I have had a few inquiries about my experience, so as promised, here is my experience with Kindlescout. I have to warn you that I am not happy with them, not because my book was not selected, but because of the treatment of the authors who spend time, money, and heart to participate. if you don’t win, you don’t count as a person or an author.
1. The secrecy. They claim it is to keep the playing field even. How will it uneven the field to let an author know if their book is shortlisted? Because they won’t tell you if a book has been shortlisted you have to wait and see if you get the promised editorial feedback. Some authors have said they have received it a week after getting the decline email. So, If you don’t receive it after a week I guess it is safe to assume it won’t be coming. Unfair and unkind.
2. The waiting. Most of the losing books will wait almost fifteen days to receive the decline email. I have had one author say the email of acceptance was received eight days after the campaign ended. After watching the activity for sixty days I have seen the accepted books get notified quickly, within two days. My problem is I think it is unfair and unkind to make an author wait that long to receive an email of decline when it has been known all along that the book was not going to be accepted. Some authors disagree with me saying maybe the book was on the fence and it took that long to make a decision. I don’t agree. I have seen two books get declined within twenty-four hours. My thought was, that book must have really been horrible. So, it is a no-win situation. You wait and get declined or you get declined overnight. They both feel awful.
3. The Begging. The author has to get page views and votes. The sad truth is no matter how many votes and page views you get it will not win you a contract. A book can be Hot and Trending for the entire 720 hours and not win. The author will only know how many page views they received and how many hours their book spends in Hot and Trending. They will never know the number of votes. Secrecy. The author spends time asking everyone they can think of to vote for their book. They spend money on advertising to get exposure which will hopefully lead to votes. They put their hearts into the campaign. If a contract was won based on votes and page views we will never know. Secrecy. My belief; a contract is won based on if the employee who reads the book liked it. Maybe it just was not in the genre he or she liked.
4. Hot and Trending. People love to compete. They love to win. Amazon hit the jackpot with this one. For thirty days the author can think of nothing else except Hot and Trending. Their minds will work out all sorts of ways to keep their book Hot. For Amazon this equal more customers. To vote for a book you must be an Amazon customer. You will have to make an account. There are twenty spots on the coveted Hot and Trending list. These authors work hard to get there and stay there. This equates to them working hard to get more customers for Amazon. This was my second time around, so I decided I was going to let it ride and see what happened. Nothing. But, then I coveted the Hot and Trending. I began the vote begging. and advertising. I reached the list and hung on until I decided it was taking over my life. If I stopped begging and advertising my book dropped down the list. I upped my game. One day I tired of the begging. I stopped and my book died. Is this really the way to a publishing contract? Hot and Trending? The average person doesn’t even read the excerpt. They vote because the author asked. Take a look at my stats below. You can see where I ignored the contest in the beginning, where I stepped up my game, and where I let it die. The final day is a day when the ending books get more page vies just because they are in the category of last day.
5. The Decline Email. Everyone who voted for an author’s book receives an email letting them know the book was declined. Humiliating huh? Well, it is a two-edged sword. Some say it is great advertising. If you had a thousand votes, now you have a thousand potential sales; or is it a thousand potential people thinking the book must have really sucked, especially if the book was declined quickly.
1. My Thoughts. You may think I am a bit salty. Not really. I’m a lot salty. I think the program can be a great experience for an author if they are treated better. There is nothing wrong with showing respect and empathy for the participants. Why treat someone who has worked hard for thirty days getting page views, votes, and new customers to Amazon with such little respect and care? As for the Decline Email, the author should be given a choice as to whether or not they want it delivered.
2. Voters. You can vote for books/authors. If they win you get the book for free. Here is what that really means. You get a free book in hopes that you will review it so the book launches with reviews which will equal more visibility and sales. This benefits the author and Amazon.
3.Would I do it again? Honestly, I don’t know. I had planned to add my third book in my Marston Series. If I add it, I won’t beg for votes. It will be one announcement on Twitter and Facebook. It will be thirty days of letting it ride on its own. A contract should be won on the content of the book, not how many votes I can beg up.
4. Because I don’t know the feeling of winning nor the benefits first hand I will refer you to a post from a winner. Read it. It is a great post. DOES KINDLE SCOUT SUCK???
5. I hope this post is helpful. I know I did a lot of web surfing for information about Kindlescout.
I am adding some eye candy for the visual readers.
The acceptance email for the thirty days of voting.
The Decline Email to the Author
The Decline Emai sent to voters
The Accepted Email to the voter