Thursday, December 10, 2015

Scouting the possibilities on Kindle Scout

Happy Chanukkah, everyone! What are you doing on this fifth night? Me? I'll be continually refreshing my Kindle Scout campaign.

As if I don't have enough to obsess about, I went and submitted my YA mystery, Dead and Breakfast, to Kindle Scout in hopes of getting an Amazon publishing contract. As of a week ago, this had not been my plan. I was finishing up edits and had been all ready to self-publish the novel before Christmas. But then my writer amiga, Alison, had her romance novel selected by Kindle Press and I decided to give Kindle Scout a try. It means delaying publishing six weeks, but I think that's worth the risk. If selected, I get a $1500 advance and Amazon's marketing support -- both of which I need.

Here's how it works:

You upload your completed, and professionally edited manuscript with your cover art, bio, and author photo to Kindle Scout. Once approved, Amazon will email you a link and a campaign start date. This happens quickly. I uploaded my manuscript on Dec. 8th and my campaign went live on the 10th. This gives you time to notify your newsletter subscribers, create jazzy graphics in Canva, and develop a marketing plan.

See, it's not enough to upload your manuscript and forget about it -- you need nominations to get on Amazon's radar. And to get nominations, people need to know your work is there. My plan is to tell my newsletter subscribers and scream it out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Nominations and page views help get your book on the Hot and Trending List, which gets the attention of passer-byers. Perhaps, random readers take a look at your excerpt and cover and nominate your book too. What's in it for them? A free book. Any title selected by Kindle Press is gifted to those who nominated it. Campaigns last 30 days.

Kindle Press is not to be mistaken for Amazon's publishing imprints such as 47North, Thomas & Mercer, or Montlake. Those who do get selected shouldn't expect that kind of marketing attention either. But a $1500 advance is nothing to sneeze at. I haven't made $1500 on all my novels combined. (That's an advance against royalties.) The money would enable me to pay for the covers and editing for the other two books in the trilogy.

There's a fine print you must read before submitting. Please do so before considering Kindle Scout. Information on print, audio, and international rights are explained.You can also read Amy Jarecki's post on ATB about her Kindle Scout experience. Her book was picked up by Kindle Press last year.

YA is a tough market for indies, but I'm hoping that by submitting to Kindle Scout, I have a shot at gaining more visibility for my books. And if I'm not selected, that's okay. I'll go ahead and self-publish Dead and Breakfast in January -- just slightly behind schedule.
If you're feeling generous this holiday season, please check out my Kindle Scout campaign. I can use all the help I can get. 


Amy Jarecki said...

Good luck Kimberly!! Going over to vote ;-)

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

You're the best, Amy!! Thank you so much.

Brenda St John Brown said...

Very interesting. I've just recently heard of Kindle Scout and will be curious what you think when you're done with this process. I've nominated you and now the waiting begins. :) I also read your first pages and I love them!!! Fingers crossed for you.

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Thank you, Brenda! I'm excited but a month is a long wait. They don't take many YA titles, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'll do a follow-up post in 30 days.

Carrie Beckort said...

Just put in my vote! Good luck!!

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Thanks, Carrie!

Jill said...

Good luck, Kim!

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Thanks, Jill!

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