Friday, September 25, 2015

My Kindle Scout Diary: Final Day!

Tomorrow is the final day of my Kindle Scout campaign. That means only one more night of waking up at 3:00 AM, wondering if I'm in Hot & Trending. Now I can look forward to dreaming about whether or not Kindle Press will actually publish The Standout. From what I hear, most authors get emailed the verdict pretty quickly, much sooner than the fifteen days that's allotted. Still, I expect the wait to be excruciating. No, no. Waterboarding is excruciating. This is just angst-inducing.

I was talking to a good friend, telling her how nervous I am, how devastating it will be if I don't get picked.

"It doesn't have to be devastating," she said. "You'll just do what you always do. You'll pick yourself up, self-publish, and move on."

She's right, and that was good to hear. But I still find myself wondering (obsessing) about who gets picked and why. Since my campaign started, three books have been chosen for publication. What do they have in common?

Their most recent pick is Blood of the Forgotten Coast, by William Shelly Gwynn:
Before that came Five Spot, by Cindy Blackburn:
And then there's There is a Land: a Novel of Haiti, by Ted Oswald:
They all have very professional looking covers, they were all in Hot and Trending for most, if not all, of the time, and they are each authored by someone with writing experience. None of the authors are new to publishing. All three of the books are classified as a mystery or thriller. I read the opening pages of each, and they were all well-written.

But that's just three out of seventy-seven books. Of all the published books, there seems to be a pretty even distribution of male to female authors. It would be useless to look at the genre breakdown, since until recently, the only genres allowed were Mystery & Thriller, Romance, and Science Fiction/Fantasy. Now they also allow Literature & Fiction, and Young Adult.

But how many books have been turned down by Kindle Press?

I'm not going to count how many books are currently up for nomination. But a brief glance over the categories tells me there are around 260 listings. Since many books are listed in more than one category, I'll estimate there are over 100 books up now, and at any given time. Of course, every day new books are added while other campaigns ends. It seems to me that Kindle Press averages slightly fewer than one book a week to choose for publication. Mathematicians, feel free to dispute me on this because I'm terrible at math, but I'm guessing about 95% or more of the books up for nomination DO NOT get picked. So if The Standout isn't chosen, I'll be in good company.

However, I have to say, my chances are still better here than with the normal route to publication - you know, finding an agent to pitch my manuscript to one of the big name publishers so I can be famous for having written the next Gone Girl. Is Amazon perfect? NO! Do I appreciate the opportunity, no matter what the outcome, HELL, YES!

And now, my final plea: I will REALLY, REALLY appreciate your nomination. If you haven't already, please click here right now to nominate The Standout.

Thank you! I will be back, once the verdict is in, with a run-down of my stats and my final thoughts on what worked, or what didn't work. Stay tuned!