Kindle Scout scouting for sales not quality
Hello, Aunt Grace, it’s your nephew Rod calling. Rod. Norm’s son. On the west coast. Yes. Long time no talk, how are you? That long? He did? When? I’m sorry to hear that, I always liked Uncle Ted. Fred? Uncle Fred, of course. Anyhow, I’m writing novels now and I wondered if you had a computer?
My new novel, The Widower, has been submitted and accepted in the Kindle Scout program, Amazon’s new “reader-powered publishing platform for new, never-before-published books.”
What is Kindle Scout? Here’s how Amazon, the parent company, spins it:
Kindle Scout… is 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.
Here’s my take on it.
Anyone can now publish an e-book free with Kindle Direct Publishing. The trade-off is they get a thirty-five percent royalty. I would imagine there’s at least five million e-books listed on Amazon, the majority of which are spawned by Kindle Direct. How do I come up with this astounding statistic? My novel Not Wonder More, Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients is ranked 2,854,676 in the Kindle Store. It’s that high because it’s actually had a couple of sales. The current sales ranking of my other four books that makeup my bibliography is “unknown”, because, you guessed it, they’ve had no sales on Amazon.
For the last year I’ve been committed to reading the work of new, self-published authors and believe me there are a lot of books out there whose sales ranking is “unknown”.
Here’s what I’m getting at – it must cost quite a bit of money to churn out e-books that once published don’t sell a copy.
Kindle Scout gives Amazon the opportunity to choose the ones that will sell and put their resources behind them and make some money.
You see once your work is accepted it gets posted on the Kindle Scout site and readers can nominate it. If you make the cut you get the cash. It’s kind of a sure thing for Amazon since they already know by the number of people that nominate the book if it will sell.
If you win and get the contract does that mean you’ve written a blockbuster? Maybe, but it more likely means you’ve recruited every living soul you know or have virtually come in contact with to nominate your title.
So what, you (and Amazon) say? That’s how the game is played. To that I say, you’re right, but not by me.
But, hey, I’m not complaining. This is still an opportunity to get my work in front of a lot of people and I’m grateful to Kindle Scout and Amazon for the opportunity, but I’m not going to run out and spend that advance – in advance. It’s not that I don’t have a lot of friends I can lean on…actually, it is.
The Widower’s Kindle Scout campaign will launch on October 24, 2015 12:00 AM EDT and last for 30 days. Here’s the direct link to my book if you’re inclined to nominate it.
The Kindle Scout submission process is dead simple. Here’s what you need:
- A complete, copyedited, never-before-published manuscript of about 50,000 words or more in Word format
- A title and book cover image
- A book one-liner of 45 characters or less
- A book description of 500 characters or less
- A short bio (500 characters or less) and your photo. You also have a chance to answer some canned questions about your book and personal story in a short Q&A section.
- A thank you note of 500 characters or less. At the end of every campaign, Kindle Scout notifies readers whether the books they nominated were selected. The thank you note you submit will be included in the reader notification — no matter the outcome. This is a good opportunity to make a connection on a permanent basis via social media or email lists though neither have worked for me. It is, however, still polite to say thanks for your time and interest.
If you’re about to launch a book and you haven’t got this information at your fingertips, well, you’re not ready to launch a book.
Google Kindle Scout to find the link.
Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs;