Kindle Scout discussion

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Does The "Hot List" Matter?

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message 1: by Preston (new)

Preston Pairo Congratulations to Fellow Goodreads author, Kia Heavey, whose novel, Domino, was recently selected by Kindle Press!

This selection also could be very good news to those authors who have expressed concern about how much time their novel spends on Kindle Scout's "Hot List," because from my observations, while Domino started out with a good string of days on the Hot List, it seemed to fade. I didn't even notice it being on the Hot List on its last campaign day, which was starting to look a requirement for a book to be selected (but maybe it made the list and I missed it).

Running simultaneously with Domino's campaign was Sacred River, by another fellow Goodread's author, Debu Majumdar. Sacred River, from my observations, held a place on the Hot List from its first day to the midpoint of its second week, when it briefly fell off the list, then returned and held a spot through its final day.

So how important is that "Hot List?" In the case of these two examples, the answer appears to be "not very."

A better gauge of whether your book is a potential Kindle Scout winner may be to closely look at the books that have been selected, and see if your writing will appeal to the same audiences.


message 2: by The (new)

The Behrg (thebehrg) | 19 comments Good points Preston - we've all seen many books that rode the H&T list for their campaign not get chosen while others, like you mentioned, weren't necessarily riding the H&T but were chosen.

In my opinion, Hot & Trending is a way to flag your book for the Kindle Press editors to take a look at it, but it's definitely not the only flag they're looking for or that can bring your book to their attention.


message 3: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 23 comments I think the most important aspect about being h&t is that other people are more likely to discover your book. While I was campaigning with my 'Falling in Death and Love' about 55% of all the votes I got came through Kindle Scout (i.e. not through links that I or my friends sent out). On days when I wasn't on said list, the percentage tipped the other way, more towards 50:50.
In the end, it was all moot as my book didn't get picked, though when I self-publish (in hopefully a week or so) it might make a difference because more people will have heard about the book thanks to the KS thing.
Final thought: while you're on the list you might sleep more soundly but beyond that, who knows...


message 4: by E.B. (new)

E.B. Brown (ebbrown) | 3 comments It is tough to say for sure. Being on the H&T likely helps bring it to the attention of the Scout team when your campaign ends, but I think a lot of other factors play into the final selection process.


message 5: by Preston (new)

Preston Pairo Maybe the Hot List is akin to the old, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound?"

If a book doesn't receive many nominations, but a Kindle Scout editor likes it and thinks she can market it, can it still be selected? My hunch is that the answer is yes.

My guess is that the nomination process primarily helps Kindle Press focus their marketing (not book selection) to get a book directly into the hands of readers who have expressed a specific interest in it, hoping those readers will quickly open their free copy and post positive reviews.

The more nominations, therefore, the more potential quick reviews. That being said, if the editors think a book with an impressive amount of nominations will get bad reviews, why would they publish it?

Authors whose books are not selected and self-publish through KDP can utilize this same marketing strategy (albeit without the advertising power of Amazon behind them), provided they offer their title for free upon release. The choice whether to do this is very personal to the author, but it seems karmically-disjointed to me to have Kindle Scout send people who voted for a book a link that takes them to a page where they now have to pay for a book they would have received for free had it been selected.


message 6: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Keyes | 16 comments Hi guys. This is very interesting. Magnus, I had been wondering about the stats about which percentage of the nominations come from within Kindle Scout, and which come from outside sources.


message 7: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 23 comments Pamela wrote: "Hi guys. This is very interesting. Magnus, I had been wondering about the stats about which percentage of the nominations come from within Kindle Scout, and which come from outside sources."

Hi Pamela. The percentages vary, supposedly. I've heard from other nominated authors who had 50% or less coming from internal (i.e. the kindle scout website) sources. In my case it changed day by day and it was really interesting to see how specific canvassing campaigns affected the stats.


message 8: by Jason (new)

Jason Luthor (jasonluthor) | 34 comments I've noticed there are a lot of questions about how the Amazon Scout system works. I've previously written about my experiences in a four parter for my blog, which I'll post here:

http://houstonatnight.blogspot.com/20...

http://houstonatnight.blogspot.com/20...

http://houstonatnight.blogspot.com/20...

http://houstonatnight.blogspot.com/20...

