cover – I always pay a pro to do this! Looks good doesn’t it. Don’t think I haven’t checked out who wins these contracts and noticed that those with awesome covers often win, because they do.
2) Also important your 500 character max book description and 45 character tag line.
This is what mine is now and frankly I could have tweaked it even further. Two days ago I begged them to let me change my tag line before launch (see the old one in the first picture and the new here) thanks to a late night review with Martin Crosbie’s help (thanks again Martin). About half the people voting very likely will be strangers who regularly go to Kindle Scout and they will use my description, tag and then the sample pages of the first 5000 words of my manuscript to nominate. So this is a great way to broaden or build a readership.
3) Have my social media contacts primed:
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
4) Plan Blogging…
My Blog – my link
Guest blogging – link to VSW blog – and I am open for more invites form bloggers, hint hint – after all I have been cultivating my fascinating stories for just such invites.
Ask others to interview me on their blog – again open for invites BLOGGERS. Some good questions you might ask me:
- When and why did you decide to do a Kindle Scout after publishing so many other books independently?
- What happens if you don’t get the Kindle Scout deal?
- How did writing this book happen?
- Do you really have a Mecca for writers in Mexico?
- Your campaign page says The Happy Hammock is book one, what’s in book two and how soon will that be coming out?
5) Order some cards made up, bus. card sized, to hand out with the link to campaign page.
6) Facebook Book promo groups – there are dozens of them out there but only some of them let you join and start promoting yourself so be careful, better to tip toe into it and read the rules and descriptions.
7) Joint ventures as with people like Gary Bizzo of Biz Publishing and a twitter influencer who is doing this experiment with me and we will be launching promoting his new book soon (but not using Kindle Scout as it is non-fiction book) but when it is published and launched as it hits Amazon soon. @garybizzo,
8) Networking online and off – friends and friends of friends, the word has to get out there BUT over 30 days not all at once. Remember, consistency is key!
9) Emailing – always good to build an email list.
10) Students and public speaking – since I teach writing and publishing and am out there I will mention it at those events in Vancouver and give our cards over the next 30 days.
Okay, that’s all I got for now. I hope this enlightened you and I am sure I will be learning as I go along, so look for my regular posts from today, Day 1, to Day 30 and beyond. Phew! No turning back. Feel free to ask me any questions here and I will try to answer them or find the answers.
If you want the link again to check out KS and my campaign page and nominate me if you like what you see Here It Is again: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/6RZV8XHY3K9H