Hard to believe it is April already. Time keeps grinding inexorably forward, and it's not willing to wait for anyone. I'm working on a bunch of different projects this month, and it'll be hard to tell exactly which projects will get released or updated anytime soon.
The first major news, in case anyone hasn't heard, is that Kindle Scout is shutting down.
Losing Kindle Scout means one of my avenues of publication has disappeared, but in general I've been having better luck with other avenues anyway.
We got the email early in April, and it was an immediate shutdown without a lot of knowledge or consideration. There are a ton of campaigns still running and there was no warning that it was coming. Sure, the program has been faltering a little bit, but it's been a great way for indie authors to get exposure in the Amazon ecosystem.
I am going to miss having it as a tool for authors, and I spent a lot of time and energy working on my kindle scout guide and blog posts. I've already been working to remove those posts and redirect my energies, but it still sucks that the program had to end so abruptly.
In other news, I'm working on my newest Alexa skill: Word Hacks. It's massive, and ties into a lot of different APIs to find and deliver information. I tried to imagine it as an assistant that could do anything from translate to track progress on writing to get definitions. It's a huge and overwhelming task, and I'm pleased to say that I'm basically done with it. I have a few last pieces to wire up and test out, but then I'm going to unleash it into the world in the next couple of weeks.
Keep your eyes peeled for that, because I would love for anyone who has an Alexa enabled device to help me find bugs and problems that I can fix before May. That will be the big month for the application in getting it into the big life hacks competition that is coming up.
Apart from that, I'm planning on running some more free promotions during this month and May and getting ready for the launch of Crispr.