Hurry Up and Wait (Or “Here’s Way Too Much Information On the Nuts and Bolts of the Thing”)

My Kindle Scout campaign started December 13th. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Amazon has this wonderful program where authors can upload their manuscript in hopes that it’s selected for publication by Kindle Press. The part I find most appealing is they are essentially a “hybrid” between independent and traditional publishing.

For instance, as an independent author, I have the final say on every aspect of my novel. Cover, title, characters, plot, story, editing, publishing date and schedule, series length, marketing, social media, etc. I either do everything myself, or I hire out/beg for help. Total freedom, which is wonderful in many ways, and downright terrifying in others. Not to mention hard.

Traditional publishing will control many of those decisions. I can understand how some authors would chafe under that kind of structure, but other aspects (like paying for an experienced editor and proofreader, professional cover designers, and usually some kind of marketing team) are definite benefits. There are worse things than writing a book and then letting somebody else drive the rest of the process.

Kindle Scout, on the other hand, takes everything I want control over and leaves it up to me. And everything I desperately wish I had help with? Well. They help with it. Talk about a win-win situation!

Especially marketing and promotion. Oh, my gosh. I’d love for somebody with a lot more money and experience than me to tell the world about Armageddon’s Ward. Especially somebody who works for an outrageously successful company like Amazon.

The only drawback is the wait.

The thing about the entire Literary Industrial Complex (as I fondly call the entirety of the writing/publishing world) is that nothing is really all that fast. Okay, sure. There are powerhouse writers who operate at a high-output level and publish a book a month (I suspect they are the next generation of human, kind of like X-men, except with literary powers humans like me will never possess instead of laser-beam eyes or being able to walk through walls). But in general, things take a lot of time. For instance? Reviewing manuscripts.

I am the first to admit that I have no clue how the wonderful people on staff at the Kindle Scout offices work, but I know at the very least they look at the synopsis of the novels submitted. And the taglines. And probably the first 5k or so words that are displayed on their website for review throughout the campaign. But whatever it is they do, they pay attention. And attention takes time.

That’s the “bad” part. The part where we have to wait. Honestly, it’s not even truly bad, but after the frantic-feeling period when I gathered all my information together, honed my synopsis and tagline and thank-you letter and Q&A and bio, and gave my manuscript one last look, having nothing to do but wait thirty whole days until my nomination period was over, and then another two weeks to hear back from Amazon with their final decision, was sheer torture. By the last week, I was pouncing on my phone to check the email notifications every time it buzzed and then when there was no email, I logged into my email app to check the spam folder, the all mail folder, and then run a search for “scout” just in case.

I did eventually get my email. Armageddon’s Ward isn’t going to be published by Kindle Press, but my consolation is that every person who nominated me will receive a notice from Amazon telling them when I do publish and it will include a link to my book on Amazon once I listed it for sale. That’s downright decent of them, and I appreciate it. It’s the best “worst case scenario” anywhere.

The great part is I have a fine-tuned synopsis, tagline, Q&A, bio, and manuscript. I’m certainly prepared for publishing, and I’m to the point where all I have to do is press “go.”

Except I’m not.

Oh, I mean, I will. I promise. In February, only a few weeks away. But first, I’m going to convince myself that my first chapter doesn’t need to be hacked to pieces [again], and update my cover. I love it, but I also have an alternate cover [symbolic] available, so I have to look into what I can do about that. Personally, I’d like to offer my readers a choice. I have noticed several books have changed covers or have alternate covers available, but I don’t want to break any rules with a “double-listing.” I pondered using one cover for my ebook and one for my print copies, but I don’t want to confuse anyone needlessly. Ah, decisions decisions.

And, you know. I should probably try to implement that whole “advertising” thing. I mean… I would love it if people noticed Armageddon’s Ward exists. 😉

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