Tag Archives: Surreality

Kindle Scout – My Submission

As of about 10pm last night, I have submitted my next book Surreality for consideration under the Kindle Scout program.


Right now I’m in the waiting period for my materials to be reviewed. In a few days I should be receiving details as to the launch date of the 30 day campaign, as well as previews of how the site will look. It’s a bit of a nervous feeling, more so even than when I published my fractal books. The one payoff of those projects is that they were available for purchase pretty much immediately after I uploaded them. Here I have 45 days to wait and see if Amazon Press will be publishing my book, or if I’ll work with Kindle Direct Publishing as I did before.

A lot of things went into preparing the campaign. They say you can do it in 15 minutes, but they’re only talking about the literal form filling out process (and that’s if you don’t read the EULA as I did). Since this is a blog chronicling technology and aspects of the writing process I thought this would be a good time to give you my impressions of submitting to Kindle Scout, and help fill in a few gaps in the FAQ’s they provide.

Treat this like a real publishing contract, because it is:

The short version of this statement is don’t assume anything. The Kindle Press contract has some specific terms about what rights go to Amazon and when and how they revert to you. Even if you aren’t selected for publication the materials on the Kindle Scout website are not automatically removed.

  • Amazon will remove your materials from the Kindle Scout site after you request it in writing (but not automatically).
  • If you publish with Kindle Press certain rights automatically renew if sales goals are met, while others can be reverted to you if Kindle Press hasn’t exercised them or sales targets are not met. Again, this doesn’t happen automatically. You have to request reversion of your rights.
  • Amazon sets the price of the book. No big surprise but it might be a factor for some people. They control the marketing.

My advice is to print a hard copy of the EULA as well as saving a digital copy to your computer. And I know it’s long, but do read it. It’s not a bad deal, but you should understand it.

Author Questions / Bio

You can select author questions from a list of about 15 questions Amazon has come up with. Responses are 300 characters long for each question. Use this space to talk about books you like and what inspires you. Your Bio is only 500 characters and probably should be more about who you are and where you live.

Look at other submissions

It was very helpful to me to see what others were doing for things like their descriptions and taglines. 45 characters is not much space to describe your book, but you’d be amazed what some people come up with. The tagline should evoke the feeling of the book, the description should tell you what the book is about.

Make your thank you a thank you

This is a personal opinion, but I don’t think a thank you should be sales pitch as Amazon suggests. You’ve already mentioned where people can find you in social media links, maybe answers to questions and your bio. Let the thank you statement just be a thank you for people who took the time to vote for you.

Submit a book that’s ready to publish

I don’t know how this is going to go, but Surreality is coming out one way or another. I’ve voted on a number of other books on the site, some that have been selected for publication, and others that haven’t. If you vote for a book, you’ll get a notice if the author self-publishes it on Amazon and it’s probably a good idea to do this when people still remember who you are. As for the books that won, Amazon expects a final draft with 30 days of you being picked and will go ahead with what you’ve submitted if you don’t update them. Again, this is the real deal, treat it as such.

Tomorrow I’ll talk a bit about the cover shoot. Anyone else got a campaign running?

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Filed under Books + Publishing, Internal Debate 42

Surreality Update

I’m a couple of weeks into what should be the final round of revisions on Surreality and am nearly half finished. I have a writing retreat scheduled for August 13-17, a rare five full time days of writing, so hopefully I will either be finished after that or very close. I’m really loving my new office, and a last critical piece of it arrived on Monday, my new coffee maker. Between that and the mini-fridge I’m ready for the long haul.

There are still many things to do, including the cover shoot and design, formatting for CreateSpace and KDP, writing acknowledgements, descriptions, metadata, etc, and coming up with some kind of a marketing plan. Yesterday I spent a considerable portion of my day considering page size and gutter margins. Still, I’m very excited and glad to have this book so close to out the door.

As you may have noticed The Sky Below updates have grown less frequent. That’s probably going to continue until Surreality revisions are complete and I have a road map for final release. I’m still enjoying The Sky Below project and want to finish it well. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Like any author, I’m prone to distraction, and a little Googling of my book’s title turned up some interesting results. In addition to Surreality being my forthcoming technological mystery, it also happens to be a very geeky, very naughty, and decidedly NSFW web-comic by Caleb King. It’s also a creative Roleplaying communityHarry Potter fan-fiction, a collection of essays about New York, and a song by STS9.*

*I do not endorse or claim affiliation with any of these projects.

It’s been really nice to spend time working on this again, and to discuss the minutiae of sentence structure, word choice, and scene flow with another writer. Some of our discussions in the comments of my draft have been hilarious. I would reproduce them here, but I suspect the world doesn’t need to know just how geeky the two of us are. I’ve always been blessed with great editors who are willing to take the extra time to really talk something out rather than just hand me a draft and move on to the next author.

How are your WIP going?

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Surreality Update

As some of you may have noticed I finished the final draft of Surreality last week. There should be about two months of proofing and formatting before the book is released on Amazon (not your summer beach read, but your fall curled up in a cabin by the fire read maybe?) There’s still a bit to do. I’m going back and forth on the formatting for chapter headers, first sentences and letters of each chapter, line spacing, scene differentiating and of course cover shooting and designing. And there’ll be a lot of Columbus themed posts before and after the launch to help you guys get even more immersed in the world of Surreality and city I write from.

But right now I’m fighting the urge that I think most writers have to face at some point. The urge to start another book right away.

This has been a bit of a pattern for me. I’ll finish a draft and be happy and pleased but exhausted. My brain wants to go in a different place for a while and I start writing on something else. Pretty soon I’m well into another first draft of a book. This so far has resulted in a queue of two more books in various stages of development, and untold numbers still in my head.

That said, I want to follow up Surreality with something exciting as soon as I can. I’m working on the outline (though admittedly all in my head at the moment) for the second book, and have a tentative idea of what books 3-4 (or 5) will be. Each of these are self-contained mysteries (but there are also series long arcs and character developments to think about as well).

And what I really should be doing is writing short stories, some for the blog, and some hopefully for some kind of publication. I have a problem though with coming up with short ideas. Everything that pops in my head wants to be a novel. I have been enjoying participating in a facebook writing group with Jo Eberhardt called Bradbury’s 52. There we write a short story each week with a brand new random theme (person, place or thing). So far the prompts have been very challenging but my mind always manages to come up with something. I think this will be a good exercise in keeping me from going down the same paths again and again, and getting me to think in different ways. Depending on how fully realized each story is, I may share some of these with you on the blog.

I’m trying to do some more reading (and more than just comic books though you’ll see some more NetGalley reviews on Thursday). I’m working through the first of the Kathy Reichs Bones novels, and I’ve got a couple of collections of short stories I’m reading to put me more in that headspace. I might try some Jeffrey Deaver as well or another Elizabeth George or Colin Dexter. I’m looking for good books in the thriller, mystery, suspense genre at the moment, so if you have any thoughts leave them in the comments.

And I of course will be working on the final text of Surreality. In fact I promise to do some work right after I post this and drink some more coffee 😉

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