T.L. Zalecki was one of the first speculative fiction authors offered a publishing contract via the Kindle Scout program, and her debut novel, Rising Tide (SIRENS Book 1) was recently published by Kindle Press. Her second book in the series, Lost World, is now up on the Kindle Scout site, where readers can nominate it, and if it is published, receive a free copy. I’m devouring Rising Tide right now. It’s scientifically plausible mer-people in a near future dystopia with government conspiracy to boot!
Tanya was kind enough to sit down with me for a Skype interview to discuss her experience with the Kindle Scout program and share insights into how it works. As one of the first forty authors selected for a publishing contract, she set up her Rising Tide campaign while the site was still in beta. In this interview, we discuss the process of selection on Kindle Scout, the timeline for publication, and the types of rights that the publisher seeks. This program is something to consider if you want the freedom of indie publishing with some of the editing and marketing support of a big publisher.
An Interview with T.L. Zalecki
Conducted and Edited by Emily Mah, September, 2015
The interview below is about 40 minutes long, and in it we discuss both Tanya’s debut book and the Kindle Scout program. Links to specific topics are below.
About Rising Tide (SIRENS Book 1)
We begin with Tanya talking about how she came to write her book, and chose to try Kindle Scout to get it published.
1:58 Tanya discusses the big bad church/corporation, PanDivinity, in her dystopian world.
5:24 The environmental catastrophes that have transformed the world of SIRENS.
6:28 Other disasters facing humanity in this book.
7:16 Researching the world of SIRENS.
7:57 Tanya discusses Lorel, the viewpoint character of the book, a strong woman of the future.
9:28 Positive body image in an extreme world.
11:05 A summary of Rising Tide (SIRENS Book 1)
12:20 The cover of the book. Paul Cappella
Getting Rising Tide Published Via Kindle Scout
12:47 An overview of the Kindle Scout program
13:15 Requirements for Kindle Scout.
13:36 The process of being nominated on Kindle Scout.
14:11 How Kindle Scout ultimately decides on whom to publish (it’s not just based on nominations.)
15:51 Tanya’s first look behind the scenes at Kindle Scout.
16:12 Kindle Scout compared to the larger publishing houses and a discussion of the advance and editing process.
16:38 The editing process, some of which is outsourced to Kirkus.
17:18 The timeline to publish via Kindle Scout.
20:53 Important preparations before submitting to Kindle Scout: Hiring a freelance editor.
21:32 The terms of the Kindle Press contract, if you are offered publication.
22:08 The rights they want.
23:08 Audio rights and the royalties shares on the ebook and audio book.
24:24 The marketing package.
SIRENS 2 and the Kindle Scout Process
27:04 Tanya explains the setup for SIRENS Book 2, Lost World.
27:44 The second Kindle Scout campaign, as it compares to the first time around.
28:50 The campaign page, from the author’s point of view.
30:47 The advantage to readers who nominate on Kindle Scout (free books!)
31:39 Advance marketing done via Kindle Scout.
33:00 The benefits of being part of the Kindle Scout community, how it boosts sales.
34:06 A possible SIRENS Book 3.
35:00 Next steps after Kindle Scout.
36:15 Customization options available with Kindle Scout – you can hire an outside formatter (shameless plug…)
37:57 Nominate SIRENS 2 on Kindle Scout (and then get it for free!)
Emily Mah is a writer and the owner of E.M. Tippetts Book Designs, a company that provides formatting, cover design, and editing services for independent authors and publishers. Her last interview for Black Gate was with Victor Milan.