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Going for a Kindle Scouting Merit Badge, Part 1

Well, the time I was planning to spend writing, I mostly spent preparing for publication. Specifically, I’m running a Kindle Scout campaign for Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise. What is Kindle Scout? I’ll let them explain:

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.

Emphasis added. Featured Amazon marketing. Sweet. All I have to do is… persuade everybody in my social network, plus a bunch of people I don’t even know, to nominate it. And the bad news is, if a book isn’t selected, it’s worse than getting nothing. Amazon sends a note informing everybody who nominated it that it wasn’t selected, which as H. D. Knightley points out is basically telling all the people who believed in you “we, the experts, don’t think it’s that good.” From a writing-career perspective, you end up worse off than if you’d never tried. So the process is nerve-wracking, even though it seems like I’m doing pretty good so far. After being introduced to Kindle Scout early in the morning on Friday, Monsoonrise achieved “Hot & Trending” status after midnight Saturday morning and held onto it for one hour short of a full day, then dropped off the list. Then on Sunday it became hot, then not, then hot again, finally going all the way up to the top of the list, down to thirteenth on the list, then up to seventh, up to fourth, down to eighteenth, up to third, down to sixth, down to twentieth, up to fourth, I mean second, for a while, then whoops down to eleventh, with some other stages in between that I missed because I had to get some frigging sleep. Trying to get a sense of how this is going is like… trying to extract climate data from weather patterns, actually. There’s a trend line in there somewhere, but it’s going to take a few more days to emerge. (Also, I’m not sure the “Hot & Trending” list is actually ranked.) Still, 32 hours out of 72 on the hot list, and more today. That’s got to be worth something. (Also, two other Kindle Scout campaigns are making use of Author Shout. If they move ahead of me, I know who I should be doing business with.) And yeah, PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP NOMINATE MY BOOK.

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