This includes what the process, hot list, and post experience was like.

Oh, and when you're done reading it, buy my book, FLOOR 21:
http://www.amazon.com/FLOOR-21-Jason-...


message 9: by Paul (last edited Dec 01, 2015 06:47PM) (new)

Paul Westley | 12 comments Jason wrote: "I've noticed there are a lot of questions about how the Amazon Scout system works. I've previously written about my experiences in a four parter for my blog, which I'll post here:..."

Thank you so much Jason, that was fantastic information, and of course, congratulations! Could you possibly let us know your final page views and internal %?

My campaign ends in 6 days and I think I might be middle of the pack with 1,200 page views and 387 of 552 hot hours, but so hard to know as I haven't found too many final stats posts. Even with that, as a first time writer with no track record, I'm sure I am at a disadvantage.

Oh, you said we need aggressive marketing :) ...

Perfect Chloe:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/ZN46...

Thanks again for taking the time to help us try to achieve your success.

Paul


message 10: by Jason (new)

Jason Luthor (jasonluthor) | 34 comments If I remember right, 2k and I was on the Hot List for 96 or 97% of the time.


message 11: by Preston (new)

Preston Pairo Paul:

Your lack of a track record may prove more advantageous than having a lacking track record (in other words, a list of credits with middling sales).

The latest example of a book that seemed to dominate The Hot/Trending List for the length of its campaign, yet was not selected, is Rachel Cullen's The Way I've Heard It Should Be.

Pres


message 12: by Paul (new)

Paul Westley | 12 comments Jason wrote: "If I remember right, 2k and I was on the Hot List for 96 or 97% of the time."

Thanks Jason. Sorry, for the %, I actually meant % of external page views vs internal, to give us some idea how much the external marketing pushed up the numbers.


message 13: by Jason (new)

Jason Luthor (jasonluthor) | 34 comments Oh, I have no idea. I did most of my self promotion of Fridays but for the majority of the book's run I didn't have to worry much about promoting, it stayed on regardless.


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul Westley | 12 comments Preston wrote: "Paul: Your lack of a track record may prove more advantageous than having a lacking track record..."

Thanks Pres, I love your spin! I hope you are right :)


message 15: by Paul (new)

Paul Westley | 12 comments Jason wrote: "Oh, I have no idea. I did most of my self promotion of Fridays but for the majority of the book's run I didn't have to worry much about promoting, it stayed on regardless."

Ah, thanks Jason, yes, that makes sense. I did a big push at the beginning, but it dwindled to nothing after four days, so then I brought out the big guns and 'rekindled', and then as with yours, it's thankfully been steady ever since so I haven't had to sell my soul yet.


message 16: by James (new)

James Jackson (jamesmjackson) There are a number of differences between the statistics available now and when Jason and I went through the Scout process. At the time we went through, we had no currently available statistics. We only saw page views and hours hot at a much later date when Kindle first decided to release them. Sometime after that they started providing information about inside/outside views -- links, etc.

FWIW here are my stats for Ant Farm

Hot 559 Hours
Page views 1K (it was the 25th book chosen and page views have climbed considerably)
External links 40% (A huge percentage of those came from pure direct traffic--cut and paste, bookmarks)

In addition to Jason's excellent blogs, you might check out this blog that discusses the finances behind the Kindle Scout program and how they differ from regular publishing.

~ Jim


message 17: by Paul (new)

Paul Westley | 12 comments James wrote: "There are a number of differences between the statistics available now and when Jason and I went through the Scout process. At the time we went through, we had no currently available statistics. We..."

