kindle scout

One Author’s Experience with Amazon’s New Kindle Scout

For those of you who haven’t yet heard, Amazon just launched its new Kindle Scout program, a place where readers help decide if a book gets published.  Twenty-one titles (including that of our guest author, Neal Wooten) have been selected for publication so far. The initiative is open to contemporary fiction, historical fiction and action & adventure submissions.

Selected books (the first 10 titles will be available on March 3, 2015) are 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.

Sound good?  Find more info on out Kindle Scout here.

Following below is Neal’s first person account of his experience.  His whose science fiction title, Pit Bulls vs. Aliens, is included among the first ten.

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When I received the email from Amazon on October 2, 2014, I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever read. In only two weeks time, they would be calling for unpublished manuscripts in the genres of science fiction, mystery, and romance, 50K words or more, and publishing deals would be based upon, among other things, reader nominations.

reternityI am an Indie author, who, like most Indie authors, hope to cross the divide into traditional publishing some day. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy leap. I’ve had success with my first Indie novel, Reternity, a sci-fi story based on Biblical prophecies, with it winning ten national awards and being named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011. The book has sold well for an Indie title, but most of the sales were a result of constant promotional efforts. Indie authors will understand that.

So when I read the details of the new Kindle Scout program, I was very excited. Offering a guarantee of $25,000 over five years with a $1500 advance is obviously more than an Indie author is ever promised. In fact, there’s usually no guarantee of even one sale or one dollar for the hardworking Indie writer.

I knew I wanted in on the ground floor of this program. There was only one problem — I didn’t currently have an unpublished manuscript. When my wife suggested I write one in that time, I laughed. But over the course of a sleepless night, I thought maybe it was possible. I started it the next morning and finished the 52K-word manuscript on the morning of the ninth day. I sent it back and forth to my sister, who is my most dedicated proofreader, and by the time they called for submissions, it was pretty clean.

pitIf you’re wondering how I came up with the story for this nine-day novel of pit bulls saving the planet, there was reasoning behind my madness. I love pits. My wife and I have two rescued pits. I am the creator of “Brad’s Pit,” a Facebook comic strip about a guy named Brad who adopts an adult pit bull and their life together. Recently, at the end of the first year, it already had accumulated over 25,000 fans.

It was only after the comic strip ran a while that I came to understand what a huge network of dog lovers, especially for pit bulls, there was on Facebook. I have connected with so many other dog lovers out there, many with over 500K fans. That’s another reason I was adamant about getting a book into this Kindle Scout program, because I now have something I’ve never had before — a huge platform.

It all worked out. My book was one of the first submitted, one of the first approved, one of the first to get offered a deal, and one of the first to be released. In fact, the book is available for pre-order as of February, 24th.

brad'sIf you’re an Indie author and have read about this program and are skeptical, I can certainly relate. But my advice is to give it a shot. They were very professional, even providing incredible copyediting to make the books print-ready. And with a company the size of Amazon promoting the books, who know what can happen? Fingers crossed.

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