Moving Beyond Kindle Scout

After an interesting Kindle Scout campaign, I’ve been informed that Kindle Press will not be publishing my newest novel, “A Love Story for a Nation.” Am I disappointed? Yes and no. Yes, because I put a lot of effort into the campaign and even more effort into the story. I really believe in this story and the type of impact it will have on its readers. For that reason, I think it’s a great book to be published. No because that’s the way it is in publishing. It’s an extremely tough and competitive business and one has to expect rejection far more than acceptance. That’s just the nature of the beast. But I have to remind myself why I’m doing this in the first place. I’m not writing for a sea-side house in Santorini. I’m a writer because I have stories in my head which need to be told, and one little rejection isn’t going to stop me from pursuing my dream. Or it’s not going to affect my desire and drive to write in the slightest. If anything, rejection is a challenge. I don’t want to accomplish things which are easy. I want to do what people believe I can’t. I want to learn and grow and figure out what I can experience in life. I love being an independent author, and so the great thing about this is that I get to continue doing what I love. No, it isn’t easy, but bring it on. I’m really excited about “A Love Story for a Nation.”  It will be releasing in paperback and Kindle on July 1. I hope you enjoy, and once again, thank you for your support! ALoveStoryforaNation Cover LARGE

Kindle Scout Campaign Ends Today: Thank you all!

Today is the last day of my new novel, A Love Story for a Nation, on Kindle Scout.

KINDLE SCOUT CAMPAIGN HERE!

I couldn’t have been happier than to see this on the Kindle Scout homepage just a short time ago:

kindle scout last

 

It was in the number one position at the top of their website under hot and trending.

Very cool! I so much appreciate all the folks who stopped by to check it out and nominate it.

What’s next? I have no idea. I’ll wait for another two weeks to see if Kindle Press wants to publish it or not. I’m hopeful, but of course it is now completely out of my hands. But I have controlled what I do have control over, and I’ll leave to fate whatever I can’t control – like whether or not it will be published.

But this is what I did do:

  • I wrote the best possible novel I could.
  • I edited it like crazy, and then had my editor edit it.
  • I enlisted my favorite book cover designer to capture its mood very well.
  • I wrote the best possible book descriptions I could. (Yes, I hate this part.)
  • I put it on Kindle Scout and I promoted it like crazy through Facebook, Twitter, book reviewers, Thunderclap, and personal connections.

I’m very satisfied with the overall Kindle Scout campaign. I feel like I left no stone unturned, giving it my all. And that’s all I can do.

Would I have done anything differently?  I don’t think so. The one issue that I’m not completely sure about  is the Thunderclap campaign. It’s a great idea, but I found that many of my supporters thought the Thunderclap campaign was synonymous with the Kindle Scout campaign. I’m sure some who supported Thunderclap actually never nominated my book on Kindle Scout. It was rather confusing to explain the difference to everyone. I also didn’t see any tangible lift in the Kindle Scout campaign coinciding with the Thunderclap campaign.

So would I use Thunderclap again? Perhaps, but maybe under different circumstances.

Still, I was very pleased to see my book being labeled as “hot & trending” three different separate times over the thirty day period.

Now let’s see what will happen.

Thanks again to everyone who got involved.

Six Days Left to Nominate My Novel on Kindle Scout

Well, I’ve set out on this new adventure, dangling my new novel in the hybrid publishing arena called Kindle Scout. After six more days – May 15 – the experiment will be over and I’ll get to see how worthwhile it was.

You can nominate my novel HERE!

What could your nomination mean? It could help me land a publishing contract with Kindle Press. That’s pretty cool.

It remains to be seen if the Kindle Scout model will be a long term viable one or not. I’m sure the traditional publishing houses are watching it closely, as I’m sure they watch closely whenever Amazon does anything, seeing how Amazon is the juggernaut that has upset the whole industry.

It’s an interesting mix: the author is in charge of the editing and book design process while Kindle Press would be in charge of the publishing and marketing of the chosen books. The upside for authors is that they have pretty much final say concerning editorial issues. That gives the authors a lot of creative freedom, and I’m pretty sure every author loves that.

The royalties through Kindle Press are at 50%, smaller than if an author self-publishes, but most likely that would be a non-issue with supposed increased sales easily making up the difference and then some.

For an author like myself, there very little downside in going the route of Kindle Scout. I suppose the downside would not being chosen for publishing, but that would simply be a minor setback, and only a pause of 45 days in the grand scheme of things – a small price to pay for a chance to land the deal.

Either way it’s good news, because this book I’m excited about is going to be released this summer one way or another.

Get ready, everyone. “A Love Story for a Nation” is almost here. Please check it out on Kindle Scout.

ALoveStoryforaNation Cover LARGE

A Quote from my New Novel: One Mustn’t Begrudge Sorrow

My new, yet-to-be-released novel is on Kindle Scout through May 15. Please head on over and read the first couple chapters and if it looks good, please nominate it. If you nominate it, then:

  • I could win a publishing contract with Kindle Press. That’s pretty cool for me!
  • If I win a publishing contract, then you, who nominated it, will get a free copy of the Kindle version of the novel upon release. That’s pretty cool for you!

Nominate on Kindle Scout HERE!

I’m really fond of this novel. I’m not sure if others will be, but it is focused around a remarkable character – a former writer and revolutionary who turned his back on everything for love. But when his love encourages him to once again get involved, he reluctantly takes up his pen and writes a love story for an entire nation.

I hope you will like it. Here’s an exclusive excerpt. I don’t want to give you any details about the setting of this quote because it might give too much away. No spoilers here. But here goes anyways. Thanks for your nomination on Kindle Scout.

