I have something totally fun and unusual for Get Lost in a Story fans today. Naomi Stone is a fabulous and unique storyteller with several adult romantic urban fantasy books to her credit. Now she's written her first YA fantasy under her other author name Laramie Sasseville! When it came time to find a home for this novel, Naomi decided to try something a little different. Check out her story about Amazon’s Kindle Scout Program—a place where readers can help get a book that they discover published and into the hands of eager readers! Give a big GLIAS welcome to Naomi Stone!
Hi Get Lost in a Story friends. I’m Laramie Sasseville and I've published several books under my Naomi Stone name, too. Recently I've been focused on finding homes for a couple completed manuscripts I've had hanging around my desk. The most recent urban romance is being looked at by a couple different agencies. The other manuscript is my problem child. A middle-grade dark fantasy unlike any of the adult romantic urban fantasies I've previously had published.
In 2010, I completed the first draft of The Winter Knife and found an editor at Viking who agreed to look at it. Time passed. I was working on other projects. My first novella and first two novels were published and I thought hesitantly that the editor who had my middle grade novel must have forgotten about it. Then, in the summer of 2012, she told me she'd started reading it.
Fast forward to spring of 2016. I'd tried making a couple of inquiries but heard nothing more - until hearing that the editor in question no longer worked for Viking. The news galvanized me into taking up the hunt for an agent. I queried every agent who remotely seemed like a good match for this story, which my critique partners had called one of my best.
I could probably come up with dozens of reasons why none of these agents showed an interest - but that would all be guess work. It's a story close to my heart—one I wish I could have read when I was the protagonist's age. I'm sure there's an audience who will appreciate the young heroine's torn loyalties, her longing for acceptance at odds with the urge to lash out and stand up for herself, and the dangerous mission she undertakes to save both her monster and her people.
I began to think that if I couldn't find an agent, I could certainly take the book Indie. But then I considered trying Kindle Scout first. I had only a vague notion of how it worked, so I did the research.
Kindle Scout gives authors the chance to present their completed manuscript, (edited and ready for publication, with cover art) to an audience of readers who will nominate the books they'd like to see published. Readers who nominate a book that is then chosen for publication will receive a free downloadable copy of the book.
Nobody knows exactly how Kindle Scout's decision makers choose which books to publish. A bad book is unlikely to be chosen no matter how well promoted, but reader interest is certainly a factor. The chosen books are given a contract with an advance of $1500 and a 50% royalty rate.
The Winter Knife had already been past a gauntlet of critique partners and beta readers. I gave it another round of editing (a hiatus of six years helped me bring fresh eyes to the task). My background in art and graphic design gave me the skills to create cover art according to Kindle Scout's specifications. And hardest of all, I agonized over getting my book description down to fit Kindle Scout's five-hundred character limit. Five hundred words would have been no problem! But finally, I had a thirty-five character tagline and description ready to go.
Here’s what Kindle Scout readers and now you here at GLIAS get to know about the story of The Winter Knife:
Death stalks a snowbound city from below...
When a popular teen is killed after infuriating 14-year-old Haley, feral dogs are blamed, but more attacks implicate a creature of Northwoods myth she befriended in its summer form. As the DNR leads a cougar hunt in town, Haley makes a desperate plan to steal a car and use their empathic bond to lead the creature away from the city -- into the fangs of a blizzard that makes roads hazardous even for experienced drivers. If she fails, either her monster or more members of her community will die.
When I posted this on Kindle Scout it hit the 'Hot and Trending' category right away and stayed there for over fifty hours. It stayed on the first page for its categories (SF & Fantasy and Teen & YA) even longer. I get a daily update of how many Page Views I've had, but not an account of actual nominations. Of course, I told everyone I know on Facebook and all my friends and family about the campaign and asked them to visit the page and nominate my book.
A campaign lasts for thirty days, so I'm planning another big push for the last week. In the meanwhile, please check out 'The Winter Knife' on Kindle Scout and nominate it if you'd like to see it published and win a free copy!
I'd love to give away a hard copy version of my Team Guardian anthology (see below) to one commenter. I'd like to know what you think of the Kindle Scout program now that you know about it. Would you ever submit one of your books to it? Or, if you're a reader, would you start looking there for potential new authors?
Finally, from Liz: After checking out Laramie's The Winter Knife, look for Naomi Stone's books as well! They're unique and fun--unlike anything you've ever read!
Spirited: A modern-day antiquities expert unleashes a powerful-and sexy-Djinni!
Wonder Guy: What happens when a total computer geek gets a fairy godmother AND super powers?
Team Guardian: Three novellas in one. Meet the members of this amazing team of
heroes who save the world after a probability bomb gives people unusual abilities that not everyone uses for good.
Three Wishes: Get to know the Fairy Godmothers of Fairy Godmothers Union: True Love Local.
NAOMI STONE BOOKS