Writing a novel is a little like a ripe wet fart.

Chances are, if you have to force it out it was most likely shit in the first place.

I don’t think Hemingway EVER said anything like that – but he should have.

Today is the third day of my second Kindle Scout campaign.

Let me tell you a little a bit about Kindle Scout.

First off you ought to know about the HOT & TRENDING list. Basically, this rates how often folks have clicked over to look at your book or read your excerpt or even nominated you. It is one of those Amazon calculations – which means that it is run by a legion of hopped-up squirrels – high on concentrate goat lard, a half a kilo of peyote buttons and a fistful of walnuts marinated in brown acid – practicing parkour upon the beads and rods of a gigantic Tinker Toy abacus.


So Hot & Trending is partly how Kindle Scout ranks the popularity of your campaign. The more hours that your submissions spends HOT AND TRENDING, the more likely it is to get noticed and to receive more submissions. It is NOT a guarantee that you will “win” with your selection. It is only one single factor. BUT the more hours you spend on the Hot & Trending train, the more likely folks are to notice your submission and nominate it as well and pick up a free copy and maybe even read and review it and get you more noticed as time rolls on.

Cue the piano player…


Currently I have been on the Hot & Trending list for all three days of my campaign. To be honest – I was only Hot & Trending for ONE hour on day 1 and TWO hours on day 2 and TWO hours on day 3 – so you can’t really call that anything more than an overly ambitious hot flash.


I have posted a request for nomination throughout various Facebook book promotional pages. I have also sent out word to my e-mail newsletter and I have purchased a Fiverr campaign from Bookkitty to help get the word out about my campaign.

Other than that there isn’t a whole lot of advice I can give you, except to remind you that Hot & Trending isn’t the be-all and end-all of a Kindle Scout campaign. In fact, it is one of the smallest factors relating to your possibility of success. I know one author at kboard who managed to stay Hot & Trending right through the whole entire 30 day stretch – and her book STILL WASN’T selected.

So don’t lose too much sleep over the Hot & Trending list.

Right now I am just aiming to see it H&T a couple of hours every day, just to keep it on an even keel. Like Amazon book sales – a long and steady and reliable stream goes a lot further than a one day flash flood.

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



  1. Good luck to you Steve. I ran a book through KS last year, spent much of the contest in H&T and…was not selected. Your cover and plot look like the right kind of property but time will tell. My current entry, SLEIGHT, has spent less than 20 hours total in H&T but is, I think in my unbiased opinion, much better than my last entry. When I went ahead and published my first book in the KDP program it sold a few hundred copies (print and ebook) and enjoyed in excess of 25,000 online reads (calculated similarly to Wattpad’s metrics). My opinion is that, much like Wattpad, KS is a platform heavily skewed to a demographic that jumps on a particular kind of manuscript. If you aren’t selected, keep writing, because after all, that’s really what it takes, right?
    Stephen King wrote that when he received rejection letters he stuck them on his wall with a nail, ultimately replacing the nail with a spike because the stack of rejections got too thick for the nail. Write on.


    • Amen, Brother Tom – you are preaching to the choir.

      All right, so I wasn’t ever in a choir, unless you count that Sunday morning I woke up in the choir loft after stumbling in on Saturday – halfway through Rock of Ages. I joined in and I think I might have actually reached the second verse even though I didn’t know any of the words – and I would have held on until the third verse if somebody hadn’t gone and called for security.

      Who’d have thunk a deacon could hit that hard…


  2. Thanks so much for blogging on this. I feel fairly lost in the process as Amazon are deliberately vague about it all. I also don’t really want to beg for votes because it could descend into vanity, and might be confirmation for some that the book isn’t worthy if it still fails after a lengthy campaign.

    I wondered what people thought about hot and trending. How important is it to sustain that? Do we think that Amazon will only review those books that are still ‘hot’ by the end of the month?

    I don’t have the best front cover in the world, but it does incorporate the novel’s themes and motifs, and so just about succeeds for that reason. Possibly a bit dated-looking though. It might not be enough — but I like to remember that the cover isn’t the main event.


    • Hey Ryan.

      Hot and Trending is important to a certain degree. I think an author is making a big old mistake in ignoring any attempts to drum up SOME interest in their campaign.

      The way I see it, Kindle Scout WANTS good books that they can sell and make money from. They want to make back the advance they give you. So, they want to see that the author knows how to generate some sort of interest in his novel. Hence, the Hot & Trending list.

      It isn’t the only reason they’ll accept a book. The fact is, they HAVE accepted books that received very little H&T action. If the book is good, if it looks salable, if the author has a big fan base already – well that factors for an author.

      Only I don’t have a big fan base, so I campaigned like a son of a gun – and I got in.

      Go figure.

      I took a look at the cover for your book, MORAL KIOSK. It said “time travel” to me, which is what a cover is supposed to do. So you are okay there, in my opinion.

      If you want to find a whole community full of Kindle Scout folks such as myself swing on over to Kboards and check out or gigantic thread on Kindle Scout. I keep a list there of all the Kboards members with active campaigns. You can ask any question you’ve got about Kindle Scout or indie publishing in general and you are bound to get a lot of feedback. I’ll put MORAL KIOSK on the list over there – but you ought to go and check the whole thread out. I guarantee you’ll learn a lot about the Kindle Scout process.

      Just hit this link.,213112.0.html


      • Thank you *very* much for the info, comments and support, Steve. 🙂 I’ll head over to kboards to read more!


    • Ryan,
      Steve is right on a lot of points. While I haven’t cracked the code so to speak, there are several factors that really help authors get selected:
      1) Fan base, and while Steve is being modest, he has a substantial fan base.
      2) Already have numerous books published on Amazon. If your book is selected and you already have titles for sale on Amazon they know it will generate revenue for them when they publish your Scout title.
      3) Write in a genre (sub genre) that sells well: YA female oriented, Romance, Vampires, Zombies, Cozy Mysteries (yes, this is an actual genre)…etc.
      4) Really good cover artwork. If you don’t think your cover is terrific you have an uphill battle in front of you. Amazon will provide guidance/help with editing but they do not offer free cover support.
      I recommend giving it a try but you may want to take another shot at your cover based on your comments. Derek Murphy writes a really great blog with lots of advice (for free) on how to design an effective cover.
      If you don’t market through email, twitter, FB, Instagram or other social media platforms you’re really counting on that cover and your blurb to create interest. What’s more, Amazon tracks votes both internally (Kindle Scouts) and externally (aforementioned sites) and they do so as a means of identifying which authors will market their books. Brick and mortar bookstores and traditional publishers also look at authors’ commitment to marketing as one step in considering whether to carry their books.
      No matter what give it a shot. You’ll learn a lot, connect with other authors and become a better author!
      Best regards.


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