Through the weeks that I’ve been blogging my Kindle Scout journey, I’ve started to pay attention to other blogs on the topic of Kindle Scout.
As it turns out, most of them are either by authors who have never been a part of the program and are speculating about whether it’s a good idea or not, or by people who are blogging their epic quest to get as many nominations as possible during the 30-day window (which I think is a bit silly, since the decision is mainly based on the publishing team anyway–Beauty’s Songbook scraped by with only two days in “Hot and Trending” and pretty much no support from my fans).
Anyway, this all means that I’ve had very little idea of what to expect from publication with Kindle Scout. I knew a few things:
- My nominees would get a copy each of Beauty’s Songbook, which they could download from Amazon. If they chose to review it, the review would show up as a verified purchase.
- Kindle Scout wouldn’t start promoting the book until three months into the publication (no one knows why, but my hypothesis is that they want to give us time to get as many reviews as possible so the promos are successful).
- The price would NOT be dropped for release, so I couldn’t submit to any of my usual promo sites. I just had to sit tight and see what happened.
Well, release day came, and I was sitting there with a rank of 70,000 and some 2 reviews.
Not good enough! I emailed my launch team to prod them along, and posted about the book on a few facebook groups.
The next day, I was at 70,000 again, with 7 reviews.
(The rank did fluctuate throughout the day, jumping between 35,000 and 75,000 for the first several days of publication).
I posted about my lackluster results on the Kindle Scout facebook page, and for the first time ever, I heard back from other KS authors about their launches. Most of them launched with more reviews than me (though I’m at 12 now, so I’m quickly catching up), and I saw a whole range of rankings, from people who shared a similarly uninspiring rank to others who were now hovering at 12,000 (one just reached a rank of 900 without any promotions!).
Under 20,000! I’ve gotten higher than that before, but only for a couple days at a time, and my books always revert quickly back to the 100,000s once the promotions are over. I started daydreaming about the time when my promotions would kick in, three months into publication.
Then, something odd started happening.
I woke up one morning (five days in) to find that I’d jumped to #26,000. I was gleeful about that–my rank was going up, not down!! By the end of the day, it had risen to #17,000.
The next day, it peaked at #12,000.
The next, at #9,460.
I’m currently sitting at a rank of #7,105.
Better still, after a couple-week lull, I’m suddenly selling one or two copies of The Natural Order every day.
I guess this is all just to say that, so far, I’m absolutely thrilled with Kindle Scout. I was reserving judgment until after publication, but already Kindle Scout has done an incredible amount for my book. I was nervous, because the results have been so mixed, but the fact that I’m able to sit at such a high rank without promotions is unheard of (for me, at least)–especially with a work of fiction! Nonfiction is much easier to send high in the rankings, partly because the categories are less competitive.
Obviously they’ve done something to push the book–not traditional promotions, but something on the Amazon site–because more than one author has seen this level of sustained success.
(By the way, for any of you obsessive rank-checkers out there who are afraid they might hit their highest rank while they’re asleep or at work, you HAVE to get NovelRank. It’s a free service I’ve just discovered that basically graphs your hourly Amazon rank, so you can see where it peaks each day!)
I’ll keep you updated! I’m looking forward to seeing how the first round of promotions goes, personally. I can’t see how many copies I’ve sold, so I won’t know how well I’m doing until I make back my advance and start earning royalties!
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