Monthly Archives: February 2016


It is an absolutely beautiful morning here in Nova Scotia.

I’m going out in an hour or so for an emergency run to Walmart for an ink cartridge. I’m going to jog over, yodeling, in my sweat suit – it is that warm out there.

In between then an now I am going to have to figure out how to yodel. Anybody know of any good how-to sites?


While I was over at kboards this morning somebody asked a very interesting question about Kindle Scout.

“Can anyone figure out the hot and trending list on Kindle Scout?  I had a day of 360 nominations the next of 160 and neither of them had an hour of hot and trending.  I’m totally confused on how it works. – Signed Anonymous”

Now that is a VERY good question.

And no – he did NOT really sign it “Anonymous” – I’m just signing it that way for the purpose of the blog.

Here’s my answer.

Hey Anonymous –  I think you mean that you had 360 views – (the second chart on your campaign page).

Let me see if I can explain it to you.

I follow a link and come over and have a look at your campaign equals ONE VIEW.

I hit the nomination button equals ONE NOMINATION.

Think of it this way.

Let’s say you have decided to build a fund-raising campaign to raise money to save the rare blue-spotted-moose from extinction.

I come and stick my head into the arena where you are staging the fund-raiser and take a look in the door and think to myself – “Wow, I didn’t know the blue-spotted-moose was in danger of extinction” and then walking down the street to get a blue-spotted-mooseburger at the local Macdonalds.

That’s a view.

I walk right on inside to your campaign table and plunk down a five dollar bill and shout “HALLELUJAH AND SAVE THE BLUE-SPOTTED MOOSE!” – well that’s a nomination, and that’s worse MORE than a view.

Kindle Scout does NOT show us nominations. They keep those hidden behind the curtain. So maybe right now 520 people have taken a look at your book but HAVEN’T nominated it. In which case you DON’T show up on Hot & Trending.

In either case I am STILL going to Macdonalds right now and demanding a MacMooseBurger!!!


So here is a shot of the orange bars.

February 29 2016

That’s 476 hours on the HOT & TRENDING list.

And here is a shot of that blue chart below – that I haven’t shown before.

multiview February 29 2016

Those blue lines track all of the page views on my campaign. Every time that somebody takes a peek over there that blue line goes up a little. Now I am pretty certain that the Gods of Kindle Scout are smart enough to have some sort of a fail-safe mechanism built in so that it does not count the way-too-many times I peek over there, as well as having some sort of fail-safe mechanism to guard against me paying somebody to sit at home and view my campaign over and over and over.

Just the same – those blue bars show how often my page has been viewed.

That low point matches exactly with the one day that I had absolutely ZERO hours on the Hot & Trending list – HOWEVER – that great big spike of page views (which actually represents the results of my HeadTalker campaign ONLY resulted in a measly THREE hours on Hot & Trending.

Which means that out of ALL of those many folks who clicked on my HeadTalker that day only a few of them actually NOMINATED Kelpie Dreams.

I guess that the rest of them were way too busy eating moose-burgers.



PLEASE HELP ME win a Kindle Scout publishing contract by nominating my book and you can earn a FREE Kindle copy of my newest novel KELPIE DREAMS if the book is selected.

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon



Okay – so according to the Kindle Scout statistics counter I have FOUR DAYS LEFT and I am currently at the 460 hour mark on the HOT & TRENDING list with 1455 views to my claim.

Let me hereby announce that it would be wicked nerdy cool for me to actually hit the 500 hour mark on the HOT & TRENDING list.



Understand that this STILL doesn’t guarantee ANYTHING except that I managed to convince an awful lot of folks to take a chance on Kelpie Dreams.

So let’s take a look at what Kindle Scout CAN do for a writer like me?

Or like you…

For starters they edit your novel if they feel it needs it. And let’s face it – most of us ALL need an editor. No matter how brilliant you think you are, no matter how natural a speller and how you have such an instinctive feel for proper grammar, no matter how wonderful your cat really thinks that you are – you need an editor who will take a look and say – “Whoops, you goofed there!” or “Wouldn’t this be better if???”

