What I learned from being rejected by Amazon’s Kindle Scout

Most writers don’t like writing about rejection, but in an effort to be helpful I wanted to share the details of my Kindle Scout experience for my YA novel One Love.

I submitted to the Kindle Scout program for two reasons: the possibility of a $1,500 advance and having Amazon’s marketing machine behind me and thus, wider distribution online.

To me it was a win-win because even if my novel wasn’t picked (spoiler alert: it wasn’t) I would still be able to have Amazon alert those who voted for me when I released the book myself.

The campaign went live on October 8, 2017 and ended November 6, 2017. During that time I asked members of my email list to vote and posted on social media maybe three times. Everything I’ve read suggests that Kindle Scout editors don’t really base their decision on nominations, but rather what they happen to be looking for at the time.

My campaign results: 21 hours in hot and trending and 2,800 views.

KS stats

On November 19, my book was rejected. I decided to release the book myself on December 1. I notified Amazon about my release on December 4, 2017. The next day, early in the morning, an email was sent to those who nominated with a link to my book.

Here’s a screenshot of the email:

KS email

The book reached #27 in this category with a rank of 125K overall.

Kindle > Teen > Geography & Cultures > Europe

In terms of sales I did not see a huge spike (we’re talking a handful of sales after the Kindle Scout’s team email went out).

What did I learn?

  1. The selection process is a bit mysterious. I voted for other novels to see how the process works, and several were in hot and trending every day but didn’t get selected.
  2. The data available is limited. It’s hard to tell of the 2,800 page views just how many were actual nominations.
  3. I’m not sure if I would try the program again. I wish there was more data than what Kindle Scout provides. At this point I can’t tell if they helped spread the word about my book or not.

What about you? Would you try submitting to the program?

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14 comments

  1. Does this program cost you anything up front, I’ve never heard of it? Published 3 kindle books so far (non fiction) do not know if this would apply. But if it costs you nothing then just by letting your fans know about it you are gaining something. I agree they don’t tell you much… Good luck with it tho…

    Like

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