A few words of questionable wisdom from author Al W Moe - you can leave questions on each blog or go to my profile for direct email.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Live, from inside the Kindle Scout Program

I'm in Hawaii, 2000 miles from book tours and signings and local bookstores. No, that's not a bad thing, but the location does have an effect on my book marketing, especially for a new title. So, I decided that in the interest of science and research, I'd join the Kindle Scout Program and see how it works.

My latest novel, "Dying To Get Thin" is a Thriller/Suspense story set in the California beach town of Santa Barbara. Most of my books have been nonfiction, so many new readers will be cut from a different cloth. That's the second scary part of marketing the book.

The final step and the scariest part is giving up the rights to the Kindle book for 45-days and perhaps 5 years.

How Kindle Scout Works

I noted the Kindle Scout Program before on this blog, and it is a unique and exciting addition to having your book published. You start here:

  1. You have to submit a completed work to Amazon. That means chaptered, edited, ready to go.
  2. You have to submit a camera ready cover.
  3. You grant Amazon the right to post your work with the first 5,000 words on the Kindle Scout website with a short author bio, a book description, and an author photo.
  4. You grant Amazon the right to "market" your book on the site for 30 days, which is how long the nomination process takes.
In my case, I was ready to submit and it took me an hour to write the book description (which I think I shorted myself on, should have done better!), upload the cover and my author photo and a few other things. That's a pretty quick process.

I was immediately notified by email that the submission process had started. The following morning I was emailed that my novel was accepted into the nomination process. That's good. Now the tough part begins.

I'm up against many, many other novels and there is no way to know how many Amazon will choose per month to publish. Bummer. Want to help me? Go to my page and nominate here.

Now, within 45-days, I'll know if enough people nominated my novel to convince Amazon it should be published. Fortunately, that choice isn't just based on nominations, but they certainly help. If the book is picked up, I get a $1,500 royalty advance. And what's the catch?

  1. Amazon pays a 50% royalty on all Kindle sales. Authors who self-publish get up to 70%.
  2. Amazon pays a 25% royalty for audio editions and 20% for translations.
  3. Amazon pays 75% of Net Revenue for sublicensed sales of foreign language editions of your Work and 50% of Net Revenue for sales of any other sublicensed formats of your Work.
  4. Amazon sets the price of your book.
The above issues all seem fair to me. Especially since Amazon markets your book at no cost to you! The better your book is, the better it will sell and the harder Amazon will market it. The last big piece:

  1. Amazon keeps the rights to your Kindle edition for a five-year period and will continue to re-up your work for subsequent five-year periods as long as your book makes you at least $25,000 in royalties. If it does not, you get your rights back. Personally, I hope they keep my book forever!
My timeline:

Book submitted to Kindle Scout on November 17, 2016
Book approved on November 18, 2016
Book listed on Kindle Scout page on November 20, 2016
My marketing to promote the nomination started on November 20, 2016.

I see from the site that the most important thing is getting your book into the Hot and Trending group at the top of the page. Whether that is fair or not, it's what's in use, and every visitor to the page see's the top 20 nominated books scrolling by.

Marketing in use:

  1. Facebook personal account notice listed November 20
  2. Facebook author account notice listed November 21
  3. Twitter @AlWMoe account notice listed November 21
  4. Email to friends and family on November 21
  5. Notice on a few chat boards I frequent November 21
Now keeping my fingers crossed. Will post results later.

Thanks for reading - Al W Moe

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