Archives for posts with tag: Kindle Scout


The Rocker and the Bird Girl (RBG) is a novella I wrote on Inkitt, more as an experiment than a serious piece of writing. I wanted to see if I wrote something YA oriented if it would generate for me any of the response this site boasts about. I’d have been happy with comments and criticism, but wouldn’t have turned down a publishing deal.

Here’s the blurb for the story.

If someone called Mattie a bird brain she’d take it as a compliment. She loves birds, has spent her entire twenty years surrounded by them and believes they are more intelligent, loving and loyal than, well, most anything else in this world.

Mattie’s grandfather spent all his retirement, time and funds, establishing a sanctuary for homeless, imported, exotic birds.

Now granddad was gone and so was the money to support the sanctuary. In her desperate search for funding to keep the refuge open Mattie had read that lead guitarist and lyricist Bodine, of the notorious rock band, Seditious, owned a Macaw as a pet.

The guy was obviously fabulously wealthy. Maybe he’d like to spend some of that money saving these beautiful, precious creatures instead of on drugs and expensive toys?

He wasn’t answering her emails so she guessed she’d have to try to get his attention at the Seditious concert that was coming to town. She’d never been to a rock concert and wasn’t looking forward to it, but desperate times called for desperate measures.


Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll have taken their toll on Bodine, lead guitarist and songwriter for Seditious, the chart topping, outrageous rock band. He’s just playing the part until something better comes along. The problem is what’s better than being a rich and famous rock idol? Certainly not helping some over zealous young woman save exotic birds, even if his best friend is a Blue and Gold Macaw.

I’d knock off a chapter about once every three days and upload it to the site then promote it on Twitter and Facebook. I kind of got caught up with the characters and the plot and before I knew it they were having their way with me.

Once completed, it’s a novella, only 20,000 words, I left it up for awhile but had become too attached to it to let it languish among all the dreck. Besides after four months it had received no comments or criticisms and accumulated only about two hundred and fifty reads and eleven downloads. I’m not sure what that means in terms of success on Inkitt, but it was obvious to me nothing was happening.

And so, more or less to keep my hand in, and as an offering to my ART members (Advance Reading Team) I’ve self-published it and even have some ideas about developing it into a series. It was fun, easy to write and I got to addressed some issues.

You can become an ART member and receive a free copy of The Rocker and the Bird Girl by clicking this link

I’m seriously considering turning RBG into a series. Apparently, novellas are very popular (easily read on your cell phone during a commute), and the characters and story ideas are still resonating with me.

All the while I’m still waiting for a traditional publisher to pickup East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella. So far not a peep, one way or another.

When it came to self-publishing the e-book edition of RBG I went with Smashwords and Kindle Direct (Amazon) and this time added Draft2Digital (D2D), more so I could pass along the experience to you and the participants of my workshops and creative writing circles since D2D has limited distribution which is more than duplicated by the coverage Smashwords offers.

If you think making it even easier to self-publish is a good thing (I’m not sure it is) than you’ll love Draft2Digital (D2D). I found uploading my manuscript along with the pertinent details extremely user friendly. They’ll even provide front and back matter for your e-book from the information you provide.

However, after uploading RBG I received an error message via email from D2D. My book was blocked from being distributed because I inadvertently hit the public domain button when uploading my file. I followed the instructions, went back and made the correction – nothing changed. My book was still blocked.

I sent an email message explaining my dilemma on June 1. Two days later after receiving no response I tried to de-list my book. It wouldn’t go away. I then decided to reload my book making sure to not hit the public domain button and bingo it went through and got distributed.

Now two listings for The Rocker and the Bird Girl appear on my D2D dashboard – one blocked and one published.

Compare this to Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle Direct who always resolve my issues within twenty-four hours.

Three things I didn’t bother with in this launch were Kindle Select, Kindle Scout, and Smashwords Pre-order. These highly touted services have generated nothing whatsoever  in response for me.

My email list continues generate response and I’m getting quite creative with MailChimp about using  free copies to increase the membership, like using Instafreebie’s one month free introductory offer. Make sure you click the option to have Instafreebie members “opt in” by giving up their email address for a free book.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.


