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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Kindle Scout Journey - Part #1

Back in June, my latest novel, DAWN OF WOLVES, was a Kindle Scout winner. The novel (Book 3 of The Kingdom of Mercia series) is now in production to be published by Kindle Press soon.

Since everyone's experience of getting published is slightly different, I thought I'd thought I'd share my own journey in a couple of blog posts. Hopefully, this will help others thinking about submitting a novel to Kindle Scout, or currently going through the process!

How I got started

DAWN OF WOLVES is my sixth historical romance - I published all the others on Amazon KDP.  I love the independence and creative freedom of indie publishing. I like being able to say what goes on the cover and polishing the final version of the manuscript for publication. However, the down-side of self-publishing is that it can be an uphill struggle to get noticed. Especially when millions of others are doing exactly the same thing as you!

I'd seen Kindle Scout advertised on Amazon KDP, and a few other writers in my local writing group had spoken highly about it - so I decided to give it a try with DAWN OF WOLVES. I already had a cover ready to go and a blurb, so I just had to get my manuscript ready for publication, as I usually would, before submitting to Kindle Scout.

How my campaign went

It started off pretty slow. Sure, I initially shared the link to my campaign page on social media, sent a note out to my mailing list and wrote a blog post about it, but that was the sum total of my promotion. I was initially worried that, since it the campaign appeared voting based, that it would end up a popularity contest - i.e. the person with the most mates to vote for them get published. I've never been very good at those - not the world's greatest self-promoter!

However, I soon got a surprise.

DAWN OF WOLVES had 246 page views (which I see is quite on the low side) but the book spent 56 hours - the last period of its campaign - in 'hot and trending'. Then, seven days after my campaign ended I got the 'congratulations, your book has been selected' email.

I was delighted, especially since it appeared that my novel had been selected on its merits by the Kindle Press team, not just on how popular it was with 'scouts'. So, if you're not into pushing your own barrow and begging people to vote for you, don't despair - Kindle Scout isn't about that!

The polishing and editing process

Once your book is selected, Kindle Press asks you to do one final polish of your manuscript before submitting the final version. After that, I received an email to let me know my novel had been assigned to an editor and that I would hear back before 1 August.

I heard back from the editor a few days before the deadline and was pleased to discover that the editor had no structural changes at all - just a few formatting, grammar and punctuation corrections. I was impressed on his professional job, and the polish he'd given my novel. Really impressed. I have also enjoyed the clear and well organised approach that Kindle Press have toward the whole process - they've been great to deal with.

Where I'm at now

So after accepting the editor's changes and going through the novel one last time, it is now back with Kindle Press. I'm waiting to hear back about the publication date - and then I will start formatting the paperback version (which I hold the rights for) on Createspace.

It's been an exciting journey so far, and I'm looking forward to see how DAWN OF WOLVES does once it's out.

I'm really grateful that the book got selected and that Kindle Press offers this type of 'hybrid' publishing deal for indies. It's a great time to be a writer!

Watch this space for updates!

DAWN OF WOLVES is a historical romance set in 7th Century Anglo-Saxon England. Want to know more?

Take a look at the novel's Kindle Scout campaign page.


  1. 6 books is an accomplishment! Keep going, and they'll only get better and better:)