Thanks very much James. I had no idea you were so in the dark 'back in the old days' :) Thank you for the link, very interesting seeing the difference between bookstore sales and digital. And of course, congratulations on Ant Farm, I bet that was a huge thrill to get chosen. I am going to go and take a look right now.

Paul


message 18: by James (new)

James Jackson (jamesmjackson) Paul, It might have been a bit less stressful not having all that data. "Back in the day" all we could judge was the Hot and Trending -- and only when we checked; there was no cumulative information. I suspect those going through the process now obsess even more, wondering what the magic mix of internal/external might be, why they dropped out of H&T for four hours on Thursday, etc.

~ Jim


message 19: by Paul (new)

Paul Westley | 12 comments I'm on a kboards thread also, and all we do is obsess about the stats and what they might mean :) I dropped out of hot for a few days early on and stressed constantly. But since it's stayed hot for almost two weeks, I am a lot calmer now :) I am proud to say I only hit refresh on the hot list less than four times an hour now.

Only five days left for me, then apparently the real stress starts waiting for that glorious/dreaded email :)

Yes, I think you are right, you trail blazers don't know how lucky you were :)


message 20: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Keyes | 16 comments Preston wrote: "Maybe the Hot List is akin to the old, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound?"

If a book doesn't receive many nominations, but a Kindle Scout editor like..."


I guess what it comes down to is simply good writing, right? If you have a lot of friends but can't write well, are you a safer bet than someone who writes beautifully but isn't social? If the book is good, then people who don't know you will probably like it. If it's bad, then the writing (so to speak) is on the wall. And if Kindle can't market something their editors believe in, then I don't know who can...


message 21: by Jason (new)

Jason Luthor (jasonluthor) | 34 comments For the record, the critical question to ask is this:

Can I write well and

Can Amazon recoup its investment.

Books that were only on the Hot List a short time got through because an editor thought it could sell.
Books that were on the Hot List a long time didn't get through.

The only question that matters is this: "Does Amazon think it can sell my book?"

Also, FLOOR 21, buy it while it's on the December sales list!
http://www.amazon.com/FLOOR-21-Jason-...


message 22: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Keyes | 16 comments I have a question for all of you. In general, how long does it take from the end of a campaign until you hear that you have (or haven't) been published?


message 23: by James (new)

James Jackson (jamesmjackson) Pamela, it has been very quick. One or two business days max.


message 24: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Keyes | 16 comments James wrote: "Pamela, it has been very quick. One or two business days max."

Thanks! I appreciate the insight...


message 25: by Preston (new)

Preston Pairo It can also be a bit longer. Peter Turner's Wilberforce & Grace has been in review since December 1st.


message 26: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Keyes | 16 comments Preston wrote: "It can also be a bit longer. Peter Turner's Wilberforce & Grace has been in review since December 1st."

Yikes! That sounds like the more traditional old fashioned route. I wonder why?


message 27: by Jason (new)

Jason Luthor (jasonluthor) | 34 comments I finally saw what you guys meant by the new stats.

57% Kindle Scout, 43% External Links.
I did the math, ant 75% of my external traffic came from Facebook. Shows you what you can do if you know how to use social media.


message 28: by Preston (new)

Preston Pairo The recently-ended campaign of Paul Westley's Perfect Chloe is the latest indication that the Hot List isn't an author's ticket to Kindle Scout acceptance. From my nearly daily check of Kindle Scout during the novel's campaign, it appeared that Perfect Chloe was on the Hot List at least 90% of the time, yet it was not selected.


message 29: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Luckourt (nicole_luckourt) | 22 comments Yes, Paul's book was certainly on the list a lot. Maybe it's used as some type of screening method? There have also been a lot of new books added lately. I'm wondering how that will impact the process. Based on sheer numbers, it would seem that those authors with a strong social media following would fair better in a more populated field. I know it's much more challenging to stay visible and it had me reflecting on how the program will grow. I think it's a good thing that word is spreading about Scout and there are so many quality novels up for nomination, but how would an author stand out of say 1000 (rather than 300) books? Seems the H&T list would play even more of a role in visibility.


message 30: by Jason (new)

Jason Luthor (jasonluthor) | 34 comments The Hot List is used as a kind of 'to the front of the line' tool but not as a guaranteed acceptance tool.


message 31: by Erik (last edited Feb 04, 2016 07:29AM) (new)

Erik Therme Magnus wrote: I think the most important aspect about being h&t is that other people are more likely to discover your book.