Websites links to sites referenced in this blog.

Link to become an ART member




Mail Chimp


Kindle Direct

Create Space

Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at

Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to:

View my flickr photostream at

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music



TheWidowerE-bookCoverHello, Aunt Grace, it’s your nephew Rod calling. Rod. Norm’s son. On the west coast. Yes. Long time no talk, how are you? That long? He did? When? I’m sorry to hear that, I always liked Uncle Ted. Fred? Uncle Fred, of course. Anyhow, I’m writing novels now and I wondered if you had a computer?


My new novel, The Widower, has been submitted and accepted in the Kindle Scout program, Amazon’s new “reader-powered publishing platform for new, never-before-published books.”

What is Kindle Scout? Here’s how Amazon, the parent company, spins it:

Kindle Scout… is a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

Here’s my take on it.

Anyone can now publish an e-book free with Kindle Direct Publishing. The trade-off is they get a thirty-five percent royalty. I would imagine there’s at least five million e-books listed on Amazon, the majority of which are spawned by Kindle Direct. How do I come up with this astounding statistic? My novel Not Wonder More, Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients is ranked 2,854,676 in the Kindle Store. It’s that high because its actually had a couple of sales. The current sales ranking of my other four books that makeup my bibliography is “unknown”, because, you guessed it, they’ve had no sales on Amazon.

For the last year I’ve been committed to reading the work of new, self-published authors and believe me there are a lot of books out there whose sales ranking is “unknown”.

Here’s what I’m getting at – it must cost quite a bit of money to churn out e-books that once published don’t sell a copy.

Kindle Scout gives Amazon the opportunity to choose the ones that will sell and put their resources behind them and make some money.

You see once your work is accepted it gets posted on the Kindle Scout site and reader’s can nominate it. If you make the cut you get the cash. It’s kind of a sure thing for Amazon since they already know by the number of people that nominate the book if it will sell.

If you win and get the contract does that mean you’ve written a blockbuster? Maybe, but it more likely means you’ve recruited every living soul you know or have virtually come in contact with to nominate your title.

So what, you (and Amazon) say? That’s how the game is played. To that I say, you’re right, but not by me.

But, hey, I’m not complaining. This is still an opportunity to get my work in front of a lot of people and I’m grateful to Kindle Scout and Amazon for the opportunity. It’s just that I’m just not going to run out and spend that advance – in advance. It’s not that I don’t have a lot of friends I can lean on…actually, it is.

The Widower’s Kindle Scout campaign will launch on October 24, 2015 12:00 AM EDT and last for 30 days. Here’s the direct link to my book if you’re inclined to nominate it.

The Kindle Scout submission process is dead simple. Here’s what you need:

  • A complete, copyedited, never-before-published manuscript of about 50,000 words or more in Word format
  • A title and book cover image
  • A book one-liner of 45 characters or less
  • A book description of 500 characters or less
  • A short bio (500 characters or less) and your photo. You also have a chance to answer some canned questions about your book and personal story in a short Q&A section.
  • A thank you note of 500 characters or less. At the end of every campaign, Kindle Scout notifies readers whether the books they nominated were selected. The thank you note you submit will be included in the reader notification — no matter the outcome. This is a good opportunity to make a connection on a permanent basis via social media or email lists though neither have worked for me. It is, however, still polite to say thanks for your time and interest.

If you’re about to launch a book and you haven’t got this information at your fingertips, well, you’re not ready to launch a book.

Here’s the link to Kindle Scout

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs;



Saving Spirit Bear – 99¢ if ordered before November 8, 2015

Loving the Terrorist – 99¢ Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs

– order before December 6, 2015

After pre-order dates regular price will apply $2.99

To pre-order go to



Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

My new novels, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend and The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic are available on Amazon and as e-books at

Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and a buy link to my Eco-Fi series ECO-WARRIORS Book 3, Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients

ECO-WARRIOR Book 1, Saving Spirit Bear is available at

ECO-WARRIOR Book 2, Loving the Terrorist – Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs is now available as in paperback at

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to:

View my flickr photostream at

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music

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