I published my book!
I published my book!
I wanted to start my blog with a recap of my recent experience with Kindle Scout. I’m still waiting for the results of my campaign, but I thought I would share what I’ve learned.
I started my novel, The Almshouse, in 2008. I was 18 then and a freshman in college. I didn’t pick up the project again until late 2014, after I found my first job as a summer associate at a law firm. Between the years, I tried my hand at writing a romantic comedy. I learned that I’m not funny.
The Almshouse took 8 months to finish and another two months to edit. After I posted it on WriteOn, a writing community owned by Amazon, I saw that several other authors had entered their books in Kindle Scout. I decided to copy them and submitted The Almshouse to Kindle Scout in mid-October.
The first week was uneventful. None of my friends or colleagues knew I wrote anything except academic papers, so I stuck with spreading the word among writers’ forums. I thought I would bother them when I actually published the story, whether through Scout or direct publishing. (It seemed rude to bother thousands of people twice.)
Because I launched a mystery/thriller campaign in October, I was lucky enough to catch the Halloween campaign promotions. For sixteen days, I hovered in Hot & Trending. Then the first week of November hit, and I found myself out of Hot & Trending. I asked three close friends of mine to help spread the word, and a few days later, I ended up back in the Hot & Trending selection.
Here is a graph showing my numbers.
As you can see, my campaign ended 5 days ago. I haven’t heard anything yet, but I will post again when I do hear. During the campaign, I learned a few things that may help future authors:
In general, I would recommend aspiring authors to participate in the campaign. I would also caution them to prepare their campaigns ahead of time, and not to launch their campaigns at the same time as groups of bestselling authors. I would also caution against entering without a professionally designed cover, as that is your primary clickbait. As for current bestselling authors, most of this will probably not apply.
My own theory is that the number of Hot & Trending serves only as a comparative factor against other books ending around the same time; it doesn’t actually correlate with the likelihood of selection. Given that 10-16 campaigns end every day, it’s a lot of work to read through that many full manuscripts, or even sample chapters. H&T hours might the gatekeeper that isolates the top 3-4 from each day/week/batch.
In other words, there may not be a difference in consideration between the book with the most H&T hours and the book that came in #4; the remaining process is a free for all among the read books. That would explain why some books with lots of H&T hours don’t get picked, and the ones with a mediocre amount do.
Hope this helps. I’ll post again when I have more information.