Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Liza assesses the success of Kindle Scout Publication

Long, long ago, I assessed the process of being chosen for Kindle Scout Publishing, where they would publish and promote your book.

I even entered a book, but along with many other really good books. Untamed & Unabashed was not selected. However, it did go on to have a fair showing.

Finally, those in the first books selected have been published, I'm assessing how those that were chosen have done. Was the offer of promotion worth the incredible hurdles? I think it was, but it's not as impressive as I'd thought it would be.


Published March 24, 2015
Sci-Fi Engineering

In the year 2112, technology has advanced and immortality is nearly achieved--at least for those who can afford it. Those born before the stemgineering revolution, or TrueElderly, soon discover the problems of advanced age. This is just the beginning, as an avalanche of new problems is waiting on humanity's doorstep. For enthusiastic salesman Dylan Dansby, selling an innovative new product to combat these problems could be a career defining opportunity--but Dylan's selling a product he doesn't believe in, and one that might just work a little too well . . .
And How is it doing after 11 days?
On April 4th, it was 6,877 in overall rankings
On Sci-Fi classifications it was #49,#60, #68 in technothriller & genentic engineerings

And reviews...how is that going?
Clearly, the promise of free books so reviewers could give their opinion before they were ever published appears to be a bust.

After eleven days it has 3 reviews. Two 5* and one 4*.

The Forest of Forever
Rob Blackwell

 March 24, 2015
Ghosts, Occult

Soren Chase’s life was shattered eight years ago after an encounter with a supernatural being left three friends dead and him branded as a murderer. Since then, he’s become a paranormal investigator, facing off against a host of deadly creatures. But his investigation into the haunted Reapoke woods may be his most dangerous case yet.

Something evil is lurking in the forest. Some say it’s the ghost of a preacher who vanished two centuries ago; others claim the woods are the site of sinister experiments by a shadowy organization. Hired to find a missing girl, Soren is determined to learn the truth. But what he discovers is far darker than he imagines—and it may force him to confront his own tragic past.

From the author of the bestselling Sanheim Chronicles, The Forest of Forever is the start of a new series that mixes urban fantasy, mystery, and suspense into a novel that you can’t put down. Because nothing is what it seems in The Forest of Forever, and once you enter, you may never leave . . .

This book has done a little better.
After 11 days, it is #4493 in the over Amazon Ranking
It's #5,#6,& #9 in the ghosts and occult genres.

In reviews is has done better, but nothing extraordinary.
15 Reviews. All 5* but for one 1*
But again, nothing that a normal self publishing author couldn't achieve.

Eddie & Sunny
Stacey Cochran
 March 3, 2015
Noir Crime Fiction

Eddie and Sunny have never had anything in life save for each other's love. For months they've lived out of their car with their young son, and the stress of it all has driven pregnant Sunny to the point she wants to ditch Eddie and her kid and vanish from the life Eddie's tried so futilely to build for them in rural North Carolina. 

When they stop at an abandoned service station, the point is just to survive another night in their car. But inside they discover a marijuana grow operation, cash, and a stockpile of weapons. As they leave, the owners arrive and Sunny is forced to shoot the dealers to save her family. Eddie and Sunny become fugitives of the law and the drug dealers' kin, and while on the run they become separated with each believing the other has been killed in an act of retribution. 
Eddie & Sunny is the story of a family finding its soul, but to do so they have to lose one another first. It is a story of hope, love, and the American Dream. 

A month + later, it is #7554 on the total Amazon Ranking and #8 in Noir Crime Fiction.

On Reviews, it has 21 Reviews, seventeen 5* and four 4*.

 March 3, 2015

"Souza takes his considerable talents to the next level in Unpaved Surfaces, delivering an emotionally charged, exquisitely tuned suspense story."--Steve Konkoly, bestselling author of The Perseid Collapse Series.

Enter into the life of an ideal family--Auggie is a happy nine-year-old boy whose father, Keith, loves him more than anything. Keith's life seems ideal--until one day Auggie vanishes. A year has passed since Keith's son disappeared, and he's haunted by glimpses of his son appearing in his small Maine town. With the investigation at a dead end and his family paralyzed with grief, Keith worries that he's losing his mind. In a thrilling twist, the case turns in a new direction--a direction that could either heal his family or tear them, and the rest of the town, apart.

A month + later, it's #3773 on the main Amazon list and #25 on Kidnapping (which makes me conclude kidapping is a hot topic just now.)

It has 29 Reviews: Twenty-one 5*, four 4* one 3* and one 2*

And finally, I evaluate two authors who are best sellers with many best sellers' before they submitted a book to Amazon Publishing.

(His prior bestsellers are priced at $3.99)

L.A. Sniper
Steve Cannon

 March 3, 2015
Crime, Murder
In the streets of Los Angeles, a sniper is hunting cops. Panic grips the city as the death toll mounts. Fighting bureaucratic oversight, task-force politics, and media interference, LAPD Detective Daniel Kane tracks the killer, embarking on the most terrifying investigation of his career. Building to an electrifying climax, L.A. Sniper tells a story of heartbreak and loss, of love and redemption, and surprisingly, of hope.

