When I first heard about the Kindle Scout program I spent hours reading every single article I could find about it. In the end I found almost every article was the same, providing almost identical information about what Kindle Scout is and what it offers. For those who haven’t read the 30,000 other articles like I have, I’ll just summarize it for you … If selected I would get $1,500 advance plus they were willing to guarantee me $25,000 in total sales or they would return my rights to be in full.
Despite my best effort, I couldn’t find any article with actual valuable information. Everyone is quick to tell you about the $1,500 cash advance but how about the books that have been previously selected, but what did they do to get picked? What were their stats like?
Anything with actual information other than what was on the original press release about Kindle Scout just flat out isn’t out there.
When I first heard about the Kindle Scout program it sounded like a dream come true to me. For the first time in my career as a writer, I felt like I actually had a chance to get one of my books published.
I released my first book in 2013 and I currently have six books published – two of which are full length novels and the others are novella length which is basically 10k to 30k words. I know on my own how many books I can move and I know that to get me $25,000 worth of book sales, they are going to have to do some sort of promotion and that means that my other six titles are going to benefit as well. So I could easily be looking at double that amount in book sales.
The problem is, getting them to accept me. First and foremost I had to write a book that was at least 50,000 words in length and fit into one of their three currently acceptable genres – Romance, Sci-fi / Fantasy or Mystery, Thriller & Suspense.
As a romance author, obviously this was a no brainer for me. So I finished up my manuscript, created and then went to submit it. Next I had to come up with a cover. Anyone who visits the Kindle Scout website will quickly notice the quality of the book covers on the site are downright comical.
At the time of writing this article there are currently 15 books listed on the site and out of those only two have a somewhat professional or remotely decent looking cover. So in this area I knew I was pretty safe. I had a sexy cover for my book that looked like I spent a lot of money on having produced.
With that out of the way I pressed submit and waited. It took the Kindle Scout team a few days to get back with me and approve my listing. Once they did, they actually didn’t start it right away. Instead it was scheduled for several days out. The process for me began on June 2nd and would end officially on July 2nd at midnight.
I should note that unlike the normal Amazon site which runs based on PST, everything on the Kindle Scout site seems to run based on EST.
I pushed my book hard, harassing all my friends and followers on Facebook and twitter to please nominate my book. In the end I was able to generate 1.7k page views to my page and stayed hot and trending 60.5% of the time.
But was it enough? That I had to wait to find out. When my campaign ended, I was sent an auto-generated message letting me know that my book was under review for consideration for publication and that they would let me know in less than three business days. Of course it was a Friday when I got that letter so that meant I had to wait possibly until Tuesday of next week. Turns out though, I didn’t have to wait that long. At exactly midnight EST, two days later (Saturday night) I got a letter letting me know that they decided not publish my book. At the exact same time they notified all of those people who nominated my book letting them know.
I tried to find stats on other people who have used Kindle Scout but the information just flat out isn’t available. I hope that by sharing my stats, other authors will do the same.
- 436 / 720 possible hours in hot and trending
- 1.7k total page views
In the end I think that Kindle Scout is a good idea for independent authors that can’t generate at least $25,000 in sales on their own. Most independent authors find that they make less than $2,500 on their book. Honestly marketing a book on your own isn’t always easy and it takes time to build a platform. If you are a new author and don’t have a mailing list with 1,000 or more names on there, then getting Amazon to publish and promote your book can be a great thing.
However if you’ve been around awhile and can push your book to your legion of fans on your own, then you don’t really need Amazon or any publisher for that matter. Just publish your book yourself and sit back and enjoy the sales through your own marketing efforts. For the rest of us though, Kindle Scout offers some real possibilities.
While my book didn’t end up getting picked, I still think it has some great potential.