They get your book out into the public eye with all of the Kindle Scout promotional muscle behind it. That still doesn’t mean that you can sit back and have a cold beer and wait for the royalty checks to start rolling in. You still have to get out there and promote the book yourself – but if anything these thirty days have taught me – is how to promote Kelpie Dreams.

They also give you a $1500.00 advance – and I want to talk about this. I had somebody on Facebook a few weeks grab me by the digital shirt collar and complain about some author they knew who was upset because they bailed out on their contract and had to repay some of that advance money.

That’s something you need to consider. Kindle Scout DOES give you the opportunity to bail out if your book does not reach a certain sales figure – but that $1500.00 is part of a contract that you have signed – so obligations are going to be involved. Besides – I fully intend to give Kindle Scout their full five year run to try and make the Kelpie Dreams series a success.

The way I see it is that I have slowly improved my own sales over the last three years – but it took me that long to do it. So I do not intend to get all worked up and impatient if Kindle Scout does NOT sell me a bucketload of books right off of the bat. I intend to grab on to Kindle Scout like a summer tick on a hound dog’s ear.

I plan to be busy writing other books.

I am building something here – and that takes time.

I don’t expect instant success whether or not they accept me or not. Either way I am in this game for the long run.

Now let’s see those orange bars, shall we?

February 28 2016

So what am I doing right now to promote my campaign?

Well – a couple of links to my blog went live today over at the CARNIVAL OF INDIES page and I advise you writer-types to go and check that page out. Not counting my two measly blog links there is a LOT of wicked-cool up-to-date information for folks who are interested in books and e-reading and indie writing.

That’s all ready steered a bit of attention to my blog page and – who knows – maybe even another nomination or two.

Which doesn’t hurt.

You see, at the end of the day whether or not my book is selected for Kindle Scout I still have bagged myself an awful lot of attention for my indie writing efforts and there are a lot more folks who know about me and know about Kelpie Dreams and hopefully some of them will take a chance and pick up a copy when it does go live this spring.

So – if you are an indie writer with a rock solid manuscript and a good sales history and a knack for social media you REALLY ought to take a chance on Kindle Scout!


PLEASE HELP ME win a Kindle Scout publishing contract by nominating my book and you can earn a FREE Kindle copy of my newest novel KELPIE DREAMS if the book is selected.

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon




I am down to five days left – which I think means six days left, because there is always that last day where it says LAST DAY LEFT. Good thing mathematics isn’t my strong point.

It is coming down to the crunch time and I really ought to start letting go and making peace with this whole campaign – but right now the little orange bars calm me slightly, even though I know that H&T isn’t the only factor – or even the most important factor in my book making the grade or not. My past sales figures are DEFINITELY an important part of the judging process – and I am pretty sure that compared to most indie authors out there I truly suck. I sell maybe one or two e-books every day – which I am worried is going to weigh against me.

Still, what I am hoping is that the amount of time I spend upon the H&T and showing up on that Kindle Scout front page is going to bring me some new readers, folks who are already well-accustomed to the Kindle Scout scene. I am hoping that this new direction – away from horror and towards paranormal romance adventure – is going to work in my favor as well.

At least that is the plan.

Plan A

Oh man – does this mean I am going to have to learn how to spell?

In the meantime, you can read a lot more about me in a brand new interview over at the Speculative Fiction Showcase!

And lastly here is a look at all of those bright orange bars.

February 27 2016

That’s 441 hours on the Hot & Trending List with 1416 page views in total for all of you statistically-minded folks out there!

PLEASE HELP ME win a Kindle Scout publishing contract by nominating my book and you can earn a FREE Kindle copy of my newest novel KELPIE DREAMS if the book is selected.

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon


I swear I saw Chicken Little run by me just a minute ago, yelling out – “THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!”

Well, maybe Colonel Sanders was in hot pursuit with a deep fryer in one hand and a well-honed Ginsu kitchen cleaver in the other.

KFC Killer

Before Halloween, before Friday the 13th, before Scream, before Saw, before Freddy – even before Leatherface – there was the Colonel…

Either way, the chickens have decided that it is time for some DRASTIC action!

KFC Counter-Killer

Which was what happened to me.

