Find me on Kindle Scout

I’m not sure why it has taken this long, but Amazon has finally launched Kindle Scout–a platform to utilize the masses as free labor to locate the handful of money making needles in the indie manuscript haystack. TRANSLATION: the crowd can now help Amazon narrow down the selection process for the best books to publish via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

It’s a genius scheme because everyone wins.

Readers Get Freebies

Readers get to skim through the first 20 pages or so of pre-release fiction for free. They are allowed to nominate up to 3 books at a time. If one of their nominations is published by Amazon, the reader gets a free advanced copy of the whole ebook.

Writers Get Some Scratch

If a manuscript is accepted for publishing (still through KDP, not any of Amazon’s publishing labels) the writer gets a $1,500 advance and some vague promises that Amazon will perhaps, maybe provide addition consideration for internal marketing. I interpret this to mean, “Your book will have already caught our eye. If it proves to make us money, we’ll give you more exposure so we can make even more money.” Of course, Amazon takes an additional 20% of royalties for their efforts. But this is for ebooks only, and rights can revert back to the author if sales go stagnant.

By sixteen, everyone must choose.

Amazon Gets Free Help in Curating the Indie Haystack

If Kindle Scout works properly, Amazon will benefit from reader assistance in sorting through the multitudinous KDP submissions that come from Indies continuously.

Sign Up and Nominate my Book THE GREEN ONES

The more nominations I get, the more likely it is that Amazon kickstarts my book and sends me $1500.

So, if you guys can take a few minutes to sign up as a kindle scout and then go “nominate” The Green Ones, I would be grateful! This is seriously one of the best books I’ve written, and I’ve been stashing it for over a year for just the right means to launch it. Kindle Scout fits the bill.

Here is the link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1O4DVB865UZW4

On an earth rampant with telekinesis, Calli Bluehair’s only hope of escaping a violent death in the self indulgent underground of New Teotihuacan’s Worker City is the government run Masa academy. Choosing to ignore the rumors that the Academy is an option worse than death, Calli determines to claw her and her little brother’s way onto the registry, no matter the personal cost.

Subscription Based Serial Fiction (Direct to Reader): Has the Time Come?

The Holy Grail (for some) seems nearer to hand than ever before. The time is ripe, the technology is there. Storytellers since the beginning of time have been drawn to episodic narrative. Great characters demand repeat stories be told of them. And the audience loves to keep coming back for more.

Subscription and the Written Word

The most cunning and successful model for monetizing serial fiction has always been subscription. In recent history this was most evident in newspaper and magazine. The upfront promise of payment by consumers made the publication of the story possible, while the routine and regularity of the media delivered tantalizing snippets in a convenient manner. It was a win/win.

The times have changed. The desire to tell and enjoy good stories hasn’t. Television, and more recently platforms such as Netflix and Hulu, continue to emphasize our love of serialized and episodic story. When it comes to visual media, we consumers receive the best of both worlds–we can allow the storyteller to tease us along on a weekly basis, or we can gorge at the trough of story by watching multiple episodes until our bleary eyes explode.

But what about the written story? Web fiction has quietly been popular in small circles of readers for a decade. The Kindle Store created an epic shift in the digital storytelling landscape by breaking down the gates and trampling the gatekeepers. Now readers have more direct access to writers than ever before.

In 2012, the inevitable finally came to fruition when Amazon created an online store specifically for serial fiction. It became possible for consumers to pay a small upfront cost and then receive regular installments/episodes of serial fiction delivered directly to their kindle ereading devices or apps.

Amazon: The New Gatekeepers [Read more…]

Amazon Does it Again (Why Can’t Anyone Else?)

I soiled myself this afternoon, just a little. And it wasn’t from the pizza I left out overnight (again). The afore stated befoulment happened after skimming an email I received from Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

I always read these emails close enough to see if for some magical reason Amazon has selected me to be the next instant rags-to-riches self-pubbed author. (I have delusions, okay?) This time, I quickly realized the email was about the Kindle Countdown Deals I learned of this morning (from another blog I follow).

The Kindle Countdown Deals Go Beyond Cute

I hadn’t looked too closely into the “countdown deals,” instead dismissing it as another nifty Amazon strategy to suck authors and publishers into exclusivity with KDP (via KDP Select). I decided a year ago that KDP wasn’t really for me. The benefit of being able to easily “pulse” scheduled promotions of my titles didn’t override my desire to spread my content far and wide.

I don’t like to be tied down. One committed relationship in my life is enough. I’m a child of Generation X, dagnabbit. The man’s constantly trying to get me down, and I don’t even know who the man is! (Oh, it’s Amazon, that’s right.)

Anyway, so back to the reason I had to bidet my backside. On the surface, the Countdown Deal allows the author/publisher to run a promotion on Amazon which displays an actual countdown timer revealing when the promotional deal will expire.

Clever, right? Now the first thing to catch the reader’s eye will be an inanimate salesperson tapping the reader’s shoulder and saying, “This deal is for a limited time only! Get it now, or forever regret your lack of fortitude, you gutless wonder! Don’t shop around! Buy, buy, buy!”

While clever, this is by no means enough to drag me back to KDP Select and its exclusive demands. Then I read the next bullet point in the email I received:

  • Retain a 70% royalty rate – You will earn royalties based on your regular royalty rate and the promotional price. As a result, if you are using the 70% royalty option, you’ll earn 70% even if the price is below $2.99.

What the crap!? Did I read that right? I mean, son of a–[deep breaths]–

You had me at, ‘$$$.’ [Read more…]