Sunday, 10 January 2016

Scouting for Interest

For the past week, I've been involved in the rather nerve-wracking business of submitting my latest manuscript through to the Amazon Kindle Scout website.

If you haven't heard of this site before, it's a place where Amazon displays unpublished manuscripts with covers, blurbs, and the first 5,000 words of the manuscript available for your perusal. If a book takes your fancy, you can choose to nominate it.

A nomination enables Amazon to know which books are appealing to their readers, and the reward to "Scouts" is a free copy of the book if Kindle Press (an Amazon imprint) selects the title for publication.

From start to finish the selection process seems to be designed to inflict the maximum amount of nervous worry onto the waiting author.

Although the original submission is assessed and approved or declined within 48 hours (going live on the site at midnight the day following approval) the book stays available for nominations for thirty days on Kindle Scout. I've recently realised thirty days is a heck of a long time.

Bad enough if they were just feeding the statistics through each day, but being Amazon, there's also a Hot & Trending list that displays the most successful books comparative to all other books available on the website.

To date, there's no reliable pattern tying the hours spent in Hot & Trending with successful publication, but it's only natural to want to be in any leaderboard showing and to be fearful if you're not.

After thirty days of torture, the books come down from the site, and Amazon deliberates on which submissions it wants to offer a publishing contract.

When the Kindle Scout program began and was restricted to US submissions only, the process for notification took approximately two days. With the books that came down from the site in the latest round, ending 1st January, the notification process took eight days.

That's one hundred and ninety-two hours. I know this because I just took out my mobile phone to check.

I experienced a few internal struggles while waiting the sixteen hours to have my submission approved. One hundred and ninety-two hours seems akin to a lifetime. And not a good life full of joy but one full of hardship and poverty and scrabbling to put food on the table.

But I have all of that to look forward too. At the moment, I'm just refreshing my screen every hour to see where my book ends up in the listing (they're updated every hour - why, Amazon, why?) and pestering everyone I know into logging onto Amazon Kindle Scout and nominating.

Speaking of which, you can find my book The Three Deaths of Magdalene Lynton on the following link. To log-in to the site just use your Amazon username and password.

I also have a couple of social media campaigns that will broadcast later this month. If you have an active (or even slightly active) Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Linked In account, then please consider lending some social support.

My Thunderclap campaign can be found HERE

Or you can find my Headtalker campaign (with a chance to win US$25.00) HERE

Thanks in advance, and now I've got to go and refresh my website just in case I've slipped off Hot & Trending :)

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