I had just got home last night and I saw that KELPIE DREAMS had fallen from off of the big orange train and was no longer HOT & TRENDING. So – I took action and fired off a volley of Facebook entries and Tweets. A couple of good friends of mine picked up the torch and retweeted and Facebook shares and by the time I got up this morning I was happy to see that KELPIE DREAMS was once more Hot & Trending.

Here’s the picture.

February 26 2016

So – for those folks without a magnifying glass or zoom button – I had 17 hours out of 24 on the Hot & Trending.

And – as I keep telling myself – at this point I have done pretty well, and those pretty orange bars are still not guarantee that my book WILL be accepted.

But I am hoping.

What ever happens I have reached an awful lot of folks who hadn’t heard of me before and I have written a pretty darned good book which will be published one way or another. I don’t want anyone to think that I am giving up – but I am doing my best not to tempt the gods of nemesis to strike my hopes down to the dirt for buying too heavily into my own P.R.

Wish me luck.

Babe Ruth

The one thing that I can tell you is that as you draw closer to the end of your campaign you will find that it takes LESS effort to get that orange bar back up there. Then too, there is also the fact that Kindle Scout actively promotes the campaigns that have two days or less left in their campaign – so I have that to look forward to as well.

Either way, I am glad that you folks are keeping me company as I draw nearer to the nervous Nellie nail-biting part of this merry-go-ride.

PLEASE HELP ME win a Kindle Scout publishing contract by nominating my book and you can earn a FREE Kindle copy of my newest novel KELPIE DREAMS if the book is selected.

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Writing Isn’t Rocket Science!

Let’s take a break from all of that Kindle Scout yelling, shall we?

Just the other day on kboards I read a thread where a writer said they were having a problem completing their work.

“I’m in a mess. I’ve got 4 novels started and at different stages between 15,000 and 30,000 words but I’ve lost confidence and have doubts about each of them.” was what this writer wrote.

I could empathize.

I had been stuck been before. Not too long ago. Stuck for a very long time.

So I wrote this reply and I thought I would blog about it here so that you folks who might likewise be suffering from a bad case of the if-it-isn’t-brilliant-I-can’t-write-it syndrome.

Remember – at the end of the day you need to finish one of those manuscripts. The thing that is most likely slowing you down is the thought that it has to be something brilliant. Tell yourself this. All that you need to do right now is to finish ONE of those half-finished manuscripts into first draft format.

And a first draft does not have to be anything more brilliant than a steaming pile of dog funk, wrapped in a second hand Tupperware container.

It doesn’t have to brilliant.

It doesn’t have to be wonderful.

It just needs to be done.

Figure out where you want the story to go and then run until you get there.

THEN – sit down and have a beer and smile contentedly. Go rake the lawn or go for a walk or listen to the cat complain that she doesn’t have enough fish in her bowl.

THEN – after you have given yourself enough time to breathe and feel comfortable, pick up that steaming piece of Tupperware and pull out a Popsicle stick and commence to sculpting.

Getting past the mid-ground is a little like getting over a hill and running on home. Right now you are on the wrong side of the hill and you are terrified about what might be on the other side of the hill. Oh God, you tell yourself – what if I get over there and there is lions on the other side of the hill. What if I get there and every single bully who ever picked on me in school is standing there and pointing at me and telling me that my writing sucks.

It’s fear.

You can call it boredom if you want to – but I will bet you a box of cut-tomato-tins-in-two Ginsu knives that it is nothing more than fear wearing a mask of creative ennui.

Grit your teeth and go for it. Remember that you are doing nothing more than stringing words together. It’s just like talking to yourself on paper. It isn’t rocket science.

Outlining might help you – but don’t get all hung up thinking it has to be a picture perfect outline. Just lay the bare-bones of the plot together. Look at your manuscript and decide that you want your hero to live happily ever after – once he has successfully out-wrestled the giant Tupperware Ginsu knife wielding Ennui – and lay a few perfunctory footprints down for that hero to follow and then go for it.

Try laying your manuscript in a pile on one side of your dining room table. Take a look at what chapter you left off at – say it’s Chapter 7.

Then take a blank piece of paper and write CHAPTER 8 at the top of it and then scribble yourself a note over what needs to get done in Chapter 8.

Chapter 8 – our hero needs to go and sharpen his own Ginsu knife.

