To win a publishing contract, it’s not enough to write a commercially viable book in a popular genre, rewrite and revise the piece five times, get beta readers, read out loud for flow, and copyedit everything to flawlessness; a process which may take years.
On Kindle Scout, even achieving selection for “consideration” of such a contract is a lot of work. You must create and submit your book cover, tag line, synopsis, author photo, bio, sample questions, links to platform, and upload the entire manuscript for content review which can take a few nail biting days of waiting for approval.
After all this work, you pop up the announcement on your website and all social media, and ask everyone you know for their vote. At first your book may trend, even get “hot” for several hours. But then traffic to the page slows and other books sizzle constantly “hot”.
I checked the blog of one of the winners and discovered she’d paid a professional public relations firm an undisclosed amount of money to direct traffic constantly to her page.
And she won a contract.
So is this what it takes to win?
I believed Scout was an opportunity extended by Amazon Kindle to help starving artists get a leg up in the industry by virtue of their craft and the natural draw of an honest following. I wanted to believe that Scout worked mostly on merit so that that big money doesn’t always win.
While I received many nominations, and I thank you for your kindness if you were one of the voters for my novel, alas, it was beaten out by the person with the paid marketing scheme. I am grateful for the accelerated learning curve I experienced by competing in this program, and for the hefty dose of realism. There’s a different perspective when you’re down for the count, TKO. One more set of dues: paid.