It's done the best of the ones I had followed. It's #1,839 on the main Amazon ranking. It's #15, #54 & #62 in the Crime and Murder genres.

It has 44 Reviews, thirty-six 5*, six 4*, one 3* and one 2*.

Sounds good, but this author has always pulled in reviews.
11/2013- Bk 1: 137 reviews
2011: Bk 2: 312 reviews
2013: Bk 3: 146 reviews

thus 44 is not so impressive. I'm sure it will continue to grow, but still, it seems to be within his past successes. 

It is possible the publicity of book 4 will cause readers to begin at book 1 and read the entire series. And that might be worth the slightly lower price and reduce royalities the author is receiving on book 4. (Author self published the other books) Although, book 1 may have been reclaimed from a publisher and republished, given its later publishing day. Thus, all reviews would have been lost, and then the 137 reviews is more impressive.

The Game Master
William Bernhardt

Published Mar 3, 2015
International Conspiracies,Crimes

It’s not whether you live or die, it’s how you play the game.

While in Vegas for the American Poker Grand Slam, BB Thomas—the Game Master—is suddenly arrested by the FBI and taken to a top-secret laboratory. A scientist has been murdered in a bizarre manner, and BB’s daughter has been kidnapped. Reluctantly joining forces with his ex-wife, Linden, BB plunges into a labyrinthine mystery incorporating the world’s oldest and best-known games and taking them to Paris, Dubai, Pyongyang, and Alexandria. Pursued by a relentless FBI agent and an unknown assailant who wants him stopped at any cost, BB races to uncover an insidious plot involving secret societies, ancient cover-ups, and savage vengeance. Someone is playing a deadly game, and the object is the destruction of every government on the face of the earth—no matter how many people die in the process.

William Bernhardt is a well know crime author, who has published over 30 best selling books.

A month after it's release, it remains #545 on the main best selling list.
It's #2,#2,#6 in the genre lists of Int'l Conspiracies and Crime.

The reviews: 32 in total, sixteen 5*, nine 4*, four 3*, one 2* and two 1*

His ebooks have tended to be higher priced in the past and his review numbers have been from 20-30. For some reason people love to read him but not write reviews, so his reviews numbers are good for him.

In the past, he appears to have used Random House and various small publishing firms recently, thus for him, the increased share of royalties might have made this worth the effort.

And how did my book, Untamed & Unashamed fare in comparison?


Untamed & Unabashed
Liza O'Connor
Published Jan 2015
Romance, Regency

Elizabeth Bennet told her story in Pride and Prejudice. Now Lydia Bennet tells her side of her whirlwind marriage to Lieutenant Wickham. As the youngest of five daughters with a pittance of a dowry and no hope for a good marriage, it appears her life is doomed from the start. But Lydia refuses to accept such a possibility. She learns how to set herself apart from her sisters and gain the attention of young men. She hones charm and flirtation to an art. Willing to take risks, she manages to acquire a substantial dowry and marries her beloved Wickham. Yet, her life remains on the brink until she gains the patronage of a wealthy Duke trapped in a loveless marriage. 

“Lydia was Lydia still; untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy and fearless.” 

—quote by Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

The highest I ever made on the ranks were during a 99 cent promotion.

I reached #1,918 on the main Amazon Ranks, #28 & #29 in Regency.

Now at 3+ months, I'm at #70,565.

But it's not a part of a series. My series have always sold better.

And reviews have been very slow to come for Untamed & Unabashed.
It only has 8 reviews: six 5*, one 4* and one 3*.

Thus, I believe Amazon can help improve your sales, however, it doesn't seem to heighten your popularity a great deal or get you a great deal of additional reviews. 

While it may be faster than Random House to publish and will certainly improve your royalties from such a source, it may be slower to publish to what an indie-author can manage on their own.

I'll return to these books in a few months and then we'll be able to see if Amazon provides a longevity that an author on their own cannot maintain. For that might be worth the torture of the process. 


  1. FWIW, I'm happy with how my book (RUNNING FROM THE PAST) has done with Kindle Press, so far. Better than I've done on my own with my self-pubbed books. (Of course, maybe that speaks more to my, um, skill in marketing my self-pub books!)

    1. Thanks for sharing, Alan. I'm glad you're happy with your sales.Then it was worth the effort. Did you have trouble staying on the Hot trend back when you were competing to get noticed by Kindle? I found it a real challenge (which I often failed.)

    2. I'm happy with my sales, although I'd be happier if they were higher :) My book was on the Hot list most, but not, of the time during the 30 days. I have a very supportive network of friends and family who all shared it with their networks.

    3. The book was read by critique groups and beta readers (and an agent), and I revised it until my eyes bled.

    4. How many books have you published before this one? All indie or publishers? (Liza is a very curious peep)

    5. Six previously: three traditional (first one was an Agatha Award finalist), three self-pubbed. And now this, which is somewhere in between, but I'd say closer to traditional (advance, copyedit, publisher promotion, no control over price, 50-50 royalty split).

    6. Have the sales picked up on your other books?

    7. Actually, they have, but it didn't take much for those sales to improve :)


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