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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Celebrating 3 Years

October is my author anniversary month. It’s been three years since I started writing my first book, an interesting journey to say the least.

Although it really isn’t the first. I wrote my very first romance novel in the mid-90s. Back then writers were dependent on the big publishing houses to get their books on the shelves, and few new authors were successful. The self-publishing revolution changed all that.

But there’s a lot more to it than I expected. After I finished The Vitamin D Treatment, I had no idea what to do next. Fortunately, a local adult education center just happened to be offering a class about formatting your manuscript for online self-publishing. I jumped on it. Now I can easily format an eBook and navigate the various self-publishing sites like Kindle Direct Publishing, Nook Press and Kobo, and I don’t have to pay someone to do it for me.

Then came the really hard part–promoting my books. There are literally thousands of new titles self-published every day, which makes it difficult to stand out. I love to write stories, but I had no clue what was going on in the industry. In the beginning I hadn’t even heard of Goodreads until I googled my book one day and found out someone had reviewed it there!

Nor did I have a website or Facebook page. The necessity of using social media never sank in until I met a wonderful blogger who read and loved Vita D. She set me straight, and I’ll always be indebted to her. Verna at Verna Love Books, you know who you are!

So I forked out some dough for a GoDaddy website and taught myself to use it. Big mistake. I didn’t know at the time WordPress was free and it’s easier to use. Lesson learned and not the only one. It wasn’t until six months after I published Vita D that I finally set up a Facebook author page. Six months wasted!

Now I’m on Twitter, too, and if it wasn’t for social media sites and Verna telling me what to do, I would’ve never gotten this far, probably giving up long ago. And even though I haven’t hit the big league yet, no USA Today or New York Times Bestselling author glory for me right now, I’m selling some books and am encouraged by the positive feedback from the readers.

I’m still here!

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…