Kindle Publishing is what we often talk about but Kindle Scout is something we never mentioned. That is the case because Scout deserves an article for itself.
If you don’t know what Kindle Scout program is, it’s a platform that could almost be described as a contest.
The official descriptions says:
“Submit your new, never-before-published, English-language book of 50,000 words or more to […] Scout and be considered for a publishing contract with Kindle Press in 45 days or less. We welcome submissions for English-language books in the following categories: Romance, Mystery & Thriller, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult, and general Literature & Fiction. Adults (ages 18+) with a valid Amazon account that reside in a Kindle Scout–eligible country can submit.”
In this article we’ll see at ways to improve your chances of winning Kindle Scout.
The main interest in this sort of Kindle publishing is getting people interested in your novel and getting them to vote for you.
How Does Kindle Scout Work
It’s a simple concept. Once you write a novel or a short story collection that is above 50,000 words long and in a genre they accept, you submit it.
It’s Kindle Publishing for the Competitive
The selection works on nominations. You upload your book and select the amount for preview. Readers then scout your book and if they like it, they nominate it. The more nominations you get, the better is the chance of getting selected.
If you are indeed selected you’ll get a 5 year publishing contract during which you should earn $25,000 in royalties (if that doesn’t happen you are free to opt out of the contract or to take another 5 year publishing contract). Plus, you get an advance of $1,500. The royalty share is 50%.
The readers who nominate you have an incentive to do so if they like your book. They get the book for free.
The Four Stages
There are four main steps you must take to improve your chances.
- Submit the book
- Alert your followers
- Launching the campaign
- Getting published
The fourth one is questionable, of course.
An idea: join NaNoWriMo this year and complete your 50,000 words long manuscript in a month. Edit it as much as you can and submit it to Kindle Scout.
Submitting the book is a 15-minute process. You input the information and upload the book and its cover.
The Kindle Team keeps the right to reject your book even if it gets great nominations. The whole process revolves around what is interesting to read, what is profitable and what can push you, the writer, to the best-seller charts.
Alert Your Followers
Kindle Publishing is a concept that is the same for every aspect. Whether you are publishing by yourself or through the Kindle Scout program, it’s only up to you how much attention your title will get.
Even though Kindle Scout works on the quality of your novel, it’s vital to share the word. Be sure to alert your Facebook followers, Twitter followers and your e-mail list. Ask them repeatedly to check out the book. Stress that if they like it they can get it for free if they nominate it enough to get you selected.
Don’t go into buying clicks because it could get you to the waiting room but if it doesn’t get in for its quality then the Kindle Team won’t select it.
Having an e-mail list is immensely important. So I’ll use this opportunity to ask you to sign up and get a free e-book. I’ll be sending alerts when my titles have discounts or are free, I’ll send free coupons on writing courses and occasional content that is exclusive for subscribers. On the right side of the screen is a spot where you can sign up. I’m looking forward to talking to you.
Back to the Kindle Scout. Ask everyone you know to read the preview and see if the like it. Also, join writing forums and be a part of their discussions.
I can’t stress this enough – you must be a part of the discussions in order to get anything out of it. It’s not fair and no one would bother to click the link if you just appeared and said you needed some votes.
Launching the Campaign
This is a 30-day process. The campaign lasts for a month where you get nominated based on previews. This is the time you should spend increasing the traffic on your book’s page.
Use the e-mail list again but exclude those who already nominated you – you don’t want to spam them.
Reach out to communities and lead them to nominate you.
At the end of this period you’ll see your stats and you’ll be able to predict if you’ll get chosen. That predictions isn’t definitive. But it serves as an insight as there can be a couple of weeks of waiting before you get the results.
The usually send the approval/rejection e-mail at 5 PM GTM and it can be in two days or two weeks after the campaign is over.
Don’t be surprised if your traffic flow goes down in the middle of your campaign as that is normal. You should aim to have a great first week and even greater last week while you keep the middle steady.
Don’t panic if in a single day your stats just drop for 100 to 10, it’s perfectly normal. Just keep working at improving it.
*A Pro Tip
Before you launch, make a list of strategies you plan on using. Don’t just spend them all on your first week.
Once you get the ball rolling have a couple of secret weapons to fire when the stats drop in the middle of your campaign.
A good idea would be to have two groups of friends and family members. First group should be asked to nominate you at the beginning to get you up the ladder while the second should come in the middle when you need to keep the steady flow.
Visit various forums and join discussions. At different points in your campaign’s timeline, ask people from the forums to vote you up.
For the finish send one more e-mail to your subscribers and shout on social media as much as you can.
As I mentioned, there is a chance of rejection even if you have a huge number of nominations. There isn’t a period when you can enter Kindle Select so the nominations serve only as an indication of your novel’s potential popularity.
When the Kindle Team sees the amount of nominations you are getting they will take a closer look at your title after the campaign.
If they see it’s worthy of investment, you will get notified and you’ll get $1,500 in advance as well as 50% of royalties.
If selected, you work with them on scheduling your publication.
There will be a period when you have the chance to take another look at your book – mainly concerning last-minute typo corrections.
Once you’re published you enter a 5-year contract. During this period you should earn $25,000 or take another 5-year contract. If you don’t get that much in royalties you can opt out of the contract and sell the novel yourself.
Kindle offers a lot. It’s the most powerful publishing platform out there and it’s growing.
I’ve seen complaints that Kindle doesn’t care for authors as they expected it to care but that’s not really true. Kindle isn’t a publisher but a publishing platform and a distribution channel.
It’s all up to you.
Have a go on Kindle Select. It might be the perfect strategy for you.
Author: Mladen Reljanović
Mladen Reljanović is the founder and lead writer at Writer to Writers. He is the author of Oaktown stories, senior student of communication and a pianist.