Please welcome author Polly Iyer, who will describe for readers her experience with the Kindle Scout program.
I just launched my Kindle Scout winner, Indiscretion. This isn’t my first book, but after my very first book, my debut written under a pen name, this is probably the biggest deal for me.
To win a Kindle Press contract, I first had to be accepted into the program. Then, for the next thirty days, my book had to remain “Hot and Trending,” as much as possible. I tweeted and Facebooked, and posted on the many loops I belong to, which really isn’t that many, to get people to nominate the book if they like the sample read.
Those thirty days were very stressful, especially when my book went off the H &T list. I’d give another push on social media and hope my fate improved. When the thirty days were over, I had some stats. I had 370 hours of Hot and Trending out of the 720 hours in the thirty days. That’s a little better than 50%. There were 2.195 page views. 51% came from the Kindle Scout site and 49% came from external links, mainly Facebook. Some came from my website, and others from the blog site, The Blood Red Pencil.
Surprisingly, very few came from Twitter. I always wonder how much of my tweets are actually read, or do they just turn into retweets. There’s always been a bit of the “preaching to the choir” element of Twitter, at least for writers. I know the couple of Facebook groups I belong to were very supportive, and most of them nominated the book. Nominations cost nothing, and if the book is finally selected, the nominators get a free copy two weeks before the book is released.
This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because the nominations result in success for the book. Bad because so many people get it for free that when it goes on sale, many of my readers already have it. That means promoting it to readers who don’t know my work and hope they find me.
I don’t know what criteria the Kindle Press people use to make the final determination. I do know that people with more Hot and Trending hours than I had weren’t selected, and others with even less were chosen. I imagine part of their decision is based on a writer’s sales history and part on what the Kindle Press people feel has potential to be a good seller.
Then came the edits. Mine were fantastic. The editor found a big plot hole that all my previous readers and personal editors didn’t catch. Obviously, neither did I. It required a rewrite of nine pages and became a better book because of it. There were other edits, some a matter of style, others punctuation, some just nitpickers. I accepted those I agreed with and ignored the rest, which was my prerogative.
September 1st was release day. As I write this a few days before, I have already accumulated seven reviews from its pre-order status—all good, so I’m happy about that. Some say it’s my best book. I’m not a good judge of my work. I write them. It stands to reason I also like them, or I wouldn’t publish them.
I always create characters with a complicated past or present. Characterization is important to me. Besides the crime fiction part, Indiscretion goes deeper and more seriously into a deteriorating marriage, so it almost becomes women’s fiction in parts. That’s a little different for me, and it was also challenging to depict that part of the story and still interweave it into the mystery.
The following is the blurb:
Separated from her controlling husband, romance author Zoe Swan meets a charismatic art history professor on the beach and begins a torrid affair. But who is he really? By the time Zoe finds out, she’s on the run with her husband, his jewel thief brother, and a priceless painting stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. With the FBI and the murderer in pursuit, the trio heads to Boston. The only way to prove their innocence is to make a deal with the very people who want them dead.
If this sounds interesting to you, you can download it on Amazon. Happy reading.
Polly Iyer is the Kindle bestselling author of eight suspense/thriller novels: Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, the Kindle Scout winner, Indiscretion, and three books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series: Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, and Backlash. Her books contain adult language and situations with characters who sometimes tread ethical lines. Polly grew up on the Massachusetts coast and studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. She lives in South Carolina. Learn more about her at http://PollyIyer.com and feel free to email her at PollyIyer at gmail dot com. She loves to hear from her readers.