Kindle Scout Recap

Sugar Daddy’s Baby wasn’t offered a Kindle Press contract. Am I bummed? Yes and no. Here’s my KS story.

I received an email from Amazon with information about KS a year ago. I’d just self-published TwiSted Two-SteP, so it didn’t qualify, but I flagged the notice. When I finished Sugar Daddy’s Baby, I checked it out.

I couldn’t find much information about the program, which was weird. I spot-checked several of the books that had been published and contacted a few of the authors, but they didn’t respond. I started to feel like KS was a state secret or something, yet I thought I’d give it a try.

Why? Because IT’S AMAZON! They offer $1,500 up front and 50% royalties. Plus, they do all the marketing and who wouldn’t want Amazon behind them?

I didn’t expect the book to be accepted for a KS campaign in the first place. There are plenty of sex scenes, some offensive language and one adult situation in the story I knew would make certain readers uncomfortable. Yet surprise, surprise, two day after submission there it was in the queue, hot and trending some days, most days not.

Once I submitted the book, I was contractually obligated to KS for 45 days. If published, I’d be contractually obligated to Amazon for a minimum of two years, whatever happened. Like a lot of self-published books, I couldn’t find many KS ones that had taken off, but hey, it’s AMAZON!

In the end it was worth a try. No one knows how or why KS chooses the books they choose. I have no idea how many people nominated the book nor do I know if Amazon chooses books based on the number of nominations. I only know Sugar Daddy’s Baby was hot and trending about 15% of the time and most of the views came from Facebook. Here are the reports KS provides.

Kindle Scout stat 3

Kindle Scout stat 1

Kindle Scout stat 2

Kindle Scout stat

I spent $75 on marketing, all on Facebook ads. I think it was money well-spent. KS was the best cover reveal I ever had and a great promotional opportunity. Sugar Daddy’s Baby is now available to preorder on Amazon with a release date of October 17th. Thank you to everyone who checked it out on KS and nominated it!

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Welcome to the Jungle

Chapter Two

I’m ready to publish my book. Now what?

Format BadDon’t you hate it when you buy an ebook and paragraphs run into each other, indents are all over the place and chapter headings are askew?

So do a lot of customers. They hate paying good money for these books and feel they deserve a higher standard of quality. Of course they do! I’m one of them and there’s something we can do about it.

Did you know Amazon added a link for readers to report bad formatting issues? It’s located at the very bottom of the Kindle ebook edition page for each book.

Amazon book format button 800

How embarrassing. The last thing I want is to be reported for bad formatting or screw a reader. I also want to be taken seriously as a writer and self-publisher, so I made the effort to learn how to format an ebook myself.

It wasn’t easy. It took me a week. I cussed a lot during the process, but once I figured it out, the time was worth it.

I found the simplest way is to customize the STYLES MENU in Microsoft Word with my preferred headings and paragraph indents and spacing. Amazon also provides a free guide – Building Your Book for Kindle – which is an excellent step-by-step tutorial, and I use it to set up the table of contents. There are minor changes I make to the Kindle formatting for Nook and the other epub files, but once I learned the process, it’s piece of cake to publish now. And it doesn’t cost me a dime.

Next up?

I must be the worst marketer ever

Welcome to the Jungle

Chapter One

When I finally had the chance to spend my days writing books, I jumped at it. I left my job on a Friday, partied a little on the weekend, and then dove right in on Monday morning. And I haven’t stopped since.

I wrote my first romance novel, Jamaica Moon, in the mid-90’s. Back then, authors were dependent on the big publishing houses to get their books on the shelves. Harlequin, Silhouette, etc., and obviously for me, nothing happened. My query letters, which were the absolute rule and the first step into publishing then, resulted in… nada.

So I gave up, but being a voracious reader, I continued to enjoy the latest romance, historical fiction and Stephen King novels. Then I read Fifty Shades of Grey, which turned the publishing world on its axis, and nothing has been the same ever since. Nor have I.

I loved and still love FSOG. Granted, the early versions of the trilogy needed editing, but oh, oh, oh, the possibilities. I learned anyone can publish a book these days, which is at once a blessing and a curse (that blog for later). In October 2012, a self-publishing revolution was going on and I was determined to ride the waves and see what happened.

So I wrote The Vitamin D Treatment. It took me six months, writing a minimum of eight hours a day, the images of Jed and Olivia and sex constantly churning my brain and body. Yeah, I made myself hot. My husband, too, who is thankfully not a prude and who gave me the biggest compliment.

“My cock is sore just reading it.”

Next up?

Learning to format an eBook so I didn’t have to pay someone to do it for me.

Welcome to the Jungle…