Now that my Kindle Scout campaign is over, many people are asking what I thought about the program that Amazon calls "Reader-Powered Publishing." The short answer is, Kindle Scout was both stressful and rewarding, and it's not for everyone.
Before beginning this endeavor, I read the rules on Amazon's Kindle Scout website, including the terms of the publishing contract offered to authors of "winning" books. Next, I scoured the internet for firsthand accounts from authors who had participated in the program, and their feedback was almost universally positive. I learned that there was a forum at the "KBoards" for Kindle Scout participants, and introduced myself before launching my campaign. This group proved invaluable for information, support, and commiseration.
Over the 30-day campaign, my fellow participants and I gathered nominations for our novels by every conceivable means including personal contacts, emailed requests, and posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Daily Amazon data gave us useful information about the number of people visiting our Kindle Scout webpages, but didn’t show how many votes we received. An active campaign with lots of page views and hours on the "Hot & Trending" list indicates that readers are interested in the book, and that the author is capable of self-promotion. In the end, however, quality and marketability weigh more heavily in the editors' decision than the number of nominations.
Most participants feel they learned valuable lessons about marketing their books, and it’s common to form new friendships among fellow participants. Additionally, their books receive fantastic exposure from this program. At the end of each campaign, Amazon sends a notice to all who nominated the book, stating whether the book was accepted. Most authors whose books are not accepted choose to self-publish with Amazon, and when their book is ready, Amazon sends a second message, notifying those who nominated it that the book is now available. So even authors who didn’t "win" are winners, as are the readers who discovered their books.
I have nothing but positive things to say about Kindle Scout. The 30-day period feels very long when you’re going through it, but I would happily do it again, whether my book is selected or not.