KindleScout and Beyond

My book, Beyond, could use your nomination: Beyond (Book Two of The Estelle Series) on KindleScout and if you already have, thank you, heaps.


 

My journey through the world of self publishing has been full of lessons, many difficult lessons. I promise to spend some time writing about what I’ve learned in the near future.

But in the near present, I’ve learned that every time I write a book, (that’s about every 6 months), I’ll need to spend a couple of weeks or more re-learning how to publish and market that book. Things are changing lightning fast. And what worked in February of this year is something totally different in August. It makes things, um, exciting.

In the Spring I came across Kindle Scout, did my research, and passed. I was, on the one hand, happily self-publishing and, on the other, mailing agent queries. I didn’t want or need to enter a popularity contest for a publishing contract. I was above that kind of thing, and uninterested in a third way.

Which is odd for me because ‘third ways’ are kind of my thing.

After the agent queries didn’t work out (I sent an excerpt of Violet’s Mountain, which is AWESOME, yet didn’t even get one response out of twelve. And I’m not talking about positive response, I’m talking about any response at all.) Perhaps it’s my gender? But then again, like a good girl, I’ve hidden my gender behind the initials in my name, right? But not even one response? Not one?

The truth is there are too many books being queried and not enough people to read them all. I get it. The gatekeepers are swamped. They built the gate and it’s too small, so there is a literal chaotic press of people trying to get through. It’s ugly. And so, to deal, agents and publishers create instant biases:

  • “Not interested in more books by women.”
  • “Vampires are so three years ago.”
  • “If the query doesn’t grab me in the first three words, I pass.”
  • “If I read another story about quirky cancer kids I’ll scream.”
  • and lastly, “If the author self-published before, then, of course, pass.”

I revisited Kindle Scout when I finished my sequel to Bright . I was doing my ‘What’s Changed?’ research and this time thought, This is an interesting way to get to the front of the line at that gate.

These are the basics:

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.

There are some great articles about Kindle Scout. My favorite is, Kindle Scout, the pros and cons of Amazon’s new crowd-sourced publishing program I decided I was okay with the cons. And because it’s all one big experiment, why not?

I very much liked this take on Kindle Scout:

We need Kindle Scout to succeed.

If novels presented on the Kindle Scout platform are solely selected as a popularity contest, we all lose. Authors, readers, even Amazon. What we need are active readers selecting those works that are truly deserving of a publishing contract, helping to sift through some of the slush and promote great work and up-and-coming novelists.

I agree—this might be a great way to turn off those gatekeeper biases and help more writing, from more voices, through the gate—by readers vouching for the books they’d like to read.

So if you haven’t yet, please go over to Kindle Scout and nominate my book, Beyond. And while you’re at it nominate a couple of others. It’s fun! And if you nominate a book that becomes published, it will appear (like a miracle) inside of your kindle-reader-thingy. My book *I hope I hope I hope* in your kindle, because it’s published by Kindle Press, and it would all be thanks to you!

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/AO1R2RI3Q81X
Thanks dear friend for reading all the way to the low down bottom of the page,
H.D.

Beyond…glimpses

Estelle and William, speaking in Beyond (Book Two of The Estelle Series):

“I hate talking at these things. The low-key ones are bad enough but with all this hoopla, yes, I’m nervous.” I took a deep breath and pulled at the middle of my dress to get more air in. An action that was futile.

“You’re getting better and better at speaking in public, but it hardly matters. You could stand and say turkey, turkey, turkey, and the citizens of New City would applaud and say yours was the best speech ever.”

“Aren’t we trying to win them over to our point of view?”

“True.”

William sat up straighter and turned his head and stared at me, stared so much that I grew self-conscious and then gulped and giggled. “What? Do I have something in my teeth?”

“You are absolutely beautiful. I know it doesn’t matter to you, you hardly care, but seeing you like this takes my breath away.”

“Oh,” I said, not at all capable of a response.

He took my hand in his. “You always looked like this before, when you were just a New City girl, or if not this exactly, put together, dressed, done up. You were pretty, don’t get me wrong, but you looked just like everyone else. Put together in all the same ways. Normal and the same. Now you wear your farm look, and you’re pretty then too, but this—tonight—wow.”

“Stop William, You’re making me blush.” I batted my eyes because I liked to be complimented. I remembered once, what seemed like forever ago, when I departed the farm in a dress and William hadn’t even noticed me or didn’t mention it if he did. This little speech made up for that. Definitely.

William said, “Sure. I know. I think I’m just trying to prolong some alone time with you, but I was thinking…” He paused, his familiar pause, the one where the gears turned, the one just before he said something that would end up in his writing someday. “All those days of sameness makes this night, you even more spectacular. Because it’s different. You’re different. I feel sorry for the residents out there, with their fancy clothes and their big hair. How can they get excited about all this, when they see a version of it every single day? It made me think that one of the biggest problems with New City is really a problem of sameness.

“Ever the philosopher.”

“Okay, I’m off track. I want to kiss you, but I won’t be held responsible for mussing your display.” He motioned about my face. “Suffice it to say, I want to.”

Have you nominated my book for publishing yet?

Beyond

It hasn’t been in Hot and Trending all day, I’m dyin’ over here. And tell a friend!

kindlescout.amazon.com/p/AO1R2RI3Q81X

yours,
H.D.

Violet’s Mountain and Bleak, or Dark or What is it called?

I’ve got a final read through happening of Violet’s Mountain, but then it’s ready. I’ve decided to pre-order it for release on November 22. If you’re looking forward to seeing it hit the best seller list then hold on. It’s going to be hot. Seriously.

The sequel to Bright is being beta-read by my daughter and a few others. If you are interested in beta-reading (read the book and tell me what you think) contact me and I’ll send you a copy. I’ll thank you in the acknowledgments ;o)

Now, to work on the title…the working title is Bleak, but it’s just not a good word, right?

I want The Cost of a Thing it’s from Henry David Thoreau and yes, in book two Estelle learns that her farm has come at a cost.

Kids want Dark. They think that one word is the way to go. But what about The Dark Edges?

Any thoughts? I’m all ears and beginning work on the cover.

Bright just recieved another review, thank you R.Singer :

Thought-provoking, poignant, and inspiring. A powerful metaphor for our present and future.

And so did Fly, thank you T. Williamson:

My girls and I love this book. It’s a cleverly written magical fairytale. May girls are 11 & 15 years old and way past the Disney princess phase. This book is intelegently written and right up their alley Can’t wait to read Knightlys other books.

If you haven’t written a review yet, and enjoyed the books, could you please head over to Amazon and do do do? Thank you!

H.D. Knightley