“We mustn’t begrudge sorrow, for it will always be with us. It will be our companion throughout our entire life, so we should learn to live uncomfortably with it, like a battle wound that will never fully heal. The only moment we control is the present. And the only emotion which will help one to embrace life in the present is happiness. Smile and live. Be happy and live. In trials, live. In sadness, live. Live at all times with a smile on your face and hope on your tongue. For what else is there in this life to be worthy of your time?”

ALoveStoryforaNation Cover LARGE

One More Day, the Thunderclap will Sound

On April 28, 12:00pm EST, my Thunderclap campaign which is supporting my Kindle Scout campaign will sound. About 1 day from now.

I have absolutely no idea what it will mean to my book in the long run, but I’m excited to find out. Here are the current numbers for my Thunderclap campaign:

thunderclap 112

 

I pushed hard to get to 100 supporters and I’m so grateful for everyone who signed up. Of course, the big number sitting there is quite enticing: 122,819.  Naturally, that is the total possible social reach and the actual post/twitter will not come close to that. It will be a fraction. But the network is built around two key constituents: my friends who have shown interest in my writing and readers/bloggers who are consumed by books. That’s a good combination. Even if just a tiny fraction of that 122,000 clicked on my Kindle Scout account, it would make a difference. I mean tiny. Like 0.5% or 0.25%. Once the original number is so high, it doesn’t take much to make an impact. I suppose that’s the point and genius of Thunderclap.

My novel will be on Kindle Scout until May 15. This Thunderclap is, I believe, perfectly timed to help push me during the final two weeks to a strong finish. I have no idea what may happen, but it’s been enjoyable to join Kindle Scout, and whatever happens, I’m prepared for it.

If you haven’t joined my Thunderclap campaign, you have about a day to do so at this LINK!

If you want to check out my new novel on Kindle Scout and possibly nominate it for a publishing contract, you may do so HERE!

Thanks for your support!

The Trade-offs of Promotion

As anyone familiar with this blog is aware, I’m in the middle of a campaign on Kindle Scout to, hopefully, get a publishing contract for my new novel.

One of my on-line book reviewers suggested that I start a Thunderclap campaign to help get the word out about my Kindle Scout campaign.

I looked into it and thought it would be a great idea. But then, as I started moving forward with both campaigns at once, it became obvious that the people I’m contacting began to see both as one and the same. Hmmm. What to do?

During the first 5 days of my Kindle Scout campaign, I pushed the promotional button hard, trying to get people to nominate me on my Kindle Scout page. It worked. I got a swell of early support that put the novel on the “Hot and Trending” track.

I was getting very little traction with my Thunderclap campaign, which meant I had some decisions to make: should I continue promoting my Kindle Scout page OR should I stop promoting my Kindle Scout page and, for a while, exclusively promote my Thunderclap campaign which would, if successful, eventually directly promote my Kindle Scout campaign? Yes, kind of confusing. I know why my supporters were confused as well.

So here’s what I have done. I’ve stopped promoting my Kindle Scout page UNTIL I get enough people joined on my Thunderclap campaign that is scheduled to send the promotional blast on April 28 IF I get at least 100 people.

Is there a danger in stop promoting directly my Kindle Scout campaign? Yes. Might there be great rewards if I can get the Thunderclap to work? YES!

I’ve been pushing my Thunderclap HARD the last couple of days and my amazing friends and acquaintances are really coming through. I’m currently (as I write) at 83% of my goal, and the Thunderclap potential social reach is up to 79,614!  (Update: just hit 99%)

If I’m right, by pausing to focus on Thunderclap, I’m going to have a far bigger reach in the end. Plus, the blast will come out about 2 weeks before my Kindle Scout campaign finishes, hopefully perfect timing to help the novel to finish well.

As with any sort of promotional strategy, I could be completely wrong. But the broader point is this: one has to make the best possible decisions one can make given all the information one has. Once the decision is made and proper effort is put into it, the results are no longer up to you. So sit back and smile, regardless of what happens.

99 thunderclap

 

Here’s my Thunderclap campaign page: THUNDERCLAP CAMPAIGN

Here’s my Kindle Scout campaign where you can nominate my new novel: KINDLE SCOUT CAMPAIGN

About that artwork…

In a recent Facebook ad I created, concerning my new novel on Kindle Scout, I pulled out this old picture. Jonnywhostood   This awesome drawing is the creation of Woon Bin Chang, an artist who saw a production of my play, “Almighty Might” in 2013 in Kuala Lumpur.  Woon-Bin was so moved by the piece that he drew this amazing piece of art which perfectly captures the mood and scenes of the mini-play. It was also this photo and that 2013 production which made me re-think this simple story about a man, standing in front of the presidential palace, waiting for the revolution to come. Eventually, I decided to give the story a full novel treatment. I changed the name to “Jonny who stood on the world” and then eventually changed it again to “A Love Story for a Nation.” Originally, Woon-Bin’s artwork was meant to be part of the cover design, but in the end I decided  to go with a more minimalistic look as you see above. But with Facebook’s limitations concerning the amount of text allowed in ad photos, it was the perfect time to bring out Woon-Bin’s artwork once again. It matches the tagline well: The revolution begins with an innocent smile. This novel is now on Kindle Scout, as it vies for a publishing contract with Kindle Press. If you haven’t done so already, please head over to its Kindle Scout page, read an excerpt, check out the synopsis, and, if it looks good, nominate it. It means a lot to me. The Kindle Scout campaign runs through May 15. Thanks for your support! You can nominate this novel for a publishing contract on Kindle Scout: HERE!