Annoyed, and maybe a bit embarrassed

OK, so I haven’t updated the blog in well.. a long time. A VERY long time. There’s a few reasons…and for my being annoyed.

  1. I got lazy. Yes, the number one reason is the fact is.. I got lazy. I didn’t have anything really interesting to say, so I didn’t say anything.
  2. Rewrites are a pain. Yes, I’m STILL doing rewrites and edits on Blood of a Fallen God. It’s taking forever.
  3. I’m working on creating my own covers again. I was going to pay for a cover for Blood, but… I don’t want to spend the money. LOL

So those are the three reasons I haven’t updated the blog. That’s why I’m a bit embarrassed, because honestly, they aren’t good reasons. They are however NOT why I am annoyed.

Now I found out about this back in early April, .. Amazon Scout.. is no more. Now this really annoyed me. My ‘Master Plan’ for BOAFG (As I’ll call the book for short) was to write it, get it cleaned up, and submit it to Kindle Scout. I really wanted that shot, that CHANCE at getting it published under the Amazon Imprint for Sci-Fi/Fantasy,  47North. Amazon’s publishing contract is a VERY nice one, and very generous to writers. Yes I knew it was a long shot, but hey.. it was nice to have a goal.

However, back in early April, Amazon stopped taking any submissions, and in fact are shuttering the whole thing. Hence, the annoyance.

I don’t blame them in many ways for shuttering it. I did read after the fact that of all the submissions they’d taken over the years, they only picked 238 over 4 years for publication. Those are VERY long odds. But still, I really liked the idea of finding new writers/authors based on what readers think, rather than jumping through the whole agent/publisher fight.

Yes, I’ll continue to self-publish. But I’m HORRIBLE at marketing, and I can’t afford to really pay for it either. So truthfully the end of Kindle Scout is the end of the chance of me really doing this full time… Which I guess.. is ok. Not ideal. Not what I wanted. But, OK.

Busy times

Kindle Scout

Kindle Scout. I’ve said it before, but this is one of my main goals this year, to not only put a book up for consideration, but to get selected and publish through it.

But what IS Kindle Scout? And why do I want to pursue that route? What good is it?

So unless your a writer (or like me, a writer-wannabe) you may not quite grasp how large Amazon’s hold on the Indie publishing game is. While there are other players, Amazon hold a HUGE market share advantage. It’s kind of just the way it is. That being said, with the sheer massive volume of eBooks being published now via the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) being an indie author is not something to hang a lot of hopes on in terms of monetary rewards. I’ve read that nearly 1.1 million eBooks come out every year on Amazon. There’s a TON of competition. And since your ‘ranking’ on Amazon depends on sales, if your book doesn’t sell, your ranking drops, which means your books become effectively invisible. People don’t tend to scroll past the first 2 pages at most, and truthfully most stop at one.

So self-publishing is an uphill climb, at least if your looking or exploring for monetary gains. I write because I enjoy it, and telling stories is something I do to feed a more creative part of me, monetary rewards are in fact nice to have. After the rather dismal launch of Bridgebreaker (ZERO pre-sales regardless of advertising, worst books sales period, of any book I’ve done, mixed with what in fact are the best reviews I’ve gotten…) all my sales have kind of flat lined.

So what does this all have to do with Kindle Scout?

Kindle Scout is a different path. See Amazon has a book publishing arm! And I don’t mean KDP. Amazon has their own line of book imprints. Publishing groups that publish books, and promote them. And how they ‘choose’ books is a bit different.

See if I wanted to go the traditional route of publishing, I’d need to write letters, synopsis’s, have to pitch my book to someone, send full or partial manuscripts, all that. The thought of doing that, any of that, makes my stomach churn. And truthfully, I dislike the ‘single gatekeeper’ idea, that one person can make or break a book form being published, or at least getting a foot in the door.

Kindle Scout however allows an author to:

  1. Take a completed story and cover, and upload it to the Scout website. There READERS can read a section, and vote up or down a book. Get enough votes, and then the Amazon team will look at it, and decide if they want to publish the story. If they do, that’s it, your chosen! Note: They will do some editing work, or book cover changes with the author from what I understand and what others have told me.
  2. One chosen and changes (if any) are made and approved, the book is published under an Amazon imprint. This is NOT self-publishing.
  3. Advantages
    1. – Guaranteed advance & competitive royalties: Kindle Press offers a $1,500 advance and 50% eBook royalty rate. Royalties will be paid monthly.– Focused formats: Kindle Press acquires worldwide publication rights for eBook and audio formats in all languages. Authors retain all other rights, including print.

      – 5-year renewable terms, $25,000 in royalties: If a book doesn’t earn $25,000 in royalties during an author’s initial 5-year contract term, or any 5-year renewal term after that, the author can choose to stop publishing with us.

      – Easy rights reversions: After two years, rights for any format or language that remains unpublished, or all rights to any book that earns less than $500 in total royalties in the preceding 12-month period, can be reverted upon request — no questions asked.

      – Early downloads & reviews: One week prior to release date, everyone who nominated a book that is published by Kindle Press will receive a free copy and be invited to leave reviews.

      – Featured Amazon marketing: Kindle Press books will be enrolled and earn royalties for participation in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited as well as be eligible for targeted email campaigns and promotions.

Those are some nice perks!

So coming soon I’ll be trying to get ‘Blood of a Fall God’ accepted on Kindle Scout. I’ll let everyone know when.