Kindle Press Campaign – Post Mortem

Kindle Press sent notification that Rabble Babble hadn’t made the cut. We spent a grand total of 13 hours on their “Hot & Trending” list, which is a far cry from the couple hundred hours that successful novels get.

We’ll still use Kindle Press in the future, but the first time around has provided a couple of lessons.

  • Get a professional cover done. Our homebrew cover didn’t look like much when shrunk down to a thumbnail, and that’s how most people will see the novel.
  • Use social media links. A couple thousand people checked out Rabble Babble, but I have no way of contacting them for the launch.
  • You can’t revise the content for your campaign easily – you’ve got to contact the Kindle Press staff, and they seem too busy to respond quickly. So it’s important to get the blurb right the first time.

One surprise came out of the campaign – a reader emailed her disappointment that Rabble Babble hadn’t been chosen, and described her favorite sections of the book. The only problem was that she described sections from the end of the book – which wasn’t supposed to be part of the excerpt that Scout provides.

It turns out that Kindle Press has “Super Scouts”, who have access to the entire novel for the length of the campaign. They get this access in exchange for providing more detailed feedback on what they’ve read.

The one nice thing Kindle Press does is allow you to notify everyone who nominated your book when it becomes available on amazon.

All told, Kindle Press is a great platform for getting a novel a bit of extra traction before it’s released.

Day 27 of Kindle Press Campaign – Rabble Babble

27 days in, Rabble Babble has yet to experience the hotness. Below is the graph that kindle Scout provides, giving a view into how often the project is nominated & viewed.


The other lens they provide into the campaign is how often the project is viewed. Rabble Babble stalled out at 1.9k views, and hasn’t moved a tick since then.



Ouch. Kindle Scout gives the project extra visibility for the first few days, while a project is tagged as ‘new’. After that expired, Rabble Babble lost any sort of traction, and spun right into the gutter.

The one takeaway from this is that I suck at cover design. And blurb design. And possibly writing a novel. We’re currently addressing the cover issue, and have a contest up at 99 designs to provide a new cover.

I’m looking forward to trying out new projects on Kindle Scout. Whether the project gets picked up or not is beside the point – this seems like it could be a great way to build up hype for a suitable project, prior to releasing it to the general public. To do this, we would of course have to provide links to social media, for the scouts to latch onto.

But all of that will have to come next time.

Day 4 of Kindle Scout Campaign

Rabble Babble has accumulated 1000 impressions in the first four days.

Total hours on “Hot & Trending”: 0.

So a social influencer, Robbie is not, and he is also rapidly dropping off a cliff. (Daily impressions started out at roughly 400, but have since dropped by 100 every day).  Rabble Babble is still on the first page of books for Literature & Fiction (nobody has launched campaigns over Christmas). If you figured this would give it a bounce, you’d be wrong.

Looking at the other 63 titles in the “Literature & Fiction” section, only nine are listed as “hot”, and five of those hot titles are in the last two days of their campaign. I suspect that this late hotness is an artifact of Kindle Scout’s nomination process. Users only get three nominations at any time. If you nominate a book with 25 days left in its campaign, it clogs up your nomination slot for that whole time period. To maximize the utility of their nominations, users instead seem to nominate a book on the last day or two of its campaign.

If the campaign continues on the current arc, tomorrow should see 0 impressions.

Hmm, perhaps I should have made the cover brighter. 



Rabble Babble Kindle Scout Campaign

Rabble Babble was approved by Kindle Scout, so now begins its 30 day campaign to collect nominations from readers. At the end of this campaign, Kindle Press has 15 days to choose to buy the publishing rights.

This being my first time, I of course screwed up right out of the starting gate. I failed to add any social links, so potential readers have no way to contact me – a lost opportunity to build a mailing list. Unfortunately, there’s no way to edit your campaign once it launches – nothing short of contacting the Kindle Scout staff and asking them to make edits on your behalf.

In the first day of its campaign, Rabble Babble accumulated 372 views.

Is this good? I have no idea.