RIP: Kindle Scout

Just a little over three years since its first round of books was released, the “crowd-sourced publishing platform” that was Kindle Scout is being closed down. I received an announcement today of the news, along with other authors who have had books selected through the program and published by Kindle Press.

Kindle Scout

As of today, April 3rd, Kindle Scout will no longer accept new submissions. The books that have been published through the program will remain within the Amazon wheelhouse for now and we’re being told will still be eligible for inclusion for promotional opportunities. I suspect, however, that quite a few Kindle Press authors who have been on the fence will now request their rights reversion and move on to self-publish their novels or find another home for them elsewhere.

Having been one of the first authors published through the Kindle Scout program I find the news disappointing but far from unexpected. Kindle Scout was always an experiment, and while the intentions were good I don’t think it took off like Amazon might have hoped. Publishers — both big and small — come and go, and in today’s ever evolving landscape one certainly can’t fault a corporation or publisher for trying something innovative, whether or not it proves to be a success. In truth, I wish more publishers were looking at breaking the mold and finding ways to disrupt the “tried and true” practices of the industry which have become more “tired” than “true”.

So the big question which will now be asked is whether Kindle Scout was a failure. The answers, of course, will vary, but I’ve always looked at the program as just one stepping stone along a path leading to success. One can look to authors like Sariah Wilson or Michael McBride, for which their Kindle Scout winning novels led to landing further deals with either Amazon or big five publishing companies. And for many Kindle Scout authors, myself included, having a company like Amazon select your book over thousands of entries was a moment of validation, a glimpse that the end of the long and lonely writing tunnel just might end with light.

And yet for every successful story that came out of Kindle Scout there have been just as many authors disappointed with the program. Some books received far less marketing support than others, and some authors have sold far more books self-publishing than they ever have through Kindle Scout. The story remains: “Just add water, but results may vary.”

As for my experience, I’m grateful I had a chance to be a part of it. For a debut novelist with no foreknowledge of publishing or marketing books, Housebroken has been a repeated #1 best-selling novel on Amazon for Horror, broke into the top 100 best-selling books on Amazon, remained #1 in Horror in the UK for over a month, and has sold almost 10,000 copies to date. The Kindle Scout experience has been a jumpstart to my career as an author. It’s also enabled me to connect with a community of authors I never would have known otherwise and reach an audience far wider than the little bubble I travel in. My novel has been picked up by a premier publisher for a limited hardcover release (more details to come), has landed an amazing actor to do the voice work for an audiobook adaptation, and is in the early stages of being optioned for a film (you’ll know more if / when I do). To say that the program is a failure is to dismiss every author for whom doors have been opened because of Kindle Scout.

So whether Kindle Press evolves into something new or permanently closes, remember this isn’t the end of the story. It’s only the end of a chapter. And who knows how many book this series might sustain? I bid a fond farewell to the Kindle Scout program and look forward to whatever twists and turns the future may hold.

Hiking adventure

 

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Book Birthday!

Today’s the release of the final book in THE CREATION SERIES and there are 3 ways you can celebrate with me —

 

  1. Pick up Book One for FREE and Book Two for just $0.99!  This is the first time book 2 – The Creation: Let There Be Death – has ever been on sale so grab it while you can at this reduced price!
  2. Join me tonight for the Facebook Release Party for a chance to win signed copies of all 3 books as well as a host of other give-aways!
  3. Share this with a friend!

I’m incredibly proud of this series and appreciate the support of so many readers who have pushed to see this journey completed. Thanks for joining me on this adventure. To many more!

Burning city. Disaster concept. You can put your design on the city

 

Win a Signed Copy of All 3 Books in The Creation Series!

Burning city. Disaster concept. You can put your design on the city

Join us for the Release Party

The final book in The Creation Series will be released next week and in celebration we’re having a party even us introverts can join! That’s right, you can stay in your pajamas for this party —

Join us online at the Facebook event March 20th from 5:30 – 8:30 PST!

Hosted by the Confessions of a Reviewer Publicity Team, you’ll have the chance to meet up with fellow readers and quite a few talented authors and win some free eBooks throughout the night. You can also be entered to win a signed copy of all 3 books in The Creation Series!

So hop on over and register for the event and feel free to share this with any other readers who might be interested in joining! We’ll see you next Tuesday.

Creation Book Release

The End is Coming …

“In seven days God created the world.
This God will destroy it in even less.”

sea storm lightning ocean wallpaper background

I’m thrilled to share that the final book in The Creation Series will be seeing publication early this Spring!

For those who have joined me on this journey from the beginning, my sincerest thanks. I’m extremely proud of this series and, while book three has taken longer than anticipated, it’s everything I could have hoped for.

I’ll be sharing more news with release dates, cover reveals, synopsis, etc, soon, as well as holding a few give-aways related to the release. If you haven’t connected with me on social media, please head on over to Twitter or Facebook as I’ll be sharing info there regularly.

And if you haven’t had a chance yet to jump into this series, there’s never been a better time! Book one, The Creation: Axis Mundi, will be on sale for just $0.99 now through Feb. 13th. And if you’re at all hesitant about what this adventure entails, check out a few of the reviews below:

Grab book one while on sale!