Then take another blank piece of paper and write CHAPTER 9. Maybe you don’t what Chapter 9 needs to be. Well write that down. “I have no freaking idea what Chapter 9 is.”

Then blank paper out Chapter 10 – and write down – our hero needs to get lucky because every ginsu-knife epic novel needs a little gratuitous sex scenes in it.

Then just sort of rough track yourself towards the last Chapter, which is Chapter 13, where our hero does a high-spirited manly jig of victory over the Tupperware bones of his fallen foe.

This isn’t rocket science. Don’t try and impress yourself. Just give yourself permission to play and have fun. Finishing the first draft is the big part of the battle. Once you have that first draft, lying there like the bones of a gigantic Tupperware Frankenstein monster then you start to sculpt into something divine and wonderful – like maybe a glittering vampire.

I want to apologize in advance to any TWILIGHT fans who read that last gag – but I am an incurable wise guy.

Speaking of commercials…

PLEASE HELP ME win a Kindle Scout publishing contract by nominating my book and you can earn a FREE Kindle copy of my newest novel KELPIE DREAMS if the book is selected.

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon



It finally happened.

I don’t have enough time this morning to be brilliant.

I’ve spent most of the morning putting together a brand new interview that hopefully will go live before the end of the campaign. I also was answering some correspondence regarding a storytelling appearance that I am setting up for next month, here in Halifax. As well I have a last minute pitch to put together for another local event – so everything is coming together all at once, as it usually does. Life just WILL not pay attention to your personal agenda.

So, let me fill you in quickly and remind you that if you are intending to launch your own Kindle Scout Campaign – and you really ought to give it a try – then be prepared to juggle.


I’m still on the HOT & TRENDING list. I do not how that is possible but somebody up there is looking out for me and hopefully this is all going to come together. I’ll know in a week or two.

I am going to feel pretty silly if this all goes to pot.

I currently have 400 hours on the HOT & TRENDING list and 1291 views. Any minute now I expect Monty Hall to step out and ask me if I want what is behind Door number one, two or three.

Monty Hall

No time to be fancy today. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

PLEASE HELP ME win a Kindle Scout publishing contract by nominating my book and you can earn a FREE Kindle copy of my newest novel KELPIE DREAMS if the book is selected.

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon


I am still hot.

I have that on good authority.

Kindle Scout tells me I am hot.

My bathroom mirror tends to agree.

Mirror Shot

All right – so what I really want to know is HOW do vampires shave?

It is Day 21 and I have EIGHT days left according to Kindle Scout. I know that the math does NOT work out – but however it falls I also know that sometime next week – say Thursday or Friday – I will be swinging in the breeze waiting to hear the final decision from the gods of Kindle Scout.

Right now I have a total of 376 hours on HOT & TRENDING and, according to the little orange HOT sign on my campaign page I am STILL hot today.

I also have 1255 views on my campaign.

February 24 2016

At this point I feel as if I have done everything that I can possibly do.

There are, of course, always options. I could throw money at this matter – but at this point in the game I have more than enough orange on that chart and I would be far better off hanging onto my money. If Kindle Scout DOES accept my novel I will need that money to help promote my novel.

Likewise, more social media posts would only be wasted at this point in time. The folks who follow me on Twitter and Facebook are doubtless growing a little weary of my daily obsession and I will need to talk to these folks when KELPIE DREAMS hits the market – one way or another.

I am going to continue my daily blog entry – just because I believe this will give folks a better idea on just how a Kindle Scout campaign works. With any luck I will be able to continue on into March discussing how a Kindle Scout release can effect an indie writer’s standing.

Let’s wait and see, shall we.

So what CAN I do now?

Well, I can write. And I have been working on a new project as well as plotting two other projects for the future.

It has been difficult to maintain my creative focus as of late. This Kindle Scout campaign has taken up an awful lot of creative time and energy – so at this point of the game I feel that I should warn you folks about the very real possibility of experiencing this phenomenon during your own Kindle Scout Campaign – if you choose to go that way.

A writer REALLY ought to remind themselves to keep their daily word count up and to not give way to the temptation of spending all of their time obsessing over Kindle Scout.

