Your KindleScout Campaign Has Ended & Your Book Was Not Selected For Publication
C.R.Misty, the author of the International Boundaries Series | Book 1: Simple Affair and Book 2: Deeply Bound, writes about the outcome of her Kindlescout campaign.
I want to thank everyone again for taking the time to nominate my book. Mine was not selected for publication by KindleScout, so what now?
How can I take the result and spin it into something that is useful?
I know that KindleScout is a “reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.” - Kindlescout
Readers can, "Browse new, never-before-published books. Every book has 30 days to earn nominations and readers can nominate their favorites. They can keep up to three books nominated at a time, and update their nominations whenever they want. When a book’s 30-day campaign ends while in their Nominations panel, the readers nomination is tallied and removed from it freeing up that nomination for another book. Readers will receive an email to let them know whether the book has been selected for publication.
As a thank you from KindleScout and the authors, readers will receive an early, free copy of all the KindleScout books they nominated that are published.” - Kindlescout
Authors can, “Submit their book. Review the submissions check-list and enter their title, cover, catchy one-liner and other information. At the time of submission, they will be asked to review and accept the Submission & Publishing Agreement. KindleScout will take 1-2 business days to review the submission and send authors an email once it’s approved for launch.
Authors are advised to plan how they are going to let fans and network know that they are putting their book up for a publishing contract.
The approval email will include a preview link so authors can see exactly what everyone else will see. KindleScout will also provide the exact launch date for the campaign. All campaigns last 30 days. The more nominations a book receives the more likely it will get the attention of the KindleScout team and be selected for publication. At the end of the campaign KindleScout will send the author an email to let them know if the book has been selected for publication. KindleScout will do another internal review to ensure the book is ready for print. If published, everyone who nominated the book will receive an early, free copy and be invited to leave reviews.” - Kindlescout
I have to take the information above and become a bit of an investigator. KindleScout uses crowd sourcing to determine what books will do well in their market. For books that gain nominations aids KindleScout in making a choice on if they should publish that book though it's not the ultimate deciding factor.
We also know from the text above that writers who are featured on KindleScout are encouraged to market their books during the campaign. Author’s need to come in guns loaded using all of their connections. For myself, I marketed to followers on Facebook, Goodreads, mibba, Google+ and Twitter. I created graphic advertisements and promoted using free online resources. My advantages was that I have a lot of connections. My disadvantages was that I limited myself to only using free marketing. Maybe paid, targeted advertisements would have helped in reaching more.
Another thing is that during the campaign I didn’t schedule any social events. I am a shy girl but perhaps just participating in an event so that people learn who I am and what I have to offer would also have helped. I know it is something to look at in more detail and consider.
When I was notified that I wasn't selected, KindleScout advised that, “International Boundaries was not selected for publication.” There was no nomination count or rank on how well or poor the book did. It was just a simple regrets message. There isn't much I can do with that right?
Wrong, we have to look at reasons, like marketing, did I promote? Yes. Did I pay for marketing advertisements? No. (This may have helped)
Another thing is maybe my cover image wasn’t appealing. People do judge books by the cover and maybe it was a reason for being passed over. So, I have to ask myself, did the cover help? I suspect no because the image was just of a dying rose. I picked it to symbolize a dying love and the start of an affair, like a poison, but I suspect that a potential reader wouldn't pick up on that because the title being the second part of a cover didn't hint at what the story was about. "International Boundaries" sounds like a thriller novel and not a romance. So now I need to weigh in and decide, should I change the title, the image or both? Or do I leave it as is and hope that my book does well in the market as is? (Update: I did Change the title and cover. See below the before & after)
Another factor is the writing. It could be that the story just lacked something and readers didn't feel it deserved to be nominated. How can I test that theory without having any data from KindleScout?
After my campaign ended I submitted my work to a writing competition. The competition was free and the trade off was that you post your work, you are guaranteed 3 detailed reviews and the trade is you have to read and review 3 other submissions. I got my 3 reviews back, 2 of my 3 reviewers overall didn't enjoy the story and my third absolutely loved and that could be preference to genre. Reviewers don't get to pick their favorite genre. The gold nugget of these 3 reviews was in the details of the feedback. All 3 critics agreed that the writing was good, clear the voice of the characters were realistic. The scenes were detailed. Their was fair description but the one similar item that they wanted was balance between character dialogue and the actual telling of the story. My take away is maybe the KindleScout readers also wanted more of a balance and that is something that I need to look at again to improve.
I have learned that with every effort that you put towards your projects, you have to do it for a reason and to make the effort worth while you need to be able to gain from it whether the outcome is favorable or not.
For me I would have loved to have been selected by KindleScout. Their marketing strength alone is reason for aspiring un-published authors to submit to them.
I knew that like any competition there are lots of entrants and only a handful that get selected, so I needed to give myself alternate expectations in the case that I wasn’t selected. Kindlescout was an outlet to test the waters to see if I could raise interest and I learned that right now my marketing approach isn’t strong enough, so now I know that I need to consider other marketing strategies.
I need to look at the book cover and title and redesign so that it helps attract more potential romance readers. I have also learned to challenge the writing and seek feedback and I know that I need to look at balancing conversation versus narration a little more.
This was my experience and takeaway with KindleScout and I will submit again for future novels.
Have you submitted to KindleScout? What was the outcome? What did you learn through the experience?
Thank you for reading my post and best of luck with your writing projects!
About the Author: C.R. Misty is currently writing a romance trilogy. Her books are available online at Kindle, Nook, Kobo, ibook, inktera, OverDrive, Amazon & Createspace