 

This is a thriller of the highest order. It will intrigue you and excite you and, to be quite frank about it, will have you begging for more. Highly recommended.”

     — Confessions of a Reviewer

“The Creation is a story that captured my complete, undivided attention from the first to the very last page … the emotions felt as if they were “bleeding” off the page. Highly recommended!”

     — Horror After Dark

“From the boardrooms of corporate America to the jungles of the Amazon, this novel completely captivated me.”

Joseph Souza, best-selling author of Unpaved Surfaces

Two Free Books to Jump Start Your Holidays

It’s not often I’m able to properly thank those of you who have followed my writing career since the beginning, but with my debut novel currently being offered by Amazon for free (as long as you’re a Prime member), I thought it might be nice to up the ante, so to speak.

Now normally when a book is being offered for free, authors do mega blasts and paid promos to try and get it to as many people as possible. I’m doing the opposite. I’m notifying only my newsletter subscribers and those who follow my occasional rants here on my blog and social media. In other words, this promo isn’t to gain additional readers, it’s aimed at rewarding those of you who have rewarded me by reading my work and giving me a platform as an author.

So THANK YOU. And please stick around. While this has been a quieter year than normal, there’s a lot coming for 2018.

Happy Holidays —

HAPPINESS IS A COMMODITY  — Free Nov 29 – Dec 1st

happiness

HOUSEBROKEN — Free with Amazon Prime

Housebroken

 

 

 

Mysteries of the Amazon

I’ve always been fascinated with the mysteries of our world and the idea that we have yet to discover everything our planet has to offer (or hide). From our vast and still not yet fully explored oceans to the deserts and what’s buried beneath to our jungles and forests, of which we still know so little.

A new article recently hit about the discovery of an animal in the Amazon rain forest previously thought to be extinct. The Vanzolini saki monkey hasn’t been seen in over 8o years, but once again nature proves we are but spectators to something far greater than ourselves. You can checkout the full article here but definitely catch the video below.

 

Currently I’m finalizing the final book in The Creation Series, which takes place in the Amazon rain forest. Having visited the area myself, it’s amazing to be able to return there, although through the pages of my books. Within the next month I’ll be announcing a release date, planning a cover reveal, and getting ready to unleash this final installment into the world.

Both book one and two are currently enrolled in Kindle Unlimited and available for free through that service. And when the new book launches, expect some promotions on the first in the series as well.

I’ll be sharing more about the final book soon, but for now remember that everything we think we know about our world is but a fraction of what’s really out there.

sea storm lightning ocean wallpaper background

Hope For Aspiring Authors (and a Book Review of “The Killing Clause” by Gregg Hurwitz)

Gregg Hurwitz is an author I deeply admire, a writer who goes to painstaking lengths in his research and carefully constructed prose. His settings (often my beloved California) take on a life of their own, and he knows how to keep a reader turning the pages. In my opinion, he’s one of the best thriller writers working today and it’s great to see the success his new Orphan X series is having.

kill clause.jpgThe Kill Clause is the first in his Tim Rackley series, and while the setting and characters and research are all there, it’s also obvious this is one of his earlier books. This novel is heavy on the grief, with the main character and his wife losing their daughter in a savage murder, but for a reason I can’t fully comprehend I never connected with their loss. Maybe I’m just a jaded and heartless individual, but the emotions never went beyond the words for me and I struggled to want to come back to this book. There were some major character decisions that were more plot driven than something the characters would have actually done as well as some very obvious by-the-book twists that were far too predictable. Again, read the whole jaded admission.

Interestingly, I purchased and started reading Hurwitz’s first two novels a while back and never could complete them. As an author myself, and someone who knows many novelists and would-be-writers, I find this incredibly encouraging. It really is the act of doing something that enables you to grow and learn from your mistakes and hone your craft and move on to the next project, and then the next and the next, hopefully improving every step along the way.

You don’t start off as a marathon runner, you tackle a single mile, and then as you condition yourself you keep pushing those boundaries you’ve already hit until soon you’re running further than you could have ever thought possible. Writing is no different, and sadly I see a lot of authors put out a single book and then spend the next several years marketing that one book, trying to grow their readership and market without ever doing the legwork of completing their next project. This would be like running a 5-K race and then repeatedly sharing your results with everyone you know, showing videos, putting new music tracks to clips, trying to get one more view on your Youtube channel, while giving up running! An actor doesn’t talk about the movie they were in two years ago. They promote the one that’s about to come out, creating buzz where they can while then moving on to the next project and the one after that.

So if you’re a writer or dream of one day being a writer, stop thinking about it. Stop talking about it. Stop spamming people with ads for what you’ve already created. Instead, write your next project. If you’re doing it correctly, challenging yourself with each project and not just repeating the same formula, you WILL get better. You WILL grow your marketshare. You WILL make a name for yourself. You might not be able to support yourself with your writing — less than 1% of authors do — but you will find joy in what you’re doing. And who knows, maybe like Gregg Hurwitz, you’ll break out with international success. Just know it’s a long road to get there and if you’re not enjoying the ride, you’re missing the point.

Enough of my ramblings. 2.5 stars for “The Kill Clause” – at least I finished this one, though my journey with Tim Rackley and company has come to an end.