Bridge Daughter on Kindle Scout: Week One

Bridge Daughter by Jim NelsonAlthough the Bridge Daughter campaign officially started four days ago, it already feels like a week’s passed.

It’s been a hectic long weekend for me, posting on social media, emailing everyone I know, making phone calls…getting the word out on Bridge Daughter to everyone I know, and even a few complete strangers.

If you haven’t heard, Amazon’s Kindle Scout program is an interesting hybrid in the world of book publishing. Independent authors submit their completed manuscript to Amazon, along with a cover, book jacket blurb, and a tag line (“A young girl must bear her mother’s child”). If the package passes muster, Amazon posts it on the Kindle Scout site for 30 days.

At that point, readers have an opportunity to learn more about the book as well as read its opening chapters. If they like what they see, they can vote for it by pressing a “Nominate me” button.

After 30 days, if the stars are aligned, Jupiter rises in the house of Venus, and the book has received enough attention from readers, Amazon will publish it. They’ll also promote it across their web site. That’s what I’m hoping will happen. Fingers crossed!

So far, the response has been quite positive. People I’ve reached out to are excited I have a new novel ready for release. (Thanks for the kind words!) They’re also curious how this Kindle Scout program works. That’s something I’ll discuss in future blog posts throughout the month.

Hot & Trending

Kindle ScoutThe big news for me is that Bridge Daughter has been on Kindle Scout’s “Hot & Trending” radar screen for almost the full day on Friday (21 out of 24 hours). Unfortunately, that’s the last information I have, as the statistics page doesn’t appear to update over the weekend. I’m hoping to receive more information tomorrow morning.

But what does that mean, Hot & Trending? (On the Kindle Scout site, it’s simply indicated with a gold Hot emblem on the book description.) While Amazon is precise in what they expect from authors’ submissions to Kindle Scout, their decision-making process for publication is more opaque, as well as what constitutes “hot.”

From my research on other author’s blogs (Scout has been running for about a year now), it sounds like Amazon’s decisions are not entirely based on nominations, but that they are merely one factor among many. I suspect Hot & Trending is an internal metric they’ve devised to measure how much oomph the book has based on nominations and page views (and perhaps other criteria, like link count, or where the traffic originates from). My guess is Amazon wants to know if the book has legs, and Hot & Trending is the secret sauce to measure that.

This is why Amazon calls it nominating a book and not voting for a book. It’s not a purely democratic process. As someone who’s sat in an editorial chair for a couple of small magazines, I can understand that.

As I said, I’m still learning the insides of Kindle Scout, so I’ll report back when I know more. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll visit Bridge Daughter‘s page on Kindle Scout, and if it sounds like something you’d like to read, nominate it!


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