Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kindle Scout - Phase Two - My Campaign

If you didn't read Phase One explaining what Kindle Scout is and my experiences with it, the post is below this one.

Phase Two - My Campaign

When I clicked on the link to my campaign, I spotted my cover with the blurb next to it. Below was an excerpt of the book, plus my photo, bio, and social media links. There was a button for readers to nominate the book. They could also go to the main page of Kindle Scout to search for other books to nominate. I don’t believe I received many more followers to my social media sites during the campaign, but others may find different results.

I wish I had read a blog like this one before I began promoting my campaign. I believe I rushed out of the gate too fast. My husband I both spread the word on our Facebook pages the first day. I posted on my writers’ loops, as well as on Twitter. I was excited to see my book cover on the Hot and Trending section of Kindle Scout’s main page, along with the mystery and romance sections. I stayed in Hot and Trending for about a week and then, to my dismay, fell off. That hurt.

I reached out to one of my bigger Romance Writers of America loops called Pro and I was soon back in Hot and Trending. Then I fell off again. Sigh. I had never posted on Facebook groups before and decided to do so. I had already been placed in over a dozen groups and I joined more. I believe I am member of about 33 groups now. I read their rules carefully and began posting. I made sure to focus on the reader’s chance to earn a free book if they nominated my book and it is published. Free always catches my attention. I continued to do the same on Twitter, which feeds into my Facebook. I posted in Twitter about every other day unless I fell out of Hot and Trending, then I increased to daily. I may have posted twice on the same day once.

I was in and out of Hot and Trending until near the end. I started posting on Twitter/Facebook/Facebook groups the number of days left in my campaign to vote and possibly receive a free book. I posted in about 6-10 Facebook groups a day to make sure I didn’t repost in the same group for another three days. I stayed in Hot and Trending near the end of my campaign.

Looking back, I would have staggered out my original postings to increase my chance of staying in Hot and Trending. For example, my husband’s Facebook friends were wonderful. Many of them voted/nominated my book. If we had posted in his account later the first week, I might have stayed in Hot and Trending the second week.

Yesterday, I received an email from Kindle Scout that says they now track the number of hours in Hot and Trending for you, along with where your votes are coming from. You can read those when you log into your Amazon account and click on My Campaign. Even though my campaign was over, I could still see my results. I was in Hot and Trending 460 of the 720 hours of my campaign. I could see where voters came from my blog and Facebook posts. I couldn’t tell when they came from Twitter, but I know at least a couple did because they told me. According to one of their graphs, many votes came from readers who were on the site nominating books. One graph tells you the number of votes received each day. The days I received zero votes were the ones I didn’t promote due to other commitments.

The scariest part of the campaign was the moment I realized everyone who nominated my book would receive an email telling them whether or not Amazon chose to publish my book. I kept telling myself it was in their best interest to publish Euphoria Lane since I had been in Hot and Trending for so many hours. I didn’t want to face the embarrassment if they chose not to publish my book.

During this time, I discovered I could call Euphoria Lane a cozy mystery. I have the nice ladies on Goodreads for that information. I wasn’t sure before because the story is also a romance and in two points of view. I also decided during this campaign that I was going to write romantic cozy mysteries from now on. This is a combination of two genres I love. Romantic Cozy Mysteries is not a genre recognized by publishing companies, but I have read the title once online and decided I can self-publish my books so it doesn’t matter what publishers recognize. I feel good about my decision and can thank this campaign for allowing me to find my way.

The end of my campaign was a comedy of errors. I was exhausted from returning back to teaching and thought my campaign ended Saturday night. I stopped promoting after Saturday morning. It turned out, it ended Sunday night. I was still in Hot and Trending. I checked my email before going to bed. No news. I hoped to hear from Amazon the next day. Minutes after the campaign ended EST on Sunday evening, I received an email telling me the readers had voted and my book was selected for publication. At almost the same time, everyone who had nominated the book received the email with my thank you note. My daughter read her email and called to wake me up. Many friends knew the book was chosen before I did. The congratulations were rolling in.

My email notified me that the thank you notes were being emailed and that the terms of the contract were in effect. They gave me thirty days to update the cover, manuscript, and book details if I wanted. I chose to make the title larger. I soon received an email saying the changes were approved and my manuscript was going to their editor. They asked me to respond with my name and address. I opened a bank account for my writing and soon received their email to open my Payee Account in their secure website. They needed my name, address, phone number, email, bank account number, routing number, and social security number. I then filled out a W-9 online. The account is on hold until the IRS verifies my information.

I have been impressed with how organized this campaign has been. Also with the timeliness of each step.
No more than a few days passes before I hear from them again. They also give you a contact for asking questions and they are quick to reply.

What now? I am waiting to hear back from the editor. Once we make the changes needed, they will email the people who nominated the book to let them know the book is ready for them to read and review. During this time, my book will be available for preorders. They want to give readers time to review the book. They will also give me a publication date.

I would recommend this program to anyone who can reach a large number of possible voters and won’t mind the heavy promoting for that month. Also, to anyone who can handle the possibility that their book might not be published after you have put it out there to the world. I would have cried, but I would have survived. I call this my exciting adventure.

I will update you again after my book receives its first set of royalties.

  

Tina Swayzee McCright

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