I can’t say that I have ACTUALLY followed my advice over these last few weeks – but it is good advice, nonetheless.

In the meantime, any shares or tweets or nominations are immensely appreciated. Even though I am NOT going to throw anymore money and/or much more creative energy towards this project does NOT mean that I’d be glad to see that big orange bar making machine stop too soon.

Let’s see what tomorrow looks like, shall we?


PLEASE HELP ME win a Kindle Scout publishing contract by nominating my book and you can earn a FREE Kindle copy of my newest novel KELPIE DREAMS if the book is selected.

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon



I’m still riding that big orange train. Chalk up another 24 hours of HOT & TRENDING, bringing me to 352 hours and 1215 views with 9 days to go. By mid-next week I will be swinging in the breeze, awaiting the final decision from the gods of Kindle Scout. I’m freaking out. I’m shaking. I’m snarfing down peanut butter, honey and banana sandwiches and snorting cold black coffee.

And what am I doing to promote my Kindle Scout Campaign?

I’m doing nothing.

At this point it all falls to momentum. I have given myself over to cruise control and am sailing along upon a tide of gravity, fate and a dash of panache. I am captain of my own personal Titanic and there isn’t an ice berg in sight, as far as I am concerned.


Iceberg, my big green scaly ass!

But baby, I’m as cool as a frosty glass of ice cold pilsner on a hot August afternoon.

I mean – look at those big wonderful orange bars.


February 23 2016

Benjamin Grimm’s Viagra Test Chart

Now – let’s take a look at those orange bars. Sure, there are some gaps in that big orange picket fence – but there is ALSO an awful lot of consistency.

So, what all could I have done to fill in some of those gaps?

Some folks I have talked to have had an awful lot of luck using advertising – specifically, Facebook Ads. I cannot tell you a thing about that. One of these days I will see a reason to use Facebook Ads. Quite likely I will look into Facebook Ads if KELPIE DREAMS is picked up by the gods of Kindle Scout. After all I cannot rely completely upon Kindle Scout to promote my own book.

But – for now – I have chosen to avoid throwing money at this situation.

All that I spent on this entire campaign was ten whole dollars.

I spent ten whole dollars directly on my Kindle Scout promo on two Fiverr promo pages that were aimed specifically at Kindle Scout campaigns – Book Kitty and Marvelous Maven.

I invested the ten dollars for two reasons.

Reason 1 – I am desperate.

Hey, let’s be honest here.

Reason 2 – and this is the big one – I was curious. THIS, more than anything else is what has brought me into the world of indie publishing over these last three years or so. I want to get out there and test the waters. I want to find out what works for me and what doesn’t. I want to see what happens when you push this button.

So – I had ten whole bucks kicking around idle in my PayPal – and I said, WHY NOT?

There was a third Fiverr site that offered this – I WILL NOMINATE YOUR KINDLE SCOUT CAMPAIGN for five dollars.

Now THAT seemed a little dodgy to me. Paying five dollars to a service that posts your Kindle Scout campaign on their Facebook page and/or Tweets about your campaign on their Tweet feed is fair. If your campaign is interesting enough then some Facebook and/or Twitter follower of this promo site might jump in. That’s worth five bucks to me.

But handing somebody five dollars to nominate you – that just didn’t seem cost effective to me. What’s worse, it didn’t even seem ethical to me. With Book Kitty and Maven I was buying advertising. That was fair. With that other site – whose name I can’t even remember – it just seemed like vote buying – which ISN’T fair.

So – was the ten bucks worth it?

Well, Marvelous Maven’s promo went live on February 10, 2016 – and I had 24 hours of Hot & Trending that day. I can’t in all honesty determine just how much of that big orange bar was directly attributable to Marvelous Maven – but it sure didn’t hurt.

Book Kitty’s promo went live on February 7, 2016 – and she was kind enough to let me know that she was so impressed with the book description that she nominated it herself. And, there are those big orange bars of happiness again on that day.

creamsicle-day-August 14

Did you know that August 14 is National Creamsicle Day?

So – no, there is no REAL way that I can readily ascertain that actual worth of that ten dollar investment – except for this! That day I felt to myself, hey, you have done something to advance your campaign. Looking back then from the last minute floundering of today this was ten dollars WELL spent. In fact, in hindsight, I might even have done it again if I had the ten dollars to spend, just to see if this hoop was going to continue to keep on turning.

