My Kindle Scout Experience: Stage 2 – The Campaign (The 10 Days in the Middle)

Welcome back to my ongoing series about my experience with Kindle Scout. Today I get into the most excruciating part of the CAMPAIGN (The 10 Days in the middle).

Yup, the 30 day campaign is pretty darn long when you actually come to do it. It feels endless. When I stepped into Day 11, the energy to check the KS site to see if I was still Hot and Trending had ebbed. I’d already done a round of promoting and there was not much to do right away. I was a bit bored.

And then the bottom fell out. I fell off the H&T chart and nothing I did could get me back on track.

So, a quick recap of what I had done on the promo front until then. I had announced my Kindle Scout run on:

  1. KBoards: I was regularly visiting Kboards still, mostly to keep in touch with fellow campaigners- learn from their experience, listen to everything veterans had to say, and simply to cheer each other up.
  2. Mailing List: I had announced my KS run on my mailing list already and it had got me a wonderful spike of views early on. I kept wondering if it was too early to ask them one more time. Perhaps people had never gotten around to nominating, I thought. In the end, I resisted. I didn’t want a flurry of unsubscribes. No KS contract is worth jeopardizing a mailing list.
  3. Personal Contacts: I had already reached out to my personal contacts and I knew most of them (those who cared anyway) had already nominated me. That resource had been tapped out.
  4. Social Media: The blog posts, as well as posts on my personal FB account had already been out. There was little I could do at this time without looking spammy. And everyone knows how spammy posters are thought of. Yeah, I resisted there as well.

So, in the face of sinking views and tired nerves, what’s a girl to do? She looks up HeadTalker, of course. I had already started collecting sponsors on Kboards for a HeadTalker campaign and by the middle of my KS run, I had reached the number of sponsors needed. I was holding it for the worst part of the campaign when I badly needed a boost. Around November 30, when my daily views had dwindled to the 20s, and I was completely out of H&T, I let the HeadTalker loose.

Guess what happened?

This is what my stats looked like. Check out December 1.


Yes, you guessed right. Not the bump I was hoping for. My HeadTalker was a DUD!

The funny thing is, my HeadTalker dashboard showed more than a 100 clicks when Kindle Scout hardly registered 20.

Does this mean HeadTalker campaigns are useless? At the time I thought so. But, I’ve now learned that the discrepancy might be because how a view is counted on different platforms. While clicking of a link on HeadTalker makes the counter tick upward, on Kindle Scout, a viewer has to spend a certain amount of time on the page for a view to be counted as real. So, I guess, of the 100 or more people who visited from HeadTalker, only about 10 lingered long enough on my book page.

After the HeadTalker debacle, I was upset. Mostly because I had run out of promo options. This is when I also considered paid promotions. But, after some thought, I didn’t venture in the direction.

Around the same time, a couple of excellent campaigns on KBoards ended. Excellent, because, they were on H&T for more than 90% of the time. Their covers were good and the stories were interesting. I expected them to win contracts from Kindle Press.

They didn’t.

This was an eye-opener like nothing else. I suddenly realized (even though this had already been said over and again on the forum) that the KS editors were picking books based on much more than how long a book spends on the H&T charts. Perhaps they were looking for books that’ll sell well, perhaps they were looking for unique ideas, or perhaps it was a mix of several metrics. Whatever the metrics were, they were not known to us mere mortals. And the takeaway was, obsessing over the H&T chart was silly because being on it meant nothing and guaranteed nothing.

That was my “Aha” moment. I made a quick schedule with a few dates. It included when I was going to post reminders to my newsletter and on social media.

I also made another schedule. This was to catch up on the time I had wasted pursuing the H&T, a schedule to ramp up the other projects I was working on.

Proud to say, I stuck to the plan. I sent out another note on the 4th of December to my newsletter subscribers, and Boom! The views were back and I was charting. Difference from earlier was, I had stopped obsessing. Around my 20th day, I only checked the KS website three times every day, morning, afternoon and night. That was it. I did what had to be done, but didn’t hover around looking for immediate results. Almost felt like nirvana. It was so much better now than it was going into the middle stretch.

So, in hindsight, what did I do right?

I finally learned to take a hands-off approach. Promoting, I realized, is good, but not so much that it becomes the only thing you do.

What did I do wrong?

I obsessed on the promotion aspect far too long. That cost me time, and obviously some sanity.

To summarize, the middle 10 days were rough. But I made it through. And I came out all the more wiser. That made it all good.

Up next week, the home stretch.

Other parts of this series listed below:

My Kindle Scout Experience : Stage 0 – The Why

My  Kindle Scout Experience : Stage 1 – The Preparation

My Kindle Scout Experience : Stage 2 – The Campaign (Planning)

My Kindle Scout Experience : Stage 2 – The Campaign (The First 10 Days)

Stay tuned for more of my experience with Kindle Scout. Next up – Campaign (Part 4): The Final 10 Days

S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books.

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Posted in kindlescout, on writing
2 comments on “My Kindle Scout Experience: Stage 2 – The Campaign (The 10 Days in the Middle)
  1. […] My Kindle Scout Experience : Stage 2 – The Campaign (The 10 Days in the Middle) […]


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