Hi everyone! Kindle Press is currently running a promotion for all their Kindle Scout titles. Each Kindle version is .99 cents. I thought it would be great to highlight some of the authors whose books were Kindle Scout selections.
Today I have the pleasure of interviewing one of the rising stars of Kindle Press, Lincoln Cole. Mr. Cole is an award-winning author who has published several books, all of which are currently available on Amazon, including his Kindle Scout selection, Raven’s Peak, Book 1 of the World on Fire series.
You have several books for sale on Amazon. About how many years have you been producing novels?
A little less than two years. I’ll be hitting that anniversary in August of this year when I first published!
About how many books per year do you try to write?
It depends entirely on how busy I am in life and what sort of project I am working on. I shoot usually for 2-3 projects a year, but sometimes that number goes up quite a bit if I get a lot of extra time to work on them.
The Kindle Scout program has obviously become a wonderful option for aspiring authors. What would you say are the benefits of being published by Kindle Press vs. traditional publishing, and what are the drawbacks, or weaknesses?
It has been instrumental in outreach and promotion and the helped network with a lot of like-minded and amazing people. It has flaws, though, and certainly shows favoritism for some authors over others. I suppose that is normal for a system like this, but it means some authors get huge added benefits and others get left out in the cold.
How many books of yours have been Kindle Scout selections? Do you run a campaign for each new book?
I’ve had one book get selected, but then I self-published the other two in the series. I’ve run a few other campaigns and didn’t work out and planning to run another one soon when I finish my next book.
Has Kindle Scout led to other opportunities for you?
To a small extent, yes, but most of the opportunities I’ve had came from my own efforts and work rather than from Kindle Scout. However, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Kindle Scout leading to publishing contracts which is incredibly nice.
Every writer has something they struggle with when writing. What is your biggest struggle?
Finding the time to write. I love writing, and it’s when I’m at my most comfortable, but publishing always has inherent fears attached to it about whether people will like it. My best solution for that is to work on another project, but it is so hard to find the time.
You seem to write in a variety of genres. Is there a genre you always come back to?
Urban Fantasy is my favorite, though sci-fi is a close second. Sometimes I like telling meaningful stories and adding my voice to cultural conversations, but usually I just enjoy telling a wild and crazy fiction story that is fun and ridiculous.
You have amassed a significant following. For the new or aspiring authors out there (myself included), what advice do you have in terms of acquiring readers?
The hardest part is getting people to give you a chance. Get your book out there, give it away, entice people to just give it a shot. Many will just move on after reading it, but quite a few will also stick around and see what else you have to offer. You also have to learn how to market and promote. Becoming popular is like getting struck by lightning: you can’t guarantee it will happen, but you can increase your chances by heading outside during a storm with a metal rod.
It seems there is a large cottage industry out there trying to lure new authors to pay for promotions, with mixed results. How do you avoid the scams?
Research is the best way, but even then it isn’t a sure thing. The problem is, a scam for one author might be the greatest promotion in the world for another. Think of a company that has 100,000 readers. If 90% of those readers are fans of sci-fi, and the other 10% are fans of romance, then when two authors submit (one sci-fi and the other romance) one of them is going to be incredibly happy, and the other is going to be furious and call the service a scam. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and paid for a lot of scams since I first started writing, but I’ve also had some incredible luck with things working out well from promotions I paid for. You can’t be afraid of getting ripped off, but you also have to research services, ask questions, and make the best decision you can.
Lastly, what are you writing now and when can we expect a new release?
I actually just released the third book in the Raven’s Peak series (Raven’s Rise) on Tuesday, March 21st so I’m still sort of recovering from that. I have a prequel series I’m working on for that series and it’s what I plan to finish next, and hopefully you’ll find it on Kindle Scout in a few weeks/months!
You can check out his Kindle Scout book, Raven’s Peak, here.