My book, Indiscretion, is a week shy of its run on Amazon’s Kindle Scout program. It’s been off and on the “Hot and Trending” list, which I have to say is work to keep it in the public eye without resorting to spam. Hot and Trending is measured by how many people read the sample and nominate my book during a thirty-day period. I’ve done some promotion, but there’s a fine line between promo and overkill. I try to be cognizant of where that line is. That said, self-promotion has never been an easy fit for me.
So what is Kindle Scout, you ask? This is from the Kindle Scout website:
“Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.”
Bloggers have debated the pros and cons about the program. From my point of view, the answer depends on where you are in the publishing world. I’ve self-published seven books with Amazon. The difference with Kindle Scout, besides the nice advance, unheard of for an indie writer, is the strength of Amazon’s marketing that I wouldn’t get otherwise.
No longer can writers just write. Due to the increased number of indie and hybrid writers and the plethora of free book promotions, we must now be creative to keep our books from falling into obscurity, in contrast to those days when I first started, way back in 2011. We now pay companies to advertise our free or specially priced promotions to their huge reader mailing lists, many times at high costs. The outlay is usually refunded by greater sales. We are social media experts, promotional gurus, Pinterest pinners, LinkedIn joiners, and Twitter tweeters. We join groups to support each other and share writing tips and posts about the things we learn on our writing journeys.
In order to submit to the program, Amazon Scout insists on a professional cover, editing, and formatting. If my book is chosen by reader nominations and the Amazon Scout Powers-That-Be, it will receive a complete edit. I created the cover for Indiscretion, but after 25 years as an illustrator, and eight book covers under my belt (one for my alter ego) I have no problem immodestly calling my covers professionally designed. Everything would be the same if I decided to self-publish, so I’m used to the parameters established by Kindle Scout. From what I’ve tracked, most of the books chosen in the first few groups are doing well.
I tried something new with Indiscretion. I incorporated an actual crime, Boston’s 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, with a fictional story. SO, unwilling to miss an opportunity, here’s my pitch for Indiscretion in 500 characters or less:
“Separated from her controlling husband, romance author Zoe Swan meets a charismatic art history professor on the beach and begins a torrid affair. But who is he really? By the time Zoe finds out, she’s on the run with her husband, his jewel thief brother, and a priceless painting stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. With the FBI and the murderer in pursuit, the trio heads to Boston. The only way to prove their innocence is to make a deal with the very people who want them dead.”
There’s a sample on the site. If you like what you read and would like to read more (if my book is picked, everyone who nominated it receives an electronic copy), consider clicking “Nominate me.” Sorry for the blatant self-promotion. Here’s the link:
Thank you kindly if you do, and thanks, Marilyn, hosting me on your blog. Polly
Bio: Polly Iyer is the author of seven mystery/suspense/thriller novels: Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and three books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series: Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, and Backlash. Her books contain adult language and situations with characters who sometimes tread ethical lines. She grew up on the coast north of Boston and studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She now lives in South Carolina. Learn more about her at http://PollyIyer.com