Sunday, 29 January 2017
Book Reviews and News from Author, Katy Walters: KINDLE SCOUT - EITHER WAY YOU CANNOT LOSE: Hi there, Let me say from the beginning, Kindle Scout is not to be missed; it can only improve a writer's skills. The whole campai...
Let me say from the beginning, Kindle Scout is not to be missed; it can only improve a writer's skills. The whole campaign was extremely well organized. Participants are given a web page, which includes the first five chapters of the book, a photo of the cover and one of the writer. I soon learned those two vital words, 'Hot and Trending' would appear each day under the book on the webpage, if it had a sufficient number of nominations from readers. As you know my PC and email system crashed so I could only fully promote in the last week, but at least my book appeared for the whole thirty days. So the experience has given me a really good appreciation of the value of the campaign.
On submitting my manuscript, I entered a bubble of creativity and nail biting competition. Kindle Scout staff are truly kind, supportive and encouraging to the aspiring competitor. The campaign took over my life for thirty days.During this time, I must say I lived for Kindle Scout, hopes, dreams, disappointment, euphoria all swirled together in this bubble of creativity and hope. Nevertheless, my experience with Kindle Scout was illuminative, disappointing and strengthening, a dissonance I know, but one which was necessary for me, for it could only lead to success.
The tables of statistics provided for each day of the campaign were enlightening. I was amazed to discover what avenues of promotion were best at least for my genre. From one of the listings, I could immediately see what promotional outlets were the most active. So now I have a clear idea of what promotion companies I will use in future.
I also discovered that although the words Hot and Trending may appear under some of the books many times, it does not mean those books will be accepted. For example, I saw one book had the words appearing almost every day but it did not get through. This clearly showed that a book is accepted for its value and not because it had the most money spent on it in advertising. This is so reassuring for a writer who cannot afford to advertise as often as others. True you have to promote and show your endeavors in making people aware of the book, but you don't have to despair if you cannot afford the big promotions.
As for non-acceptance, maybe you are a niche writer, or the genre is not popular at the moment. Maybe you didn't do enough proof reading, or your book was too badly formatted; whatever, you can't lose on Kindle Scout. My book was not accepted, but I am amazed at its success when I put it on Amazon. I have won some fantastic support. A major advantage is when you publish your book, the Kindle Scout team will contact every person who nominated your book to tell them you are now on Amazon. Wow what an incredible advantage, you will certainly collect more readers. Your book will have the exposure it needs to grab the attention of a reader. It's an incredible way of advertising really, it might be negative but it can also reap such rewards, even fans. I did at first think that I would not want people to know my book was not accepted, that readers would think it was not good enough. But then a friend pointed out the advantage of exposure, so I gritted my teeth and took action. I can say this in all sincerity, within hours of putting my book on Amazon, it raced up the ranks, 10,000 in Amazon.co.uk and 21,000 in Amazon.com. With that push, I can now happily promote the book even higher.
So I wish you all the luck in your endeavors, just remember you can't lose either way. So keep writing and keep publishing.
Sunday, 18 December 2016
HOPE AND GRIT CONQUERS ALL.
I wrote the previous post meaning to post it on here but was waylaid with the disastrous events. I did put it on Wordpress and wanted to do so here. So I am putting them both on at once to keep you abreast of the events.
Please nominate the Countess Refuses. it is up for a publishing contract with Kindle Scout. As you read it's been difficult, but it may stand a chance with your vote. Thank you so much. Here's the link:
So much has happened since my last post. I have overcome the travesty of experiencing everything collapsing around me. As you know, I lost all my contacts, my email system and all my social media links due to my email provider collapsing. Even now it is still fragmented. However, thankfully through the advice of a friend, Gmail.com saved me. The crash happened the day I launched my book for a publishing contract with Kindle Scout; I had no way of promoting the book; it would dissappear into the vaults of the Internet, never to be seen again. My sole support, my clever husband who works miracles on the PC, also disappeared from the scene of disaster, as he visited the family in Ireland. He wanted to stay, but family comes first, above all else. At the same time, my brilliant IT son was ill with flu. This left me with my frazzled brain, working day and night to try to sort out the myriad jobs on the PC’; save the email system and the book. I can usually meet disaster with some grit, but give me the pulsing lights of a biosphere on the monitor, and the gory innards of the PC, and I collapse.
One thing I do have is an optimistic attitude that usually carries me through pain and disaster. But that tiny flame of hope was buried deep this time, so deep it’s flickering light lay buried beneath an overhanging rock in the abyss. Even so, I knew where it was. I may be right down, heartbroken, feeling demolished, yet I know somehow, someway I will myself to survive.
People may murmur, come on it’s only a book. However, any writer will tell you, that book is their heart. It’s not money, or fame; it's flesh and blood pulsing between the lines and spaces of the novel; the words from the blood pulsing through arteries. A true writer does not begin writing to seek glory; their sole aim, is first to write, and then to share their hopes and dreams with another soul. There are usually reasons why people pout pen to paper, or fingers on keyboard. Mine were perhaps due to a dark childhood of pain and grief from which grew a grim determination to survive, and to share beauty and peace, for there was none in my childhood's dark tunnel of fear. But, enough of Poe’s ruminations, the raven has flown and the night is silent
I spent one evening looking at a blank screen. There was no other way, to save the book, I forced myself to climb down into the abyss. I had to find that tiny candle of hope; I had to pray it was still flickering. It was an arduous task and not without a few groans and tears. Hubby was not there to console me, or even make a cup of tea, or talk into the small hours of the whys and wherefores of crashing email and social media systems. I determined to uncover that tiny candle. However, it was a journey not without moans and groans, tears and some unrepeatable expletives.
Over a few days working almost day and night, existing on baked potatoes, crisps and the odd glass of wine, I managed to download a fantastic email system – gmail. But then I had to grapple with linking to social media. I came across horrid words edged with nails, whipping through my flesh, for instance, ‘ link in with your IOS’, or 'link to your Android’. What were they? Was an android, a robot? In desperation, I raced over to Tesco’s and bought a smart phone. Why I don’t know; it was a wild guess it would help, as my Motorola was over fifteen years old, and I only had it to go abroad, and even then didn’t use it.
Once in Tesco’s, I met a knight in shining armour, a shop assistant who was also an IT whizz with phones and social media. . He gently explained what all those awful words meant. I could have kissed him, but he was far too young. Back home, I began making up the links; the word Android no longer terrified me, and the IOS slunk into the background. I had all I needed now to start promoting the book for Kindle Scout. But as usual, I found everything kept on upgrading and then again, a couple of days later upgrading; something I find so frustrating, as I’d only just got to know the upgrades!! I was relieved and quite happy to stay with what I had just learnt, but like I said, everything kept on upgrading and new terms appeared that had my head swimming. I began seeing crystal lights – migraine without the pain! Nevertheless, I came, I conquered and began pulling it altogether. One morning, I looked down into the abyss and rescued that flickering flame.
After furious guesses, I managed to do some of the links, and started the promotions, my friends from social media sites contacted me and showered me with love, sympathy and support. Everything was teetering on fine. Some days later, I danced for joy, as I saw the book and cover picture the Kindle Scout banner, alongside three precious words emblazoned in fire, ‘Hot and Trending’ and there it stays, trending some hours on, some hours off. It’s a delight to keep checking. That’s not to say it will be successful but it is a joy to see it up there.
Whether or not it is accepted, I am enjoying these last few days of promoting the book, and even had time to take Lily for some glorious walks under a winter sun beaming down on frost laden fields.