Hoop and Stick

This game would NEVER work on a pot-holed frost-heaved snowplow-gouged street in Canada!

Talk to you tomorrow.


PLEASE HELP ME win a Kindle Scout publishing contract by nominating my book and you can earn a FREE Kindle copy of my newest novel KELPIE DREAMS if the book is selected.


Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon


Tarzan Yell

Tarzan: “Kowabunga dudes! Steve is going to pester us all about that damned Kindle Scout Campaign of his. Run for cover!

All right – so another big day yesterday adding 24 more hours to my HOT & TRENDING list. That brings me to 328 hours HOT & TRENDING with 1,182 page views. I’ve got ten more days left of campaigning and I am REALLY not doing a whole lot right now except sputtering, spitting and spinning my wheels.

February 22 2016

Ah, look at all of those beautiful orange bars.

So – what HAVE I been doing?

These last few days rather than shotgunning all of those NOMINATE-MY-BOOK updates madly across Facebook  I have been concentrating on and drilling down into a couple of Facebook private groups that I am a member of.

For example – I am a member of a certain e-book promo group that has just staged a big freebie and 99 cent promotion this weekend. Well, the promotion is over with and we were having the digital equivalent of what con-goers would call a Dead Dog Party. We were all hanging out in front of the digital punch bowl, scraping the dregs of the digital bourbon from the digitally-spiked punch bowl and digitally congratulating ourselves over all of our digital sales

(How many times can one blogger riff off off digits? Why don’t you try counting them up on YOUR digits? We could make a drinking game out of it. How about every time that I type the word “digital” you take a swig of your digital-gin?)

And then I held up a sign.


I know.

I have no shame.

But think about that union member who goes around the staff party selling 50-50 tickets to help raise funds. The very best time to ask folks for a favor is when they are gathered together to celebrate.

SO – take a look around your Facebook groups and find yourself that group that is more of a get-together, rather than a long endlessly unscrolling stretch of BUY-MY-BOOK postings.

Are you a member of a Facebook knitting group? Are you a member of a Facebook stamp collecting group? Find yourself a group that you have been hanging out with for a while – for a reason that does not have a DARNED thing to do with e-books.

Then, drill down.

If you have already made yourself a bit of a regular upon the threads it will be easy. The best thing is that the members of your group will WANT to help you out. ESPECIALLY when it does not cost them a single thin dime.

Just don’t let yourself become that goomer who shows up on the Facebook page once a week with a BUY-MY-BOOK sign. So long as you just ask once – explain what Kindle Scout is all about and how it can help you and how it can help nominators actually receive a FREE copy of your e-book if it is given the nod by the Gods of Kindle Scout. Odds are a lot of your friends in that Facebook Group will be interested.

You don’t believe me?

Try it and see.

I tried it on another Facebook group – a private group set-up to help mutually support each other’s Thunderclap and HeadTalker campaigns – so they were USED to people showing up with signs saying HELP-SUPPORT-MY-CAMPAIGN – and a lot of them were happy to help my Kindle Scout campaign along. Even better, a lot of them hadn’t even heard of Kindle Scout so I was able to fill them in and get them thinking about how THEY could take part in Kindle Scout. Some of them were readers, looking for a chance of some free e-books. Some of them were writers, interested in finding a new way to help move their e-books.

All of them wanted to find out.

So be selective when you get to Facebooking your Kindle Scout Campaign.

Put down that shotgun and pick up your sniper rifle.


Steve is all – “Kowabunga this, Tarzan.”

Get ready.

Take aim.




PLEASE HELP ME win a Kindle Scout publishing contract by nominating my book and you can earn a FREE Kindle copy of my newest novel KELPIE DREAMS if the book is selected.


If you want to read out a bit more about Kindle Scout check out this interview!

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon



There’s a great Fantasy and Science Fiction Super Sale underway from now to the 21st! 100+ books for teens and adults, all free or $0.99 – including my own collection, SEA TALES!
Share this around and spread the word and check out all the books on sale at
Andrea Pearson.jpg