Sunday, 13 November 2016

Kindle Scout - what happens when your book isn't selected

You may recall that in September I enrolled my apocalyptic sci-fi novel "Welcome to the Apocalypse - Book One - Pandora" to a Kindle Scout campaign. This is where your book is exclusively listed on Kindle Scout page for 30 days and you entice readers to nominate your book for publication. Nominations can count towards a publishing deal in electronic format with Kindle Press. sort of like a So You Think You Can Write contest.
 
 
Now for the end result.
 
My book didn't get selected for publication. (Sad face)
 
This blog post is to update you on the pros and cons, and the next steps for "Welcome to the Apocalypse - Book One - Pandora".
 
The Pros or Why it's not a bad thing to try if you're about to self-publish.
There are pros to submitting to Kindle Scout. They pay an advance which is more than a lot of small press publishers. They assign an editor to the book, though what level of experience I'm not sure considering there are some books that have been publishing with, not exactly typos, but grammatical errors that spell check won't pick up.
 
The other pro is that it's backed by Amazon so your book should get some profile and attention.
 
The other pro is that don't guarantee it, but they hint that a book can earn $25,000 over 5 years.

Your ebook is sent out to all your Kindle Scouts and they are invited to review.
 
The Cons or Why you shouldn't get too upset if your book doesn't get selected:
The biggest con of submitting to Kindle Scout is that Amazon has exclusive rights to the ebook, the audio book, and any translation of electronic rights. Forever unless you aren't selling in which case they will hand you back the rights. But if you are selling. Forget about getting those rights back.
 
This means no Barnes and Noble, no Smashwords, no Kobo Books, OmniLit, iTunes, no other online retailer whatsoever can sell your ebook. Nor can you reduce the price for a campaign or give away review copies or do anything else in relation to the electronic rights of y our book.

But you still retain the print rights.

The one reason why you might get upset if your book doesn't get selected:
Your "Didn't get selected for publication" goes out to all your Kindle Scouts. These readers may view this as a sign that your book is inferior, unworthy of publication.

However, I have already received emails from Kindle Scouts telling me that they're surprised that it didn't get picked up. They want to read it. 
 
The results:
I ended up with 896 views, 106 hours in Hot and Trending. I've no idea who many nominations you need to be considered, or if this is even taken into consideration. I'm sure you probably need a lot more sales of previous books. You get a daily update of the number of page views and the links to where you're getting these page views from.
 
What did I learn from this experience?
That there are no shortcuts. Not for me anyway. If my path is to self-publish, then so be it. 

It was good to structure a promotional campaign and create emails, ads, requests for nominations and to be in marketing mode for 30 days. It was tough, and my enthusiasm waned there at the end.
 
I also learned that it should have a good cover from the start to get more nominations. I put together something that suited the tone of the book and then I worked on a final cover.

This is the old cover:
 

This was one of the working covers:
 

This is the final book cover:
 


Next steps:
Look, I could have send this manuscript of to a few small press publishers and it might have been picked up, but the bottom line is that I needed to get this story out now. It's timely, it's been waiting to be read for years now, and I just didn't want to wait another year for this to be released. I need to move on, keep on writing, get some more publications on my board.

That is the beauty of self-publishing. I can often make the decisions far quicker. So I have decided to self-publish this series. Book One November 2016, Book Two planned for June 2017.
 
"Welcome to the Apocalypse - Book One - Pandora". is released Nov 21, 2016.

The introductory price for this ebook is 99c.
For fans of Ready Player One, Robopocalypse, The Hunger Games

Genre: apocalyptic sci-fi
Pages: ebook: 327 / print: 468
Avail:
Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes, Amazon AU, Amazon UK, Amazon CA
Print avail Create Space, Amazon US, Amazon UK

Tell your friends that Book One of this great new series is only 99c in ebook format for a limited time.

Add this book to your Christmas gift list or to your holiday reading pile.
 
Enjoy, and welcome to the apocalypse!

D L Richardson
 
 
 

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