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

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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September Updates

September Updates

the-update-1

Okay friends, from now on I’m just calling these posts Deanna’s Updates since they’re not necessarily running monthly lol.

First things first – the ebook version of One Night is on sale for 99 cents! This is a great price if you’re on the fence about trying it and also if you know a friend who might like it. The reviews have been great so far. Here’s a nice write up by Lynda Dickson over at Books Direct.

What I’m Reading:

  • The Memory Box by Eva Natiello. This thriller about a suburban mom who basically goes insane (or does she?) kept me turning the pages. This novel also recently hit the NYT bestseller list. If you love books like Gone Girl check it out.
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. This is about a kid who gets bullied on an Indian reservation and later goes to an all-white school. I just started it, but will finish it this week. Can I say I LOVE the title? The drawings in the book are great, too.
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I picked this book up last year when I was visiting the Hemingway House in Key West where EH spent some of his time. I’m sorry to say I still haven’t read it yet.

What I’m Watching: 

  • 90 Day Fiancé. This show. Maybe I can relate since I’m married to an immigrant. The personalities on this show are ridiculously compelling. LMAO during the whole thing.
  • America’s Got Talent. Granted this show just wrapped, but still. I used to be a big American Idol watcher but haven’t enjoyed it much the last few years. Can I just say Simon Cowell and the talent show format are definitely back! Check out the winner Grace VanderWaal here. The way she plays that ukulele kills me! In a good way.

What I’m Writing:

  • I’m working on a new novel set in Serbia. I tend to get inspired when I travel. It’s about a kid named Marko who gets into a strange predicament. I’m not ready to share the plot details yet but will soon!

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Five things you need to know know about One Night

Five things you need to know know about One Night

To celebrate One Night’s release I wanted to tell you five things you need to know about the novel.

  1. If you’re tired of all-white casts in YA this is a great book for you. As Portland Book Review states, “There are plenty characters of color which does not happen often in YA lit.”
  2. If you’re tired of books set in New York, Chicago, or L.A. this is a good book for you. One Night is set in Honolulu which is one of the best destinations in the world in my humble opinion.
  3. If you love music, especially old music, this is a great book for you. One Night has a lot of Elvis references that allude to his music and acting career. Even if you hate Elvis it might make you a convert.
  4. If you are tired of the absent/crappy parent trope in YA this is a good book for you. Parents aren’t perfect, but I think there are quite a few of them out there who are trying their best – a lot of current YA doesn’t depict this, but One Night does.
  5. If you still aren’t ready to buy One Night, you can try the first chapter free when you sign up for my email list.

Release day post

ORDER NOW button (1)

Summer update

Summer update

Summer update

I haven’t done a monthly update in a while, so this post will cover the last 2-3 months.

What I’m reading:

  • Finished The Glass Castle recently by Jeannette Walls. OMG. I told multiple people I know that this memoir about growing up more or less homeless has so many outrageous parts it must be fiction. Everyone needs to read this. Fun fact: they’re filming the movie version as we speak and my employer has a prop in it!
  • The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone. It’s about a ship where passengers go to die/live out their last wishes and centers around a young girl and her grandmother. I give it four out of five stars.

What I’m watching:

  • Bachelor in Paradise. I think I might like this show better than the original franchise. Just so much ridiculous debauchery every minute. It’s exactly the kind of show to watch to forget about whatever problems might be going on in your life!
  • The 1977 film Orca. It’s about a killer whale seeking vengeance against a local fisherman who tries to capture it. The whale wreaks havoc on the small fishing village near the coast. It’s very violent for a PG movie, but compelling stuff.

What I’m writing:

  • I’m in the throes of editing a new novel about a Filipino kid and his family. More info to be announced later.
  • An essay collection about growing up/the awkwardness of high school.

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