Like many others, I continue to 'agonize' over staying on the Hot & Trending list (thinking it will factor heavily into the final decision by the Scout team) but what Magnus says (above) probably makes the most sense. It's all very mysterious, that much is for sure . . .


message 32: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Morrone (vincentmorrone) | 39 comments I think I read somewhere that when Kindle Scout first launched, there wasn't any nominations from readers. I'm guessing, and I could be wrong, that they factor in, but they mostly look at the book itself.

I mean, I could write a really horrible book about vampire chickens who try to peck away at the world and a retired colonel named Sanders who came to the small town in Kentucky has to learn to become a Vampire Chicken Hunter overnight. Yet I may have a bunch of friends who nominate it, or just a bunch of people who want to see if Kindle Scout would actually publish a book like that, keep it Hot & Trending.

No stealing my idea, btw.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Vincent wrote: "I think I read somewhere that when Kindle Scout first launched, there wasn't any nominations from readers. I'm guessing, and I could be wrong, that they factor in, but they mostly look at the book ..."

Not necessarily. From what I can see on line some hot lists books were not offered a contract while others books were. It's a combination of reader interest and Scout editor review.


message 34: by Lizabeth (new)

Lizabeth Scott (lizabeth_scott) | 25 comments This has been so helpful! Thank you all. I am considering the Scout program and have so many questions. I'm happy I stumbled onto this group. If I may, I have a question. I read about aggressive marketing. Does Amazon do that or do you? And if it's you, how do you know what to do?


message 35: by Lexi (new)

Lexi Revellian (lexirevellian) | 5 comments Lizabeth wrote: "This has been so helpful! Thank you all. I am considering the Scout program and have so many questions. I'm happy I stumbled onto this group. If I may, I have a question. I read about aggressive ma..."

Lizabeth, my book The Trouble with Time (Time Rats Book 1) went on sale over a month ago. Initially, Amazon sends your book out in emails to readers who might be interested. Later, your book is eligible for other promotions, including cut price promos and Kindle Fire. My book is selling much better than it would have done had I self-published, and my other novels are selling more too. I am very happy with my experience with Kindle Press so far.


message 36: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Golden | 127 comments Lexi wrote: "Lizabeth wrote: "This has been so helpful! Thank you all. I am considering the Scout program and have so many questions. I'm happy I stumbled onto this group. If I may, I have a question. I read ab..."

Thanks for the details. I'm looking into KS also. When your book is eligible for cut-price promotions, do you get a choice of participating or is your book automatically discounted?

Also, what is a Kindle Fire promotion? Thanks.


message 37: by Lexi (new)

Lexi Revellian (lexirevellian) | 5 comments Amazon decides when and how to promote Kindle Press books - I'm happy about that, as they are the experts. I'm not quite sure what a Kindle Fire promotion is - we've speculated in our KS winners FB group that your book comes up when the Fire is switched on - but I hope to find out :o)


message 38: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Golden | 127 comments Thanks, Lexi. I think you might be right about the Kindle Fire promotion. I know those ads for books are always popping up. That's great exposure.


message 39: by Linda (new)

Linda (linda_green) My campaign launches at midnight tonight and I've been reading every little thing I can. (I actually followed Kathy to this thread from another so...thank you, Kathy!!!) Being a newbie at the campaign, I was obsessing about what was most important to worry about but the experiences in this thread have helped me relax a bit. Thanks to everyone who chimed in with their knowledge!


