My Kindle Scout Adventure, Part 2

kindlescout logoThanks for checking back in. As I mentioned in my previous article I submitted my new book to Amazon’s Kindle Scout program. Halfway in, I’d attracted the attention of a literary agent, figured out the timing of when the stats were shown on the Scout page, and I even knew what time the Hot and Trending category was refreshed. Plus I’d done some smart networking to generate traffic to my Kindle Scout campaign. This all might sound like a lot of work, but it really wasn’t. I wasn’t on every social network begging for votes. I spaced out my updates and always asked readers to check out the book and make up their own mind. The mail out, the blog I posted on my personal website, and the Facebook posts were the strongest tools in drawing traffic. It was difficult to gauge how much was going on behind the scenes, but I know many others were spreading the word too.

Halfway through my campaign I found this group on kboards. These guys were totally supportive in sharing their Scout experiences. Some of them had purchased Facebook ads to help spread the word. I’ve never had success with Facebook ads, but they were happy with the clicks they were getting. In this group we also shared our stats. There were days when others had more page views than I did but did not make it on the Hot and Trending category while I did. So, the algorithms seem to take into account more than page views. I believe (yes, guessing) that consistency plays a part too. So, spacing out your efforts is worthwhile. I spread out my attempts to generate traffic to my Scout page fairly well but, if I ever do this again, I’ll space them out even a little more. I have several hundred names on my newsletter mailing list. When my mail out went out there was a huge spike. I should have mailed out in thirds over the term of the campaign. And, I should have waited until midway through to publish my blog. All of my stats are in the images you see in this article.

KindleScout hot and trending statisticsMy campaign ended on a Friday at midnight. The turnaround time for an answer seems to vary between one and ten business days. Rejections usually come quite quickly, so the first business day after my campaign ended was quite stressful.Kindle Scout campaign statsAfter thirty days my final numbers were 592 of 720 hours in Hot and Trending, 2,088 page views, with 51% traffic coming from Scout and 49% coming from external links. The numbers sound good, don’t they?Kindle Scout campaign trafficI only wish I hadn’t read the article where an author had 5,500 page views and still wasn’t picked for publication. And another who stayed on Hot and Trending for every hour of his campaign and still did not make the cut. Although I knew I’d had fantastic support and generated some good numbers, that still didn’t mean they’d publish my book. It was all up to the Scout team now.

I received the email at three o’clock on that first day. They took me. The Dead List will be published by Kindle Scout. If you were anywhere close to downtown Vancouver you already knew that when you heard my relieved yelps of joy.

Running a Kindle Scout campaign is a nerve-wracking process – but I enjoyed it, and even if they had decided not to publish me, I would still have had a strong launch because of the traffic they helped me build. The folks who nominated me would still have been alerted by Amazon when I published the book myself. And, you better bet I would have had that sucker live within twenty-four hours of that rejection email. Fortunately I didn’t have to. Amazon is going to do the heavy lifting on this one. My objective was to find new readers and connect with them and it’s worked. Since I’ve been announced as a Kindle Scout winner I’ve had over thirty new friend requests on Facebook and twelve folks have subscribed to my personal author website. The feedback I’ve had from authors whose books have been published by Scout is overwhelmingly positive. And although it’s only been a few days, the correspondence I’ve had with the Scout people has already been really encouraging. I can’t wait to see what happens when The Dead List launches.

I’ll check back with you in a few weeks and let you know how it works out. Oh, and if you supported my campaign, I really do thank you. Every single vote or page view made a difference.

Author: Martin Crosbie

Martin Crosbie is the administrator of BookDoggy.com and writer of seven published novels. His self-publishing journey has been mentioned in Publisher’s Weekly, Forbes Online Magazine, and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. You can learn more about Martin on his Amazon author page.

36 thoughts on “My Kindle Scout Adventure, Part 2”

  1. I’m grateful to hear that even if your book stays Hot and Trending for the entire period, they still may not take you. That makes me feel better about my own campaign last year. 😀 Congrats again, Martin. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventure!

    1. Lynne, there’s a book that’s currently live on the Scout site that has generated 19,000 page views so far. The author was kind enough to share his stats in the kboards forum I linked to in the article. I’m sure he’s going to be accepted, but it’s not all about the numbers. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Nice work! And it must have been for a worthwhile book to be picked up so quickly. I’d never heard about Kindle Scout or your campaign, but I can’t wait to read the resulting published book!

  3. Thank you, Martin. I followed along with you on the Kboards thread, nominated and rooted for you. It really does look like a deserving book. You mention something here that I had already planned on. I have about 2,000 names on my mailing list, so I was thinking of breaking that down to a list of 100 names each day and spreading it out over twenty days. Thanks for confirming, and big congrats!

    1. Yes, I’d break mine up next time too, as well as spacing out my other efforts. As you can see from the breakdown – Facebook posts, the blog I wrote on my site, and my mail out were the strongest traffic generators. And, thank you for your support! Much appreciated.

  4. Martin, thanks for filling us in on the rest of your ride. It boggles my mind what we have to do as writers.

    My husband got into sculpting a decade or so ago. Got some attention, representation at a gallery, commissions, but hated, hated the whole marketing thing. Did not want any part of it. He’s now doing it for his own enjoyment. Refused my help to set up a website for him.

    As writers, we need that readership. Sure we can delight in what we write, but so much of the validation we seek comes from outside. It’s that schizy part, the marketing part, that is so hard. So many of us, myself included, have to turn ourselves inside out to do it.

    I only share my frustration because I am so aware that you wear both of these hats – the writing and the marketing ones – so well.

    1. Thanks Diana. I’m hopeful that I won’t have to do as much with Scout doing the majority of the promoting. Then I can keep writing. As we’re supposed to be doing.

  5. All those stats and such makes my head spin. What doesn’t is knowing a fine author got the attention that is well deserved. Congrats. Won’t follow in your footsteps but I wish you great success with this special release.

    1. Thanks Brenda, I couldn’t keep up with your tweets. That was very nice of you. The stats were easy to follow. Once your campaign begins it kind of takes hold of you.

  6. That is awesome news! And thanks for sharing so much information with us. I’m a few days into Kindle Scout myself and have no idea if I’m doing well or not, so also posting a daily quick count of my views and hours on the hot list for my own sanity.

    Armand

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