What is Kindle Scout?
Phase One – Submitting Your Book
You can go to kindlescout.amazon.com for information on how the program works, books that have been chosen for publication, and the links to submit your book. I will also share my experience here.
The first time I heard about Kindle Scout was when another author asked me to vote for her book. A few months later, Amazon sent me an email telling me about the program because I had purchased books on self-publishing on my Kindle. It sounded interesting, but I still wasn't sure what to expect. I did learn your book needs to be in English, complete, copy-edited, never published before, and at least 50,000 words typed in Word,
You need to have a great cover saved in PNG or JPEG. They have rules on size and no blood or graphic violence etc. so read those rules over.
You will need to create and type in a book one-liner of 45 characters or less (they give examples), a description of 500 characters or less, and a bio of 500 characters or less. Just like Twitter, they let you know how many characters you have left while you are typing so you can adjust what you enter. It is rather simple to do.
They want you to write a thank you note they will send to people who voted for your book no matter what the outcome. They provide an example. You also have an opportunity to post up to four links to your social media sites. That was easier than I thought. You click on the add button and two boxes show up. One for you to paste the link and the next for you to provide a name for the link. I chose my website, blog, Twitter and Facebook. You can do all of this in fifteen minutes or take your time. I saved mine many times as I completed each step. To finish it, I went back to the Submit Your Book section I saved to my laptop or I found again on Google. Your Campaign shows up at the top for you to click and continue.
They divide the submission into three sections. The first is where you post all of the information about your book. When you are done with that section, you submit it and go onto the next. The second section is where you upload your book, cover, and personal photo. A friend used her digital camera to take pictures of me and that worked. It turned out better than the professional one I took a few years back. Once again, you can save and go back to it later. Once you are finished uploading you click to submit that section and move to the final section. This is where you read and agree to your agreement with them.
Once you submit, you agree to give them a 45-day exclusivity period. They will decide in 1-2 business days, longer if they have a lot of submissions, to decide if your book meets their submission requirements. I submitted my book Wednesday night after 10:00 PM and they let me know the next morning that my book was approved. At that time they tell you when your voting campaign will begin and the URL to view what the public will see. You can also share that URL with others. My 30-day campaign for scouting votes started the Saturday after I received notice of approval, so I had two days to prepare this blog, posts to copy on Saturday to Twitter and Facebook, plus I copied the URL on clear address labels and placed them on the back of business cards for my husband and I to pass out to friends at work, etc.
If your book is popular, there’s no set number of votes, Kindle Scout will review it and decide if they want to publish it. There is no minimum number of books for them to choose from. The contract with them provides the writer with a $1500 advance and 50% royalties on digital books. They retain the right for digital and audiobooks for five years. The contract will automatically renew for another five years if you do not let them know within six months that you want your rights back. You keep your print rights. You can also choose to print your books on CreateSpace or any other avenue you choose to pursue. They do want you to wait until after they edit your book before you create a print copy. Royalties are paid monthly but there is a two-month delay. For example, if you make sales in January, I believe you are paid at the end of March. The agreement is easy to read. You click on the bottom that you agree to the terms and submit your book.
Now the nerve-wracking, exciting part, getting the word out.