message 40: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Golden | 127 comments So, Elizabeth, what is the link to your book on Kindle Scout?


message 41: by Linda (new)

Linda (linda_green) Kathy, so sorry I didn't get notices about replies on this thread for some reason. My title is located here: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2TK2...


message 42: by Loukas (new)

Loukas Papacosta | 2 comments I believe you need to get into the Hot and Trending to prove you have a crowd and that you can run a marketing campaign.
However, bottom line is a good book is a good book. I have seen books with great statistics that were declined and books with average stats being accepted.
That said, please visit link and check out my book up for a contract at the moment. I will return the favor :-)
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/35DL...


message 43: by Bruce (new)

Bruce | 24 comments Loukas wrote: "I believe you need to get into the Hot and Trending to prove you have a crowd and that you can run a marketing campaign.
However, bottom line is a good book is a good book. I have seen books with g..."


Sure, tit for tat is a good thing. My book is at https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1S9S...


message 44: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Hughes (michellehughes) | 12 comments I haven't really promoted the way I should and my book has 11 days to go. Normally when I publish a book on Amazon I'll get the first month coming in at 6 or 7,000 then it drops considerably. I worry because so far this book only had these stats: 107 hours in hot and trending and 734 page views. I have a considerable following on social media but they haven't seemed willing to bite on this Kindle Scout thing?


message 45: by Julianne (new)

Julianne Johnson (jqjohnson) | 6 comments I just wanted to thank everyone for the tons of information. My first campaign just finished it's first day, and I found this group when I was looking for information on what to expect. Day one, and I was on the hot list all day. I know that doesn't mean anything one way or the other, but I was worried about it. I'm doing what I can to self promote, but I'm not exactly a social media butterfly.
Thanks again for the info. My book, Descending, is here, if you want to check it out.
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1GST...


message 46: by P. (new)

P. Zoro (pzoro) | 7 comments Hi

My case might be an interesting one. I've just seen one other African writer (from South Africa) and her campaign has just ended. But I'm excited that Kindle Scout gives a chance to every writer world over. I'm relieved I don't have to be on the Hot and Trending List every day because I don't have much of a social media network to talk about.

I wanted to understand how many page views on average does a book need to be on Hot and Trending List? Is there a way you can tell how many nominations you are getting or you just see the page views?

My book is here: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2QJT...


message 47: by Lexi (new)

Lexi Revellian (lexirevellian) | 5 comments P. wrote: "Hi

My case might be an interesting one. I've just seen one other African writer (from South Africa) and her campaign has just ended. But I'm excited that Kindle Scout gives a chance to every writ..."


Hi P.! H & T is a moving target. The bar goes up all the time as more authors pay for Facebook ads and Fiverr promos - and there are sites which will take your money and claim to get you nominations. There's no way of knowing how many nominations your book gets. But honestly, that doesn't matter. It's just a case of whether you've written the sort of book Kindle Press thinks it can sell. I've had two books selected on Kindle Scout, and I didn't campaign, and my stats were totally unimpressive.


message 48: by P. (new)

P. Zoro (pzoro) | 7 comments Thanks, Lexi.
Let me work on it. Yesterday my page views doubled but I'm not yet on that Hot List.

Your help is much appreciated.


message 49: by Ami (new)

Ami Blackwelder (amirblackwelder) | 1 comments Great site and info. My book is on kindle scout for the first time. Simulation. I'm hoping:) I think the story is something we don't see much on kindle, and it's not paranormal, or erotica, or a mystery (which I love). It's YA dystopia syfy, with various themes on life and technology.


message 50: by Matthew (last edited Dec 08, 2016 05:44PM) (new)

Matthew Speak | 5 comments Will a big batch of views tie you over for a while, or do the views need to remain consistent? Yesterday, in my first 24 hours live on KS, my views were 1.6K. That seems like a lot...but what if I don't get many more for a while? Does my big first day mean I'll drop off of H&T fast?

Here's my book, Devils Glen...

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2C9U...


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