Hi everyone! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I currently have a Kindle Scout (KS for short) campaign running for my latest release, ZACK'S RANCH. Since launching the campaign, I've learned a few things I wasn't aware of before submitting my book. You can decide if they're pro or con.
Once a book is approved via KS, it is automatically enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program where members can read for free and authors earn some sort of collective royalty. I'm not too familiar with that program, but I intend to learn more. If you're familiar with it, please share!
Another thing I've learned is that anyone who nominates the book can get the book at no charge once it's published. I'm sure that's a big plus for readers.
One negative for KS is that its campaign links don't always work well. I was told they work best with Firefox, but it's certainly not the most common browser. If a clickable link leads to an error page, the user must cut and paste or try another browser. Technical support is slow to respond and often replies with a general "this is how it works" response rather than addressing a specific problem.
Since most of my thoughts on the program are strictly conjecture, I should put in a little disclaimer now. I really have no idea how Amazon decides which titles get published. At first, I thought it was just a popularity contest. If readers liked it enough to make a nomination, the book would be published (providing the cover and writing were acceptable). But that may not be the case.
When I make a daily check on my submission, I see how many votes it's garnered, but the statistics are far more extensive. I'm guessing there's an Amazon algorithm that keeps track of many contributing factors, including how many hours a book is on a hot and trending list, what percentage of nominations come from external links versus the KS community, what variety of URLs bring the readers to the page. There's a listing of direct traffic from web mail, bookmarks, cut/paste, etc. There's also a listing of URLs from various social media websites like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and personal websites. Lots and lots of factors to consider.
Supposedly, once my 30 day campaign is finished, the KS editorial team will decide if ZACK'S RANCH, should be published. Then it will be another 30 or so days before the book goes live on Amazon. I'm not sure how much the quality of my writing or the subject matter will count since contemporary westerns are a very small niche in the romance genre, and an even smaller niche in popular fiction.
At this point, I'm torn between wanting my book to succeed with KS for the wide-spread exposure and wanting to make it available for my readers before the summer season. Now that the commitment is made, I'll have to wait, watch and learn.
For those who nominated ZACK'S RANCH, my heartfelt thanks!
For those who wanted to vote, but had trouble, please try cutting and pasting. I'll keep you posted as my campaign progresses. https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3P7JVACJNJZU4
There's also a clickable link on my website at BeckyBarker.com
Until next time, take care and keep reading!